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Belle

ratings
39
REVIEWS
32
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
4

  • Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1373)
    Performance
    (1011)
    Story
    (1027)

    Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

    Emily - Audible says: "Juliet Stevenson is Simply Amazing"
    "Lovely performance, lovely book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This has always been my second favourite Austen book after Pride and Prejudice, but funnily enough I didn't enjoy it as much this time around. I still loved it, of course, but perhaps because I had just finished Emma, in which Knightley is a nearly constant presence, I really felt like there wasn't enough Captain Wentworth. Of course, it fits in with the story, and Anne's sense of isolation from him, but I didn't connect with him and their relationship as much as I usually do. It all felt rather rushed. I'm not sure if this was due to it being an audiobook or just me being in a different place to the last time I read it. Nevertheless, it was still a delight and oh THAT LETTER is still one of my favourite love declarations of all time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Saving Francesca

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Melina Marchetta
    • Narrated By Rebecca Macauley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Francesca is at the beginning of her second term in Year 11 at an all boy's school that has just started accepting girls. She still misses her old friends, and, to make things worse, her mother has had a breakdown and can barely move from her bed.

    Belle says: "Perfect"
    "Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The emotional and authentic story of a teen girl dealing with her mother's depression - and her own issues - with lovely narration by Macauley.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Language A to Z

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John McWhorter
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (586)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (515)

    Linguistics, the study of language, has a reputation for being complex and inaccessible. But here's a secret: There's a lot that's quirky and intriguing about how human language works-and much of it is downright fun to learn about. But with so many potential avenues of exploration, it can often seem daunting to try to understand it. Where does one even start?

    Jacobus says: "A genious Miscelany of linguistic topics"
    "Worth a listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    An engaging intro into linguistics using a word for each letter of the alphabet as a clever and interesting framing device.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fawn Brown

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Zoe McAuley
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Everyone remembers the tale of Snow White and her wicked stepmother. No one remembers Fawn Brown, the other princess, who made the fairy tale happen. Fawn Brown grew up in the shadow of her half-sister, Snow White. Daughter of the King and his second wife Margaretha, Fawn lacked Snow’s beauty and her position as heir to the throne. Fawn’s lot was to wait timidly in the background of the court until she could be sent off to a dull assignment in the bleakest corner of the kingdom.

    Belle says: "Short and sweet"
    "Short and sweet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Fawn Brown is Snow White's overlooked half-sister, revealing the "true" story of the fairy tale. This is a short novella with an interesting take on the classic story, narrated beautifully by Kellgren.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Windermere's Fan

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 22 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Roger Rees, Eric Stoltz, Joanna Going, and others
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (17)

    A lord, his wife, her admirer and an infamous blackmailer converge in the irreverent satire that launched Wilde's succession of classic social comedies. This delicious comic feast serves up a scandal about good girls, bad husbands and hilarious hypocrisy - utterly contemporary and divinely funny.

    Belle says: "Delightful"
    "Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A delightful performance of the classic play, I found it entertaining but I didn't ~love~ it as much as some of Wilde's other works I've read (a.k.a. listened to) this year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Washington Irving
    • Narrated By Tom Mison
    Overall
    (1768)
    Performance
    (1626)
    Story
    (1630)

    In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.

    Sara says: "Treasures Of Jolly Autumn"
    "More of a comedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Free: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?

    The classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is surprisingly funny in its original form, narrated perfectly here by the same actor who plays Crane in the new TV show.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Robin McKinley
    • Narrated By Charlotte Parry
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (190)

    New York Times best-selling author Robin McKinley has won numerous awards for her writing, including the prestigious Newbery Medal. Though her two sisters are beautiful, Beauty, despite her name, is thin and awkward - but she's also courageous. So when her father makes a terrible promise to a Beast living in an enchanted castle, Beauty knows she must volunteer to be the Beast's prisoner.

    Cybele Bell says: "she's really quite a perfect reader"
    "Absolutely delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and it contains all of the elements of the story you usually see. Loving the story so much, I was expecting to enjoy this too, and I was not disappointed. It's beautifully told, and McKinley's interpretation of the world and the characters is truly delightful. I adored Beauty, who was not "typically" beautiful or by any means perfect, which just made her all the more real and powerful. I loved the slow build of her relationship with the Beast. I loved her relationships with the rest of her family. I loved the twists and turns of the plot. I loved the narration by Charlotte Parry. I just loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Enchanted

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Alethea Kontis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (269)
    Story
    (263)

    It isn’t easy being Sunday’s child, not when you’re the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night, Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him....

    Amazon Customer says: "Charming... Enchanting"
    "A lot of fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was a charming and interesting take on the frog prince story. I really liked the main characters of Sunday and Rumbold, and the secondary characters - who apparently take centre stage in later novels in the series (I wish they were available on Audible!) - were also great. I did find myself confused in a couple of places, where I thought the backstory of exactly what was going on could have been explained better,. Overall it was a lovely book, with excellent narration by Katherine Kellgren.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bedbugs

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (373)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (337)

    FOR RENT: Top two floors of beautifully renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker's fee. Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment. Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it's too good to pass up. Big mistake.

    Amazon Customer says: "Fantastic narration! Good, creepy story."
    "Creepy but disappointing ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Do you have any additional comments?

    Bedbugs is a pretty standard horror. A young family moves into a new home and it seems like a dream come true, until of course things start to go wrong. Strange smells, strange noises, strange neighbours, and increasing tension within the family itself. Where it differs from a lot of horror, however, is that this time it's the mother, rather than the father, who is affected by the new place and whose sanity slowly starts to unravel and turn her against her own family.

    I really liked this different perspective on the classic horror narrative. I liked the family at the centre, and loved Susan and Alex's relationship, making it hard to watch it start to unravel. True, Susan thinks some awful things even before she starts to go crazy, but that didn't make her an awful character - I found her to be incredibly realistic, actually. Everyone has bad thoughts they wouldn't ever say out loud, and it was kind of refreshing to see them on the page. I also really related to Susan's own guilt and anxiety, particularly about her painting - she left her job to focus on her art, and finds a million things to instead so she doesn't have to begin and risk failure. I wasn't expecting to connect so much on an emotional level in a simple horror story, but I guess deep down good horror is about everyday anxieties amplified.

    Which I suppose is why this book puts the hysteria over bedbugs that happened in New York a couple of years ago at front and centre. It's a good device, a threat that most people recognise, and yet I do feel like it wasn't used entirely effectively here. What was most interesting was Susan's inner chaos, and the bedbugs could have been substituted with any kind of threat or annoyance, really. They didn't form an essential part of the story. If anything they made Susan's unravelling seem a little more unrealistic, because not a lot actually happens regarding bedbugs before she's totally freaking out over them and becoming obsessive. I get that there were other things affecting her but it just seemed a little ridiculous in spots.

    There's a slow build to this book that I quite liked but it did drag in spots. It was very creepy for the most part but sometimes I just wanted something to happen. But when something did happen I was a little disappointed, the creepiness disappeared and it just felt a little... silly. I still liked it overall but I didn't LOVE it.

    The narration for the most part was very good. Elisabeth Rodgers captured Susan's voice really well and the supporting characters were great, with one exception - Emma, Susan and Alex's daughter. I get that it's hard for a grown woman to do a toddler's voice but it really got on my nerves. I think part of that was also the writing - some of the dialogue coming from Emma just didn't sound authentic to me, it was frequently overly cutesy, like how someone thinks a toddler would sound and not how a toddler actually sounds. But otherwise it was a pretty good listening experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (897)
    Performance
    (765)
    Story
    (760)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
    "Delightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Although I've seen the movie, I'd never read - or listened to - the original play, so I was excited when I came across this audiobook performance on Audible. It didn't disappoint. I loved the story of mistaken identities, long-lost family and rich people's shenanigans, and the characters were all charming and endearing in their own way. The language is obviously gorgeous and witty, and it was brilliantly delivered by the actors in this edition. It all flowed really well and was just a delight to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Woman of No Importance

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 34 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Mathis, Rosalind Ayres, and others
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (66)

    Devilishly attractive Lord Illingworth is notorious for his skill as a seducer. But he is still invited to all the "best" houses, while his female conquests must hide their shame in seclusion. In this devastating drawing-room comedy, Oscar Wilde uses his celebrated wit to expose English society's narrow view of everything from sexual mores to Americans.

    Cheryl says: "Pitch Perfect Performance"
    "Performances were forced"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    After really enjoying The Importance of Being Earnest I was keen to give this audio a try, and while it was good, it wasn't great. It too has long-lost family, mistaken identities and rich people's shenanigans, but it just wasn't as fun. The characters weren't as compelling, and the story wasn't as engaging. The performances weren't as great here either, they FELT like performances rather than like you were listening to actual conversations between the characters. I was also surprised that several of the lines were exactly the same as those found in Earnest - of course, this came earlier and so Wilde must have reused them for Earnest, and they ARE great lines, but I didn't like the repeated use. I wouldn't listen to or read this again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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