Agatha Christie's stories still hold up well over time, in spite of items (even plot-dependent items) that are out-of-date these days. This is a good mystery, performed well by Hugh Fraser, and very enjoyable. Hercule Poirot is a character whom I find a little over-bearing, but fortunately he doesn't show up until about half-way through.
I've heard of this title but never read it, my previous Bradbury experience being Fahrenheit 451 - a good story, but without the lyrical prose and charming reminiscences of this book. I loved it. There is a lot of creepy horror in this book - an evil carnival comes to a small town are starts to ruin some lives and stalk the protagonists - two irrepressible teen boys. That's where the "charming" comes in - Bradbury's descriptions of the actions, dreams, thoughts, and plans of the young teen boys (13, going on 14) in this 1960s small town is lovely. This is a book that's both fantasy and horror, with enough of each that it never gets overpowering.
The boys are flip sides of the same coin - born 2 minutes apart, growing up and living next door to one another - Very much alike in some ways, but still different enough that it impacts their reaction to and affect of the traveling carnival.
For the first hour or so I thought the narrator was merely adequate, but as the book went on, I began to really love his narration. He definitely did a great job and I think added a lot to the experience of the book.
This was a new story to me - I had not seen nor read the play before. I was shocked by the resolution because it seemed so atypical for even the late 19th century -- in fact, I have read since that it was quite a controversial ending and Ibsen was forced to change it for performances in Germany.
In a nutshell, this is a story about a paternalistic and overbearing husband and his secretive and child-like wife; to him, he has a dollhouse of perfect little toys to play with, but to her, she has a gilded cage full of superficial pleasantries but no freedom. The resolution is unexpected for 1879, even though today's reader might think it appropriate.
The production was good, even though I'm not a Calista Flockhart fan, but the children sounded like Munchkins - which is odd, because this is a live production and I'm sure they were really children in the roles. Tim Dekay and Gregory Itzin were wonderful.
The Birds is best known as the source for the Hitchcock movie, but the book has more of the relentlessness and persistence of the evil elements of nature than the moralistic overtones of a Hollywood movie of the 50s or 60s. The "East wind" brings bad weather, misfortune or even evil, as literary references from pre-biblical times on have said it would. In the past that meant cold rain, locusts, or even war - here it means destructive birds working in concert to attack all of England. The fact that there is no reason for the horror makes it even more frightening.
The Birds seems very much more Du Maurier-esque than Don't Look Now, which is more psychologically creepy than real-world horrific. This is the story of a couple vacationing in Venice trying to rebuild themselves and their marriage after the death of their daughter. It involves psychic visions (realized and unrealized), mysterious twins, blindness and second sight, and mistaken identity. I found it a little more scattered and less focused than The Birds, but it might just be a preference of mine for natural evil over psychic visions.
The one weak point in this audiobook is the poor audio quality, as if it was an old analogue recording in mono, even though the release date is 2008.
Enjoying a book from a fabulous writer can really highlight the weaknesses of other authors, though it's really an unfair comparison because genius writers are rare jewels. I think Capote was a genius writer, though he wrote relatively little in his lifetime (more's the shame). The two most popular are both in Audible: In Cold Blood (read it in print) and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
This is not the movie, with the lovable, streetwise yet naive, party girl who entrances every man she meets. This Holly Golightly is a selfish teenaged schemer, who works hard at attracting and entrancing wealthy older men so they will pay for her lifestyle.....yet somehow earns the affection of the men in her life she is not trying to captivate. They see in her some of what they wish they could be: untamed by society's rules and expectations, unburdened by any sense of responsibility and so able to experience so much more of life. The fact that Holly disappeared into the world without much of a trace allows those who remember her to paint some of their memories with a bit of a rosy hue and a sense of hope for her unknown future.
While many have said wonderful things about the narration by Michael C. Hall, I found it to be just average. Not bothersome, but certainly not anything I'll make a point of searching for in the future. In fact, his narration kept me from buying this audiobook at full price, and it wasn't until it was on sale that I felt it was a worthwhile purchase.
This story is narrated in the first person by Captain Hastings, played in the well known British TV series "Agatha Christie's Poirot" by the narrator of this book, Hugh Fraser. It's a perfect match, and Fraser is a wonderful performer on many Agatha Christie audiobooks. He's terrific. This was Dame Christie's first book, and is also the first appearance of Hercule Poirot, recently arrived in England from the German-occupied Belgium of WW I.
The mystery is well crafted and well written, with all the clues laid out but well hidden under red herrings and the setting of a family manor home during the deprivations and suspicions of a country at war.
After 6 hours - about a quarter of the book - I'm just not engaged in the story or the characters. And if it hasn't engaged and involved me by this point (with either interest or emotion), I doubt it's going to. The small, interspersed vignettes of characters and plot points are occasionally interesting but mostly routine and/or derivative and, after 6 hours, aren't even starting to show me how they're connected. There's good descriptions of the times, but poor characterization and poor flow.
This is not the Dennis Lehane writing I enjoyed so much in the various crime novels.
Although this is one of Wilde's "society plays" and often described as a comedy, there's some very real dramatic elements in addition to the expected satire and wit. There's blackmail, insider trading, and scandal, but there's also a strong thread of loving imperfections and a person's flaws.
Well, Maberry's managed to make the Nazi's villains even though WW II was over 70 years ag0 - there's got to be some credit in that. This is not nearly as good as the first in the series (Patient Zero), but I still like the larger-than-life Ledger and his team of bad-asses. However, this one gets too preachy about the evil work of the evil genius. I think it's kind of unnecessary to have everyone repeatedly say how horrible eugenics and white-supremacy ideas are. We get it, already. I think without the wonderful narration, I wouldn't have enjoyed this nearly as much and would have skimmed a lot of it.
This was not a title I knew anything about, but since I've enjoyed many Arthur Miller plays, I decided to take a leap - and I'm so glad I did. Emotional turmoil, secret and lies, in a family and a neighbourhood after World War II, and many of the ideas come up in future plays.
This is a nice performance of a classic noir book, but unfortunately "noir" has been satirized and abused so often it's become a cliche for me. I'm sure it was terrific when it was originally written, but for me the abundance of imitators and satires have done it no favours over the years. I liked it, but it doesn't hold the punch it likely did originally.
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