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Deborah

AUSTIN, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 165 titles in library
  • 76 purchased in 2014
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  • The Sot-Weed Factor

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Barth
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (68)

    Considered by critics to be Barth's most distinguished novel, The Sot-Weed Factor has acquired the status of a modern classic. Set in the late 1600s, it recounts the chaotic odyssey of the hapless, ungainly Ebeneezer Cooke. Cooke is sent to the New World to oversee his father's tobacco business and to record the struggles of the Maryland colony in an epic poem. On his mission, he is captured by pirates and Indians; loses his father's estate to roguish impostors; falls in love with a former prostitute; and meets a gallery of treacherous characters who continually switch identities.

    Janice says: "An adventure full of bawdy humour, wit and wonder"
    "Tedious and self-indulgent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love long audiobooks, usually on the more challenging side (my two all-time favorites are Middlemarch and The Way We Live Now) but an author has to work to earn the right to my attention for this long. Barth has talent, and some of the basic themes and characters in the book are interesting. However, he lacks all self-discipline, throwing in every idea that came into his mind without regard to whether it advanced the book as a whole.

    This one all but ruined audiobooks for me, Normally I go through them at a frightening pace, but just couldn't finish this one, I I kept saying, "I will stick with it, I will finish it." I found I simply stopped listening because I was so bored. After a few months of non-listening I decided to declare defeat and move on.

    I actually wouldn't mind a plot synopsis find out what happened since I did care a bit about the characters, But not wasting any more of my life to find out.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Life, the Universe, and Everything: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Martin Freeman
    Overall
    (1191)
    Performance
    (687)
    Story
    (698)

    The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads, so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

    Dan says: "It's my favorite of the series"
    "Best of a great series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every book in the Hitchhiker's series is a delight, and all go at least a bit beyond. This is the one that has really stuck with me. The parable of the people of Krikkit has real depth: I find myself coming back to it constantly as something that helps me understand why good people do bad things.

    And, did I mention, it's a blast, just pure fun. Freeman is great as always.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lucky Jim

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kingsley Amis
    • Narrated By Paul Shelley
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    Jim Dixon has accidentally fallen into a job at one of Britain's new redbrick universities. A moderately successful future in the History Department beckons if he can survive the probationary year. Not the least of his problems is the necessity to keep in with his eccentric Professor Welch, who although detested and despised by Jim, has sufficient influence in the faculty to affect the continuation of his appointment.

    Kelley says: "An outstanding novel"
    "Mean-spirited guy humor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is humor for misanthropes. What wit there is depends on the not terribly likable main character feeling superior to others. A great deal is slapstick, and the much loved speech scene left me cold. There is a special vein of misogyny that made my flesh crawl. In the last chapter, the hero's view (and evidently the author's) is spelled out quite openly: even a not terribly nice woman can be salvaged if she's attractive enough, while a somewhat less than average (though apparently not ugly) woman is to be avoided, because she's doomed to be bitter and crazy simply through the misfortune of her looks. Ugh. Well, if this is what you want, the narrator is good.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Innocence

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Edith Wharton
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (202)

    Countess Olenska, separated from her European husband, returns to old New York society. She bears with her an independence and anawareness of life which stirs the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, engaged to be married to May Welland.

    Ilana says: "Narrated to Perfection"
    "Performance did not work for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator is a skilled reader by most technical criteria. However, I found the overall tone inappropriate for a novel of manners. There is a humorless sense of foreboding that might work in a horror novel but lost me. Although I was enjoying the content I could not get through more than a couple of chapters

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1020)
    Performance
    (825)
    Story
    (825)

    One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

    David says: "Gripping novel, excellent production"
    "Best Mystery I will ever Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing is ever going to top this one. Real characters, not just stick figures. I felt real dread of the sort that only great writing, not sensationalism, can produce. Even where I sort of saw what was coming, it had twists I did not expect - the most satisfyingly baroque plot ever.

    Much better than the more highly regarded Moonstone, which was cute but not nearly as deep or satisfying.

    I'm picky about readers but this was masterful. Agree with the few quibbles about Fosco's accent but minor.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nightingale Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Stella Gibbons
    • Narrated By Carole Boyd
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    Life is not quite a fairytale for poor Viola. Left penniless, the young widow is forced to live with her late husband’s family in a joyless old house. There’s Mr Wither, a tyrannical old miser; Mrs Wither, who thinks Viola is just a common shop girl; and two unlovely sisters-in-law, one of whom is in love with the chauffeur. Only the prospect of the charity ball can raise Viola’s spirits especially as Victor Spring, the local prince charming, will be there.

    Millamant says: "Forgotten Classic"
    "A hidden gem"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A funny funny fairy tale with depth. Satiric without meaness, just what I want in a comedy of manners. And sorry to politicize this, but why is a misanthrope (and misogynist) like Kingsley Amis considered a great satirist and Gibbons so sadly neglected. I'm now dying to read more of her work -- please Audible, more, maybe Cold Comfort Farm unabridged?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • North and South

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Clare Wille
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (58)

    When Margaret Hale moves with her father from the comfort of the south of England to the industrial north, she is at first repulsed by what she sees; and then when she discovers the conditions under which the workers are forced to live, she is outraged. But this throws her into direct conflict with the powerful young mill-owner, John Thornton. Using personal passions to explore deep social divisions, North and South is a great romance and one of Elizabeth Gaskell's finest works.

    Lisa says: "So Glad I Went The Distance!"
    "Much better than Juliet Stevenson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Juliet Stevenson version drove me mad with its melodrama, but I am glad I tried again. Clare Wille is superb. Some find her dry - I though she hit just the right balance.

    The novel itself is excellent if slightly didactic. It's just a touch too a bit overt in the way it lays out the political issues of the time. That said, the debates are conveyed in an unusually even-handed way and put in the mouths of characters I really cared about.

    And for those who found the ending a let-down: Read it again. It's a tiny bit subtle but when you get it totally satisfying. And yes, I agree with the person who compared it with Far From the Madding Crown -- if you like one you will probably like the other

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pale Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    A 999 line poem in heroic couplets, divided into 4 cantos, was composed--according to Nabokov's fiction--by John Francis Shade, an obsessively methodical man, during the last 20 days of his life.

    David says: "Quality recording!"
    "Be Prepared - dark dark dark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The further I get away from this the more I appreciate it. I had heard repeatedly that this was a comic novel, which is not the first word I'd choose to describe a tale of murder, madness and a child's suicide. Yes, it has some funny parts but so does Lolita, which is not generally classified as humor. With these expectations I was sorely disappointed.

    But Pale Fire is a tour de force of structure whose place in the canon I'd agree to. And the story and characters are compelling -- I couldn't stop listening. And the narration is as good as it gets, two gifted performances of extremely challenging roles.Just don't expect a light hearted romp.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • One for the Money: A Stephanie Plum Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By C. J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2108)
    Performance
    (1837)
    Story
    (1834)

    You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do? If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter; you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man that took her virginity....

    Pat H. says: "NOT THE GREATEST."
    "Intolerable Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Believe the other reviews- Critt really is horrible. If the themes in this book weren't adult I'd assume she was aiming at 6 year olds. The reading is IS.VERY.SLOW, WITH.LONG.PAUSES.,AND.EXAGGERATED.EMPHASIS.JUST.TO.BE.SURE.THE.BEGINNING.READER.DOES.NOT.MISS.ANYTHING.

    Not all of us who read mysteries are illiterate, and I'd appreciate an audiobook premised on that assumption.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • North and South

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (583)

    Set in the context of Victorian social and medical debate, this novel is about rebellion, posing fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. This revised edition draws on recent theoretical work on gender and class.

    Sally says: "Delightful"
    "Melodramatic narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well. to each his own. Obviously many people love Juliet Stevenson. but I found her melodramatic reading intolerable. I couldn't get very far because of it. It's my kind of novel and I think I liked what I heard so will probably try with another narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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