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Deborah

ratings
53
REVIEWS
29
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
21
HELPFUL VOTES
77

  • The Pickwick Papers

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By David Timson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    The Pickwick Papers, Dickens's first novel, is a delightful romp through the pre-Reform Bill England of 1827. Samuel Pickwick and the rest of the Pickwickians are some of the most memorable of all Dickens's creations, and it is a joy to hear of their adventures in search of "interesting scenes and characters", and the repeated efforts of the quick-witted Sam Weller to rescue them all from disaster.

    Darwin8u says: "Watch Dickens Emerge from a Literary Chrysalis"
    "A Wonderful Medley of Dickens Themes & Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible has given me the chance to fall in love with Dickens. I have now listened to all the great novels, my favorites being Our Mutual Friend and David Copperfield, but I have loved them all. I hesitated to download The Pickwick Papers, fearing that it would be too silly and tarnish my admiration for his wit and wisdom. But I didn't have many more Dickens titles left, and I love David Timson as a narrator, so I took a chance. It took me a long time to settle into the book -- indeed there are many silly characters and events and many digressions, and it took a while for Dickens to develop those characters that I always fall in love with -- the truly good people who are kind and generous in a selfish and often grim world. Dickens tries out lots of themes that dominate his later, great, novels -- ghost stories (including a Christmas tale), debtor's prison, the legal profession (scoundrels almost all), alcoholism, tight-fisted businessmen who treat their progeny badly, political battles, the gullability and venality of humankind, and so much more. There are some truly joyous moments and characters -- the wedding banquet followed by the Christmas eve celebration was marvelous, Sam Weller (Veller) and his hysterical father, and of course Mr. Pickwick himself. Stick with the early chapters and you'll be well-rewarded.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4493)
    Performance
    (2939)
    Story
    (2972)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "A Thoroughly Enjoyable Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Witty and droll English humor, delightfully bizarre characters (well, Death isn't so delightful) and satirical examinations of Biblical prophesy, pop culture, British roadways, food & diet obsession, our many human failings and frailties, and more. The narrator is superb, presenting a huge cast of characters each with his or her own distinct, spot-on voice. I startled more than a few strangers when I laughed out loud while grocery shopping and taking a walk. Perfect summer listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1949)
    Performance
    (1763)
    Story
    (1774)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Janice says: "Do you believe in miracles??"
    "Fascinating history, riveting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author masterfully weaves specific stories - of individuals, the Depression, the Dust Bowl, the rise of Nazism and the world's indifference, the sport and art and zen of rowing -- into a moving, thrilling, sometimes horrifying tale of the power of the human spirit. A beautiful story well-read. Loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mists of Avalon

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Marion Zimmer Bradley
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (629)

    A posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marion Zimmer Bradley reinvented - and rejuvenated - the King Arthur mythos with her extraordinary Mists of Avalon series. In this epic work, Bradley follows the arc of the timeless tale from the perspective of its previously marginalized female characters: Celtic priestess Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and High Priestess Viviane.

    Carolina says: "Davina Porter brings an old favorite back to life!"
    "Overlong and repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this audiobook based on listener reviews, my love of the Arthurian legend, and Davina Porter as the narrator. She's the only good thing about this tedious book. There's little character development and a lot of suggestive sex scenes, which aren't even very erotic, just rather amateurish in style. I quit half-way through because I couldn't bear the repetitious, overwrought internal monologues of Morgane and Guinevere. Hope I can get my credit back. What a disappointment!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (9186)
    Performance
    (7259)
    Story
    (7295)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Amazon Customer says: "Word Thief"
    "Hauntingly beautiful story well-read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a thoroughly original take on a story that's been told many times before. Beautifully written and sensitively narrated. I laughed and wept. A piece of advice -- thumb through the print version of the book to see how the author lays out the stories within the story, the headlines and other narrative devices. I won't give it away, but it's very creative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23216)
    Performance
    (14548)
    Story
    (14701)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Glad I finally read (listened to) this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well-written, imaginative story, great characters. Multiple voices worked sometimes but not all the time. An odd choice to switch to a different reader who then does all the characters. Ender's voice should be Ender's, Valentine's should always be the same, etc. Confusing at times. This gets totally out of hand in the second volume, Speaker for the Dead, which I had to return because the narration was so dreadful. A shame because the story is even better than Ender's Game. Guess I'll read the rest of the series in print.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1264)
    Performance
    (1140)
    Story
    (1139)

    Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

    Nancy J says: "Welcome Home!"
    "The best yet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thank you, Louise Penny, for writing the most riveting, moving, suspenseful, and beautiful book of the series, and thank you for ALL the books in this series. Thank you, Ralph Cosham, for bringing these characters to life in my head with such skill and care. How I love them all! There are moments when I held my breath in fear and moments when I laughed out loud. Thank you both for creating a world and a group of people whom I feel honored to know and to have spent so much time with. It was time well-spent. But now the book is over - what'll I do now? Guess I'll just have to start the series over again! For those just discovering the series -- read them in order, PLEASE! You'll enjoy them so much more as you get to know the characters and hear the plot lines develop from book to book. I envy people just discovering Three Pines for the first time -- lucky you to have stumbled into this magical little village. Enjoy!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1177)
    Performance
    (817)
    Story
    (814)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come to Winter Carnival - not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society - where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

    Susan says: "Ms. Penny writes a wonderful mystery story"
    "another wonderful tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am completely hooked on this series, in love with the characters, fascinated by the world that Louise Penny has created. This novel also offers a lot of Quebec history and we spend time in one of my favorite places - Quebec City, particularly the old walled city. I enjoyed the interwoven plots -- 3 of them -- and the further development of both Gamache's and Beauvoir's characters. I was a bit frustrated with the extensive recap of a previous story -- that usually drives me crazy in series. Here, though there's enough that's new that it's not all repetition. Most of all, I love Penny's exploration of the human heart. So many wonderful insights about grief and loss and love and hate. I like that her characters have depth and complexity. But they're also reliable -- Ruth, Clara, Gabri, Myrna. How I wish I could sit with them all in front of the fire at the Bistro and eat some of that amazing food that Penny is always writing about. Her books make me hungry - for more! Can't wait to download the next one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1388)
    Performance
    (1010)
    Story
    (994)

    It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright.

    Sara says: "Spring in Three Pines"
    "My favorite so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I so enjoy spending time with these characters in Three Pines. How I wish I lived there! This mystery has a number of layers and reveals more about CI Gamache's past. It's darker, more serious but still filled with the wit and warmth and lovely literary allusions that make these stories such a delight. Can't wait to listen to #4. I'm missing Ruth and Clara already!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Fatal Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1155)
    Performance
    (792)
    Story
    (791)

    No one liked CC de Poitiers - certainly none of the residents of the village of Three Pines, each of whom CC had managed to offend. Therein lies the challenge for the Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec, called in once again from Montreal to investigate murder in this hamlet. CC has been killed in an apparent electrical accident, and everyone in town has a motive, even the inspector's good friends.

    danpri says: "Complex, but worthwhile...."
    "Take me back to Three Pines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd love to live in this town and know these people. While the mystery was less believable than the first book, the larger stories of friendship, sorrow, cruelty and caring as conveyed by an endearing cast of characters make this book well worth the listen. I enjoyed the narrator more in this book than in the first one -- better differentiation of characters, with some wonderful voices. I look forward to downloading book 3 in the series. I miss these wonderful people already!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1967)
    Performance
    (1325)
    Story
    (1335)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's nothing more than a tragic hunting accident, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods.

    Sydney says: "a gentle mystery"
    "Lovely writing, rich character study"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found the story very enjoyable -- evocative, refreshing setting (tiny village in Quebec in the autumn), interesting and well-drawn characters, and some really lovely writing. I wanted to have a cafe au lait and croissant in that bistro and sit around the fire with these endearing people. My only quibble is with the narrator. I thought he was great for CI Gamache, but he had too little variation in tone and style for the other characters. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was speaking. With such a large cast of characters, that's especially important, and I found it frustrating. Regardless, I'm going to download the next in the series. A fun summer listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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