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E. Didi

ratings
12
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Wendy Wax
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (128)

    When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and - even more unexpectedly - with one another.... For Samantha, Claire, Brooke - and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings - it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life's hardest moments - all of it reflected in the unfolding drama of Downton Abbey.

    Jean says: "Orlagh Cassidy makes this story a joyful read."
    "Felt Like the Author was Phoning It In"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Only if they were bored and liked chick-lit a lot. Plot and characters both ran thin.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    John and Samantha's marriage and love story was the least interesting, simply because it made no sense. It's hard to get invested in a romance when the feelings behind their relationship aren't clear to you. The fact John seemed like an ass didn't really help (seriously, who freezes out their partner while they're in the middle of a depressive episode and tells them to suck it up or else?). "Prince Charming" my foot.

    The most interesting aspect was probably Brooke's story; unfortunately, I don't feel like she really got a proper ending.


    Which character – as performed by Orlagh Cassidy – was your favorite?

    Eh, none of them really. I like Orlagh Cassidy a lot in general, but I have no idea why she was cast to do a book with Southern characters when she cannot do a Southern accent. When she tried, she ranged from channeling Texas to Mississippi to the Midwest...and basically anywhere but Atlanta or even Georgia. It got a little distracting. So yeah, unfortunately I can't say I had a favorite character performance from her.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a bit off-putting that the author chose to set the book in Atlanta, and then did nothing with it. She didn't use the city to provide any atmosphere or sense of place, but instead just randomly keep dishing out references to cliche/touristy locations. I never got the sense Wendy Wax had ever lived in, or even visited, Atlanta—only that she'd bought one travel book to pull dated references from. As a result the book completely lacked a sense of place and immersion was lessened.

    For comparison, it's like if an author decided to set a book in New York, and just randomly peppered the story with references to bagels and Times Square, but nothing else. Weird and bad writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This House Is Haunted

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John Boyne
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    When she arrives at the hall, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There is no adult present to represent her mysterious employer, and the children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, another terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong. From the moment Eliza rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence that lives within Gaudlin's walls.

    Dorothy says: "Well Read - Not Very Scary, Had Promise"
    "Great Narrator, Blah Storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Boyne and/or Alison Larkin?

    I would love to listen to something else narrated by Ms. Larkin; her enthusiastic narration really saved what could have been a terrible audiobook. I'd be open to another book by Mr. Boyne as well, since his technical writing was good and the poor storytelling here may be a fluke on his part.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Boyne worried too much about replicating a gothic feel, and not enough about fleshing out his characters or story. If he'd reversed the tendency, it all would have been much better.

    SPOILER: As an example of the poor storytelling, the sole motivation Boyne gave the mother for becoming a murderous psychopath was that she had been sexually abused as a child. This could have worked in theory, but the way he handed it left a bad taste in my mouth. The way he wrote the story, Boyne expected the reader to accept the idea that an abused child would naturally grow up to be a homicidal maniac as a truism requiring no further explanation. That just seems rather insulting towards the 99.99% victims of abuse that don't go on to commit multiple homicides to me. Handling that more intelligently would have improved the story, as well as given the mother greater depth.


    Any additional comments?

    Not a great book, but not a bad one either. If you like this style of gothic writing, it's worth a credit. Just don't expect it to do more than pass the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Lindsay Duncan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1121)
    Performance
    (621)
    Story
    (635)

    Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighbourhood, the lives of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down.

    Louise says: "excellent reading"
    "Sampled Many P&P Audios, Loved This Narrator Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about Lindsay Duncan’s performance did you like?

    When you are reviewing a book as well known as Pride and Prejudice, you aren't reviewing the story so much as the voice actresses' performance. I listened to the opening samples of just about every edition of Pride and Prejudice Audible had in stock before choosing this one, and I'm glad I took my time deciding.

    Some interpretations of P&P I looked at were very overwrought, while in others the voice actresses sounded like they were about to fall asleep. Lindsay Duncan hits a perfect middle ground, delivering a nicely paced and engaging performance that is neither too sedate nor annoyingly energetic. She is a pleasure to listen to, and I look forward to returning to this audiobook again in the future.

    Very well done.


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you think you don't like romances, I encourage you to try Pride and Prejudice. It's more than a love story—it's a very, very funny book and witty portrait of the social mores (and foibles) of its time. Well worth it for anyone that just likes a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Autumn Glory and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Barbara Metzger
    • Narrated By Stevie Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    Originally published in separate anthologies, and out-of-print for many years, these three novellas by legendary Regency romance author Barbara Metzger are in one volume for the first time ever! This collection includes the following stories: "Autumn Glory", "The Management Requests", "A Match Made in Heaven - Or Hell".

    E. Didi says: "Just Clever Enough to Keep You Interested"
    "Just Clever Enough to Keep You Interested"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It kept my just entertained enough to be satisfied while I ran errands, so from that point of view it was a credit well spent. Not a favorite though.


    Have you listened to any of Stevie Zimmerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Her performance was lovely, but this audio—like Metzger's others—had some production problems with skipping/repeating. Nothing too bothersome though.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Actually, a Lifetime Original Movie isn't a bad analogy for what this short story collection is. Moderately amusing fluff that does the job well enough if you're in the kind of mood, but is otherwise not particularly noteworthy.


    Any additional comments?

    The mildly frustrating thing about these stories is that I know Metzger is a better writer than she displays here. Indeed, the stories all had flashes of great wit and humor—it just wasn't sustained the way it ought to have been. For example, the idea of the dog Imp (in the third story) was brilliant, and I so wish it had been better fleshed out. Read 'A Loyal Companion' for a much better example of what the author's capable of.

    As a side note, this is the first Metzger book I've run into that has anything resembling risque language or adult references. It doesn't bother me—and the references are quite mild by most standards—but it's sufficient that this is one audiobook I'd be careful about playing around my grandmother. Just a heads up for anyone else that's used to putting Metzger's books on in the car with conservative ears around.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • When in Doubt, Add Butter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Beth Harbison
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (131)

    As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At 37, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full. For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past.

    Erin DeAnjou says: "Predictable but Very Enjoyable"
    "Predictable Fun - Audio Book Comfort Food"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to When in Doubt, Add Butter again? Why?

    Maybe, if I wanted something mindless to zone out to again. It's not the kind of book that really merits more than one listen otherwise.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I was rather fond of the crazy Russians, and wish there had been more of them. I would love to read a book just about Vlad's crazy psychic adventures and clients.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not any one scene in particular, but the mini-scenes of cooking in general were great. Harbison has a gift for describing delicious meals, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't inspire me to do a little extra baking of my own.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    You pretty much know exactly what's going to happen next, so it's not one where you're glued to the story. It's funny and nice enough though that I was happy to listen to it fairly quickly, as just a thing to have on in the background.


    Any additional comments?

    Cassidy has a nice narration overall, but she had a bad habit of giving certain characters extremely nasal voices. This can be pretty grating at times.

    As a side note, the audiobook only has a little explicit sex (chapter 4, I think?), but has enough adult language and situations I wouldn't listen to it on speaker around teens or conservative older people. It was still a lot of fun though, that's just an FYI for anyone trying to figure out what they can safely play around grandma (or not).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cupboard Kisses

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Barbara Metzger
    • Narrated By Stevie Zimmerman
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Well-bred orphan Cristabel Swann tolerates her thankless teaching job - until her uncle dies unexpectedly. Arriving in London to claim her inheritance, Cristabel encounters something else entirely - a loutish naval captain who won all of the old man's property in an evening's gambling, leaving his niece nothing but debt! To his credit, Captain Chase recognizes her desperation and offers her a position as landlady of a boarding house in Kensington.

    Marcheta says: "More Barbara Metzger, please!"
    "Forgettable But Fun. Listen While You Fold Laundry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure. I didn't like it as much as Metzger's 'A Loyal Companion' (which I loved), but it was still a nice enough way to pass the time. Forgettable, but nice. Basically, it's a good thing to have on in the background when you're doing chores or whatever. Doesn't require a whole lot of attention, but still keeps you entertained.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The heroine's obliviousness to the fact she's become the landlady to a 'house of ill repute' led to some pretty funny scenes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Christabel finally figures out she's living in a bordello and cleans house (literally and figuratively). It's especially satisfying when she kicks the scummy fellow out on his ear.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I actually did listen to it in one day. I was stuck in bed sick and just wanted to listen to something nice, unchallenging, and entertaining. This fit the bill.


    Any additional comments?

    Despite the fact that the heroine is living in a bordello (without her knowledge—she think's she's a respectable landlady with borders that keep odd hours. Ha!), the book is very clean. As long as that part of the plot doesn't bother you, I'd say it's a perfectly fine audio to give to teens etc. As an aside, the audio quality still isn't perfect here, but it's than 'A Loyal Companion." The story is fun enough it's worth a few repeated lines or shaky audio here and there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4766)
    Performance
    (4229)
    Story
    (4246)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "14 Hours of Narcissistic Hand-Wringing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Husband's Secret better?

    Some forward motion in plot, characters that weren't complete narcissists, an editor to cut 1/2 of the text or more...


    Has The Husband's Secret turned you off from other books in this genre?

    If naval gazing by amoral simpletons is a genre, then yes.


    What aspect of Caroline Lee’s performance would you have changed?

    More variance in tone would have been nice. Still, I'm sure she did the best she could given the limpid, bloated material she had to work with.


    What character would you cut from The Husband's Secret?

    Felicity is a particularly awful specimen of human being that never gets the smack-down she deserves, but then again, the same could be said about many people in the novel.


    Any additional comments?

    Look, I can appreciate a slow, internal novel with little action. But if you're going to do that, your characters actually have to have interesting and novel thoughts. These do not. At all. They're just a pack of awful small-minded twits who spend all their time wringing their hands over and over and over (and never making a dratted decision that might actually lead to action). All that hand wringing, of course, is only to decide that nothing is anyones fault ever and they and everyone else never bear any responsibility for their actions. Ugh. The only characters that aren't totally awful are Janey's mother, brother, and Conor; but the writer does her best to render them unlikeable by the end too.

    I really want these hours of my life back. Badly. I kept listening, thinking it HAD to have a least some sort of payoff, something, anything....but no. It never does.

    Truly, I loathed this book by the end. And I won't even get into the maudlin, grade-schoolers-idea-of-deep that was...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Loyal Companion

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Barbara Metzger
    • Narrated By Stevie Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Spoiled and ungoverned, Fitz was not suitable companion for a lady of fashion....And certainly no proper chaperon. Fitz begged to disagree - after all, a dog was a true incomparable as far as friendship, loyalty, and protection - and soon lovely Miss Sonia was plucked by her rusticated roots and packed off, dog and all, to London. Perhaps there she would find a husband to tame her free-spirited ways - and keep her out of trouble.

    E. Didi says: "A Cute, Light Read; But Not Stupid"
    "A Cute, Light Read; But Not Stupid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Loyal Companion again? Why?

    Yes, it's a nice kind of relaxing book that's very good for a car trip or pool-side.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it was pleasant without being stupid. It's hard to find a book that's light and funny, but also well written.


    What about Stevie Zimmerman’s performance did you like?

    I liked her voices very much, I just wish the audio quality had been better. It varied, but was generally of sub-par quality. It also skipped a little here and there.


    Any additional comments?

    Lovely, funny little book. It's also quite clean, so I'd feel comfortable giving it to a precocious child or more conservative older person. I hope Audible picks up more from the author and voice actress. I just wish the audio quality was better.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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