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James W. Black

Listener Since 2005

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 355 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Sons and Lovers

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By D.H. Lawrence
    • Narrated By Jim Killavey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (4)

    Sons and Lovers was the first of Lawrence's major works, and is still considered to be one of his best. The 1913 novel, partly autobiographical and set in the coalmining village of Bestwood, is notable for being the first English novel to be genuinely working-class in origin and focus.

    Jimcin says: "Great book and good reading"
    "Bad narration style"
    Overall

    I found that the narrator's reading style detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The narrator e nun ci a ted each syllable to such an exaggerated extent that it spoiled the flow of the narrative.

    3 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • The Portrait of a Lady, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy Aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. She then finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond, who, beneath his veneer of charm and cultivation, is cruelty itself. A story of intense poignancy, Isabel's tale of love and betrayal still resonates with modern audiences.

    James W. Black says: "Very bad narration"
    "Very bad narration"
    Overall

    I gave up listening to this recording about a third of the way through because the narration is very bad. The narrator's voice has an elderly rasp to it that makes every character sound elderly. She does have an energetic delivery, but she uses the same inflection for almost every sentence. Given the obviously inferior quality of the recording, it is particularly annoying that Audible chose to break the recording into two pieces so that they could charge more from it. Very disappointing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Bel Canto

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ann Patchett
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1702)
    Performance
    (873)
    Story
    (879)

    Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening, until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.

    Brian says: "Surprisingly engrossing"
    "Anna Fields Is a Great Reader"
    Overall

    Anna Field's narration of Bel Canto is so well done that immediately after listening to the recording, I did a search for other books narrated by her, something I have not done for any other narrator.

    The story she narrates also happens to be very engaging. A group of terrorists take hostage a houseful of partygoers at the official residence of the Vice President of a South American country, and the long stalemate between the terrorists and government negotiators gradually becomes for those inside the mansion a magical interlude, owing mostly to the presence and beautiful singing of a world-class opera singer who had been hired at great expense to provide entertainment at the party. Under the spell cast by her singing, wonderful relationships begin to form among those inside the mansion, and the reader and even some of the characters begin to wish that the stalement would never end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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