Loved the dry, sneaky humor of this book - and it was perfectly captured by the flat tones of the reader. The completely clueless hero details amazing adventures as if he's doing what anyone else would do: drive off in a broken-down car with only a stack of savings bonds and a box of silverware on the trail of his wife and her former husband. Of course he links up with a doctor who's lost his license; of course he ends up in Belize; of course he finds his wife during the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. And of course it's all totally understandable given the circumstances - and especially as read by Edward Lewis. Highly recommended!
I've wanted to read Ulysses for a long time, and have owned this version for a few years, but just couldn't get into it until this year. Here's how I did it: First, I finally started listening to this absolutely brilliantly performed work read by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan. These readers make the words come alive, and the production is impeccable. After listening to each chapter, I read the print version. Then, I watched the Great Courses class on each chapter, taught by Prof James Heffernan. His presentation, combined with the beautifully read audiobook, made Ulysses an absolute pleasure - not easy, mind you, but much more intelligible and satisfying. Not everyone will want to put in that much effort, of course, and you can get a great deal out of just listening to Mr Norton and Ms Riordan (I listened to Molly's soliloquy three times just because it was performed so beautifully).
Lisa Howorth's Flying Shoes is interesting - even absorbing in parts. Clearly, she is a very talented writer with a good story to tell. Sadly, Debra Winger's reading spoiled it for me. The character of Mary Byrd frequently sounded whiny in this recording, reminding me of the less attractive aspects of the characters Ms Winger played in Urban Cowboy and Terms of Endearment. Given her skilled performances in those parts, I can understand why the publisher thought Ms Winger would be a good choice for the narrator, but it was a mistake in this instance. To determine whether it was the character of Mary Byrd as written or the performance that was off-putting, I read part of the book in print. The character's voice was far less appealing in this recorded version than in the written work. I recommend the book, but not this recording.
The Devil Wears Prada is a lightweight, pleasant, funny book. It wasn't life-changing or educational, but then, I didn't expect it to be. I read it as an escape - and it met that need. I will say that I preferred the movie, but I still gave this 3 stars (my ratings: 1 = regret the time both the author and I spent on this book; 2 = not worth finishing; 3 = enjoyed the read; 4 = will definitely re-read; 5 = everyone should read this book).
A good book to listen to while driving or knitting: you won't miss much if your attention is diverted at times.
If you like Louise Penny, you'll really like this one. It's so much better than her last effort (although I gave that a 3-star rating, too, it was a low 3 and this is a high-3; alternatively, the last was a C and this is a solid B). I thought I had guessed how the story would end, but was surprised and pleased to find I'd been wrong. Ms Penny is doing a good job of character development: not in a straight line, but with enough new insights to make the reader/listener feel good about liking them. Ralph Cosham's narration is outstanding. I gave this a 3-star rating overall because it was a good, solid effort and I expect I will listen to it again in a few years.
This is one of those books that really don't require a synopsis - almost everyone knows the story (and if you don't, then I wouldn't want to spoil the magic of it for you). What sets this version apart is Eric Idle's narration, which is pitch perfect. The reading speed, the storytelling skill, and the characterizations were all spot on. Why a 5-star rating? I save those ratings for books I plan to listen to repeatedly. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be an annual treat for me.
I've read the book about five times, watched the BBC production four times - and I LOVED this audio book. Ralph Cosham perfectly captures the mood, the writing, the story - Highly recommended!
After trying to get into the traditional version of this book - and failing twice - I realized this is a story that can only be told in a slam-bang-move-fast way, which is just how Robert Petkoff reads it. That's also just the way I listened to it: straight through. That's the *only* way to listen. Suspend judgment and go with it.
An interesting story, strong character development, humor, realistic situations (for a mystery), and a charming location make for one of my favorite mysteries of 2010 - and favorite authors of the year.
Leaving it to others to describe the storyline, let me say that it moves along at an appropriate pace, never crowding the scene with too many characters to remember or too many side stories to confuse. The reader has a lovely voice for English and a beautiful French accent when required.
Highly recommended (I rarely give 5 stars, but this one deserved it)
I enjoyed this pleasant, nicely-paced, and well-read book. The author's stories of his experiences as a Scottish GP were interesting, funny, sad, but never boring. I listened to it while ironing and sorting and doing other homely tasks - it made the time pass pleasurably and my workload feel lighter.
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