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Jennifer

Member Since 2011

ratings
204
REVIEWS
58
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (89)

    Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again....

    Jennifer says: "Masterful Performance!"
    "Masterful Performance!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Murder on the Orient Express again? Why?

    I will definitely listen again. This was already my second visit to the story in the past year, I am a Christy and Poirot fan through and through. This particular story is a favorite, and this version was wonderfully narrated.


    What other book might you compare Murder on the Orient Express to and why?

    The nearest I could get might have to be another Christy novel, starring Poirot, which I recently read: The Mystery of the Blue Train. Similar not just because of the author and in the train as crime scene, but that they are also two of the Poirot mysteries which lack Captain Hastings and are 3rd person narratives.


    What about Dan Stevens’s performance did you like?

    He was fantastic across the board I thought. I may have been predisposed to like him, having been one of his Downton Abbey fans, primarily I do love his voice. But I am constantly dissapointed by narrators I like when they fail to adopt an appropriate voice for the opposite gender, or are imprecise or inconsistent in voicing multiple characters. And if ever there were a test of skills, it is this book - since it is mostly conversation and interviews with characters who range the whole spectrum: male and female, and all classes and several different nationalities. He managed them wonderfully, slipping effortlessly and precisely from one to the other consistently, and there are no fewer than 16 characters. I am beyond impressed, and he has found in me a devoted listener to whatever book he elects to lend his soothing voice to in the future. I have already bought the other Christy novel narrated by him which is currently available on Audible, and I hope there will be many more to come.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (252)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (76)

    First published in 1816 and generally considered Jane Austen's finest work, Emma is a humorous portrayal of a heroine whose injudicious interferences in the life of a young parlour-boarder in a neighboring village often lead to substantial mortification. Austen brings to life a myriad of engaging characters as she presents a mixture of social classes as she did in Pride and Prejudice.

    Kathleen says: "Wonderful!"
    "Most Satisfactory, Always Enjoy Austen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've previously read this book a few times, but this was my first listen. I always enjoy Austen, and this was no exception. Emma entertains me with her matchmaking attempts and blindness to the realities of the feelings of those involved, as well as in the minute descriptions of such varied characters as the audacious Mrs. Elton, the insipid Miss Bates, the lively Frank Churchill, and invalid Mr. Woodhouse. Even when Emma finds herself in a muddle or having done wrong, she instantly repents of any mistake and endeavors to correct it. I've found my self occasionally annoyed with her naivete, but on my first read-through, I missed some helpful social cues too, so how can I blame her for not seeing all correctly? Then I remember that no lasting harm is done, and enjoy the story. She has merit enough, and good intentions, for me to forgive any folly. It's also amusing to reflect, that while I did not experience quite the class distinctions in my community as existed then, the social world and courtship, er, dating, is much the same for young people today as it was as Austen depicted it for Emma and company almost 200 hundred years ago. (recalling unrequited crushes, and nudging certain college friends together...) Though, piano fortes are not so often given as gifts to secret lovers these days I think - one of my favorite little points of this story. On the whole, a beautiful portrait of a charming cast of characters and, more generally, of early 19th century English country life.

    This narrator was a wonderful voice for Austen, with the proper energy and cadence, though her range of character voices was small. A few women had distinct voices (a few were made distinct by speech style, rather than sound); there were only one or two distinct male voices; but regardless, it was never difficult to follow who was speaking given those few and help from context. The one difficulty I had was occasionally in telling the difference between Emma speaking aloud or in her own head. By no means did this narrative style detract from the story-telling. She had a proper and classy British accent, which I found more than once to remind me of Julie Andrews', very pleasant to the ear.

    A delightful read, with a most satisfactory conclusion for all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Highlander's Reward: The Stolen Bride Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Eliza Knight
    • Narrated By Corrie James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (326)

    Lady Arbella de Mowbray abhors the idea of marrying an English noble occupying Scotland. When she arrives in Stirling, she is thrown into the midst of a full battle between the Scots and the English. Besieged by rebels, she is whisked from her horse by a Highland warrior who promises her safety. But when he kisses her she fears she's more in danger of losing herself.

    Susan says: "A Davina Porter in the makings?!"
    "Disliked Hero's name, Trite but Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Honestly, I didn't like the first few chapters at all, and so had a bit of a hard time continuing to read after the first half hour. Once in the middle of the battle at Stirling and her being whisked to safety I got a bit more engrossed. I hardly had occasion to put it down for more than a few minutes after their marriage. The premise was a bit trite, but I liked that for once the girl knew how to defend herself. The plot was pretty predictable, both in regards to their relationship, as well as the conflicts and potential conflicts with their families and scorned betrotheds. But that predictability didn't take away from the enjoyment. And there were more than enough steamy seduction scenes peppered throughout- most were very specific graphically, but never crude. Frankly worded and hot, but tasteful.

    At first the narrator's affected male voices made me grit my teeth, but they smoothed a little, and I got more accustomed to Magnus' voice. The range of female voices was fine, and otherwise was a good performance, cadence-wise and no lack of clarity of dialogue. I always enjoy good Scottish accents.

    Overall, a good listen, but not the most original or fantastic Scottish romance I've ever read...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Split Second

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3535)
    Performance
    (1735)
    Story
    (1731)

    Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

    John says: "Listen again"
    "Fantastic Conspiracy Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. This was fantastic. So many pieces of the puzzle to put together, so many people in danger... Some great twists and red herrings. This was my first conspiracy/thriller novel, and I can't rave about it enough. Politics, Murder, and Kidnapping, oh my! While the plot was so intricate and clues so obscure that it had me guessing and on the edge of my seat throughout, the sensational characters are what sealed the deal for me. I loved how Baldacci drew his agents/investigators - each great individuals in their own right, opposites in habit and operating styles, but with the potential to be complimentary when they put their heads together. . . Or butt heads, as the case may be. They play off of one another extremely well as both characters and investigators, something I very much value. And the secondary players were masterfully depicted too, from Joan and Kate to the professor and other law enforcement. There was a lot of wit and intelligence, and I loved King's cynical sarcastic humor. Sometimes I didn't know which witnesses, which observations to believe, but never lost faith in my new favorite former Secret Service agents.

    The narration was great, only recall having voice-attribution trouble once or twice between dialogue and narrative. Character voices were sufficiently distinct, and the female ones weren't gaspy or too high pitched, he didn't force it like some male narrators I've heard.

    I must admit, I had already watched the tv series on TNT about a year prior to trying the book, so my concepts of the characters were already somewhat developed, but didn't contradict the original novel versions overmuch. A pretty good adaptation, though it changed the circumstances of Maxwell's disgrace and their teaming up rather more than I'd have guessed.

    Over all a great read that I didn't want to put down. I look forward to more great cases in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: The Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Kate Summerscale
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection. At the time, the detective was a relatively new invention; there were only eight detectives in all of England and rarely were they called out of London, but this crime was so shocking that Scotland Yard sent its best man to investigate, Inspector Jonathan Whicher.

    Mark says: "Like reading case notes"
    "Tragic Murder at dawn of detective bureau"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A crazy horrible tragedy, straight out of history. The 150 year old murder is recounted with details from what household members wore, the weather, the newspaper reports, and biographies of every person connected with the case. And put into context with other historical events and comments from notable figures (I was amused to hear so much from Charles Dickens on the matter). I feel bad for detective Whicher, his situation was impossible, first coming so late to the case, after the earlier investigators' fumbles, and then being vilified by the court of public opinion without the ability to explain his reasons or method, simply doomed to live in frustrated silence.
    Aside from the gruesome case and really messed up family, I enjoyed the analysis done by the author on the affect of this murder and others at the time on the public and literature of the time. As a purveyor of many detective novels, and having liked Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, it was interesting to see how the real life and fictional investigators found their rocky starts in Victorian England. It kind of enables another layer of appreciation for the genre.
    I shared Mr. Whicher's suspicions from early on, a disappointing end for the case in my opinion, but a well drawn non-fictional narrative. I have never been inclined to read "true crime" type stories before, but this one had my attention, I'm sure because it so closely resembled the fictional mysteries I enjoy (and some of which I now know took their cues from this real murder). Well written and well narrated. I always enjoy listening to Simon Vance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Around the World in 80 Days

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (591)
    Performance
    (276)
    Story
    (279)

    Shocking his stodgy colleagues at the exclusive Reform Club, enigmatic Englishman Phileas Fogg wagers his fortune, undertaking an extraordinary and daring enterprise to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. With his French valet Passepartout in tow, Verne's hero traverses the far reaches of the earth, all the while tracked by the intrepid Detective Fix, a bounty hunter certain he is on the trail of a notorious bank robber.

    Gary says: "Fabulous narration for Verne Classic"
    "Passportout was the better protagonist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This wasn't quite the story I expected, though I might have. I think I saw the film adaptation with Jackie Chan and that guided my thoughts more than my recollection of Verne's style, having read Journey to the Center of the Earth a few years ago.
    It was an adventure, and quite the travel log, but I was off-put at first by the protagonist's attitude. He was precision personified, but inaffable and emotionless. It lead to better relating to Passpartout, perhaps intentionally by Verne, while still rooting for Fogg from a more detached perspective. Each up and down, each new challenge and obstacle was better felt through the Frenchman, who was often "on tender hooks", rather than the passive and unconcerned expressions of his master. Nonetheless it was a fun ride and kept me rapt to learn how they would make each new stretch of the journey on time. The antics and sidebar excitements were entertaining. I noticed how Verne repeatedly described the new locations, listing the people and flora and fauna, cultural practices (these through his own biased cultural lens of the time, of course) and places, and everything imaginable, and at the same time discounts all of these wonders which he just took the time to list extensively, almost scientifically, commenting that none of this mattered to Fogg who hardly noticed any of his surroundings and that that was fine because he wasn't there to sight-see. I found it almost laughable at times. And at the last, I laughed and shook my head at them, because even before all that talk of Passpartout's watch and meridians, I had thought of the international date line, and they had not.

    The narration was done beautifully by Dale. The many accents around the world were well affected, and dialogue never suffered voice confusions. The inclusion in this edition of music from around the world (corresponding to each present location) at the beginning of each chapter was startling and a little annoying at first, but I acclimated to it by the time they'd reached Calcutta and rather enjoyed it from Japan on homewards.

    A fun diversion, well worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ideal Man: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Christina Traister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (599)
    Story
    (615)

    Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation. Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain. Max vows to be Ellie’s shadow until the trial, and it isn’t long before sparks fly....

    A User says: "Maybe if I was 16"
    "Didn't love it, but okay way to while the day away"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A decent book - another case of FBI agent falling for a protectee, and vice versa, with the inevitable troubled pasts and his frustration with her independent streak making him crazy when she puts herself in harm's way. Great portrait of the family and the life of a surgeon. Some great teasing steamy moments leading up to the real heat. I was a little annoyed with her resistance to the relationship based on geography after a few repetitions, especially after having made it clear that she wasn't permanent in her situation - by the time they'd gotten through the events of the party, I wanted to say "duh, just move if you want to be with him, you were thinking of picking up and moving somewhere new anyway!"

    The narration was alright, no real issues, but her character voices did get muddled in dialogue a few times, where Max suddenly had her father's accent, or her responses sounded like Max's voice...but it wasn't overly hampering and context usually cleared up those few confusing instances.

    An okay way to while away the day, but it's not in my top favorites list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Northern Lights

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Gary Littman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1123)
    Performance
    (810)
    Story
    (822)

    Lunacy was Nate Burke's last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he'd watched his partner die on the street - and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as chief of police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first few weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But that's about to change.

    Michele says: "Makes you want to see Alaska for yourself"
    "Rural Alaska came to life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Intense book when action picks up - be it danger due to a bear, mountain or bad guy. Great characters, all well drawn, as was the town itself. Made you feel a part of it. Some of the internal emotional parts with Nate were not to my tastes, but the damaged cop struggling back to life worked for this plot. I always love Roberts' writing, how she captures the scenes. Painted a wonderful portrait of the town and all of its inhabitants. It was a mix of solve-the-crime with human interest and romance, and they were woven together expertly.

    Narration was great too, and impressive given the myriad characters to keep consistent. (I think the mayor might have been my favorite). Only had a brief dialogue voice-switch issue once or twice.

    I would never last long in such a secluded snowed in place as Lunacy, but it sure sounds beautiful, and made me miss my mountains a little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall and the Battle for the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Cliff Sloan, David McKean
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (108)

    The Great Decision tells the riveting story of Marshall and of the landmark court case, Marbury v. Madison, through which he empowered the Supreme Court and transformed the idea of the separation of powers into a working blueprint for our modern state.

    Tim says: "Brings to life the early days of the USA"
    "No longer left wondering "who is Marbury?""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great history, telling the story not just of the legal case of Marbury v Madison, but setting it in context. It painted a picture of the people, places and politics that wasn't covered nearly to that depth and breadth in my AP US History lessons on the era and case. It delved into the roles and relationships of all of the directly and indirectly involved figures and public officials. It shed a whole new light and perspective on those few years of history for me. I only had trouble a few times keeping track of the narration when it used occasional quotes from letters and other historical records... the unfamiliar style of those documents I'm sure would have been easier understood in written form than audio. Overall a great read, engaging and well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cards on the Table: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Hugh Fraser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    Mr. Shaitana is famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he is a man of whom everybody is a little afraid. So when he boasts to Hercule Poirot that he considers murder an art form, the detective has some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana's "private collection". Indeed, what begins as an absorbing evening of bridge is to turn into a more dangerous game altogether.

    Kathi says: "Poirot according to Hoyle"
    "Better appreciated if have knowledge of bridge"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Plot twists right up to the end; never was able to narrow my suspicions properly, though I had correctly eliminated one of the 4 suspects. I think I might have appreciated this one a bit more if I knew the slightest thing about playing bridge, but as to that, I am in the dark, and so the whole motif was lacking significance for me. The wrap-up was less satisfactory than usual, even leaving me wondering a bit about Miss Meredith.
    The narration wasn't quite as clean as usual either, though Fraser is still good at defining and differentiating several character voices, I was surprised by this performance- there were several instances of dialogue with mismatched character voices, enough that a few conversations were confusing and demanded re-listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5190)
    Performance
    (3906)
    Story
    (3901)

    When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's reputation, unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

    A User says: "I wish it was about 20 hours longer"
    "Not another Zombie novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well damn if this wasn't full of surprises... A few predictable turns of the tide, the build up to the conflict following Butcher's usual formula, but a few good twists in there. And a few great characters. I particularly like Butters and Ramirez. Hell of a showdown. Probably the most memorable yet, in the series, thanks to Sue.

    I don't handle zombies well, frankly they freak me out. The typical zombies of today's craze especially, but I was not as troubled by this rendition - truer to what my concept of what an actual zombie is, a reanimated corpse controlled by black magic to be a mindless minion, rather than the popularized pathogen-based or brains-focused versions. But I do not handle snakes well, ever, and had a rough moment when they came into play. Also, thank god for Mouse, the most wonderful canine companion (and perfectly suited to help Harry) you could ever hope for. Satisfying wrap-up, too; it had had me worried, with so many pieces to draw closed (though a few are not covered until future books, it seems). With the events culminating in the wider world beyond Chicago, I can't imagine what the next installment will bring for Harry and the magical world, but I'm certainly glad for his new allies in the fight.

    Great narration by Marsters, as always. His performances in this series are fabulous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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