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  • The Handmaid's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Claire Danes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....

    Emily - Audible says: "My Top Pick for 2012"
    "Danes brings the handmaid to life"
    If you could sum up The Handmaid's Tale in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, exciting, political

    What other book might you compare The Handmaid's Tale to and why?

    Orwell's 1984 and other dystopian works - with a feminist twist. Also, the language is beautiful and the metaphors unexpected. I started to see my own place in the world with different eyes after having listened to The Handmaid's Tale.

    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    Danes really got under my skin. Her diction and tone brought me very close to Atwood's protagonist.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but it gave me goosebumps, both because of the actual story and because of what it implies about the society in which we live today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.

    M Kaner says: "I will listen to anything Juliet Stevenson reads"
    "Kick-ass 19th century love story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Indeed I would. It's entertaining, it's funny, it's engaging, and informative. There is a reason that this is the classic of classics. It kept me in a daze for a week, couldn't go anywhere without it!

    What other book might you compare Middlemarch to and why?

    Everything by Jane Austen and the Brontës of course, the dry humor is akin to that in E.M.Forster's works, and it also reminds me of the drama of Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. But this is not only great literature - it's incredibly funny too.

    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    Juliet Stevenson is just perfect. All the sociolects and dialects of the characters, the understated humour and the hyperboles fit perfectly into her way of performing this story. Brilliant.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All the hilarious dialogues between members of the rural community speculating on this and that, one character sillier than the next, and Juliet Stevenson's fantastic dialect interpretations of the Middlemarchers.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Ruby in the Smoke: Sally Lockhart Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser

    In search of clues to the mystery of her father's death, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart ventures into the shadowy underworld of Victorian London. Pursued by villains at every turn, the intrepid Sally finally uncovers two dark mysteries, and realizes that she herself is the key to both.

    Bonita says: "A Must Read For All Ages"
    "Thrilling teenage mystery in Victorian London!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ruby in the Smoke the most enjoyable?

    Fascinating characters and an exciting - and surprising! - plot, and splendidly narrated, too. A joy to listen to, I just couldn't stop.

    What does Anton Lesser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    One of the best audiobook readings I've experienced - brilliant dialects and voices. And a good sense of timing, brining out Pullman's very own brand of Victorian humour.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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