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Jo

Holland Park West, Australia | Listener Since 2007

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 161 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (185)

    When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    Michael says: "Don't have expectations!"
    "Slow - but Wonderful Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Casual Vacancy in three words, what would they be?

    Different, individual, sad


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

    I must admit, it was slow to begin with and hard for me to get into - but that is only because it is a style I'm not used to reading, NOT a reflection of the writing.

    The ending was heartbreaking, and I expected to be left with something more - but there wasn't and that was a little disappointing, but the story was just that, a story. It had no message or hidden agenda, just a story about ordinary people in a hard situation.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Hollander – was your favorite?

    I think he did them all very well.


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

    It made me laugh and cry and angry and lots of emotions. A good emotional roller coaster.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone expecting or hoping for something similar to HP should look elsewhere. It's sophisticated and mature. Not for someone who is squeamish of swearing or sexual reference or abuse. Anyone who feels offended by the harsh brutalities of life should stay away.

    For myself, I loved the brutal honesty. I loved that she didn't shy away from the horrible aspects of life. I loved the nature of this book and how she purposefully lays bare those things about life that scare people and the way she shows how those things affect us. There is no sugar coating, and she tackles it all beautifully.

    I was heartbroken by the ending, but I was also a little disappointed - it took me a long time to get into the story, but once I was into it, I was committed and frankly I expected a bit more from the ending. However, I now believe there was no specific purpose to this story, it was just a story. And it was a heartbreaking, yet beautiful one at that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6175)
    Performance
    (2739)
    Story
    (2775)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "Bleak Yet Enrapturing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Road the most enjoyable?

    The performance, the words, the story, the unending hopelessness that dragged you through it. Absolutely beautiful.


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    Everything. He enraptured the world and the tone beautifully.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones (Part One): Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (662)
    Performance
    (585)
    Story
    (595)

    This is Part One of Book 1 of the A Song of Ice and Fire Series. This first volume in the hugely popular and highly acclaimed epic fantasy series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is unabridged and split into two parts. Now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean. Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

    Darrell says: "Great story and performance."
    "Great Book, Tedious Performance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Snow.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    No. I much preferred John Lee, who although used accents, did not lay them on so thick that I had to strain to understand what he was saying - as Roy Dotrice did.

    There were several characters that I had to rewind to figure out what they were saying, and frankly that defeats the purpose and ease of having an audiobook. Don't over complicate things. Keep it simple.

    Don't get me wrong I appreciate voice acting and giving the characters individuality - but please, why did he make Tyrion WELSH and then have the rest of the family have a completely different accent! And there were several minor characters I just couldn't understand at all, he laid the accent on so thick!

    Accents are all well and good, but keep it understandable please.


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

    No. There are parts of the story that get a bit long-winded, and even though during those parts Roy Dotrice's accents got BETTER.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Writing

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    In June of 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van while walking along the shoulder of a country road in Maine. Six operations were required to save his life and mend his broken body. When he was finally able to sit up, he immediately started writing. This book - part biography, part a collection of tips for the aspiring writer - is the extraordinary result.

    Karen says: "Part 'How to' part Autobiographical"
    "Rather than a How-To Book, this is a How-I-Did."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. He's not condescending or all-knowing, but he is informative. He tells you what worked for him, but also the other options available if that's not for you.


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

    It made it even more personal. It was a nice touch that he read it himself - and I think it just brings home everything he said.


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Dennis Olsen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (177)

    It is 1939, Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings.

    HDJ says: "Ignore the teen classification!"
    "An Amazing Story Through Death's Eyes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It is well written, engaging - a beautiful story with a beautiful way of being told.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything.


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

    Oh he portrayed Death beautifully. When I heard about it I thought it would be a difficult story to pull off, and even more so to read allowed, but Dennis Olsen was seamless.


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

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scorch

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Gina Damico
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (348)

    Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to Damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex.

    jennifer says: "Look Alive"
    "A great sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Already have - An engaging story with a fun and witty MC.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The description of the city Necropolis. I had a good giggle over that.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Croak

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Gina Damico
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (661)

    Fed up with her wild behavior, 16-year-old Lex’s parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business. She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next.

    Nick says: "Smarta** Reapers"
    "Hilariously Enthralling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Croak again? Why?

    Yes, absolutely. The entire series is now in my favourites list. The Lex's voice is witty, sarcastic, caustic and just plain fun. Her attitude is endearing and hilarious, and I would read it several more times.


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

    She brings Lex's attitude and voice to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Gina Damico
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (274)

    Lex, a teenage Grim Reaper, has the power to damn souls - and it’s getting out of control. Her boyfriend, Driggs, is dead - sort of. She’s a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they’re joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: Fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it.

    Dave says: "And so it ends..."
    "A wonderful ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Rogue in three words, what would they be?

    Witty, funny, emotional.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Rogue?

    The ending - I will say no more.


    What about Jessica Almasy’s performance did you like?

    Her portrayal of Grotton. He was great.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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