George Balanchine was a fascinating man; I love ballet & was hoping for more in this re-telling of his life with Tanaquil Le Clercq, who contracted polio that ended her dancing career. It is not a biography, but a novel. I listened to about 1/3 of the book & finally quit since it was so tedious. I have a problem with books about real people with conversations that are imagined by the author-maybe that's one reason I didn't care for it. The characters didn't seem to come alive-the narrator tried to copy Mr. B's accent & did remarkably well. I was just disappointed with this book. I think I will seek out biographies in future, instead of the novelistic approach. The characters, all interesting people, just never 'caught fire'.
I wouldn't say that; I've read all the books in this series, years ago. The audio version makes a great compliment to the printed version. Especially since the narrator is the actor who played Mr. Herriot on the beloved TV series.
The animal stories-I especially liked the stories about the small animals.
I loved his portrayal in the TV series as Dr. Herriot & his narration in this series shows he really has a deep affection for the characters & the story. I plan to purchase the entire series from Audible.
I laughed at Mrs. Pumphrey & Trickey-Woo, her spoiled peke. I teared up often at the love his patients & their owners had for each other & when there was a death.
These books are splendid for the whole family. I look forward to getting the 2nd book in the series. I can't recommend them more. I also will be looking for any more books narrated by Christopher Timothy-he is superb.
The narrator is perfection & really gets you involved in the story, a true re-telling of a girl growing up with her 3 siblings & her mother on her grandparent's farm in Iowa-along with a large extended family in the Great Depression. How they all 'made do' and had happy lives even through privation is amazing. Until late in the 30s, they had no electricity, no indoor plumbing, survived on food they raised/grew on the farm with the exception of coffee, sugar & salt. This is truly a case of the author passing through the fire and coming out 'refined to gold'. She takes us through to her marriage, her training as a teacher (she taught in a university for a while) and her thankfulness for the lessons she learned growing up in hard times.Very rewarding, interesting book.
Mildred, the author of the story. She always made the best of the hand she was dealt, without grumbling. I felt as though I had found a new friend. The author must have been in her 80s when it was written & her memory is amazing. I doubt if I had been thrust into her life that I could have made such a success of it as she did. She discusses just about every facet of her life, which fascinated me, since I love social history, the little things that make up people's daily life. This is a social history that the younger generation would do well to listen to, since it is so different to the way we live today-like day and night. The people who survived the Great Depression are leaving us daily, so we should ask questions of our grandparents about this period in history before it is too late.
Hard to decide, but I think when the whole family got together to cook for a holiday or some special occasion & everyone helped, even the small children-the way they shared the work. There were chores for all but the smallest kids on the farm every day so everyone felt they were of help & had self-worth. There was such a feeling of family unity & love.
If this isn't inappropriate, when Mildred began to develop a woman's shape at age 11 and when she had her first menstrual period, she was terrified for no one had prepared her for this. Finally she told her mother, who never explained why it happened or even that it would happen every month, but showed her how to use what passed for sanitary napkins when it happened again. Parents did not tell their kids the facts of life, they were left to get it 'behind the barn' and they were also taught to be ashamed of their bodies. How sad. We have gone to the opposite now where nothing much is kept secret, but this was very affecting.
I treasure this book. Since it has so many 'layers', I will certainly listen to it again & again finding details that I may have missed. I will look for other books narrated by this same fine lady, Ruth Ann Phimister. It will probably be one of my 'comfort food' books that I listen to when I am feeling blue. Anyone who is interested in how life used to be mustn't miss this book.
I didn't like the shifting back & forth in time; hard to keep track. It was very detailed but I kept with it. Listened to it at home while cooking/cleaning. I plan to try another Kate Morton book-this was my first experience with her writing. I was disappointed with the ending.
Yes, except I would warn them that they have to listen very carefully to the last few chapters; otherwise they might be confused as to what happened to the characters. I checked the book out of the library, in fact, read the last few chapters-finally got it. It seems as though she left the plight of several characters hanging. It was like it ended with a whimper instead of a bang.
Ms. Lee has a nice voice but so definitely Australian that it really was off-putting for a story set in England. In the beginning chapter, the pronunciation of any two letter words, like "No" is jarring, since the Aussies pronounce it with a 'curly-que' at the end, like 'No-a-e', like it had 3 syllables. I got used to it after awhile. If you want three words to describe her voice, I'd say...Australian, Australian, Australian.
Yes. See how they would handle the swinging back & forth in time. I like the historical period so would probably enjoy the sets & costumes as well.
I wish the author had tied up the loose ends for all the major characters. i.e.: how did Grace happen to become an archeologist? What happened to Alfred after he married? It was a long book, maybe it would have made it into 2 volumes if she had. I'll try another of her books, see if she follows a similar pattern to this.
I used to watch Dick's talk show & liked it since he didn't just stick to film stars, but brilliant people like Bill Buckley. This is a real find-the fact that Cavett narrates the book & very well too, enhances the experience. As other reviewers have said, it is like he is in the room with you. I was enthralled through all of it. I would almost bet a fiver that you will not be bored. Bravo!
This is a book I highly recommend. The fact that Mr. Caine narrates is definitely a bonus-it is like you are sitting across the dinner table from him. He chuckles & you can hear him smiling at some of his stories. He is a man who never lost contact with his 'working class' roots in the UK & I enjoyed every word. It is touching as he tells how he fell in love with his wife Shakira after seeing her on TV selling coffee. I like to choose books that I'll like to listen to again & there is so much detail in this book, I'm sure I will revisit this book again, like an old friend. Btw, the title refers to the place he was born/grew up-Elephant & Castle, a section of London. I laughed out loud several times in the first 20 minutes of the book, but there are many serious parts as well. A real keeper.
I was hopeful about this series since I like this historical period. This is the first book in a series about Maisie Dobbs; folks, it is very depressing. I did finish it but was longing for it come to the end. I investigated the plots of the rest of the Dobbs series & it seems as though the rest are depressing as well. At least, I'm not taking a chance. If I want to be depressed, I will turn on the news.
I was attracted by "The Last Victorian" in the title, and the narrator, Nadia May, who is matchless; I love anything she narrates as a rule. However, this is the first book I ever purchased from Audible that I couldn't finish. Maybe the fact that I am not a fan of George Eliot is a factor, but honestly, this is one of the most boring books ever. Ms. May narrates with her usual skill, but this is like making bricks without straw. It goes on far too long & I think I gave up just b/4 the midway point. Ms. Eliot did have some love affairs but even then, this is dull in the retelling. If you can't sleep, put this one on and I would almost bet it will send you off to dreamland in a trice.
I was looking for Edwardian themes to help me in my Downton Abbey withdrawal but this turned out to be an unfortunate choice. There are a few bits about how the ladies wore their hair/dress, but on the whole, is quite boring. I didn't care about the 'hero' of the story, and the tale ended with a 'whimper', not a 'bang'. This is another title that might help insomniacs get sleepy.
I was looking for something to help me in my Downton Abbey withdrawal & chose this; I had forgotten that PBS had presented a version on Masterpiece Theatre several years ago with the narrator, Wendy Hiller, as the star, which I saw. She is wonderful as narrator but I really got tired of the story about half way through & wish I hadn't bothered. Ms. Sackville West wrote this c. 1930 & she is a good writer, I just wish I hadn't wasted a credit on it. This might work as something to send you off to sleep at night, though.
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