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Linda

Jay, NY, USA | Member Since 2008

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 229 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • Revelation: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By C. J. Sansom
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (446)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (282)

    C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake mysteries whisk listeners back in time to the tumultuous court of King Henry VIII. Shardlake has his hands full this time defending a young religious fanatic who has been thrown into Bedlam. On top of that, Shardlake's friend is murdered, and the quest to find the killer leads Shardlake right to the steps of the king's latest romantic conquest, Catherine Parr.

    Fara says: "Great entertainment!"
    "I really bogged down on this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was most disappointing about C. J. Sansom’s story?

    Increasingly, he seems very slow... and worries issues to death, so that the book became boring and I stopped caring about the characters. The balance of plot to description is off on this one, and the plot, perhaps, rather weak, designed to show off the author's research.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Children's Book

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By A. S. Byatt
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    Taking us from the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme, The Children's Book is a deeply affecting story of a singular family, played out against the great, rippling tides of the day. It is a masterly literary achievement by one of our most essential writers.

    Sara says: "A wandering story that goes on forever."
    "I'm in mourning because I finished it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a broad sweeping book, and it helps if you are interested in art history and world history of the late 19th and early 20th century, or are interested in making things, or love fairy tales. As with other Byatt novels, some parts are challenging, while others are magical. For me it brought a great revival of my own interest in making things. I also became caught up in the historical changes, which increasingly build with a sense of doom toward World War I. There are a number of theses and themes interwoven in the cycles of childhood and adulthood that I found interesting and will not mention here to avoid spoiling the plots. There are many stories looking backward while time marches forward. There are, perhaps better on paper, somewhat lengthy catalogues of world events for each period of the book. But I've rarely been so unwilling to part with a book and plan to buy it again in paper. The narrator Rosalyn Landor is extraordinary, and manages male, female, children, magical animals, and multiple foreign accents and latin with great success. Highly recommended.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Absent One

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (847)
    Performance
    (736)
    Story
    (740)

    In The Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen introduced Detective Carl Mørck, a deeply flawed, brilliant detective newly assigned to run Department Q, the home of Copenhagen’s coldest cases. The result wasn’t what Mørck - or readers - expected, but by the opening of Adler-Olsen’s shocking, fast-paced follow-up, Mørck is satisfied with the notion of picking up long-cold leads. So he’s naturally intrigued when a closed case lands on his desk: A brother and sister were brutally murdered two decades earlier....

    Judith Baker says: "New favorite author"
    "Not a series that improves for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first of this series is a really fascinating book, somewhat surreal but also touching and human. The reader uses a scandinavian accent at times, and an american one at others; it worked. The next two have degenerated. I'm not sure if its the sneering BBC uppercrust voice that the new narrator gives the lead character, the fawning and almost racist portrayal of Assad, or the writer. But I'm out of love with these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bag Limit

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Steven F Havill
    • Narrated By Rusty Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Bill Gastner, the reluctant sheriff of Posadas County, New Mexico, anticipates his last few days in office will be uneventful. That is, until local teen Matt Baca drives drunkenly into the back of Gastner's cruiser and flees into the night. His eventual capture turns tragic when the boy becomes irrationally violent and takes a fatal tumble into oncoming traffic. Adding to the tragedy, Matt's father is found dead in his tiny kitchen. Is this all a terrible coincidence, or is something more sinister afoot?

    M.K. says: "Bag Limit"
    "Solid consistent series, enjoyable & well plotted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Its hard to review one of this series, rather than the group. When I listened to the first one, I liked it, but wasn't addicted. These are not flashy action adventures. However I enjoyed the book, and went back for more; by the end, I was very bummed to run out of books. Over the series a few strengths in these books have struck me as part of their charm. The main protagonist is, yet again, an aging white policeman. In his case, however, he really is aging, not some fantasy of superhuman strength who can do anything and always gets the the sexy supergirl. Sometimes he makes mistakes, is clumsy, gets sick. He has chronic insomnia, implied PTSD. The series leaves out focus on sexuality in favor of the foibles and tragicomic behaviors of people in small town Posadas. In this New Mexico, the focus is on Latino/American culture and Native Americans don't seem to exist (a weakness perhaps, or the author avoiding writing about a culture he isn't familiar with). I will probably relisten to them again later, because they are pleasant, and plausible and I love hearing about New Mexico, its landscape, culture and food. Read them in sequence, because they do evolve. PS, Rusty Nelson is a perfect reader for this role and has amazing range.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Queen Margot

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (39)

    The last years of King Charles IX's reign in France were dominated by religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. Queen Margot begins in 1572 with the marriage of Marguerite de Valois to Henri de Navarre. Marguerite is King Charles' sister and the daughter of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, all firm Catholics. Henri de Navarre is a Protestant who later will become the beloved King Henri IV. Several important political events have led up to this marriage including the mysterious murder of Henri de Navarre's mother, cleverly plotted by Catherine de Medici. The wedding brings noblemen from all over the world to Paris resulting in the notorious Saint Bartholomew Massacre, where thousands of Protestants are killed. In this inventive and compelling novel, Dumas brings an extraordinary period of history vividly to life with much excitement and romance. The lively prose and wonderfully constructed plot tell of court intrigues and forbidden love, of beautiful queens, duchesses, and noblemen, suspense, conspiracies, betrayals, assassinations, superstitions, poisonings, and sumptuous feasts. With well-known historical figures as main characters in a dangerous and breathtaking game for power, Queen Margot tells of conspiracies, clandestine trysts, and daring escapes. There is the infamous Catherine de Medici, deliciously evil, constantly plotting and poisoning; Le Mole, a dashing and irresistable young Protestant who becomes Marguerite's lover; the noble Coconnos who provides a great source of comic relief; and at the center of all this intrigue are the good-hearted Marguerite and Henri who are perfect political allies with complicated and fascinating love lives.

    Faith says: "An engrossing read..."
    "Beautifully read, but not up to Dumas standard"
    Overall

    Somehow, I keep getting bogged down. The story drags, although this IS Dumas, and the reader is excellent. The prose is elaborately wordy, which might read better on paper than as a listen. But if one gets bored in listening to the description of a major battle and desperate rescue, there is a problem...

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Snobs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Julian Fellowes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (87)

    Edith Lavery, the pretty daughter of an accountant, meets gossip-column favorite Charles Broughton (Earl of Broughton and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield) at Ascot. When he proposes and she accepts, does she really love him, or is she merely dazzled by his title and money?

    Lori says: "A Fantastic Beach Read!"
    "Novel of Manners for the 21st century"
    Overall

    A novel about the manners about the "haute bourgeois" and the british aristocracy, Fellowes is following the footsteps of Austen, Trollope, and other 19th century novelists, and doing it very very well. The book is humorous but not hysterically funny, but is also, in my experience, true. The behaviors, concerns, desires of the characters repeat themselves in the US as well. I have a few minor literary quibbles, but repeat, minor. Its also exceedingly well read, with much subtlety.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8870)
    Performance
    (3300)
    Story
    (3337)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Dull reader Improbable book"
    Overall

    Its sort of entertaining, but not nearly as fun as the first book in this series. John Lee is very articulate, but not terribly exciting as a reader. Basically pulp, and not that great, masquerading as historic fiction.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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