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My 2 Cents

and a penny for your thoughts

ratings
128
REVIEWS
34
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
54

  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (831)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (541)

    One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.

    H. CRODDICK says: "Wonderful listen"
    "Even Emma would approve this marriage"
    Overall

    To me the most important review for any Jane Austen novel is the reader. Most likely you are familiar with the author. Emma is however, one of Austen's lesser known novels so I'll simply say, if you enjoyed "Sense and Sensibility" or "Pride and Prejudice", you will enjoy Emma.

    I was surprised to see how many audible versions of Emma are available. How to choose? Happily, I spent a bit more and went with this version. Even Emma would approve this marriage of Jane Austen's writing and Juliet Stevenson's narration.

    If you love the beauty of the English language used to it's best advantage (as Jane would say) you don't get better than Jane Austen (Shakespeare is a given) but any reader can do the exquisite writing justice. Juliet Stevenson is such a reader. Her tone reminds me of the great Julie Andrews. Soothing, expressive, imparting emotion with every passage, inhabiting the various characters with subtle differences that make each one distinct. Jane Austen and Emma would both be proud of their story as told by Juliet Stevenson.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Magna Charta

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By James Daugherty
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart: June 15, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On this day, the first blow for English freedom was struck and forever affected the Western world. Here is the story of three true men, Stephen Langton, Williams Marshall, and Hubert de Burgh, whose heroic deeds are set against those of the ever deceitful and crafty King John.

    Walter says: "Historically entertaining."
    "Narration makes a dull book duller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Magna Charta better?

    The facts were stated in a clearly biased manner


    What could James Daugherty have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Tell the facts as they were without bias toward the church and a lecture in morality.


    What didn’t you like about Geoffrey Howard’s performance?

    Absolutely painful to listen to. Singsong, emotionless delivery. He sounds like Leslie Howard in Gone with the wind, passionless and condescending to the reader.


    What character would you cut from The Magna Charta?

    There was no characterization but he could have given more credit to William Marshal's story and less to the manipulative Bishop


    Any additional comments?

    Horrible. I wish I had my money back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow on the Crown: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Patricia Bracewell
    • Narrated By Katie Firth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (50)

    In 1002, 15-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.

    Molly B. L. says: "This one is a keeper"
    "So Good but torture to have to wait for part 2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Shadow on the Crown the most enjoyable?

    Narration is always a big factor for me and Katie Firth does not disappoint. I like how she quotes from accepted historical documents and then fills in the blanks using her research to paint a picture of life as it was then. I learn more about history than dates and times. I get a sense of the people, how they lived and what they lived through during those times. It helps understand and remember who's who during the complicated Viking/Saxon period of history


    What other book might you compare Shadow on the Crown to and why?

    Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory only because both women seem to be cut from the same cloth. Practical yet sentimental, survivors ahead of their time in more ways than one. Women who went against convention, listened to their intuition,


    Have you listened to any of Katie Firth’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Katie Firth is terrific. I'm fairly new to her narration but will certainly look for her books in the future.


    Who was the most memorable character of Shadow on the Crown and why?

    The most memorable character was Queen Emma's eldest step-son. The only name I can remember is Queen Emma's. The others are too complicated to remember without the book in front of me. I need flash cards.


    Any additional comments?

    PLEASE HURRY with Books 2 and 3 ! I didn't realize it was a trilogy when I started and was so disappointed to be left hanging. My history books tell me how it turns out but your story is so compelling, I'm having withdrawal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Dean N. Jensen
    • Narrated By Emma Bering
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    A true life Water for Elephants, Queen of the Air brings the circus world to life through the gorgeously written, true story of renowned trapeze artist and circus performer Leitzel, Queen of the Air, the most famous woman in the world at the turn of the 20th century, and her star-crossed love affair with Alfredo Codona, of the famous Flying Codona Brothers.

    My 2 Cents says: "Narration is terrible. What a shame."
    "Narration is terrible. What a shame."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Queen of the Air? What did you like least?

    Sad and depressing but lovely story about a unique life.


    Would you recommend Queen of the Air to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. The story is ruined by the narrator who reads so slowly I had to put the app on 1.5 just get a slow/normal pace and this distorted her voice (and as bad as that was, it was an improvement). Terrible experience.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emma Bering?

    Anyone able to speak normally would be better. It was as if she was speaking to a very dumb non English speaking (or half deaf) person. It's so bad, I wondered if there was something wrong with the soundtrack.


    Do you think Queen of the Air needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. I don't care about the book or the characters because the reader made me feel nothing but irritation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4609)
    Performance
    (3871)
    Story
    (3880)

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Jimmy says: "Epic, Remarkable, Easy & Enjoyable!"
    "Thank you Ken Follett"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Winter of the World to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    Ken Follett has taken historical fiction to a new level. If history was presented to school children with as much excitement and empathy, this world would literally be a better place.
    You will find no Fictional story with more excitement, intrigue, heroism and depth than


    Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

    Not if I can help it. The lovely sound of his voice is overshadowed (for me) by his William Shatner style delivery. I expounded on this in my first review of this trilogy so I won't repeat myself.


    If you could take any character from Winter of the World out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Grigori or Volodya Peshkov - Grigori would probably be my first choice but both me, for the same reason. I feel they are cut from the same cloth (no only by genetics) but born into different times, will obviously have different fates. Both are men of honor, without many options. Unlike the British and German families, their path was not as clear. Oppressed people, even in Nazi German often have the choice to submit or fight and die. Terrible choices but clear cut. Grigori's government, country and family was so disorganized, unreliable and inconsistent that his choices weren't as clear. Volodya's not as much but similar. Both also seem less resolute and sure that his experience is the only experience worth fighting for. Both seem smart, open minded and honorable. An evening with either one would probably be stimulating and enlightening for us both.


    Any additional comments?

    The wait for Book 3 is tough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    Overall
    (21526)
    Performance
    (12997)
    Story
    (13127)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "If only I had known"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Orson Scott Card and/or Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison ?

    Orson Scott Card NO. Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison YES


    Would you be willing to try another book from Orson Scott Card? Why or why not?

    NO! Unfortunately, I did not realize what a sexist bigot Orson Scott card is when I bought the book.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    No. Excellent job.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    For good or bad, in our country, money is power so I try not to help make stupid people rich, famous and powerful. There are enough other great authors I can give my money to.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Our Mutual Friend

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (476)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (210)

    A mysterious boatman on the Thames, a drowned heir, a dustman and his wife, and a host of other Dickens characters populate this novel of relationships between the classes, money, greed, and love. The 58 characters are presented with remarkable clarity by David Timson.

    A. Millard says: "A Masterpiece"
    "It doesn't get much better than this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Our Mutual Friend in three words, what would they be?

    Funny, Touching, Intriguing


    What other book might you compare Our Mutual Friend to and why?

    How do you compare Charles Dickens? I'll say, if you liked


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

    David Timson brings life to the book. The way he creates characters, down to the smallest idiosyncrasy - a stutter, the speech pattern is remarkable, painting a picture in your mind of the complete character. If you narrowed the world of readers down to the best of the best, David Timson would be one of them, along with Ron Dale and Juliet Stevenson.


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

    YES! but I specifically looked for a book too long to listen in one or two sittings. Even so, Our Mutual Friend is one of those books I wish I could forget so I could listen all over again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dombey and Son

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (81)

    Dombey and Son is vintage Dickens and explores the classic themes of betrayal, cruelty and deceit. Dombey's dysfunctional relationships are painted against a backdrop of social unrest in industrialized London, which is populated by a host of fascinating and memorable secondary characters. The complete and unabridged novel is brought spectacularly to life by veteran reader David Timson.

    eileen says: "A Hidden Dickens Gem"
    "Grammy Worthy Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Dombey and Son rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I have enjoyed. This was a Dickens book I've meant to read for years but not had the time. Thanks to audible, I was able to enjoy this during a recent bout of the flue. Great characters, interesting story and funny. Many times I laughed out loud. David Timson gets most of the credit for this as his narration was big part of the enjoyment of this book. It's not fair perhaps but I expect Charles Dickens to be extra ordinary. Finding a reader equal to him is a surprise.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dombey and Son?

    Mr. Toots is was, for me perhaps the loveliest character and best developed narration. Absolutely brilliant, funny, touching.


    What about David Timson’s performance did you like?

    David Timson makes Charles Dickens come alive. His acting skills rank at the top of the A-list.


    Any additional comments?

    For classics, good narration isn't enough. David Timson is to reading what Charles Dickens is for writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Galore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Michael Crummey
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (36)

    When a whale beaches itself on the shore of the remote coastal town of Paradise Deep, the last thing any of the townspeople expect to find inside it is a man, silent and reeking of fish but remarkably alive. The discovery of this mysterious person, soon christened Judah, sets the town scrambling for answers as its most prominent citizens weigh in on whether he is man or beast, blessing or curse, miracle or demon.

    Mylrea Estell says: "spellbinding"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall

    I love "sagas" but found this very hard to follow. The jumping back and forth from one generation did not add add anything to the story and the author often repeats himself. To make it worse, the reader's monotone, sing-song style did not help. It's hard enough to tell when Lee switches between characters, as he does them all the same. Couple that with the confusing story line and this was not a winner for me. Perhaps this is one book that must be read to be appreciated. (or read by someone else)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • North and South

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (772)
    Performance
    (559)
    Story
    (560)

    Set in the context of Victorian social and medical debate, this novel is about rebellion, posing fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. This revised edition draws on recent theoretical work on gender and class.

    Sally says: "Delightful"
    "Good for Jane Austen withdrawal"
    Overall

    I recently was on a Jane Austen kick. Once finished, I began looking for a similar author. Elizabeth Gaskell was a good choice. I can't say "North and South" was as good as any of Austen's works but I enjoyed it. Juliet Stevenson is a large reason but however it adds up, enjoyment was the total. Very Austen like story, lots of conversation and relationship confusion but there is also a bit (small bit) of historical value regarding changes brought on by the industrial revolution. Sounds worse than it is. Good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magnificent Ambersons

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Booth Tarkington
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Blaisdell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The family serves as a metaphor for the old society that crumbled after the Industrial Revolution, as a Midwestern town spreads and darkens into a city.

    Darwin8u says: "Many of the great ones too are soon forgotten"
    "Excellent Read"
    Overall

    This book really transports you to the turn of the century (20th century) and gives a sense of what it was like. The reader is just right for it too. He brings the attitude of that time to the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would say, if you like Jane Austen "type" books with a lot of character interaction, you'll like this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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