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PhoenixFiresky

"Being normal isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Practical Magic

Nebraska | Listener Since 2006

45
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 36 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • Stardust

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2824)
    Performance
    (1324)
    Story
    (1332)

    Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve the star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran on the most unforgettable adventure of his life.

    R. BREEN says: "Witty and magical"
    "Best described as a smooth experience"
    Overall

    I generally have something critical to say about any audio book - even if it's only that it isn't being read the way I, my own perfect self, would read it. Stardust, however, doesn't have anything for me to be critical OF, except its designation as a children's book. There's a sexual encounter in there that is definitely NOT child appropriate. If I had bought the book for a child, I'd be very angry, but I bought the book for myself, so that didn't cause me any problems, just some surprise - although parents should be forewarned.

    Leaving that aside, however, the experience with this book was the smoothest I've ever had with an audio book. Neil writes beautifully, and the reading just blends so well with his writing that it's seamless. I wasn't once aware of a voice not fitting the character, or oddly constructed, or any of the usual issues I encounter - not even that I would've read it differently. This is a perfectly executed audio fairy tale FOR ADULTS.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Making Money: Discworld #36

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1242)
    Performance
    (524)
    Story
    (524)

    The Ankh-Morpork Post Office is running like...well, not at all like a government office. The mail is delivered promptly. Postmaster General Moist von Lipwig, former arch-swindler and confidence man, has exceeded all expectations - including his own. So it's somewhat disconcerting when Lord Vetinari summons Moist to the palace and asks, "Tell me, Mr. Lipwig, would you like to make some real money?"

    Jason says: "Another gem."
    "A Keeper!"
    Overall

    This is a good story, backed up by a good reader. I liked it better than Going Postal (the first Moist book), even though the reader and several characters are the same. I felt that the reader did better with the voices and characterization this time around. Mind you, it's not being read the way I, myself, read it. I love to read out loud, and often my own interpretation/voices get in the way of simply enjoying what I'm hearing - but in spite of that forgivable flaw it's definitely well worth a listen. Or six.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5693)
    Performance
    (3630)
    Story
    (3658)

    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
    "The story itself is great!"
    Overall

    I have both the Hurt and Brick versions. I love the story THAT much.
    In the Hurt version, the sound quality stinks. Really stinks. But he has a good understanding of the characters and does well portraying them.

    In the Brick version, the sound quality is a hundred times better than in the Hurt version. BUT - I don't think he is good with the way he uses his voice to portray the characters. He seems to have a "man" voice and a "woman" voice, but there are often several men talking and he makes them all sound alike. It's even worse with the women - he makes Dagne sound all breathy, kind of like Marilyn Monroe. Anyone who has ever encountered a female executive KNOWS there is no way on earth they talk like that! Certainly Dagne wouldn't. I don't think the "mellow" tone he gives her fits at all. She's a woman of action, of vitality and strong opinions, not to mention very decisive - not some upper crust society wife with no life and nothing to do all day but be pampered.

    What I don't get is why a MAN is reading the book at all. Yes, it's a book about business and industry - but it was written by a woman and the main character is a woman. Therefore, many of the interactions are being filtered through a woman's eyes. I just don't get it. Surely, there must be some decisive woman out there capable of reading this book. Try Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, some powerful, strong woman who isn't afraid of giving orders to men older than she is. Just don't give us Marilyn Monroe.






    24 of 44 people found this review helpful
  • Anansi Boys

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Lenny Henry
    Overall
    (4193)
    Performance
    (2024)
    Story
    (2038)

    Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times best seller American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny, a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

    A. Hawley says: "Beautifully narrated"
    "Well worth the listening!"
    Overall

    This story branches from American Gods, covering the story of Anansi's son. It has a different feel from American Gods, and I didn't like it quite as well - but it's still definitely worth giving a listen to. The narration is done very well, with accents that I never dreamed of when reading the book on paper, and it adds a lot to the story. No negatives here - I wholeheartedly recommend this one!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5379)
    Performance
    (2244)
    Story
    (2259)

    For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

    Joseph says: "Amazing, powerful book about America."
    "Excellent, excellent, excellent!"
    Overall

    The story is superb - a fascinating blend of reality and myth. One of the best books the author has ever created, imho. It is extremely well-paired with the narrator, who brings out accents that I never thought of when I read it on paper. I liked this story enough to buy copies in audio, paper and ebook. It's definitely a library fundamental.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Witches Abroad: Discworld #12

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (933)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (435)

    Pamela says: "What fun!"
    "Wonderful for Pratchett Fans!"
    Overall

    The story is great, all about the witches, so if you're fans of Granny, Nanny or Magrat you're in for a treat. Narration was passable, although since this book is peopled by women, I think a female narrator would be a better choice. The gentleman doing the narration isn't bad...he just seems to lack an understanding of how women relate to each other - which influences how he reads passages when the witches are interacting with each other. Even so, it's a great story and tons of fun!



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2104)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (438)

    This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves? Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

    Robert says: "Over before you know it"
    "This book ROCKS!"
    Overall

    The book is wonderful - it's now my favorite book of all time, and I'm sorry I had to be 41 before I found it. The reader is very good too, changing his voices to give each character a unique sound is a challenge in such a long, diversely populated book.

    The audio quality, however, is truly lousy. There is a distracting echo and in some places it makes an abrupt sound like a tape skipping fast-forwarding, and you lose a word or two. This was the third Audible book I purchased, and I must admit, I'm now afraid to buy more. Audible did offer to let me download a different copy with another reader when I complained...but the fact that they clearly know this problem exists and yet they continue to sell the book makes me distrustful of a company I had formerly loved.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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