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Robin

ratings
132
REVIEWS
104
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
19
HELPFUL VOTES
134

  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (36 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (523)
    Performance
    (468)
    Story
    (459)

    Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.

    Lee the reader says: "Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
    "Fantastic deal!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this series on cassette when my library was getting rid of all their cassettes. The material was excellent but the quality of the used cassettes was awful, I had to stop less than halfway through because it was so frustrating, I thought of purchasing the set on CD but the price was pretty high. Now I can hear it all in perfect condition at a great price!

    Robert Greenberg is smart and funny and presents the material in a way that is accessible to anyone. I'm delighted that we now get access to The Great Courses at our regular credit price!

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Escape: Survivor's Club, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mary Balogh
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (246)

    After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws - until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.

    Kimberly says: "A lovely escape"
    "Light entertainment - ignore anachronisms"
    Overall
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    I love Regency romances but I have to sort of pretend that they are not in the actual 19th century England, but on some other planet. On this planet, there are lots of handsome young noblemen, all the servants are happy and loyal, and no one ever gets a toothache, let alone smallpox. The men are strong but also sensitive, doting on their children and respecting independent women. There are modern sensibilities toward the handicapped (never called cripples, morons, or other names that would have been used without thinking), gay characters and characters of different races. In this book, the modern terms "depression", "disability" and even "organizational skills" are used.

    All that said, I greatly prefer this fantasy world to something more realistic like Outlander. I read these books for escape (it's even the title of this one!) and I want some elegance and a reassurance that nothing really awful will happen. This one is rather light on plot, and I didn't realize that there was a novella attached. So I thought there was going to be more to the story, when it rather suddenly ended.

    The narration was quite good and Rosalyn Landor did the Welsh accents well, although at least one name wasn't pronounced correctly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half a Crown: Small Change, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Terry Donnelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (72)

    In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain's upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried undesirables across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east. Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain's distinctly British secret police. Its his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, and to discover Jews.

    Donna says: "Priceless Characters, Riveting Plot"
    "Breathless conclusion to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I often joke that I stay away from books labeled "gripping" and "chilling". But after the first 2 installments of this series, I had to immediately listen to this one. At first I was disappointed that the action moves forward about 10 years, but Carmichael is back along with his adopted niece, now grown up. It really shows "the banality of evil", as persecution of Jews and other "terrorists" is just a common part of English life along with endless cups of tea and the presentation of young debutantes to the queen.

    It's a very powerful series and John Keating does a great job relating Carmichael's story, as a stoic and professional man who has unseen emotional depths. Some parts were quite terrifying and If I had been reading this in print, I think I would have been compelled to peek ahead to reassure myself, but with audio, you have to stay on for the whole ride. I'm glad I did!

    It's easy to see how similar kinds of oppression and manipulation of public opinion could happen today in the U.S. - or already are happening.

    I'm impressed that Jo Walton can write well in so many different genres.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ha’Penny: Small Change, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Heather O'Neill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (80)

    In 1949, eight years after the "Peace with Honor" was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb. The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch king-and-country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain's prime minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.

    Nancy J says: "Excellent Thriller and Alternate History!"
    "Middle book builds a world"
    Overall
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    Story

    This is a sequel to Farthing, and is followed by Half a Crown. It occurs right after the first book and features Inspector Carmichael. The other part of the story involves the theater world, which in some ways is a metaphor for all the acting and pretending and shams in this alternate history. It's quite gripping and I had to instantly go to the 3rd book. The narration is excellent, not over the top, just letting the dramatic events speak for themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farthing: Small Change, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (217)

    One summer weekend in 1949 - but not our 1949 - the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before....

    Nancy J says: "It Couldn't Happen Here, Right? RIGHT?"
    "Jo Walton is amazing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's astounding to me that Jo Walton can write fantasy (Among Others), faux Victoriana (Tooth and Claw), and then turn around and write a country house murder/political thriller with the added twist of being set in an alternate Britain that made peace with Hitler. The ordinariness of the beginning adds to the scariness of creeping totalitarianism. And although the setting is the 1940's, the debate about restricting liberties to protect the country from terrorism is very relevant. Both narrators were very good, which I can't always say. I immediately started listening to the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Darkness and Light: A Molly Murphy Mystery, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (200)

    Molly and Daniel Sullivan are settling happily into the new routines of parenthood, but their domestic bliss is shattered the night a gang retaliates against Daniel for making a big arrest. Daniel wants his family safely out of New York City as soon as possible. In shock and grieving, but knowing she needs to protect their infant son, Liam, Molly agrees to take him on the long journey to Paris to stay with her friends Sid and Gus, who are studying art in the City of Light.

    karen says: "Why on earth did I buy this thing?"
    "Best for those who love Paris"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all the Molly Murphy books in print so this was my first audio of the series. I thought the narration was fine, though the story was mainly a lot of name-dropping and cameos by famous artists. I happen to enjoy reading anything that takes place in Paris, so that didn't bother me, but some things were pretty far-fetched. For instance, learning French as a schoolgirl some years before does not mean one can carry on complex conversations with natives. I'm sure I'll keep reading the series, but in print where it's faster and I can skim over the background material. But if you've been following the whole series on audio, you probably will like this. Daniel isn't around to get in the way for once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Christopher Healy, Todd Harris
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (368)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (337)

    Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.

    MissSusie66 says: "Warning Gushing Ahead…….."
    "Fun for all ages"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a bit like Into the Woods, showing you what happens behind or after the "happily ever after" of fairy tales. Bronson Pinchot's narration is what really makes it special and adds to the humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tail of Vengeance: A Chet and Bernie Mystery eShort Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 5 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    Chet and Bernie - everybody's favorite human-canine detective team - are asked by a beautiful woman to find evidence that would put her cheating boyfriend in the doghouse. This is an e-original short story from New York Times best-selling author Spencer Quinn.

    Bird Lady 147 says: "How can you not love Bernie and Chet the Jet?"
    "Plot discrepancy cleared up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In A Cat Was Involved, I was confused by Chet and Bernie meeting when Bernie already has an ex-wife, whereas other books conflicted with that. This story clarifies the time line of Bernie's personal life. Not much suspense in this one, but nothing cheers me up more than hearing Jim Frangione as Chet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Americanah

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Adjoa Andoh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1092)
    Performance
    (979)
    Story
    (980)

    Anna-Bo-Banana says: "Dazzling, Romantic, and Witty"
    "Not bad but no match for Half a Yellow Sun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has some interesting comments on race and class in America and Africa and other cultural differences. The main characters have flaws as well as strengths. However, some parts drag on much longer than needed, and the American scenes are rather predictable and even like soap opera.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Cat Was Involved: A Chet and Bernie Mystery Short, Story 1

    • UNABRIDGED (52 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (202)

    Spencer Quinn’s first original audio short story reveals how everyone’s favorite detective duo - Chet the Dog and P.I. Bernie Little - came to meet before their first big case in Dog On It. As fans know, Chet first met Bernie on that fateful day when he flunked out of K-9 police school. The details of that day, though, have always remained a little vague (like so much in Chet’s doggy brain). All we know is that Chet had been the best leaper in his K-9 class, but for some reason he failed his final leaping test...and that a cat was involved...and that there was some blood. But whose?

    Bird Lady 147 says: "The beginning how Chet and Bernie met!"
    "Fun but inconsistent with other stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's great to find out that Chet didn't flunk out of canine school just because " a cat was involved". As usual, he was solving a mystery. The wonderful chemistry between Bernie and Chet is established. But in this story, on the day he meets Chet, Bernie refers to his ex-wife. In all the other books, it's clear that Chet was around in the "Leda Days" and when Charlie was little. So I guess it's just that Chet's memory is a little confused. Maybe his first experience of Slim Jims crowded out everything else!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1458)
    Performance
    (1287)
    Story
    (1292)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    Trish says: "Loved, Loved, Loved It!!"
    "Typical chick lit- why the raves?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I chose this because of all the enthusiastic reviews and I was disappointed. I think it must be that book lovers are so starved for books about books that they rated this highly. Otherwise it's a typical mass market chick lit book, with all the tropes - a precocious child who acts like no real child would, tough characters with hearts of gold, a charming small town which magically contains romantic partners for everyone and way too many tragedies for probability. I have no objection to chick lit and even romance, though I prefer more laughs and less tearjerking. I just thought I was getting something more here.

    I know there's a division of opinions about Scott Brick. I thought he was fine, but he does have a distinctive manner and a little of him goes a long way. Sometimes when I love a narrator, I'll look up other books done by him or her, but I'm not in a hurry to hear more by him. On the other hand, I won't necessarily avoid him either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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