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!
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!
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.
This was a real page-turner, but I was forced to slow down to the pace of the audio. I kept trying to sneak in time to listen during holiday family events! It was a challenge for the narrator because there are multiple female characters and she differentiated them without being over the top. There are some plot points that keep you guessing, some serious issues but also a lot of humor.
Sarah Waters as usual gives plenty of period detail with a background of unknown menace. But every part of the book could have been much shorter. At one point near the end, the main character thinks about how boring life is when things drag on and on. I shouted out "Yes!" to my iPod, as that's how I was feeling about the book. The narration was good, that's what kept me going, and there was some suspense about various incidents, it's just that it took forever to resolve each one. And I didn't need to know quite so much about housekeeping in 1920!
This is a book about books, about magic, and about the magic of reading itself. Books are the brightest part of life for the young heroine, and are also her doorway to connecting with other people. The narrator is the incomparable Katherine Kellgren, who gets a whole new accent to voice, Welsh, which she does terrifically. I so wanted to meet this young lady and share her enthusiasm for the joy of reading.
This is a book I put off for many years, because it was supposed to be hard work. It probably is if you want to study all the allusions to mythology, Irish history, Shakespeare, etc. But It's wonderful just to listen to. It's full of poetry and song, sometimes just in the middle of a sentence. It does take concentration and I listened to some sections more than once, always picking up new things.
I'm working through it with a book group and I've been listening first, then looking at the text to see what I missed, or what visual aspects there are (as he does play with that as well.) This must have been very challenging for the narrator and I think he does a great job.
If it weren't for the brilliant narration by Kellgren, I probably would have listened to 1 or 2 of this series at most. At this point, I think the author includes scenes, songs and voices just to show off what Katherine Kellgren can do.
The events keeping Jacky and Jamie apart have become quite farfetched and some of the plot twists are predictable . And yet there were still a couple of surprises that were logical based on information we already head, but that I didn't see coming.
This is a story with an unusual hero. It takes some time to get to know him and understand what makes him tick. Some readers said he seemed too innocent to be a 15 year old but I think there are kids like that, and when you get through the book, you can understand why. I thought the narration was very good.
The underlying story from WWII is fascinating, and this coming from someone (me!) who swore off WWII books for the indefinite future! Shute has a positive view of humanity and even in the war, there is only one really evil person. He shows how ordinary people can rise to extraordinary situations and how eager we really are to connect and help each other. I chose this book because I so enjoyed the same theme with a very different story in Shute's Trustee from The Toolroom.
There are a couple of flaws to the book. I think the later part is all sort of epilogue and not as strong as the earlier sections. Having the story told by a third person is a little odd, since some of the time he is narrating things he couldn't really know. And the casual racism toward the "abos" is a bit alarming.
The narration is very good, rather subdued but it works fine.
The main character is a clever idea, a mystery writer who actually is himself a thief. I liked his personality and his attempts to work out his novel's plot. But in some ways he was awfully dense in solving the mystery of this story. And the plot became pretty unlikely. At one point the hero just happens to be at a particular spot to recognize a clue. It was also a bit more violent than I like, I think more than was necessary. The narrator was very good and kept me interested, but overall this was nothing special and I probably won't continue with the series
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