Olympia, WA, United States | Member Since 2011
I cannot say enough about David Case's narration of the Flashman books. I discovered my first one a few months ago and was intrigued and then completely addicted. I am a studio artist and Flashy is my 'ear candy' when I'm working on a project.
When I finish listening to one of these books, I have a hard time returning to the 21st century. I find myself reeling around Victorian England using obscure phrases and puzzling my friends. In this case, the mountain of light is the diamond Kohinoor and the story circles loosely around the stone. Case treats us to the voices of a seven year old maharajah, his amoral maharani mama, a flock of stiff upper lipped Englishmen, a few Irish and Scots soldiers, Indian nabobs and generals,Queen Victoria, and all the riff raff that were a part of the battles for India in the 1840s.
The descriptions and scene setting are superb and I cannot believe reading these would be half as much fun as listening to Case's drawling Flashy describe the world as he sees it.
For anyone who wants to experience military history up close and personal--and the Flashman's unique take on it, these books are wonderful. There is enough ridiculous hilarity and Flashman's scrapes to balance beautifully with the gore and horror of the wars in which Flashy seems to be constantly landing. Be warned, lots of sex but more the lusty Tom Jones joyful variety than your standard steamy bodice ripper. Flashy has a way with the ladies and trouble seems to find him on a regular basis.
For a self-described coward he does manage to land in the soup and cover himself with glory five minutes later by accident--and we are along for the ride every blazing step of the way. So much fun to listen to! I'll be downloading another one tonight!
Amazingly personal and strange look inside the world of Keith Richards. I liked the use of different voices and thought it added much to the story although in places it was a bit of s strange transition.
I was at the first Stones concert in the USA at Swing Auditorium and this is like looking behind the mirror to see what they saw.
It boggles the mind to hear heroin use as matter of fact and normal ' but the context is so relevant to the story that it fits right in.
This book is like sitting down for a really long chat with an old friend. It doesn't feel read, it feels relived.
Loved this book! It is not nearly long enough but what there is was absolutely charming. Winton Porter does a wonderful job of spinning the yarn of his years minding a store on the Appalachian Trail and the hungry and loopy hikers who show up at his store. I have always wanted to hike a hunk of it but sadly I live nearer the Pacific Crest Trail so must live vicariously through stories like this.
The descriptions of the trail, the amazing characters who decide to take on the daunting hike and make the commitment to do it, and in many cases do it over and over, are delightful.I could actually picture them like I had been sitting on a stone bench in the sun with them.
I love the guy on the roof with Oldham flute, just taking life in stride. I admire Porter's wife who just copes with the realities of living in a frigid old stone house year round and rolls with whatever happens.
This book is a great introduction to the brotherhood and sisterhood of people that are taken/fascinated and addicted to the reality and the dream of the Appalachian trail. The narrator does a wonderful low key job of telling the story in a way that feels very real and like I imagine Porter's actual voice and delivery would sound.
My only gripe? It was not nearly long enough?
You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman is a meticulously researched book that gives a clear and affectionate although unbiased look at Phil Hartman's life.
I was especially taken with his early days and could relate easily as another California kid growing up surfing and hanging out--with the knowledge that Hartman managed to have a ringside seat and know a lot of the musical icons of the end of the 20th century personally.
Mike Thomas hits the nail on the head in his narrative about Hartman's learning to inhabit his characters as he grows up. Hartman is ultimately another one of those successes who are only really alive when they become someone other than themselves.
Listening to this book was like being there in many ways, Hartman was always the good looking glue of whatever he was involved in and gave 100% to his work. His personal life could never match his romantic expectations and that comes across clearly. I would have liked to know more about his personal life but this book focuses extremely well on how his work life and career developed in the unforgiving arena of comedy and television.The book builds a portrait of a complex man who never could quite figure out what the rainbow was that he was chasing until the night it all came apart with his murder.
Narrator Corey Snow does an excellent job of delivering a plethora of voices that are believable from Paul Rubens to Jan Hooks to Dana Carvey. He never dips into imitation but uses nuance and shading to make his voiced characters believable.
Recommended to anyone who is fascinated by the comedy/television industry and talent factories of the 1970s to the 1990s, an excellent insider look. My only kvetch is that at times there are almost too many details provided which can derail the narrative instead of providing the provenance they are intended to do.
Although I adore Bill Bryson and own everything he has written that is in print today, I would beg him to cease narrating his own books. His voice does not lend itself to being a voice actor and its hard to get past the almost English/almost American accent and focus on the story.
The story itself if spell-binding. If you ever wondered how the house you live in got that way, this book is for you. It covers the genesis of the way we live now in amazing detail and must have taken years to research. Incredibly well thought out and well written and fascinating for any lover of what we call home.
My only complaint is the narration which I cannot get over and will next time buy the book an d read it.
This was a wondrous romp of a book, and P.G. Wodehouse should be proud. Sebastian Faulks did a lovely job in this frothy English parfait of perfection. I can only hope he writes more but with Bertie Wooster finally settled what's left?
The story had so many turns and twists I was dizzy but they were hysterical and easy to hang on through the curves. It was fun to see Jeeves with the tables turned masquerading as lord but still dishing advice from on high to down low.
Julian Rhind-Tutt as narrator did a bang up believable job and I can only hope this team stays together in future. This book will leave Jeeves and Wooster fans sighing with happiness at the perfect ending to the story.
This is a sad and eye-opening book about Africa. Theroux is absolutely in love with Africa and absolutely unrelenting in his undressed detail of the darker side of the continent.
I think it is astonishing and amazing that a man getting up there in years, an older gent by now, would take on a trip like this one. Using the common transportation of Africa, gnarly buses, loud and unkempt trains and his feet, he heads into Africa and makes clear and careful note of all the details. The dirt, the noise, the flies, the people both good and bad. This is as close to an authentic experience as one can get without actually going there.
Theroux has always had an unstinting and unrelenting eye for detail. After reading a description of travel in China complete with dirt and phlegm, I was cured of any romance I might have had about the country. The same is true for this book. Zona Verde is a BIG book, and takes you from places where the wild life is still wild to places where the wild has been destroyed and only war remains.
It does lag a bit in places because of the attention to detail, but it really is like being there in his pocket. This book is so worth listening to just to begin to understand what Africa and Africans face as they try to get to the future we aleady inhabit.
I was not terribly fond of the narrator, he did an okay job but it made the book come across as very stuffy, still its well worth a read/listen because its the candle on the cake of Theroux's travel writing.
I have read and re-read everything Tom Robbins has written and finding a memoir? Score. This book takes us back to the Beginning. Yes, capped on purpose. Tommy Rotten's early days are hilarious and I found myself laughing aloud at times. Its amazing he lived to grow up given the hijinks herein.
The story does involve his astonishing and whimsically loopy prose--which is so Tom R. and I bow to the wow of his love for the language.
For me, it slowed up a bit when he hit the later days of his life, I still enjoyed it but as everything does when it grows up, it has a little darkness, a little slower and a little sadness shows up in the writing.
Still and all, highly recommended to any fan of Tom Robbins work. If you want to know the back story and he got here from there, give a listen, you won't regret it.
AND, the narrator is a big part of the picture. Keith Szarabajka with his honey Southern accent made a believer out of me.
I keep wondering how on earth Alan Bradley has so successfully channeled a 12-year-old girl with some interesting Tendencies--and with the addition of Jayne Entwistle as narrator I couldn't be happier. I have actually rounded up and listened most of the Flavia de Luce novels narrated by Jayne in spite of having already read them. Yes, her narrating skills are that good!
Flavia de Luce novels are geared to "grown ups" but I would bet a bunch of bucks that they could be enjoyed by tweens just as much. One keeps wondering through the string of books involving murder, mayhem, odd people, British police, a grieving mentally absent father and two snotty sisters, how Flavia does it. Somehow with her chemistry lab and her passion for poison, she stays sunny side with a fillip of the dark side.
These books are a wondrous look at a vanishing and vanished past, one where the uppercrust is crumbling and the village life is safe and sleepy except when Flavia manages to get involved. I catch myself using English slang for days afterwards and hearing Jayne's delivery in my head. Thoroughly enjoyable detecting where a kid is ahead of the cops at every step but not in a smarmy way. Just charming and common sense and a bit wacky.
I was absolutely fascinated by the tangled web that was politics in the 1930s. I found it riveting to hear the details of how FDR managed to get himself elected for a third term, and it was a serious eye opener to hear about Americans like Ford and Lindbergh who actually liked Hitler and believed what he was saying.
Its downright scary to hear a story like this that is so well researched, detailed and precise and then compare it to the times we live in. There are so many parallels in history, right wing versus left wing, that its easy to see in hindsight how Americans made then and are making still some blind decisions and some bright ones too.
Corey Snow does a phenomenal job, pronouncing foreign terms and names precisely and pacing his reading and tone to keep the reader glued to the story.
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