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S. Jones

ratings
67
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
105

  • Flashman: Flashman, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By George MacDonald Fraser
    • Narrated By David Case
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    The story of what happened to Flashman, the caddish bully of Tom Brown's Schooldays, after he was expelled in drunken disgrace from Rugby school in the late 1830s. This is the first of George Macdonald Fraser's hilarious satires starring Harry Paget Flashman.

    ScubaTurtle says: "Flashmaniacs Rejoice!!!"
    "The Perfect Antidote to Political Correctness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Flashman in three words, what would they be?

    Depraved. Cowardly. Funny.


    What did you like best about this story?

    To most Americans, the First Afghan War is a little known part of history, and it made me more interested in this period. What happened was horrific. The first part story was infused with comedy, but the second tragic part is pure spell-binding action. Under the circumstances, cowardly as Flashy was, I couldn't blame him for running for his life.


    Which character – as performed by David Case – was your favorite?

    Harold Flashman


    If you could rename Flashman, what would you call it?

    Flashman - it's perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    George McDonald Fraser's had the rare ability to create a likable "hero" who has no heroic virtues and every conceivable vice. He may be selfish, cowardly, and - oh, yes - depraved, but there is wisdom lurking beneath his cynicism. That said, "Flashman" is not for the prudish, the politically correct, or the faint of heart.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By John Franklyn-Robbins
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    War-weary Berlin has much to offer Leonard Markham, a young, naive postal engineer: first the arts of sophisticated intrigue, then the delights of sexual pleasure. But Leonard's new knowledge carries a heavy price, dragging him and the listener into a new type of story that is exhaustively suspenseful and utterly irresistible.

    Geoffrey says: "A little gem"
    "Been There, Done That"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This romance novel for men is unoriginal and lacking suspense. Perhaps it's a testament to our jaded times that the graphic sex is tedious, the espionage lacks suspense, and the gruesome murder fails to shock or surprise. The unrealistic, tidy ending is a joke. The author seems to want to be Graham Greene but ends up being Barbara Cartland. I like the narrator, which is why I stuck with it until the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lancelot

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Walker Percy
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    Lancelot Lamar, a disenchanted liberal lawyer, finds himself confined in a mental asylum with memories that don’t seem worth remembering - until a visit from an old friend and classmate gives him the opportunity to recount his journey of dark violence. It began the day he accidentally discovered he was not the father of his youngest daughter. That discovery touched off his obsession to reverse the degeneration of modern America and begin a new age of chivalry and romance.

    S. Jones says: "Reading Ruins Great Novel"
    "Reading Ruins Great Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been in love with Walker Percy's "Lancelot" since reading it in college more than 30 years ago. It's a great story and in many ways changed my life. This audiobook reading was a disappointment. The narrator works hard at capturing Lancelot's Louisiana-Southern accent but misses the nuances of his very Southern sardonic humor and brings no gravity to his philosophical musings, which are the foundation for the startling ending. What we get is truly a babbling tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I still hope that some day a great reader will come along to give this book the treatment it deserves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Camille: or, The Lady of the Camellias

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Roe Kendall
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Marguerite Gautier, the greatest beauty in Paris, was known to all as “the Lady of the Camellias” because she was never seen without her favorite flowers. She was luxuriously kept by the richest men in France, who thronged to her boudoir to lay their fortunes at her feet. She lived violently, spending herself and her money in reckless abandon. She had many lovers, but she never really loved - until she met Armand Duval.

    S. Jones says: "Seriously Dated"
    "Seriously Dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sensational, syrupy romance involving a French nobleman of middling importance and a tubercular courtesan. This book isn't that long, but you can fast forward 20 minutes at a time and not miss a thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Case of the Gilded Fly

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Edmund Crispin
    • Narrated By Phillip Bird
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (40)

    Yseut Haskell, a pretty but spiteful young actress with a talent for destroying men's lives, is found dead in a college room just metres from unconventional Oxford don Gervase Fen's office. The victim is found wearing an unusual ring, a reproduction of a piece in the British Museum featuring a gold gilded fly but does this shed any light on her murder? As they delve deeper into Yseut's unhappy life the police soon realise that anyone who knew her would have shot her, but can Fen discover who could have shot her?

    Constance says: "Witty, Well Written Classic British mystery"
    "Superficial and Shallow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this cheap trick of a mystery novel, Edmund Crispin distracts his audience scene after trivial scene that kill time and fill space while doing nothing to advance the plot. Information is deliberately withheld so the “detective,” who operates on “intuition,” can appear to be as brilliant as he keeps telling us he is by revealing all in the grand finale. Instead of clues dropped the way, there’s a long, unsatisfying explanation at the end. (Actually, any number of explanations could have been devised to explain why any of the characters could be the murderer.) The characters are such clichéd personalities that they could have been called the Director, the Big Star, the Budding Starlet, the Talentless Jezebel, etc., with one being indistinguishable from the other. Having never before heard of Crispin, I had hoped to discover a new treasure, but now I understand why he is not mentioned in the pantheon of great mystery writers of the 20th century.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (662)
    Story
    (662)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Light Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once upon a time, "Trustee from the Toolroom" might have been classified as juvenile fiction. It's a straightforward adventure story, competently delivered, with manufactured drama, contrived solutions, and no real surprises as the plot steadily unfolds. The likable characters and this author's obvious faith in the goodness of human nature provide enjoyable entertainment in the absence of any real wisdom, deep insight, or challenging message.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Children of Henry VIII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (239)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (218)

    New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir is one of the most popular chroniclers of British and European royal history. In this fascinating book she sheds light on the scheming, backstabbing and brutality that plagued England after Henry VIII’s death. Filled with remarkable and sometimes shocking details, The Children of Henry VIII is an arresting narrative that brings the past to life and infuses it with all the flair of a riveting novel.

    Neil Chisholm says: "A very dysfunctional family!"
    "Brings History to Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't usually listen to non-fiction, but The Children of Henry VIII is as interesting as it is entertaining. I don't know if the author reveals many new details about the lives of Henry's three children; however, she does pull together a wealth of information into one solid book. If you're interested in this period at all, this book is a good place to start.

    Today, Henry VIII is mostly known for his many wives, but his impact on the England of his day - and far beyond - was far more substantial than his reckless love life. This book reveals Henry's legacy, how it affected politics in England long after his death, and, how it was interpreted by his surviving children, who all had strong personalities of their own.

    The narrator, Simon Prebble, is excellent as always!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Heart of a Goof

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By P. G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cecil
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    It was a morning when all nature shouted "Fore!" P. G. Wodehouse leads the listener out on to this little nine-hole course with a collection of nine Golf stories—as observed by the Oldest Member. The stories included are: "The Heart of a Goof", "High Stakes", "Keeping in with Vosper", "Chester Forgets Himself", "The Magic Plus Fours", "The Awakening of Rollo Podmarsh", "Rodney Fails to Qualify", "Jane Gets off the Fairway", and "The Purification of Rodney Spelvin".

    S. Jones says: "Not Just for Golfers"
    "Not Just for Golfers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Heart of a Goof?

    You don't have to be a golfer to enjoy this collection of comic tales from P.G. Wodehouse.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    All of the stories are fairly predictable - boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. This collection is a light but pleasant way to pass a few hours.


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

    Jonathan Cecil is an excellent reader of P.G. Wodehouse's material. He's a master of character, expression, and interpretation - one of the all-time bests!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I enjoyed it, and I would listen to it again.


    Any additional comments?

    The Heart of a Goof is an entertaining addition to the P.G. Wodehouse canon, in the same vein as the Mr. Mulliner tales.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wessex Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Wessex Tales, a collection of short stories including "The Three Strangers", "The Withered Arm", and "The Distracted Preacher", deals with a number of timeless themes seen so often in Hardy’s work: marriage, class, revenge, and disappointed love. Many of the tales have a supernatural tinge, and all are set around Hardy’s much loved homeland.

    Tad Davis says: "A Sampler"
    "Gloomy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Thomas Hardy has earned his place in British literature. Without a doubt, he's a good writer. However, in most of his stories, the conflict is caused by an unhappy love affair and the fate of the characters lies in an extraordinary coincidence, which ultimately ruins their lives. The stories also tend to run on and could have been edited - a lot.

    Neville Jason is a great reader, though. I would not hesitate to buy a book narrated by him.


    Has Wessex Tales turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but now that I understand this author's vision of life, I doubt I would listen to another book by Thomas Hardy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite of the short stories was "The Three Strangers" - involving the search for an escaped prisoner in an isolated farming community. It is quite clever and is the only story in the collection that has a happy ending.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    A better similar collection of short stories based on everyday happenings in the lives of ordinary people is: Rudyard Kipling's stories of India, Tales from the Hills.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

    • UNABRIDGED (47 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    Overall
    (5561)
    Performance
    (4777)
    Story
    (4787)

    The season of gift-giving is here, and this year we've got something special for our members: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Yuletide whodunit "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle". In this holiday-themed short story, Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, follow the trail of a lost hat and a Christmas goose through the streets of London and into a rapidly expanding mystery.

    Katheryne says: "Superb! Love Alan Cumming"
    "The Best Part: It's Free"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Arthur Conan Doyle and/or Alan Cumming?

    I doubt there's a more famous detective in literary history that Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. The Sherlock Holmes canon has been read by many authors, some better than others and most better than Alan Cumming.


    What other book might you compare The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle to and why?

    This is a great introduction to the Sherlock Holmes stories and hopefully will leave you wanting more. When you're finished with Holmes, you can move on to Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, another great fictional detective in his own right, equally fussy and equally brilliant. Or Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Whimsey stories, which raise the detective novel to an art form. The Sayers' novels are not readily available on Audible, unfortunately, but one can always hope.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He doesn't provide enough distinction between the voices of the characters, particularly Holmes and Dr. Watson. I've found that few movie actors make good book readers and usually steer clear of them.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle?

    It's a clever and amusing story - why cut anything?


    Any additional comments?

    Audible kindly provided "The Blue Carbuncle" as a Christmas gift to its members. I hope it will inspire a few listeners to explore other Sherlock Holmes stories and keep alive great fiction from a bygone era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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