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S. N. C. Siegel

Hudson Valley, NY | Member Since 2002

ratings
63
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
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HELPFUL VOTES
101

  • Seven Classic Plays

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and others
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    Now, for the first time in audio, Blackstone presents seven great plays in one volume: Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Dumas' Camille, Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Shaw's Arms and the Man, and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. These productions illustrate the development of European drama from ancient times to the threshold of the modern theater.

    S. N. C. Siegel says: "Badly Done Plays"
    "Badly Done Plays"
    Overall

    Please save your money and pass on this collection of plays. None are done very well and the production of Medea is particularly bad. When the director chooses to set the Chorus to music, he/she must emphasize diction and musical quality. Sadly, the director failed on both counts. The chanting is incomprehensible and the music is cheesy. It's hard to wreck Medea but the director succeeded admirably.

    As to the rest: The Ibsen is weak and the Shaw is boring. The productions were produced in 1985. Perhaps 20 years of a renewed interest in audio literature require more sophisticated productions or, perhaps, these productions, produced under the auspices of the Hollywood Theater of the Ear, are simply the product of a consistently bad director.

    39 of 45 people found this review helpful
  • Shades of Milk and Honey

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Narrated By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (184)

    The fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

    Fionna says: "Jane Austen with magic"
    "Narration Ruins Audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Mary Robinette Kowal and/or Mary Robinette Kowal?

    I would definitely read the print or ebook or listen to another book from her if it were read by someone else.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Mary Robinette Kowal’s performances?

    If she were not attempting English accents, perhaps.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Kowal's work was featured on online & John Scalzi's blog, so I purchased it without listening to a sample. My fault. As other readers have noted, her ability to perform an English accent is not good.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Boy Meets Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Levithan
    • Narrated By Nicholas Robideau, the Full Cast Family
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    What if you went to a school where it was actually all right to be who you really are? That's the enchanting place David Levithan has created in his highly acclaimed first novel. But even if the gay kids and the straight kids all get along just fine, even if it's all right for the quarterback to be a cross dresser named Infinite Darlene and the cheerleaders to ride Harleys into the pep rally, the road to true love is still a strange and winding path, as Paul discovers when he meets the boy of his dreams.

    Brian says: "Kudos to Full Cast Audio"
    "A Resplendent Novel Beautifully Performed"
    Overall

    David Levithan's novel Boy Meets Boy simply imagines what life would be like in an American suburb for high school students if there was no homophobia. It is a novel of heightened love, wonder, moral responsibility, grief,and transformation. In other words, it contains all the experiences that encompass the sentimental education of youth. The full cast audio family performs the novel with taste and style. As a theologian and Christian pastoral counselor, I didn't find any moral relativism in the text. The protagonist Paul, is a deeply moral young man, deeply concerned about right action and responsibility toward those he loves. If a reader has a problem with gay folks embracing their sexuality with joy, that person will have a problem with the book. But then, I've always seen a world without prejudice and unnecessary shame as the goal of divine immanence and true religion. A world in which we are accountable to God in our best selves, rather than to the shame and fear foisted on us by unnecessary fundamentalisms. David Levithan describes such a world, and one day, if we are blessed, we may find ourselves living in it. It was good, however, to visit it through such an excellent production. I unreservedly recommend it.

    47 of 62 people found this review helpful
  • The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower I

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7004)
    Performance
    (3416)
    Story
    (3468)

    Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea in the first volume of The Dark Tower series. Roland, the last gunslinger, is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange single-mindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape of good and evil.

    Valerie says: "Just As Wonderful as I Remembered!"
    "Stephen King Writes Another Bad Book"
    Overall

    Stephen King is an amazing author: when he's good he's great and when he's bad, he's awful. Gunslinger is Stephen King at his worst. It's pointless, plotless and overwritten. In the Gunslinger, Stephen King never met an adjective he didn't like. Like so many successful authors, it seems no one is willing to edit him. He never uses 1 word when 50 or 150 will do. And it all adds up to an embarrassingly adolescent climax where third rate metaphysics is proclaimed. While Stephen King's authorial strength lies in his unabashed developmental arrest at the age of 12, sometimes it doesn't work in his favor. "From a Buick 8" didn't have a point, but it was wonderfully written so it didn't matter. Stephen King has never written a book that doesn't disappoint at the climax, but the Gunslinger has nothing to offer and delivers even less.

    9 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • McSweeny's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Michael Chabon, Stephen King
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, has joined forces with the editors of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern to create a collection of action-packed short stories by some of today's most talented names in literature.

    Amazon Customer says: "M2T3=Great Entertainment"
    "Skip This Book"
    Overall

    Not a very good collection of stories. Nick Hornsby writes wonderfully, but his plot is weak and derivative. Dave Eggers is the most over-rated writer of his generation. Elmore Leonard's story is well-written. Michael Crichton's story is pointless. It's good to fall asleep to, however. The reader performs the stories in a hushed and sleep-inducing fashion. The title is supposed to make anxiously hip readers feel ironically ok with reading despised genre tales. Poor tragically hip folks. Skip this book and purchase the audible recordings of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine available on this site. The writing is infinitely better.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Blackwood Farm

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (556)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (215)

    A story of youth and promise, of loss and the search for love, of secrets and destiny, Blackwood Farm brings together the Vampire Chronicles and the story of the Mayfair Witches, and is Anne Rice at her mesmerizing best.

    K E Courchaine says: "She is back!"
    "Anne Rice's Novels Continue Their Decline"
    Overall

    This book is terrible. Anne Rice's writing continues its decline into cliche and self-parody. Her neo-gothic style has, by this point, lost its assurance and believability. She was once a very good writer, then wrote many ok novels, but is now a hack. Celebrity status has destroyed what was once a potentially formidable talent. And while I am sure she is crying all the way to the bank, it's sad to see the ruinous state to which her writing has sunk.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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