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Sarah

I live in Beijing and am thoroughly addicted to Audio Books.

Member Since 2012

ratings
47
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • Jurgen

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By James Branch Cabell
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    James Branch Cabell's career was short-lived - his works fit neatly within the 1920s literary escapist culture and then quickly declined in popularity as the author veered away from the fantasy niche. In his heyday, Cabell garnered praise from several of his contemporaries such as H. L. Mencken and Sinclair Lewis. Lewis even acknowledged Cabell's successful Jurgen in his 1930 Nobel Prize address.

    Thomas says: "I think a must read..."
    "Interesting jaunt into yesteryears"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It largely depends on the friend--while I think this would make one of my acquaintances doing a DPhil in Medieval Literature squeal with glee, I'm not sure it's for everyone. If you have an appreciation for grail literature or classical works then this will probably suit you quite well.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    He does have a nice (errr perhaps naughty) whit that still translates quite well to a modern audience. However, bits of it seem a little bit stilted and I sometime found myself losing patience with the plot.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I thought the performance was a little bit too dry. I like the reader's voice, but thought it was more soothing than entertaining, and this does not help you pay attention when the plot is lagging a bit


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

    Yes definitely, I think I'd probably enjoy the film more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Price: Blood, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tanya Huff
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (209)

    Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that begin plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki, in an attempt to stop these forces of dark magic, is forced to renew her relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci - along with another, unexpected ally…. Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his life how to blend with humans; how to deny the call for blood in his veins.

    Jennifer says: "Off to a Good Start"
    "Entertaining but dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I think the story line and the characters are both quiet good, but the writing isn't good enough to make either shine. I think for a first book, and one written in the early 90s, it's not a bad work, but it's not engaging enough to make it a decent read or to compensate for the dated feel of the work--often the plot line relies too heavily upon no one having mobile phones.

    I did think that the narrator is quite good and does quite a lot to make up for what is lacking in the writing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8372)
    Performance
    (7675)
    Story
    (7683)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Mesmerising and beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Goldfinch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Once again Donna Tartt has delivered a masterpiece. This book is rich, deep, and poignant. She takes you through the evolution of a single life and masterfully brings together threads into an engaging and beautiful tale.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I would say the ending was almost unexpectedly deep and moving. Tartt is not an easy writer to digest, and her work rarely leaves things tied up with conventional neatness--yet this ending was masterful, with the poetic philosophical ponderings that underlie the whole book tweaked out in a way that was neither trite nor jarring with the narrative of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. It left me wanting start the whole thing over again once I had finished, yet also deeply content.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2570)
    Performance
    (2368)
    Story
    (2368)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Touching and Vivid Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Golem and the Jinni the most enjoyable?

    The characters seemed to spring to life from the pages. One thing I really loved about the book was its grounding in Historical fiction--with a bit of a twist. It's almost reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I loved this book, it had everything: brilliant setting, unpredictable plot, and very real characters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Golem and the Jinni?

    Spoilers:

    When the Jinni regains his memories; when Sala sees the Jinni's figurines, When the Golem first reaches New York in such a confusing whirl.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Over Soho: Peter Grant, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (638)
    Story
    (636)

    Body and soul. The song. That's what London constable and sorcerer's apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho's 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body - a sure sign that something about the man's death was not at all natural but instead supernatural. Body and soul - they're also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho.

    Tango says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Moon Over Soho to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I think Kobna's voice adds great depth to this book--he brings out the humour of the writing and the feel of the characters with brilliant adeptness.

    His voice helps bring the story along, and imbibes the story with a reality that it would lack confined to the page by itself.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It enthralled me, if in a slightly more languid way than at "the edge of my seat"


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

    It made me happy, and at point chortle with glee.


    Any additional comments?

    So far I would say this is my favourite of Ben Aaronovitch's work. If you liked Rivers of London (Midnight Riot American Title), then you will LOVE Moon over SoHo.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Steven Sherrill
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (758)
    Performance
    (712)
    Story
    (712)

    Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love.

    Cathy says: "Full of surprises, delightfully unexpected"
    "This Book made me miss the South"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel the most enjoyable?

    I loved the premise of the book firstly--as an Ancient History major and genuine Souther Girl, this book combined my roots and the end product is both fantastic and believable.


    What other book might you compare The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel to and why?

    I have really never read anything quite like it. It's pure myth grounded in the very real and visceral south with a good side helping of southern cooking thrown in the mix. The result--tantalisingly delicious.


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

    The voices of the characters come through more vividly--this makes the story itself more believable than it would be just taking place inside your own head.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I did


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a big fan of most of the Neil Gaiman Presents books, but this stands out as one of my favourites. I look forward to reading more Sherrill's work--and hope that it carries with it the same brilliant taste of Southern American culture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Drowning Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Caitlin R. Kiernan
    • Narrated By Suzy Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (202)

    India Morgan Phelps - Imp to her friends - is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth - or from something far, far stranger....

    Diane says: "A Modern Haunting"
    "A eye-opening Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Drowning Girl rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High up the list.


    What other book might you compare The Drowning Girl to and why?

    I've never read anything like it. I think Kiernan has created something wholly individual that is part reality, part myth, deeply personal, and entirely true.


    Have you listened to any of Suzy Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't, but I would love to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Imp is describing how she first saw the drowning girl painting in the museum, and I felt as if I was sitting on the bench beside her.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this book! Let the story suck you in and flow over you like a cool river. I loved listening to this book and how the story unfolded in the very unique brain of the character Imp as she fights to understand what is real, and what is the creation of her mind. This book will make you laugh, cry, and be so very glad you gave it a chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1761)
    Performance
    (919)
    Story
    (929)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "A New Favourite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Oryx and Crake to be better than the print version?

    Yes, though I don't think I would with most of Atwood's work. I think the narrator of this book draws greater strength from the story than it would have otherwise.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the futuristics world she's created, more vibrant and more realistic than some of her other work (eg the Handmaid's Tale). I also love the strength of the main character and his steadfastness in the face of everything that's happened. I also love how Atwood lets the story unfold in part, jumping around in the narrative to shape something that is more fulfilling and complete than chronology.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last one, though I was loath to keep reading as it meant the book would soon be over...


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes definitely, and for the most part I did!


    Any additional comments?

    Try it out. This book will challenge you, your visions of the future, and even what you think you know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Riot: Peter Grant, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1224)
    Performance
    (1114)
    Story
    (1111)

    Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

    Nancy J says: "I LOVE this Book!"
    "Brilliant Escapism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Midnight Riot the most enjoyable?

    I love this book--I think Ben Aaronovitch has done a brilliant job weaving together myth, folklore, history, and an old fashioned detective story. His characters are vivid, charming, and funny. The sort of people you'ld like to meet in a pub (though maybe not work with).


    What did you like best about this story?

    The setting--it made me homesick for London. It's very hard to separate the story from the setting, but I can't on earth imagine why you would want to.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably when we meet Constable Grant and he meets the ghost. I like how vivid the scene is, and how easy it is to suspend disbelief with this tableau. I love the narration from inside Constable Grant's head--the book wouldn't be half as funny without it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    This isn't the kind of book that's going to make you feel soppy or cry. You're going to laugh--a lot. Just go with it.


    Any additional comments?

    Waiting for the next instalment with glee.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • METAtropolis

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, and others
    Overall
    (1993)
    Performance
    (1754)
    Story
    (1793)

    Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.

    Anthony says: "Painful"
    "Not a fan of SciFi in general, but loved this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of METAtropolis to be better than the print version?

    Perhaps, I think the different (and skilled) actors definitely added to the overall experience.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how vividly the authors created this idea of the future and how much they grounded everything in realism. It made relating to the characters and letting yourself get swept away with the story both easy and enjoyable.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I honestly think my favourite part was in the city pig farm, it just seemed to visceral and mundane yet strangely compelling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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