Now "chick book" could label many books like those you'd find in Oprah's book club like "Lovely Bones," or a classic feminine erotic piece like "Lady Chatterly's Lover," but those books are also fine works of literature. This book is just a chick book. It's your formulaic Anita Blake sort of working girl in a supernatural, yet mundane world, which could have great potential as a work of contemporary fantasy if it weren't such a bloody "chick book." I had to stop listening when she got into a ten minute description about shoe shopping. Women's fashion can be handled subtly and in an entertaining way, like in "Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys," but this book overdid it a bit, but that's just my opinion.
Not for dudes.
As classic erotica goes it was enjoyable for the most part. Unfortunately, too often Victorian work goes to the dark with people being forced into situations they don't want which modern or sane audiences would disapprove of. And in too many cases the characters involved in the situations were too young for a modern audience. But the happy, adult stories were enjoyable and the narrator did a wonderful job with her sensual, breathy delivery. Also, not personally being a fan of birch branches, I can't recommend some chapters, but if you are, do enjoy.
Cecelia Tan reinterprets Anderson's classic in a sweet and romantic manner full of passionate imagery. Foss' breathy narration shapes it into an experience as teasing and sensual to the ear as a soft breeze on a warm day is to the skin.
When you're in the public domain you get adapted and sold a lot if you were successful in your time. I bought this because it seemed to have the most enjoyable narrator of the nine versions of this book available on Audible alone. Many of the rest were either poor old recordings or were read by someone who sounded very "Southern Gentleman dandy" while the narrator of the story was a man of war and action. It's a classic sci-fi so it encounters the old sci-fi problems here and there of gender bias, though not as much racism as your Lovecrafts or Conans.
Worth your time if you're up for some old timey science fiction. The story is fun and the characters are mostly naked.
Phillip Pullman has created a rich and engaging multiverse with the "His Dark Materials" series. It's an epic trilogy with characters you can love, worry for, and rejoice with. In these full-cast recordings of the trilogy you get the added aspect of an ensemble cast of voice performers bringing many different backgrounds and talents together to create a richer world. Sometimes described as "An Atheist Narnia," the series stands out in its approach to fantasy that moves in an exciting adventure with a solid three-book arc. And Pullman himself, as the narrator, has a deep, soft narrator's voice, putting one in mind of a grandfather reading them a story. I might draw a vague parallel to a British Garrison Keillor.
However, it has its drawbacks. I recommend listening to the book first before reading these so you can enjoy it more without being on the lookout for them:
Pullman is a talented writer, but he does write as though he's being paid by the word. There are stretches of dialogue and description added that don't benefit the story and tend to slow it down. Some might argue that he gets a bit preachy and didactic (if I'm using that word correctly). The book, like too many fantasy series somewhat lacks a sense of whimsey, taking itself a bit too seriously for what it is. As an intermediate-level read, that can be forgiven, but one would hope for some joviality, especially in a universe (multiverse?) with talking animals. I'm not saying they all need to be voiced by Eddie Murphy, but please lighten up a bit.
As for the full cast, while I can't express enough how much it enhanced the story, it too had its drawbacks. Some of the actors went into total maudlin melodrama overdrive in their performances that made repeat listens a bit of a chore. Some find the main character of Lyra a bit annoying to begin with, but when you actually hear her whine instead of modulating it with your mind's ear, it gets a bit more trying.
All in all, three or four stars depending on your mood and age. I recommend the series at least once. Worth your credits.
If you're over twelve, don't buy this book. Grown-ups will not enjoy it.
First off, the narrator is not good at reading audio books. Every voice he does sounds the same or annoying, and the flow of his reading just fights the enjoyment, with inappropriate pauses everywhere. Just my opinion, of course. There is an audio preview, so you judge. The plot and dialogue are just not well-done. It reads like a ten hour chapter book. If you have a child under fourteen, I'm sure they'll enjoy it, but unlike your Rowlings or your Eoin Colfers, or your Pratchetts or even Nix at his worst, it's just not good enough for an adult audience. If an abridged version comes available with a different narrator, that might be a good purchase.
I had to stop listening to this one after about an hour. The writing was a tad simplistic, the narrator's delivery could be better, but the main character, Daine is poorly characterized, badly written, and annoyingly performed. My appologies to Miss Pierce for my blunt delivery of my views.
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