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Stephanie L. Thompson

Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 101 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
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  • Moving Pictures: Discworld #10

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (805)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (380)

    Cameras roll - which means the imps inside have to paint really fast - on the fantastic Discworld when the alchemists discover the magic of the silver screen. But what is the dark secret of Holy Wood hill? As the alien cliches of Tinsel Town pour into the world, it's up to the Disc's first film stars to find out...

    Timothy says: "Funny and smart. Escapism at its best."
    "Great Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Terry Pratchett's novels, and I think he has been very lucky in having two excellent readers for the audio versions. There is just so much humor, satire, and depth crammed into every line of a Pratchett novel that you really need a highly skilled reader to do them justice. I feel like Nigel Planer always does a fantastic job with wizards (his treatment of Poons in this particular story had me in stitches) and non-humans, but he struggles with female characters. As much as I thoroughly loved this story, with its positively hundreds of puns and spoofs, I really didn't like how Planer portrayed Ginger. The voice was just annoying and there was nothing remotely feminine about her. The dogs, on the other hand, were spot-on -- again, I was in stitches as I listened. So I do recommend this book (and Planer), but you have to accept that one main character will make you grit your teeth a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moving Finger (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 28 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By June Whitfield
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (22)

    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple. Recuperating from a flying accident, Jerry Burton needs to take a break somewhere peaceful. He and his sister rent a house in the little village of Lymstock, where they know no-one and hope to be able to relax. Their quiet life is shattered, however, by the arrival of an obscene anonymous letter accusing them of impropriety. Jerry refuses to take it seriously and throws it on the fire.

    DJDecca says: "Who is the poison pen?"
    "Pretty Good for a Time-Passer, but Nothing Special"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    June Whitfield has done a very good job of voicing Miss Marple each time she's done it, and the BBC is quite reliable for putting together good casts, good scripts, and overall good performances. I like these radio play adaptations of Agatha Christie because they're a little safer for listening to while driving, in my opinion, than audio books would be -- I say this because with the plays, you don't have to pay as close of attention to every word in order to follow the story, thus enabling you to remain a good, attentive driver. They're nice for airports, too, because you can usually fit one or two right into the average layover. Nothing too deep to weary the mind; just a fun little mystery.

    In this instance, I felt like the BBC trimmed out a few too many of the details, which made the solution and the story itself far less interesting (and also made things less clear than they were in the book). For instance, Joanna's entire storyline was pretty much removed. Those secondary storylines are, in my opinion, part of what makes a Christie novel so enjoyable to readers. So, the story does suffer when you remove them, even though they may not directly advance the main plot. If you are a Miss Marple fan than this might not be the book for you -- her part in this story is very "deus ex machina"-esque, although the BBC manages to insert her a bit more in the radio drama than she appears in the book (in the book, she doesn't really show up prominently until the last fourth or so).

    Most of the cast did quite well, although I really didn't like how they interpreted Megan -- she's kind of a space cadet in the novel, but in this radio play she's so irritating that I could scarcely stand her voice! I kept wishing I could step in and rewrite the script to have her killed off!

    Overall opinion: This is not one of the best Christie adaptations put out by the BBC, but if you are already a fan of the novels, you'll still probably enjoy it. I would buy many of the others before this one, however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cheaper by the Dozen

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Frank B. Gilbreth, Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
    • Narrated By Dana Ivey
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory.

    Mary A. says: "Loved in print, even more in Audio!"
    "Narration: Slighty Less Annoying than Fruit Flies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I was a high-schooler having a rough day and crying in the girls' bathroom, our school librarian found me and gave me a copy of this book. It's one of the most joyful, happy books you'll ever read, and the fact that it's a true story just makes it that much more magical. The Gilbreths were such a fascinating family: parents who were motion study experts raising their twelve children in accordance with the principals of motion study. It's almost as though the parents decided to script out their very own comedy from the beginning! And the love that this family had comes through, too, and (for me, at least) makes you start reminiscing about family stories of your own. In short, every person ought to read this book.

    That being said, this is one of the worst narrations I've come across. In the first ten minutes, I wondered if the narrator was trying to set some sort of speed record, as she was racing through the text so fast that I could barely follow her! To make matters worse, she had the backdrop of a hideously loud incompetent musician belting out poorly scored hits of the gay nineties. I almost returned the book without finishing it at that point, because the loud music (for lack of a better term for the noise) and the speed-demon narrator were about to give me a headache rather than lull me to sleep (as had been my hope). I stuck with it, though, and learned that the narrator does eventually slow down, and the music only happens for the first page or two of each chapter (and is equally terrible each time).

    After we got into the story, my chief complaints were that the narrator makes every child sound cloying and high pitched, and the mother always sounds like a washrag or prude. Quite a disservice to the real Lillian Gilbreth, I felt, since she was such an accomplished and remarkable woman. If I were a child listening to this story, I would likely feel insulted that the narrator was talking down to me, and as an adult listening, I feel like it's a dreadful thing to have happen to such a wonderful story. I stuck with it to the end only because I love the book so much. My advice is to only buy this one if you are a diehard fan of the book -- otherwise, there are simply hundreds are far better narrators to listen to on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prince Caspian: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Lynn Redgrave
    Overall
    (1617)
    Performance
    (491)
    Story
    (514)

    Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are returning to boarding school when they are summoned from the dreary train station (by Susan's own magic horn) to return to the land of Narnia, the land where they had ruled as kings and queens and where their help is desperately needed.

    A User says: "A hidden jewel"
    "Lynn Redgrave Surprised Me!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To be honest, I was a little reluctant to purchase this one because I didn't think I'd like a female narrator tackling Narnia -- and although Lynn Redgrave is a celebrated actress, she's not really my "cup of tea" as a viewer. However, I am now pretty well sold as to her virtues as a narrator.

    Story-wise, you simply can't go wrong with any Narnia book. Or any C.S. Lewis book, for that matter! Prince Caspian marks the second appearance in Narnia for the Pevensies, and it absolutely lives up to the high standard set by The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. This is great story for bringing up interesting doctrinal discussions later with friends/kids/anyone you listen with, but a non-Christian reader could enjoy the story perfectly well without getting smacked over the head with allegory.

    For me, one of the crucial characters to get right in this particular book is Reepicheep. Being a mouse and yet also a noble warrior, he's not the easiest character to give a voice to, and I worried about him coming out too squeaky and/or irritating and thus spoiling the book for me. Fortunately, Lynn Redgrave managed to do quite a decent voice for him, as well as for most other characters. Her reading of Lucy was a bit cloying at first, but you get used to it as the story goes on. I was, frankly, impressed at just how different Ms. Redgrave was able to voice all of the many, many characters in the story. She has a good pace, as well, and really understands how to move with the story, pause at the right moments, etc. I felt that she had a deep affection for the story as she was reading it (or perhaps she really is that great of an actress), which made her storytelling even more effective.

    I still wish they had had Kenneth Branagh do the entire Narnia series, but at least my money was still well spent on this audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4205)
    Performance
    (2675)
    Story
    (2703)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Fantastic Story with Good Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The combination of Pratchett and Gaiman was a truly beautiful thing that absolutely should have culminated in more novels! Their styles weave together seamlessly in this story, with a result that you spend most of it laughing until your sides hurt . . . but you also find yourself doing a bit of thinking.

    The narration, voice-wise and acting-wise, is stellar. I was a little sad not to have one of Pratchett's usual narrators, at first, but I rapidly came to love how Jarvis handled the material. My one complaint, though, is his lack of pauses. He doesn't give space from one section to the next, which actually does compromise the story a bit. It makes some scenes confusing for a minute or so, and renders others a little less effective. My advice is to go ahead and buy this one, because it's still brilliant, but read the book FIRST. That way, you can fully appreciate the full marvelousness of Pratchett and Gaiman's collaboration, and then you can have a great time listening to the story over and over again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Postal: Discworld #29

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    Overall
    (1347)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (581)

    Arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig never believed his crimes were hanging offenses, until he found himself with a noose around his neck, dropping through a trap door, and falling into...a government job? Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may be an impossible task. Worse, the new Postmaster could swear the mail is talking to him.

    Robert W says: "Finally on AUDIBLE!!!"
    "Definitely One of Pratchett's Top Five Novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Moist von Lipwig, the oozingly charming and incredibly clever conman-turned-postal-worker, is probably my second favorite Pratchett character (I think I have to rate Death just a little higher, because he's just such a fantastic anthropomorphic personification). Moist is hilarious to get inside the mind of, and even though he's seemingly irredeamable for the first chunk of the story, you just can't help but root for the guy -- he's such a skilled con artist that he even charms the reader (or, in this instance, listener)!

    On top of Moist, you have Adora Dearheart as his perfect love interest (perfect for giving bystanders great amusement, that is), the inimitable Night Watch, Lord Vetinari (the most genius totalitarian ruler anyone could ever meet), loads of other "usual suspects" from Discworld, and of course some great new characters from the post office and the world of crime, all tied neatly into a hilarious storyline. You really cannot ask for more from a novel.

    I feel that Stephen Briggs is probably the best person possible for narrating a Pratchett novel (although I do like Nigel Planer, too). He does a great job of giving every character their own unique voice/personality, just as Pratchett intended. As much as I love reading these books, I think that Briggs actually emphasizes comedic elements that I sometimes miss when reading -- or maybe he just helps me see the material in a slightly different way. At any rate, I always feel that my money is well spent on these audio books, and this particular one is a clear favorite.

    Word of caution: You might not want to listen to this one in public. I embarrassed myself a bit by snorting and chortling in a socially inappropriate manner on a Beijing bus while listening to this one. Witnesses to my behavior definitely thought I was nuts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guards! Guards!: Discworld #8

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1375)
    Performance
    (493)
    Story
    (496)

    "Where have all the dragons gone?" Explore the crazy, creepy land called Discworld, where you'll discover that the dragons aren't asleep or dead - they're dormant, packed in like huge, scaly sardines.

    Chris says: "More Fun than a Mind Full of Dragons!"
    "You Can't Go Wrong with Pratchett"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I honestly don't think Terry Pratchett is capable of writing a story that is less than excellent. He combines satire, social commentary, fantasy, and slapstick humor into absolute masterpieces -- and the way he uses and twists words about is something akin to a skilled painter with his brush. No matter how ridiculous the character or the situation, there's always something about it that you find yourself recognizing from real life. I've never seen another modern writer with a gift like Pratchett's.

    As for the narration, Nigel Planer is well up to handling the material. I like Stephen Briggs a little bit better, personally, but Planer is also a delight. He really GETS Pratchett, and it's reflected in the treatment he gives to each character and to the story itself.

    The quality of the recording is also quite good. I am immensely pleased with this purchase -- it made a thirteen-hour flight feel much, much shorter because I got so absorbed in listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Word of Promise Complete Audio Bible: NKJV

    • UNABRIDGED (98 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Thomas Nelson, Inc.
    • Narrated By Jason Alexander, Joan Allen, Richard Dreyfuss, and others
    Overall
    (2048)
    Performance
    (1350)
    Story
    (1353)

    This faithful rendering of the New King James Version presents the Bible in more than 90 hours of compelling, dramatic audio theater format.This world-class audio production immerses listeners in the dramatic reality of the Scriptures as never before with an original music score by composer Stefano Mainetti (Abba Pater), feature film quality sound effects, and compelling narration by Michael York and the work of over 500 actors.

    Nancy says: "Majestic listening"
    "Stellar."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is best audio treatment of the Bible that I have ever listened to. The main narration is done in an excellent deep voice that embraces the words while also adding power to them. The sound effects, rather than distracting, add depth and make you feel more present as you listen. I particularly liked Richard Dreyfuss's reading of Moses -- he's a talented actor and he did a great job here. My one complaint was the reading of Esther -- she's made to sound like a sultry vixen, which completely distracts one from the power of that particular story (the real Esther was a scared teenage girl, making this a lamentable piece of poor casting). Ruth, I am happy to say, was handled very well. As for the New Testament, I felt like the reader who handled Paul did the best work -- that's very much how I imagine the real Paul might have sounded. On the whole, this work is truly a masterpiece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Screwtape Letters

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Joss Ackland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (407)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (379)

    A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below". At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.

    James says: "This is the Best Audio Screwtape, a Masterpiece"
    "Joss Ackland + C.S. Lewis = Flawless Pairing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Joss Ackland has SUCH a marvelously deep and expressive voice -- and this was the perfect vehicle for him. I absolutely LOVE his narration and the way he truly brings Screwtape to life. He knows exactly the tone to use with each individual word, and at all right moments gives a throaty chuckle well suited to a senior demon. The book itself is quite thought-provoking, so I was worried about missing some of the finer points of it if I listened rather than read, but Ackland is such an impeccable narrator that I actually got more out of this version than my dog-eared paperback. I really wish Ackland would do more audio books -- I think he's possibly my favorite reader of all time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8960)
    Performance
    (8054)
    Story
    (8190)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
    "Perfect Reader for One of the Greatest Books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had never heard of Rob Inglis before I purchased this book, so I was a tad nervous about actually going through with buying it, even though I desperately wanted to own The Hobbit on audio (it is by far one of my favorite books ever). I need not have feared -- Inglis is absolutely PERFECT as a reader for this story! He has a marvelously rich, deep voice that fits Tolkien flawlessly. There is a warmth that makes it feel almost like the most wonderful bedtime story of your entire childhood -- but Inglis likewise makes the darker portions even a bit darker. I think even Tolkien himself, that notorious perfectionist, would have been thoroughly pleased with Inglis as the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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