San Dimas, CA, United States | Member Since 2010
I have long been a fan of Nevil Shute's books. I had read Pied Piper over 40 years ago, and though I enjoyed it then, I wouldn't have listed Pied Piper in my all-time top 10 favorite books. Oh what a difference a few decades can make!
The main character, John Howard, is an elderly Englishman on a fishing holiday in France. The story takes place at the beginning of WWII, before Germany invades France. Though he is not totally thrilled to do so, John Howard agrees to take two young English children back to England when he returns. Thus the story begins.
The author weaves together smaller story lines throughout the book. I particularly enjoyed how Nevil Shute developed John Howard into a selfless man, a true hero. I could almost see Mr. Howard's heart grow as the story was told.
The narrator, David Rintoul, did a fine job. The author begins the Pied Piper as if a man in a pub was telling others what John Howard had done. The narrator captures that feeling and makes you want to pull your bar stool closer to hear this amazing tale.
The Pied Piper is one of my favorite audiobooks. I'm glad I rediscovered this great story.
Sue Monk Kidd has written a good story. What transforms The Invention of Wings into a great story is the narration done by Jenna Lamia and Adeparo Oduyo. Although the story differs from The Help, The Invention of Wings shares the same quality of a great listen. I found myself putting off things needing to be done just so I could listen longer. Jenna Lamia, as Sarah Grimke, stuttered beautifully and Adeparo Oduyo WAS Handful Grimke. Both narrators were spot on with their southern accents and dialect.
I highly recommend The Invention of Wings. This is one of those books that is better to listen to than to actually read. It will be a credit well spent.
I probably wouldn't have finished this book nor given Round the Bend more than 2 stars if the author hadn't been Nevil Shute. I am a great fan of Mr. Shute's books. Unfortunately this story was not one of his best. Round the Bend is actually the worst book out of the 7 Nevil Shute novels I have read. Jeff Telfer did a good job narrating the story. His female voices are a bit weird but over all he did a fine job with all the different accents.
Would I recommend Round the Bend? There were moments when Nevile Shute's great storytelling broke through but unfortunately those moments were few and far between. For the greater part of the book I wanted to shout at the main character to get on with his life. Bottom line, if you are an avid fan of the author, have a go at Round the Bend. Otherwise don't waste your credits when there are so many other fine books written by Nevil Shute.
What's not to like? The book just wouldn't be the same if it weren't read by Penny Marshall but it took me a bit to get used to her voice. By the end of her book I still wanted to hear more, so maybe my ears were the problem. I'm just glad I came across My Mother Was Nuts. Penny Marshall is so much more than LaVerne. She shares her ups, downs and adventuring all arounds, with honesty and heart. My Mother Was Nuts is like a visit from an old friend. I hope Penny stops by again soon.
Way back in the mid seventies my first husband and I divorced. We argued over the custody of three things - our son, the dog and a book, The Legacy. I won 2 of the 3 items (he got the dog). Through the years I delighted in both my son and rereading Nevil Shute's wonderful book. The Legacy was renamed A Town Like Alice. (Personally I feel the original title fits the story better)
I enjoyed A Town Like Alice so much that when my second husband and I traveled to Australia in 1999 I insisted we visit the outback, Alice Springs in particular. We spent 2 nights and 3 days on a working station just outside Alice. I kept looking for Joe or Jean to come greet us.
What makes A Town Like Alice such a great book to read is the completion of an interesting and complex storyline. A Town Like Alice takes place in England, Malaysia and Australia. The first part of the story occurs during World War II. That part of Nevil Shute's story is somewhat historically correct. It's interesting to read about the women taken prisoner by the Japanese in Malaysia, and the strength if the human spirit. This novel has everything - war, survival, a legacy, romance, business savvy, friendship,humanity and more.
I highly recommend A Town Like Alice. It is a great book to read and an equally fine audible book. Robin Bailey, the narrator, is easy to listen to. He does well portraying all the various characters throughout the story. A Town Like Alice will not disappoint you.
I love Nevil Shute's books. I thoroughly enjoyed In Old Captivity up until the ending. My goodness, what an ending dear Nevil came up with for this book. The story line was flowing along, building upon growing relationships and trust between the main characters and then . . . apparently Mr. Shute had a deadline to meet, or a dinner growing cold. Instead of seeing the storyline through, the author seemed to write a quick, silly, ending to In Old Captivity. Still, up until that point, the book was another good read (or listen) by the great writer.
The narrator, Cameron Stewart, has a fine male voice. His "female" voice sounds a bit like your Uncle Fred imitating your grandmother. It's a little annoying at first but it doesn't take away from the overall narration. (Luckily there are few females in the story)
Would I recommend In Old Captivity? For those of us that are Nevil Shute fans - yes. However this book is not a good choice to introduce or intice readers to Nevil Shute. Of the 7 books written by Nevil Shute that I've read so far, In Old Captivity was my least favorite. That being said, I'm still a great fan of Shute's writing and glad I read In Old Captivity.
As another reviewer remarked, this is a difficult book to review. There were portions of the book I enjoyed, other sections I found strange. Oscar's struggles and grief over his father's death were poignant, often bringing tears to my eyes. Yet there were also portions of the story that were just plain odd. As the audiobook went on I began to dread hearing Oscar's grandmother as she read her letter. The grandfather, at least for me, wasn't quite as annoying, although he too was an odd cookie.
The narration for Oscar was excellent. The narrator (Jeff Woodman) captured Oscar's different emotions beautifully. He gives a 5 star performance. I didn't care for the narration of the grandmother, and felt Barbara Caruso's reading was flat.
Would I recommend Extremely Loud and Incredibily Close? Yes, overall I enjoyed the book, in spite of Oscar's strange grandparents. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a funny, sweet, touching story with a bit of oddity added in.
The story was far different than I expected. In fact I had to go back and listen to the beginning again because I had such a different mind set than the story being read. In the end I'm glad the author didn't write the typical friendship book I had in mind. You must listen carefully throughout the story. Many things are set up by Julia in the first half of the story, Maddie then brings everything to light in the second half. This is no trivial BFF story. Julia and Maddie are thrown together by the war. From that shared experience a deep and mature friendship is formed. A friendship that reaches out farther than either woman feels capable of going. I highly recommend this book. It is fiction but well researched and could have actually happened. The narrators do a great job. This is a story that will stay with you for quite awhile.
I have read many of Jodi Picoult's books, and for the most part have found them enjoyable to either read or listen to. Because of that I was eager to hear The Storyteller. However I did find this book a disappointment. I was at the point of giving up on the story, or stories, when the book finally held my interest.
This story is comprised of three stories, one poor, one so so and finally (at least for me) one good story. Perhaps these stories would be less confusing at the beginning if I had the actual book to refer back to. Quite frankly the storyline involving the vampire was totally unnecessary to the overall story. The book would have been better if there had been just Sage's story and Minka's memories of the Holocaust.
The narrators were fine. There were times that Minka's German accent was a bit off, but overall all the narrators were easy on the ear.
My hope is that Jodi Picoult's next book is better than The Storyteller.
The growing relationship between Vivian and Molly was one of the main themes of the book. Though the two characters have a difference of over 70 years in their ages, they discover a "sameness" about several parts of their lives.
I'm not certain that the title Orphan Train is the best title for Christina Kline's book. Yes Vivian's time before, on and after the historical Orphan Train was a large part of the story, but so was Molly's growth and maturing through spending time with 91 year old Vivian. As both characters got to know each other better a friendship blossomed, along with a mutual respect for each other.
Orphan Train, while not one of my top 10 listens, was certainly worth hearing. This book as well as The Chaperone, have brought to light an interesting part of America's past - the orphan trains. The Orphan Train also sheds light on the problems that can occur when older teens age out of the foster care program. The story also reveals that friends can be found in unlikely circumstances and at any age.
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