I am a big Tom Robbins fan and have read almost all of his books. He has a very unconventional sense of humor and a joie de vivre that some people find disconcerting. I did like this book, but I didn't think it was one of his best. The story is complicated and you do have to stick with it at times, as it gets kind of confusing. But that is Mr. Robbins' style: to twist a familiar theme until you begin to see it from the inside out. I have gotten some great insights from his books in the past, but I couldn't get close to any of characters in this novel or their predicaments. Part of the difficulty may be with the reading itself. The reader's attempts at the various accents, especially the asian ones (which sound like something from a Monty Python sketch), were highly stereotypical and difficult to relate to.
Don't get me wrong, there is some good material presented in this book. But not being a biblical literalist I found some of it a little hard to take. If you do take the Bible literally then you might find this book to be of some value. Otherwise you have to bear with the more preachy sections to find the things that may work for you.
The two female authors of the book, one middle aged and one in her twenties, take turns reading the passages. They switch constantly, which I found to be quite a distraction and both have semi-annoying voices. Even though they take pains to make the reading sound personal it's very difficult to follow.
This is one of my favorite Kerouac books, and I was very pleased to see it offered through Audible so I could listen to it for the first time. The narrator does an excellent job capturing the mood of the book and adds just enough "personality" to each character to carry the story along without being intrusive. As for the story itself, if you develop an appreciation for Kerouac's rambling semi-autobiographical style and find it enjoyable, you will find this is one of the more approachable of his works. He has a definite flair for descriptive passages, and you will find yourself swept along as he journeys from North Carolina to Mexico to California and to the mountains of Washington State. A very worthwhile listen!
Brian Jacques once again transports us to the magical country of Mossflower and Redwall Abbey, with it's brave and wise beasts, and evil, marauding vermin. The story of Lonnar Boldstripe and his quest for revenge is interwoven with the quest of Briggoon and Sarabando to find a cure for the paralysed haremaid Martha. The two stories mesh togother nicely and the ending is both happy and bittersweet. The production values on the audio are first class, with a large cast investing the characters with individual voices and personalities.
Although this is ostensibly a book series for children, much of the action would be a little too violent for the young ones and could cause nightmares. It is one of the best audio interpetations I have ever listened to, no surprise, give the author's background in radio, and his involvement in the project as both narrator and executive producer. Well worth acquiring, whether you are a long time fan of the Redwall series or a first time listener.
I have always thought that Anne Rice was running out of steam by the time the she came to write Beauty's Release, the last of the three books that make up the erotic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. The language and situations get a little repetitive, and even the introduction of a new character and setting doesn't help all that much. Still, the story wraps up nicely and you get the feeling that all the characters get what they want, or in Beauty's case- deserve. As with "Beauty's Punishment" the narration is performed by two different readers, one male and one female. The woman does an excellent job with Beauty's chapters, but the man has a difficult time of it and his voice and diction are a definite distraction from the sensuality of the story. Of the three books, definitely my least favorite, but worth getting for a couple of good descriptive passages and just to find out what happens in the end.
No one can argue with the power of this material and the excellent writing of Miss Rice, writing as A N Roquelaure. I've read all three novels in book form and found them a very enticing retelling of a familiar fairytale. But, somewhat like the main character, Beauty, this audio book varies between being good and being very, very bad. There are two narrators, one for the third person chapters dealing with Beauty and one for the first person chapters dealing with Prince Tristan. The female narrator is quite accomplished, and manages to give the steamy material the proper inflection and passion. The male narrator is just awful and I really wonder why on earth he was even asked to do the book, since this sort of reading is so painfully out of his range. If the woman had been reading the whole book I would have given this a 5 out of 5.
One of the most inspirational and informative books I have ever read. The audio production is sympathetic to the material and never gets in the way of the message.
As much as I enjoyed this book by Nicholas Sparks I couldn't help thinking that the childhood that he and his brother recall so fondly all through the book was actually one of neglect and abuse. Their mother, in her attempts to make them tough, sounds as though she went way, way overboard. Their father was distant, abusive and resentful. It gets quite depressing in parts and anyone who is expecting a cheery round the world travelogue had better look elsewhere. The audiobook is well produced and well read, but there are annoying musical interludes at the end of each chapter. Three stars because I couldn't relate to the sugar coated reminiscenses of the Brothers Sparks.
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