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Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!

Japan | Member Since 2010

  • 24 reviews
  • 323 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2015

  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    Volume two in this series consists of one novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and two collections of short stories, which include "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" (a total of 23 stories). These creations by Doyle represent the finest work of his Holmes series, and certainly the most famous.

    T. says: "a list of what you'll find in Volume 2"
    "a list of what you'll find in Volume 2"

    The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published in The Strand as additional episodes of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, between December, 1892 and November, 1893):

    The Adventure of Silver Blaze
    (The Adventure of The Cardboard Box) *(see below)
    The Adventure of The Yellow Face
    The Adventure of The Stockbroker's Clerk
    The Adventure of The "Gloria Scott"
    The Adventure of The Musgrave Ritual
    The Adventure of The Reigate Squires
    The Adventure of The Crooked Man
    The Adventure of The Resident Patient *(see below)
    The Adventure of The Greek Interpreter
    The Adventure of The Naval Treaty
    The Adventure of The Final Problem

    *(I almost titled this review: "The Curious Case of The Switched Introductions" because The Adventure of the Cardboard Box, which is listed in the order it appears above in my physical book of Holmes stories, is absent from this audiobook, but the introduction to Cardboard Box suddenly pops up in the middle of the introduction to The Adventure of The Resident Patient. Very curious! I assume that, for whatever reason, it was decided that Cardboard Box wouldn't appear on this audiobook, but that the part of the introduction that shows how Holmes can deduce someone's thoughts from observing their facial expressions shouldn't be left out, so that section of the Cardboard box introduction was added to the Resident Patient introduction. Incidentally, what comes from this is that the scene changes from being a hot day in August to a windy day in October, so it can be confusing because one minute Watson is telling us that his service in India trained him to stand heat better than cold, and the next he's bundling up against the chilly night air.)

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published in The Strand between October, 1903 and January, 1905):

    The Adventure of The Empty House
    The Adventure of The Norwood Builder
    The Adventure of The Dancing Men
    The Adventure of The Solitary Cyclist
    The Adventure of The Priory School
    The Adventure of Black Peter
    The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton
    The Adventure of The Six Napoleons
    The Adventure of The Three Students
    The Adventure of The Golden Pince-Nez
    The Adventure of The Missing Three-Quarter
    The Adventure of The Abbey Grange
    The Adventure of The Second Stain

    The Hound of The Baskervilles (novel, published in The Strand between August, 1901 and April, 1902)

    (Chronologically "The Hound" appears before the stories of "The Return" in the canon, but I can see why it appears last on the audiobook, as one tends to want to hear of Holmes' return from his fate in The Final Problem right away.)

    42 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
    "Satisfyingly comprehensive and well edited"

    After purchasing, you can download the guide, which explains how this collection was edited. I think they made good choices. The narrator is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Benedict Flynn
    • Narrated By Sean Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    These stories are about how, many years ago, Arthur the once and future King of England, set out to save his country from the troubles that plagued it, aided by the brave knights of the Round Table, and the most famous sword in the world, Excalibur. How Merlin the Wizard fought against the wicked Morgana le Fay's enchantments, and how Arthur loved and lost the beautiful Guinevere, his Queen.

    Toni says: "A Voice to be Heard"
    "Perhaps not for young children?"

    I have the Howard Pyle version, which is fine - a classic for sure, but a little on the wordy side and a bit dry for my 7-year-old daughter. I thought this shorter version would be more accessible for her. It's exciting - Sean Bean's narration and the soundtrack make it a good listen. But I'm glad I previewed it before playing it for my daughter. I'm no prude, but I don't want my young daughter to hear about the Lancelot, Arthur, Guinevere love triangle just yet. In this version, Lancelot spends the night with Guinevere while she's married to Arthur, and they're accused of being lovers. Also, Arthur and Lancelot both father sons resulting form bizarre encounters with women who trick them. I've read many versions of the Arthurian legend (from Marion Zimmer Bradley, etc.), so it's not like I was unaware of these events and character connections. I just didn't expect them to come up in a version supposedly for young children. I think I'll wait a few years before exposing my daughter to these complex adult themes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Road from Coorain

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jill Ker Conway
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso

    In the 1930s, Jill Ker's parents bought a sheep farm on the western plains of New South Wales. In 1944, they lost nearly everything when a drought hit. Forced to leave Coorain, 11-year-old Jill and her mother settled in Sydney where Jill struggled to find a place for herself among Sydney's elite. Her story, both a chronicle of life in the Australian outback and the odyssey of a brilliant woman fighting the constraints of her time, offers a loving view of Australia.

    Jean says: "Fantastic book"
    "So glad I (finally) listened to my aunt"

    When I was in my early 20s and ready to set off for 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, I asked friends and family to recommend books I might take along with me, and an aunt who knew me well recommended this one. Unfortunately I didn't bring it along, and I didn't get around to reading it until now, nearly 20 years later. So glad I finally did. What a beautifully written memoir! And what a fine example of an intelligent, thoughtful girl's journey of self-discovery. The descriptions of 1940s life in the Australian outback are vivid and fascinating, and the taste of life in Sydney during the author's adolescent years and young adulthood are equally interesting. Barbara Caruso's narration is superb, as usual.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Considered by some to be the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina contains two plots: the tragedy of Madame Karenina, in love with a man who is not her husband; and the story of Konstantine Levin, a sensitive man whose personal philosophy is Tolstoy's reason for writing about him.

    D. Littman says: "A classic, classically read"
    "Nadia May Makes a Great Classic Greater"

    The only thing that prevented me from giving this audiobook 5 stars is that the recording quality is not great - you can hear echos, and that can be annoying. But at least they're echos of Nadia May's excellent narration! I read this novel quite a while ago and thought I'd reread it - so glad I chose the Nadia May narration! She reads the entire novel as though she's as absorbed in the story as possible, which in turn causes the listener to be as absorbed as possible. This is much appreciated when the novel is this long! Of course Tolstoy's writing is excellent, so that, too, draws one in. I still feel the same way I did 15 years ago when I first read this classic: Why isn't the title "Levin" instead? Even with Nadia May's talented voice to animate her, Anna failed to captivate me as a character compared to the self-analytical, soul-searching Levin. Regardless, "Anna Karenina" remains one of my favorite books, and I certainly am glad to have found an audio version to adore as well!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Volume 1: The Ring Sets Out

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis

    In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

    Jay says: "A joy to hear"
    "Great (but pricey) production"

    Rob Inglis is the perfect narrator for this story. I just wish the book wasn't sold in six separate parts - very (and unnecessarily) pricey. But I bought and enjoyed all six anyway - the story is too well written, and Rob Inglis does too good a job reading it, to stop after the first one.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "Grim and Compelling"

    If you're a Harry Potter fan, then you'll understand when I say that reading "The Casual Vacancy" is like reading a novel set entirely in Little Whinging. If you haven't read the Potter books, suffice it to say that throughout this listen I felt as if I were driving by a tragic car wreck...and just couldn't look away. The characters are real and flawed. The story is dark and raw. The plot twists kept me guessing. I didn't particularly love any of the characters, and yet I was drawn to them, and I wanted to know how things would turn out for them. But there was no relief from the meanness and pettiness of ordinary life in a small town like one finds in the Potter books, no Hagrid or Dumbledore popping in to whisk us away to the world of magic and adventure. Not that I was expecting that. I knew what I was getting myself into. But I couldn't help wishing for such a thing throughout the listen. Still, I resonated with the social commentary, and I found J. K. Rowling's writing to be just as satisfying as I always have. The narration was highly enjoyable. Tom Hollander did a great job of portraying each character with a distinct voice.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael Davis
    • Narrated By Caroll Spinney

    When the first episode aired on Nov. 10, 1969, Sesame Street revolutionized the way education was presented to children on television. It has since become the longest-running children's show in history, and today reaches 8 million pre-schoolers on 350 PBS stations and airs in 120 countries. Street Gang is the compelling and often comical story of the creation and history of this media masterpiece and pop culture landmark.

    Scott says: "An important subject, but hardly gripping"
    "Now I love Sesame Street even more"

    I watched as a kid. I had the toy brownstone and plastic characters. Now I'm a teacher and a mother of a bicultural child, and I have my daughter watch "Sesame Street Old School" videos (episodes from the late 60s and 70s - the ones I grew up on). I've long had a vague awareness that Sesame Street was/is a groundbreaking, well-researched show, but now that I've listened to this audiobook I have a much better understanding of what went into creating it. It's heartwarming to hear about how committed the originators were to achieving their vision. Other reviewers have complained about Caroll Spinney's narration, but for me hearing him tell a story that's so close to his own heart made the experience more meaningful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By D. H. Lawrence
    • Narrated By Veronika Hyks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lady Chatterley's Lover, written in 1928, tells the story of a passionate love affair between an upper class woman and her husband’s gamekeeper, which was thought to be so shocking in its content and its straightforward use of explicit sexual terms, that it was not officially published until 1960.

    Melanie says: "Soooooo much better than 50 shades"
    "satisfying on both counts"

    If you want something racy AND literary, this audiobook is satisfying on both counts, due in large part to the excellent narration by Veronika Hyks.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Middlemarch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By George Eliot
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At the center of Middlemarch is Dorothea Brooke, a thoughtful and idealistic young woman determined to make a difference with her life. Enamored of a man who she believes is setting this example, she traps herself into a loveless marriage. Her parallel is Tertius Lydgate, a young doctor from the city whose passionate ambition to spread the new science of medicine is complicated by his love for the wrong woman.

    Deborah says: "Human nature revealed in all its complexity"
    "So worth it"

    I tried to read this book once or twice over the years and just couldn't get into it. I have vague recollections of not resonating with Dorothea, and giving up when she considers marrying Casaubon. But, due to Nadia May's perfect reading, I now consider this novel to be one of my favorites. There was something about May's inflection that helped me to really understand and admire Dorothea, not to mention several other characters with whom I had hitherto been unable to sympathize. In an attempt to avoid giving anything away, I will resist the urge to copy and paste the last paragraph of the novel here, but suffice it to say that I think making it to the last paragraph would make reading this tome worthwhile even if it din't contain all of its other myriad charms. I will definitely be reading more George Eliot (and listening to more Nadia May) in the future.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin

    Arthur Conan Doyle never wasted time in getting his stories moving. His plots are always direct and refreshingly lucid, and the narrative has a velocity that sweeps you along right to the end. This was no doubt a large part of his immense worldwide success. Not surprisingly, each time he tried to end the series, his fans would howl in protest. But, as he says in the preface to his last collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, all good things must come to an end.

    T. says: "a list of what you'll find in Volume 3"
    "a list of what you'll find in Volume 3"

    His Last Bow (short stories, published 1908-1913, 1917)

    The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
    The Adventure of the Cardboard Box*(see below)
    The Adventure of the Red Circle
    The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
    The Adventure of the Dying Detective
    The Adventure of Lady Frances Carfax
    The Adventure of the Devil's Foot
    His Last Bow (told in the third person)

    The Valley of Fear (Serialized novel published 1914-1915)

    The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published 1921-1927)

    The Adventure of the The Illustrious Client
    The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (Holmes narrates)
    The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone (told in the third person)
    The Adventure of the Three Gables
    The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
    The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
    The Problem of Thor Bridge
    The Adventure of the Creeping Man
    The Adventure of the Lion's Man (Holmes narrates)
    The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger
    The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place
    The Adventure of the Retired Colourman

    *(The Adventure of the Cardboard Box chronologically appears in the canon in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - circa 1892-1893 - but, for some reason, appears in this Volume 3 audiobook.)

    53 of 53 people found this review helpful

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