This is based on the BBC television series of the same name, and if you liked Last of the Summer Wine when it was on the air (1973-2010) you will enjoy this audiobook. It is actually four episodes of the series, from the seventies, with added narration by Peter Sallis/Norman Clegg to transition to an audio program. Other than the added narration, which is entertaining, there is nothing new here - but it's nice to have a few episodes to carry with me when I'm commuting or at work.
Be wary, though, and listen to the samples before you buy both Volumes 1 and 2 as when I purchased them I found they were both actually Volume 1. Audible very kindly refunded my money (these are less than the price of a credit, so don't burn a credit, pay cash), and I give them five stars for customer service! I hope they will post the real Volume 2, as I would like to have it also.
Other reviews have noted that they did not get the correct audiobook with their purchase; I decided to buy it and see for myself, because I like Bill Crider's books – and I figured I could call Audible and get them to fix the issue if it was still linked to the wrong file. I did get A Ghost of a Chance by Bill Crider, so any issue with the download has been fixed.
The book itself was an enjoyable listen. I liked the plot, and the characters are well-developed and likeable. There's plenty of humor to keep you listening. This is something like number 11 in the series; the earlier books are not available on Audible, which is a shame, because it's been years since I read them, and I'd enjoy listening to them on my commute.
I was ambivalent about the narrator, at first, but, overall, Guidall is a good reader for the series - although his characters do not sound like they're from Texas. He is also the narrator of the Longmire series by Craig Johnson, so at first I had to work to keep them separate in my mind, but it got easier.
If you like the Longmire books, this is a series you would probably also like (and so is the Bill Gastner series by Steven Havill). Crider is from Texas and paints a great picture of small-town Texas life and law enforcement. I've already purchased several other audiobooks in the series.
I was disappointed with this program. I did like the format, which gives the spelling of the word, part of speech, and definition and then uses the word in a sentence; however, multiple words are mispronounced, at least one definition is wrong (so far), and some example sentence contradict the meaning. Additionally, some of the sentences demonstrate that the authors of the program do not understand the nuances of the words. Also, although the subject matter is dull (and the example sentences sometimes duller than the definitions), the reader delivers the material in such a flat, toneless way as to put the listener to sleep - when he or she is not shouting the correct pronounciation, that is. I would have gone over the material and made sure that I could pronounce the words - at the very least. A for the idea and the structure, D+ for execution.
The reader mispronounces words and stumbles over moderately complex grammar. Her dramatic 'voices' are distracting and have no place in nonfiction. The sound quality is sometimes okay, sometimes bad (and never great). The flow is very choppy, making me think the playback had stopped or 'skipped' like a scratchy, old 45. If there was an editor, he or she left no evidence. Ditto a producer. Even more stunning, another reader entirely appears occasionally to voice-over a phrase or sentence, and then the original reader reappears. Overall, this is an extremely amateurish production, which is a pity, because the book is worth reading or hearing. Do yourself a favor: buy the ebook and let your Kindle read it to you - its pronunciation is better. That is what I am going to have to do, since listening to this has left me more focussed on the terrible production values than the subject of the book
I cannot stress enough to anyone interested in this book that they listen to several minutes of the sample before they buy.
Unfortunately, Audible would not let me review just the narrator; as for the content of the book, I'm going to let my Kindle read me the free ebook version of this instead - it has to sound better than this.
This was not a book I expected to like. I bought it because I really liked Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and was looking for something else by the same author. My choices were Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...and Unholy Night. I thought I was picking the lesser of two evils when I chose this one.
At first, I thought I probably would not listen past the first chapter or two; I wasn't enthusiastic about the subject matter or the narrator's voice - but before I realized it, I was captivated by the story and grateful for the choice of narrator. Both author and narrator have done a great job.
I found myself laughing aloud at some points, weeping at one point, gasping in surprise and/or horror, and frustrated that people kept interrupting me with piddly stuff like work....
There's nothing here to offend the especially religious or the especially unreligious. It's a very different story than Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter - but having now listened to both, it is Unholy Night that I will replay firrst.
I recommend this book.
I did not expect to like this book. I was surprised to find that I liked it. A lot.
The book is well-written and well-read. It is thought-provoking, but it's also a good story in terms of his medical condition and what was happening around him while he had this experience. I found the author's voice to be pleasant, and the sound quality was very good. I found the author and the family members and friends he describes to be likable and interesting. Overall, this is one of the best books I have read in terms of holding my attention and keeping me listening despite all the distractions around me.
If you are wondering whether or not to buy the book - buy it. Don't get hung up on what is 'proof' and what is or isn't mentioned. This is a good book. It also happens to have a good message, whether you believe Dr. Alexander's experience was 'real' or not.
I bought this book and The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners by Jack Hawley at the same time. FIrst, I can't downlaod both to the same device because Audible gave them the same filename. After dividing them between devices, I listened to both. I loved, loved LOVED the walkthrough by Jack Hawley - but this one (The Bhagavad Gita, read by Jacob Needleman)...not so much.
The Bhagavad Gita is an incredible story with so many layers....none of which are discernable here. The translation itself sounds all right, and the quality of the recording is fine, but the reader...yikes. If his mission is to put me to sleep, he can consider this a triumph. LIsten to the whole sample before you buy - but, until Audible makes another version with a better reader available, I recommend you get the Walkthrough by Jack Hawley instead and give this version a miss.
I really loved this. The author reads his own work here, and he does a very good job. He has a pleasant voice that seems suited to the material. It is not a literal translation word-for-word, more like a distillation in modern English and with the intent to explain the Bhagavad Gita to westerners in particular. He explains the concepts and some of the vocabulary, which I found helpful. There is a sort of soundtrack to the reading, which I did not find intrusive and which I actually thought added something to it - I liked it - but I think some people may find it distracting, so listen to a sample before you buy it. Overall the sound quality was pretty good; I heard papers rattle occasionally, but I became so interested in the material itself that I stopped noticing it if it continued throughout the book. I would recommend this work to anyone who is interested in learning about the Bhagavad Gita or in world religions and beliefs. As soon as I finsihed it, I started it again, because there is a lot to it, and I was fascinated. I wish I'd found this when it was first produced.
I had read some of the reviews of the series before listening to this, and I was afraid I had wasted my credit, but I wasn't disappointed. The book is good - good characterizations, some humor, and a decent performance.
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