I've enjoyed so many audiobooks through Audible over the years, but in both this one and Three Cups of Tea, the narrator is a detractor. I don't mind the female voice (despite that it's the autobio of a man) but I am having trouble getting past her awkward inflections. It is as though she's ending a sentence midway through - her delivery sounds like an unprepared first read-through instead of a finished product. The book is interesting but I think I'll have to finish the print version one day instead of listening on my commutes.
It's a lecture by a college professor, so I recommend imagining yourself in a classroom setting surrounded by students. That will make her approach, tone, and style feel more appropriate. She uses a highly animated style that made me think she normally teaches freshmen, but it did keep my ears and mind attuned, which is the gold standard for any teacher. (Since she starts out by describing how it feels to be presenting with no audience before her, the applause at the end of each section seemed silly.) Unfortunately, she is the second of two Great Courses writing instructors who cannot pronounce the word "sentence." (They both pronounce it "sennence"'; the other lecturer's course is actually on building better "sennences"!) I thought I'd get used to it, but never did. However, overall I learned a good deal, and from my perspective, that's what a great course is all about!
I've already begun applying some of her recommendations about the narrative arc, researching the topic, pacing and narrative tension, etc, as well as guidance on publishing. Last week, a magazine told me that my recent work has been "even stronger than before," and I believe this course has made the difference. " I've listened to some sections more than once and expect I'll continue to revisit it.
It would be helpful to have a list of the chapters by topic--a syllabus or table of contents-- allowing readers to choose among the lectures or revisit certain material. I did sometimes feel I'd prefer more examples drawn from nonfiction rather than fiction, but I still feel the lectures were quite valuable.
I've listened to this book several times - it's upbeat and very light, but every time I hear it I find just a little bit more insight on finding internal peace. I found the end a bit disappointing because it seemed a little far-fetched in a book that, although sweet and silly in places, always felt down to earth up to that point. I find it pairs nicely with "Opening the Door of Your Heart and Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness" by Ajahn Brahm, which I also bought on Audible.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to try this for free, but I found the descriptions a bit wooden. The "serial killer perspective" at the opening of each chapter seemed to be trying too hard to be creepy, in the way that a TV movie tries to make their killers out to be ooooooh so evil. The characters felt two-dimensional and the plot felt forced. I bailed out halfway through, however, so I can't speak to the ending. The reader seemed decent so I factored that into my rating.
It's always a pleasure to listen to Grover Gardener reading David Rosenfelt's work. Gardener completely captures the "North Jersey" accent and tempo reflected in Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series, and Rosenfelt's stories are always the perfect mix of humor, mystery, and heart. I listen to a wide variety of books, but I always come back to Rosenfelt, Gardener, and Andy Carpenter (and Tara!) when I just want to listen to something I *know* I'll enjoy.
I enjoyed this version of a Christmas Carol. I'm studying Spanish and find that listening in Spanish to books I'm familiar with in English is helpful. I didn't notice anyone in the dramatization using poor grammar like "el mesa" (I was listening for that after reading the prior review - "la mesa" was said throughout) and the accents didn't bother me. What I would have liked was something more descriptive, like the original story. This version doesn't describe important features like the transformation of the door knocker or the overall appearance of the third ghost because it is portrayed through conversation without a narrator. If you weren't familiar with the story, I think you would be wondering a bit, "What did the ghosts look like?" etc. But overall, a decent version worth the tiny price Audible charged.
The stories were interesting and had all of the fine qualities of Charles Dickens' works, but I suppose I was expecting something a little more heartwarming. I realize the problem is not the stories by my expectations, but if you're expecting "Christmasy" stories, you should look up some of the tales online first to see if they are what you're after.
The beauty of this story is what it leaves to the imagination as much as what it describes. It's rich with tense, as well as humorous, undercurrents. I've listened to it more than once and have discovered something new each time. There are endless possible interpretations; this book would not be for someone who wants a clearly spelled out plot resolution. David Warner's narration is completely captivating and only adds to both the subtle humor and the aura of mystery in this classic.
(The 1962 movie is exceptional as well but the more recent version, despite the strong cast, is not worth the time to watch.)
The description of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" made me want to roll my eyes: another book from the dog's point of view. But Stein manages to craft his story such that it isn't hokey or forced. I found myself listening at every opportunity. Welch does a fine job of narration, enhancing the story rather than getting in its way. My only complaint (and it's minor) is the slow music between certain passages, which felt weighty and often went on a little too long. But this is a five-star book and narration, through and through.
This was an audiobook I "couldn't put down." I'd been looking for a book in the style of "The Haunting of Hill House" or "Turn of the Screw," and this one very much fit the bill. The author completely captivates and holds your interest by providing just enough foreshadowing to tease you to the next section. The reader is exceptional - his approach perfectly suited to the tone of the book. Like the prior reviewer, however, I was disappointed in the ending. Nonetheless, I'd recommend the audio book and will look for more by this author.
The concept was intriguing and once it got rolling it kept my interest, but at times it became repetitive. It felt a bit like the book had been both written and edited in sections over a longer period, instead of as a cohesive whole, so that the author and editor would occasionally forget that a point had been made very clearly in a previous chapter. The author also occasionally seemed to stray from the story line now and then, forcing topics like AIDS and the misguided fiction critics in where they didn't seem to fit. On the whole I'm not sorry I chose it, but with some tightening up it could have been far better. The narrator (Kate Reading) was excellent!
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