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caroline donahue

The Book Doctor

los angeles, ca


  • Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Anne Elliot is a young woman of perfect breeding and unwavering integrity. Austen wrote of her, "She is almost too good for me." Persuasion is the story of Anne and Captain Wentworth and their long awaited union. The world of country gentry in Regency England serves as a setting while portraying the many aspects of proper society - its failings and humor.

    caroline donahue says: "Jane Austen Comes Alive in Audio"
    "Jane Austen Comes Alive in Audio"
    What did you love best about Persuasion?

    This was the only Jane Austen book I hadn't read yet, and I loved listening to it. . I was concerned that I would get less out of an audio version of the book, but this experience made me wonder if I should listen to the others she wrote as well.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Persuasion?

    The point when Anne and Wentworth are finally able to speak freely about their feelings for each other is beautifully done. This is quite a bit more thorough than her other books are when the hero and heroine work out their differences, so it was very satisfying.

    What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was quite enjoyable and Michael Page did a fantastic job creating distinct and recognizable voices for each character that added to my sense of them as people. I also felt his fluency with the somewhat archaic language of Austen's time was easy to understand and made it feel very fresh and contemporary. Someone who doesn't like classics might even enjoy this book given his abilities.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Better late than never, Patience is a Virtue, or Don't Succumb to Persuasion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Alice says: "Happy addition to a difficult genre"
    "Love at first listen!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Her Royal Spyness to be better than the print version?

    After listening to Katherine Kellgren's expert narration, I cannot imagine reading the print edition of any of these books. The voices and the characters were so wonderfully brought to life it would feel like a disappointment to read this series rather than listening.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love Belinda- her accent and approach to life is priceless. Having listened further in the series, I can say she keeps getting better and better.

    Which character – as performed by Katherine Kellgren – was your favorite?

    I'd have to say Belinda as well- her vocalization is fantastic. Many of Belinda's comments made me laugh out loud.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    39th from the throne, your life is still on the line.

    Or- No pantsuits for amateurs.

    Any additional comments?

    A total delight. I have been savoring these, and only listening to Her Royal Spyness books once I have worked my way through the others in my queue. These are a wonderful treat and a great reward.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Still Life

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's nothing more than a tragic hunting accident, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods.

    Sydney says: "a gentle mystery"
    "Life is a little too still in Still Life"
    What did you like best about Still Life? What did you like least?

    I thought the sense of the place and the community was pleasant, but the overall story was quite bland. The situation was quite intense, but the way it was told was quite distant and I didn't feel engaged.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Louise Penny again?

    Probably not. It was a perfectly pleasant book, but nothing grabbed me about it and I find that it hasn't lingered with me in the month or so since I finished it. I can't remember exactly what happened, which isn't a good sign for me with a suspense book.

    What three words best describe Ralph Cosham’s voice?

    Formal, low, and slightly odd

    Could you see Still Life being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I don't think so. It didn't have enough to it to warrant a full film or TV show. It felt a bit like a short story that got stretched out and then was a bit thin where it was filled in.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "So engaging that I don't mind my commute."
    Would you listen to The Rook again? Why?

    Absolutely. I love the narration, which is a bit stylized, but in just the right way for the story. The plot is complex and I very much like the characters, so I can see getting even more out of it the second time.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rook?

    The character has amnesia and is gradually learning about her world through letters from her former self. It was incredibly effective to move through her world with thorough explanation from the former-self character, so I felt I was carried right along with the story. It was a brilliant way to include exposition without it feeling heavy-handed.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I haven't yet finished, so will have to report back later on this.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It is very witty and has made me laugh a number of times so far.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "coy but worth the payoff"

    this book is subtle in the best sense of the word. the author doesn't come out and beat you over the head with imagery, emotion or adjectives. i found the writing clean and precise and thoroughly enjoyable. those who like a lot of swashbuckling and people coming right out with things and emoting all over the place probably won't be happy, but those who are drawn in by poetics and like to reflect on th events as they pass will be enthralled. i had trouble getting out of the car, like others have mentioned.

    i found the narration excellent and well paced. the male voice was perfect for the character and the voices he intorduced for other characters blended in and added to the story. the woman's voice was slow and measured and had an almost meditative quality. i enjoyed this since i was able to take in much more of the story than i normally do with an audiobook. i felt the tone of both voices was excellent for the setting and events of the story. i would listen to other books either of them had read. i think this might be at the top of my list at the moment for favorite audiobooks. enjoy!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Joe Jones

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Anne Lamott
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat

    Jessie's Cafe is a staging place for a group of amusing, entertaining, sometimes raucous but always very real people. Each character is wildly unique yet their human yearnings and shortcomings unite them in a common, and uncommonly strong, bond. This unlikely family includes Jessie, the gorgeous, 79 year-old who owns the waterfront dive. Louise is the cook. Willie is Jessie's gay grandson. And Joe Jones is the deeply devoted and continually unfaithful lover whom Louise tries hard to live without.

    Gayle says: "Rich, Funny and Worth the Listen"
    "narration prevents enjoyment of a favorite author"

    i love anne lamott and once drove twenty miles trying to find a bookstore with anything she had written in it while on vacation. i was very excited to hear this selection, but i cannot stand the narrator. her voice takes up so much room that i cannot concentrate on the story. lamott has enough voice just on paper that whatever rosenblat adds is far too much. i wish lamott had read it herself

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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