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jaspersu

susanh557

Member Since 2007

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 415 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
8

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (284)

    Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and 18-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune.

    jaspersu says: "The narration changed my interpretation"
    "The narration changed my interpretation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read this book as a kid and at the time identified with the teenage Mary Katherine, without questioning her as an "unreliable narrator." When I got the audiobook all these years later, I thought it would be fun to revisit a story I had liked. I was surprised at how Bernadette Dunne voiced the narrator character. She has a kind of tremor of fear in her voice right from the start. This isn't the quirky imaginative heroine who faces down the hateful townfolk and her encroaching cousin that I remember: this is a phobic young woman who tries to use to ritual to try to control her world, who is disturbed and disturbing!

    After listening to this recording, I found myself questioning my earlier interpretation of the whole story. Though Mary Katherine calls her cousin Charles a ghost, this one isn't a ghost story. Though Mary Katherine believes in magic, and tries to create magic protection for herself, this one isn't a supernatural story. Still, the further the story goes, the further it is from reality. The ending is what I remembered, but I don't remember finding it so strange and unbelievable. This is a good thing, to me. There is so much more to think about and wonder about after hearing the recording.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25511)
    Performance
    (19366)
    Story
    (19433)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "I enjoy this, but. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

    Blood, Betrayal, Lies


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked Syrio Forel the best because he kicked ass and didn't waste words.


    Did Roy Dotrice do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    They all sound different from each other, with regional accents assigned to families, but they all sound like old men. This book has characters of multiple generations and (not having viewed the HBO series) I could not keep the generations sorted the first time through. The Stark children's dialog makes them sound like children, but it gets confusing when young knights sound like old maesters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • False Colours

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (158)

    The honourable Christopher Fancot, on leave from the Diplomatic Service in the summer of 1817, is startled to find his entrancing but incorrigibly extravagant mother on the brink of financial and social ruin - and more than alarmed that his identical twin, Evelyn, Earl of Denville, has disappeared without trace. Christopher, or Kit, the respectable brother, is forced into an outrageous masquerade by his wayward family's tangled affairs. But in the face of Evelyn's continued absence, even Kit's ingenuity is stretched to the limit.

    Carol says: "Wow! A great listen!"
    "All talk, no action?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to a number of Heyer books. This one seems really heavy on expository talk, and light on action or events. The narrator or characters are tell us about background information and off stage events, and that seems to make up the bulk of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mists of Avalon

    • UNABRIDGED (50 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Marion Zimmer Bradley
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (609)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (547)

    A posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, Marion Zimmer Bradley reinvented - and rejuvenated - the King Arthur mythos with her extraordinary Mists of Avalon series. In this epic work, Bradley follows the arc of the timeless tale from the perspective of its previously marginalized female characters: Celtic priestess Morgaine, Gwenhwyfar, and High Priestess Viviane.

    Carolina says: "Davina Porter brings an old favorite back to life!"
    "Very repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book and I love listening to Davina Porter, but it is so repetitive (cycles and repetition being part of the point) that all of the characters grated after a short while. And this book, especially when you get all four for one credit, is a long while. I think 25 fewer hours might have been enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10068)
    Performance
    (8989)
    Story
    (8967)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries....

    Chris says: "Finally, a modern day fantasy that really hits the"
    "Bought on a friends rec but didn't like it myself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was recommended by a friend who has steered me to several books I have enjoyed, but I didn't like this one. The way this story is told, with the main character as narrator, there really can't be any suspense about outcome. He is a mostly bored and unimpressed by current events type of narrator by reason of his 2100+ years of existence. I found it hard to take interest in the fates of his friends either, even his best friend, the dog. I mostly just wanted the dog to shut up because of the way that character is voiced.
    If the interest of the story is not whether the Iron Druid can survive, or how he does, which he is boredly yet exhaustively explaining after the fact, the interest might be his quest to discover/ unravel exactly what is going on. Mostly the other characters just stand there and tell him, leaving little space for mystery. It isn't suspense or mystery, so it might be action and comedy. There is plenty of fighting, blood and description of bodily injury, and there are some jokes. That might work on screen with a good soundtrack.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emma

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Prunella Scales
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (41)

    Emma, originally published in 1815 and deemed Jane Austen's best novel, is a witty satire of English society set within the customary plot: young ladies finding proper husbands. It can be heard as a charming love story, a detective story, and a comically lively picture of English life 200 years ago. Prunella Scales' delightful reading reveals Austen's mastery of dialogue and character.

    Laura Van Slyke says: "Best Narrator"
    "I like this recording"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to a couple of other versions as well. I heard things in Prunella Scales's reading that I never heard before, and I think it is because hers is so clear and comprehensible. I enjoy her interpretation of the characters, especially Miss Bates.

    There is something a little odd about the recording. It has extra long pauses between chapters, or just after the announcement of new chapters. The sound stops long enough for me to start wondering what went wrong with my device.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fiery Cross

    • UNABRIDGED (55 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    Overall
    (4337)
    Performance
    (3833)
    Story
    (3824)

    The year is 1771. Claire Randall is still an outlander, out of place and out of time. But now she is linked by love to her only anchor: Jamie Fraser. They have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in North Carolina. But tensions, both ancient and recent, threaten members of their clan. Knowing that his wife has the gift of prophecy, James must believe Claire, though he would prefer not to. Claire has shared a dreadful truth: there will, without a doubt, be a war.

    Lorrie says: "LOVE THIS"
    "Unabridged, alright."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Seriously. After waiting all this time for the unabridged audible version, I finally got started listening to this and am now thinking abridgment might not be such a bad thing. I am pretty sure that fewer than 8 hours of time in the story pass in the first 8 hours of the recording. I got very impatient for the story to start moving, and when it finally seemed to get along, the multiple storylines separate and backtrack over the same time again. I am still only to part 3 of the recording, but at 16 hours in, it isn't too early to say that even fans are going to need a lot of patience with this book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Friday's Child

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Eve Matheson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (252)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (163)

    This story of mistaken love is a romantic fiction set in the English Regency period. It centers on Lord Sheringham who has been rejected by the woman he loves but the woman who has secretly loved him since childhood is waiting.

    jaspersu says: "This is a good one from Heyer"
    "This is a good one from Heyer"
    Overall

    It has everything you expect from Heyer's romances and every possible Regency detail: fashionable talk, talk about fashions, balls, duels, gambling, town houses, country houses, London, Bath and points in between. This one has multiple story arcs and a sub plot to pull you along. I haven't liked ever Heyer I've tried, but I like this one.____

    I have learned to check on what other customers say about the narration and the quality of the recording before I buy an Audible book and this one had a couple of scathing reviews right up top. I bought it anyway on the strength of other reviews and I have to side with those who find the narration and recording satisfactory. Eve Matheson differentiates the characters well and gives them voices to match each personality. I didn't notice any issues with the volume.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9014)
    Performance
    (3241)
    Story
    (3318)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "Yoda"
    Overall

    I read about 10 disappointed reviews before buying this title, so I was prepared and am not disappointed myself. It is what it is. The storytelling is repetitive from the backtracking, retelling and and catching up on characters' perspectives. The events are hinted, made obvious, and then directly spelled out for the inattentive reader. Delivery of the specialized information bit of the story is clunky.

    Interestingly, the narrator makes the character Inoue Sato, Director of CIA's Office of Security, sound like Yoda.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Atlantis Complex: Artemis Fowl 7

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Eoin Colfer
    • Narrated By Nathaniel Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (909)
    Performance
    (501)
    Story
    (510)

    Artemis has committed his entire fortune to a project he believes will save the planet and its inhabitants, both human and fairy. Can it be true? Has goodness taken hold of the world’s greatest teenage criminal mastermind?

    jaspersu says: "back to form"
    "back to form"
    Overall

    I have enjoyed the the Fowl series and this 7th book is better than the last one. Obnoxious characters try to out genius each other, inexplicable technological wonders are patiently explained, whirling action scenes, fights and admittedly improbable escapes (and non-escapes) abound and, of course, there are dwarf gas jokes. Eoin Colfer tells a good story and Nathaniel Parker makes favorite characters sound how they are supposed to sound- that makes for an enjoyable audiobook this time around.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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