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Member Since 2015

  • 5 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 232 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015

  • Parade's End

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ford Madox Ford
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First published as four separate novels (Some Do Not…, No More Parades, A Man Could Stand Up, and The Last Post) between 1924 and 1928, Parade’s End explores the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of war. Christopher Tietjens is an officer from a wealthy family who finds himself torn between his unfaithful socialite wife, Sylvia, and his suffragette mistress, Valentine. A profound portrait of one man’s internal struggles during a time of brutal world conflict, Parade’s End bears out Graham Greene’s prediction that "there is no novelist of this century more likely to live than Ford Madox Ford."

    leora says: "A brilliant, challenging, and valuable work"
    "A brilliant, challenging, and valuable work"
    Would you listen to Parade's End again? Why?

    Yes. The prose is dense, moves back and forth in time, and is often written in stream of consciousness. I miss things if my attention drifts for a moment. I plan to listen again because this is such a beautiful book. And so nicely read.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The insights into history through the minds and hearts of people who lived and loved during those turbulent times is incredibly interesting to me. It's not simply a love story or a war story or the tale of a way of life imploding. It's a deep analization of what makes people tick--what motivates and inspires them. The way Ford captures thought--the way people really think--is amazing. (I'm reminded of Joyce.) I admired the various perspectives which allow me to approve/disapprove, admire/disrespect, curse/bless, and rush/savor all at the same time.

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

    I think he allows me to be more patient--to not miss things I would miss if my eyes were rushing to see how a scene unfolded. Listening to his pleasant voice allows me to savor images and moments more fully.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The way during the most trying moments so many things race through the minds of the characters was immensely moving. And Christopher's goodness actually hurt. He tried always to do the right thing and I wanted to scream at him, to shake him. It is his intensity and his honor at home, at work, and in the trenches that made me so sad. Such a brilliant mind....So little joy.

    Any additional comments?

    This is the type of book that is art. It is perfect, wonderful, and horrible all at the same time. And it's not the gore of war that haunts, it's the mundanity and stupidity--and the waste. Add that to the 'rules of the game' that the British mid- to upper-crust had to play by, and you get an impressive, poignant, and frustrating novel. The characters are so memorable, especially Christopher Teitjens. (I could understand why Sylvia was spoiled for all other men--and why Valentine was spoiled too.). Note: Parade's End is not for those who need traditional structure. No tidy package here; the book reads like war plays out: in bits and pieces, with fragments of memories, dreams,boredom and drama. A bomb blows up every once in a while--and then life (and the word and world) goes on....

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Falcon at the Portal: The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Join spunky Amelia and her charming family for a thrilling new archaeological adventure in Edwardian Egypt. Even on the joyous occasion of the marriage of their Egyptian "son" David to their beloved niece Lia, trouble finds Amelia and hunky hubby Emerson. And this time it is personal.

    Kermit says: "Perhaps Best of Series"
    "Love all the Amelia Peabody Emerson books"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The characters are strong, smart, and even sexy. The world they inhabit is interesting too.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Falcon at the Portal?

    I am really enjoying the Ramses/Nefret story arch.

    What about Barbara Rosenblat’s performance did you like?

    Terrific read in every way. Very dramatic, nuanced, and in touch with the essence of the characters.

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

    I always laugh.

    Any additional comments?

    I finish one and start another. The exploits of the Emerson family, and their friends and foes, are truly delightful, intriguing and enlightening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "Kept me awake at night"
    What did you love best about The Pillars of the Earth?

    I love the middle ages and books set in that time period, especially those with ecclesiastical settings and characters. The interesting and historical details of the time and place, the intriguing and nuanced characters--feminists and free thinkers, artists and idiots, madmen and power brokers--all made history come to life in a fascinating and sweeping saga.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pillars of the Earth?

    There were so many wonderful scenes. I do remember the moments that involved personal struggle and compassion in Tom's family. Also the intricacies of the building of a church and the running of a diocese, and the life of those in all stratas of medieval society from peasant to prince. This is the way history should be taught.

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

    Terrific read. Each character was distinct and the world came alive in a rich and powerful way. I know a lot about that time period so I could relax and savor the sound of the narrator's voice and his acting style. I was so glad the narrator was English and male.

    Who was the most memorable character of The Pillars of the Earth and why?

    Tom Builder intrigued me the most because he was so dedicated and determined. He adapted to all sorts of events and worked with all sorts of people to make a great work of art and a monument to man--using God's gifts to man: creativity, brains, desire, intelligence, perseverance, determination, cunning, passion, and love. But all the women were marvelous too.

    Any additional comments?

    Although extremely long I would listen for hours in bed, forcing myself to turn off the machine in the wee hours. Years ago I bought the book but could never get into it. The audio version was brilliant. A true pleasure. Highly recommended to anyone of any age whether or not you are interested specifically in art, architecture, or the middle ages.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Artists in Crime

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ngaio Marsh
    • Narrated By Benedict Cumberbatch

    It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen. It's a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be above suspicion.

    Charles Fearneyhough says: "Aii! Abridged"
    "Wonderful read"
    Would you listen to Artists in Crime again? Why?

    Yes. Cumberbatch's read was exceptionally nuanced and interesting.

    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not on the edge of my seat, no. That genre of detective fiction is not thrilling--it unfolds as we get to know the characters and put the pieces together.

    Have you listened to any of Benedict Cumberbatch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. He is always excellent. A truly gifted actor and reader.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


    Any additional comments?

    Love the English country house mystery genre. So delightful because it's not of this time and place. Never crass or ultra violent. Eccentric. Always surprising. Marsh is a master.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1914, a spirited American girl named Mary Russell meets a retired Sherlock Holmes in the English countryside. Instantly realizing that Mary is gifted with astonishing deductive powers, the Great Detective emerges from retirement to join her as she tracks down a fiendish assassin.

    Marie-Elizabeth Finamore says: "Best of British restraint"
    "The beginning of a love affair"

    When I read The Beekeeper's Apprentice a few years ago I had no idea that Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes would become such a part of my life. I devoured the books and read the entire series (which Ms. King happily keeps adding to), straight through more than once. One my of my first Audible purchases was "The Beekeepers Apprentice," and after the initial challenge of hearing a real voice speaking for beloved characters, I became a fan. Jenny Sterlin does a great job of being Russell, although she is more grown up sounding than Russell might have been at 15, which is the age when we meet her. As Russell matured Sterlin's voice began to grow on me; she sounds smart--no nonsense--like Russell. And Sterlin is just haughty enough to make a good Holmes. I have since listened to my other favorites in the series, "O Jerusalem" and "Justice Hall" featuring Mahmud and Ali, and enjoyed both immensely. King is a wonderfully descriptive written and exotic lands and grand estates really came alive. It was an entirely different experience to listen and imagine. Very pleasant, indeed.

    When I finish a Laurie R. King book I miss the characters and Ms. Sterlin's voice. I know I will relisten and reread these marvelous, interesting and intelligently written books throughout my lifetime. If you're a Russell/Holmes fan, give the voice some time to settle. If you've never read or heard the series, please do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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