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Deborah

Australia
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  • Life of Pi

  • By: Yann Martel
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,988
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,834

Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best audio of the year for me

  • By Theresa Ann McIntyre on 06-04-03

Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book in a different light

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-11-13

What did you love best about Life of Pi?

In his novel, The Life of Pi, Yann Martel adopts an anthropromorphic approach to story telling with a moral message. The uniqueness of Pi's situation aboard the life-boat and his travelling companions provided insights into the human condition. It was, for me, a truly inspiring story with an intriguing conclusion that leaves the reader in a contemplative state.

What other book might you compare Life of Pi to and why?

I would compare this book to Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book (1894) because of both author's use of animals to convey powerful messages about the human condition.

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

Jeff Woodham's Indian accent certainly adds to the realism and authenticity of the story experience. HIs ability to convey emotions through voice without over- or under-stating it, is powerful.

If you could rename Life of Pi, what would you call it?

Good question! The title is very apt. The Pi Odyssey might be another title.

  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,760
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,806
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,824

The season of gift-giving is here, and this year we've got something special for our members: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Yuletide whodunit "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle". In this holiday-themed short story, Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, follow the trail of a lost hat and a Christmas goose through the streets of London and into a rapidly expanding mystery.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Free

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 03-05-13

Terrific storyteller

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-20-12

What made the experience of listening to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle the most enjoyable?

The plot line was fascinating and kept me listening.

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

Yes, the narrator and the storyline made for a great team.

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

No.

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

As a short story it captivated me from beginning ot end.

Any additional comments?

No. Other than to say thank you for the Christmas gift!

  • The Casual Vacancy

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 17 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 254
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 226
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 229

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't have expectations!

  • By Michael on 10-01-12

Tragi-comedy: right mix of high jinx and hardship

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-12

What did you love best about The Casual Vacancy?

It is peopled with real, raw characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Casual Vacancy?

Barry Fairbrother's death and that of Robbie/Krystal.

Which character – as performed by Tom Hollander – was your favorite?

I liked Krystal the most: she had no pretence about her and had strong convictions about what was right and wrong. Also, she was unafraid to speak her truth, irrespective of who it might have offended.

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

I felt quite gutted by the close of the novel, as I had come to know and love the characters so well. I cared about what would happen to them and felt their grief and pain. I also enjoyed Rowling's ability to lighten the mood periodically: with so much tension throughout the novel, it was a necessary relief!

Any additional comments?

Having only ever read Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel, and not being overly keen on the genre, I was not expecting to enjoy the author’s first foray into adult literature. But from the opening sentence I was hooked. The little west county township of Pagford is peopled with three-dimensional characters whose lives are as real and raw as anything I’ve experienced in life. This truly is a tragicomedy with its mix of high jinx and hardship although the latter dominates the novel, punctuated periodically with wry humour and the ordinariness of life. The mark of an effective novel for many readers is its ability to keep them entertained and/or reading. No problem on either score there, for me! I was compelled to read on, caught up in the actions and reactions of the Pagford community: from Barry Fairbrother’s cameo appearance and haunting reminders, to the Wheedon family, especially that of the sixteen year old Krystal, a junkie with potential, caught up in a tragic cesspool – and all the diverse characters in between. What I found particularly appealing was Rowling’s ability to allow the reader to fill in the gaps: Rowing doesn’t take her readers for granted, nor treat them as if they’re lacking in sufficient intellect to work through the plot. There is a subtle cleverness to her writing. The author knows how to create vivid imagery for the reader. At one point, Rowling’s character, Shirley, buries an Epi Pen in the back garden, like a “tiny corpse”, having reconsidered its use as a lethal weapon. The novel is filled with this kind of gritty imagery that leaves one filled with regret or revulsion. Moreover, there is no hint of Harry Potter wistfulness here (thank God!). Rowling has considered her adult audience and adapted her writing style powerfully. The raw edginess of the tone and base language attributed to her characters, are appropriate for the context and characters, providing realism and a sense of time and place. I’m pleased that Rowling has moved on from kid’s literature, to an adult audience where she can more fully explore her literary repertoire.

  • An African Love Story

  • Love, Life and Elephants
  • By: Daphne Sheldrick
  • Narrated by: Virginia McKenna
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of An African Love Story, Daphne Sheldrick's touching memoir about romance, life and elephants from Africa's greatest living conservationist. Read by Virginia McKenna, the star of Born Free and the Founder Trustee of the Born Free Foundation. An African Love Story is the incredible memoir of the life of Africa's greatest living conservationist. It tells two stories.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A magical tale of Africa.

  • By Anna Spencer on 05-18-16

A story of Africa, of human nature and Elephants

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-25-12

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

An absolutely delightful listen. Well narrated and a terrific life story to learn from.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Daphne of course as the central character - honest and insightful

Which scene was your favorite?

The epilogue of the attack of the elephant which Daphne mistook as Eleanor, kept me intrigued throughout to discover what became of her and how this came to be after a lifetime associated with the elephants.

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

I both laughed and cried throughout. The experience of wildlife was both cruel and kind, savage and civilised. I recognized the universal law of balance operating throughout the book, both from the perspective of Daphne's personal life, and that of the wild animals she cared for, especially the elephants. Her love for the elephants best expressed in her quote: 'a hundred miles for an elephant is just like a stroll.'

Any additional comments?

Terrific narration. Great life story.

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Elijah Wood
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,060
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,216

A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful Narration

  • By Michael Balzoa on 03-11-11

A story with a wonderful mix of laughter & joy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-25-12

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Mark Twain is a definite 'classic' must for everyone! Twain's ability for storytelling, character development, humour and pathos, is immeasurable. Not to mention his ability to create a sense of place and time.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood?

The moment when Huck was about to give up JIm his companion and black slave. It was a truly turning point in Huck Finn's awareness of the conflict between the social mores of the time and the recognition of the inhuman atrocity that slavery imbued.

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to mention, but the visual of the Mississippi River and its many torments for Huck and others will remain with me.

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

Adventurous and challenging portrayl of the survival and tales of young Huck Finn as he travels and learns about himself, about slavery, about humanity and the conflicts and wisdom he learned along the way.

Any additional comments?

No

  • Skulduggery Pleasant

  • Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 1
  • By: Derek Landy
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80

Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that, while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source, the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dark Magic & a talking skeleton

  • By Sumit G. on 08-25-07

Gripping and fascinating audio book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-25-12

What did you love best about Skulduggery Pleasant?

The characters, storyline and narration kept me listening and entertained!

What did you like best about this story?

The constant complications and resolutions kept me engaged and fascinated.

What about Rupert Degas’s performance did you like?

Rupert's ability to adopt and adapt the various characters' voices was sensational and gripping. What a terrific narrator. Really made the story for me.!

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

The meeting of Skulduggery and the key character at the outset will remain a powerful one for me.

Any additional comments?

Best ever audio book I've listened to thus far.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • One for the Money

  • A Stephanie Plum Novel, Book 1
  • By: Janet Evanovich
  • Narrated by: C. J. Critt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,612
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,059
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,055

You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do? If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter; you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man that took her virginity....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • NOT THE GREATEST.

  • By Pat H. on 10-21-11

Grabbed me from chapter one

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-30-12

What did you love best about One for the Money?

I loved the ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances. And Critt's narration was superb.

What was one of the most memorable moments of One for the Money?

When the lead character was cornered in the gym was a memorable moment for its tension.

Which scene was your favorite?

So many great scenes it's difficult to be selective.

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

It was not so much a moving novel. More a wonderful mix of tension and hilarity.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful