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Sarah

BOERNE, TX, United States
  • 157
  • reviews
  • 436
  • helpful votes
  • 166
  • ratings
  • Vanity Fair

  • By: William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Narrated by: John Castle
  • Length: 31 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 436

Set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, this classic gives a satirical picture of a worldly society. The novel revolves around the exploits of the impoverished but beautiful and devious Becky Sharp who craves wealth and a position in society. Calculating and determined to succeed, she charms, deceives and manipulates everyone she meets. A novel of early 19th-century English society, it takes its title from the place designated as the centre of human corruption in John Bunyan's 17th-century allegory.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A book that was meant to be read aloud!

  • By Constance on 02-03-11

My Best Audiobook Experience Ever!

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

Reviewed: 06-17-18

I enjoyed this book so much! I don't think I could have read the print copy but the audio version was magnificent! I wish I could find something else to listen to that would match it. John Castle really brings this one to life.

I won't go into the details of the story. It is great satire but at the same time a wonderful tale of a group of characters who generally get what they deserve.

Thirty-one hours of this book was too short - I hated for it too end.

  • This Side of Paradise (AmazonClassics Edition)

  • By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Young midwesterner Amory Blaine is certain he is destined for greatness. On his quest, he enrolls in Princeton, finds an ephemeral first love, fulfills his duty in war, and becomes enraptured by debutante Rosalind Connage, who defines all that Amory has desired and everything he could lose. As conventions, romance, and money fail him, Amory's restless pursuit of enlightenment takes him down a dark path, but closer to understanding himself and his place in the world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Passionate

  • By Tad Davis on 01-15-18

Couldn't Finish!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-17-18

My husband and I were reading this for a book club - he had the printed version, I the audiobook. Neither one of us could finish it.

It's the story of a nacissistic young man who goes to college, where he is (probably typically) obnoxious. I couldn't stand him so gave up pretty early on. My husband got farther with it than I did and thought it was picking up for a while, but finally gave up in disgust.

I understand Fitzgerald wrote this at 23; the book shows promise for the writer. Our problem was not with the writing but with the character, who was perhaps too well portrayed. Maybe the ending redeems the book - we'll never know.

Dick Hill does his usual excellent performance.

  • The Return of the Native

  • By: Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by: Alan Rickman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 702
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 636
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 617

Set on Egdon Heath, a fictional barren moor in Wessex, Eustacia Vye longs for the excitement of city life but is cut off from the world in her grandfather's lonely cottage. Clym Yeobright who has returned to the area to become a schoolmaster seems to offer everything she dreams of: passion, excitement and the opportunity to escape. However, Clym's ambitions are quite different, and marriage only increases Eustacia's destructive restlessness, drawing others into a tangled web of deceit and unhappiness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Always Hardy

  • By Wallen on 04-20-11

Enjoyed it so much more than I did in High School!

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

Reviewed: 05-28-18

Alan Rickman's narration is perfection! The story was pretty intriguing - the characters seemed a bit cardboard but they WERE interesting. Hardy's use of the English language is almost like Shakespeare. I loved the portrayal of rural life with its echos of Paganism and Celtic custom.

This book is somewhat of a tragedy but things turn out pretty well in the end.

I was spellbound.My enjoyment was so great I wanted to read another classic and I've just started on Vanity Fair, which promises to be a great listen also.

  • Ethan Frome

  • By: Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by: Jim Killavey
  • Length: 3 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

Ethan Frome is a 1911 novel by Edith Wharton, set in turn-of-the-century New England, in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts. It is the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and their pretty and vivacious cousin, Mattie Silver. This is a short but powerful and engrossing drama, and although it is the least characteristic of the author's novels, it has become her most celebrated book.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sad but Wonderful

  • By Sarah on 08-31-17

Sad but Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 08-31-17

I gave it five stars because Wharton is a fabulous writer, but the story is about as grim as one could be. If you are interested in this book it's probably for a class or a book club. I picked this edition of the many available because of the price but I was not disappointed.

Killavey reads in a careful almost plodding manner on the narrative parts but really makes the dialogue come alive. I thought his style of reading fit the narrative quite well, but it might seem too slow for some listeners.

I would never choose this book unless, as it happened, it was a book club selection, but I found it very engaging. I enjoyed it even though the author reveals in the beginning that the ending won't be a happy one. It seems an accurate picture of the hard life on a New England farm back in day, told through the eyes of an engineer from the modern world visiting the area to work on a project about twenty years after the main part of the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Moon and Sixpence (Based on the Life of Paul Gauguin)

  • By: W. Somerset Maugham
  • Narrated by: Stanley Green
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

"The Moon and Sixpence" is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham, first published in 1919. It is told in episodic form by a first-person narrator, in a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker, who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist. The story is based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. A stunning classic by a master.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I Enjoyed It

  • By Sarah on 08-20-17

I Enjoyed It

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

Reviewed: 08-20-17

This was the monthly selection for a book club I attend. There were a number of audio versions available - I picked the cheapest one. I like to listen to a book on my morning walks.

I looked forward to this book because I had an interest in Gauguin - I believe that like me Maugham was curious what would make a man abandon his family and business to join the Paris art scene etc. In this book the artist is an Englishman named Charles Strickland. He is a very strange character and not at all likable. His life follows the general pattern of Gauguin's but I doubt if he was very much like the real person.At any rate it is an interesting story.

This narrator was a good choice - he is an excellent reader and creates distinctive characters. I probably would never have listened to this book were it not the selection of my book club, but I did enjoy the story. Maugham is an excellent writer the characters are well developed. The are certainly not typical - either in fiction or real life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Racing the Devil

  • An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery
  • By: Charles Todd
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 462
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424

On the eve of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers having a last drink before returning to the front make a promise to each other: if they survive the battle ahead - and make it through the war - they will meet in Paris a year after the fighting ends. They will celebrate their good fortune by racing motorcars they beg, borrow, or own from Paris to Nice. In November 1919 the officers all meet as planned, and though their motorcars are not designed for racing, they set out for Nice. But a serious mishap mars the reunion.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Deception and Murder

  • By R. Pontiflet on 04-23-17

Good, but not my favorite

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

Reviewed: 08-13-17

I love this series. This one was true to form but the plot was a bit far-fetched. Still, if you like the Inspector Rutledge series you won't want to miss this one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Death of a Ghost

  • By: Margery Allingham
  • Narrated by: Francis Matthews
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 100

The unrivalled Albert Campion returns to solve another shocking murder - classic crime fiction at its very best. J.S. Lafcadio, the painter, is dead. He wanted lasting fame and he left instructions to his wife for one painting to be exhibited every year after his death. Eight years later in Little Venice, a group of friends and family gather to view the painting. They are treated instead to a murder....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Campion!

  • By E. K. on 09-08-12

Matthews brings the characters to life!

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

Reviewed: 08-13-17

The story is complex and interesting. The ending was a bit outrageous, as were several of the characters. I enjoyed the book - not a 'page turner', but it kept my interest. It was the monthly selection for a book club - we are reading various books from this period - seems the different prominent authors of crime stories were satirizing each other. This is a good one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Vintage Murder

  • By: Ngaio Marsh
  • Narrated by: James Saxon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79

A touring theatre company in New Zealand forms the basis of one of Marsh’s most ambitious and innovative novels. New Zealand theatrical manager Alfred Meyer wanted to celebrate his wife’s birthday in style. The piece de résistance would be the jeroboam of champagne which would descend gently into a nest of fern and coloured lights on the table, set up on stage after the performance. But something went horribly wrong. Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnessed it himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Imagery of New Zealand

  • By Mack Tennyson on 03-31-16

Old School Mystery

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

Reviewed: 08-13-17

Too complicated, too many characters. That said, the characters were well drawn and well developed. The narrator was faultless - super job of giving each character a unique voice. I got this as it was the selection of the month for a book club. I did enjoy it and would recommend it if you want a cozy mystery that is not easy to figure out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Bette Davis Club

  • By: Jane Lotter
  • Narrated by: Sue Pitkin, Tessa Marts
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,236
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,982
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,975

The morning of her niece's wedding, Margo Just drinks a double martini and contemplates the many mistakes she's made in her fifty-odd years of life. Spending three decades in love with a wonderful but unattainable man is pretty high up on her list of missteps, as is a long line of unsuccessful love affairs accompanied by a seemingly endless supply of delicious cocktails.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the credit?

  • By toniriedl on 01-09-17

And they all lived happily ever after!

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

Reviewed: 04-15-17

Of course you knew this would happen from the beginning but it's a long journey full of interesting obstacles before they reach their happiness. Full of interesting characters and surprising events. The story is told in the first person and the narrator has the perfect voice and accent to make it seem like she IS the main character.

I wouldn't call it a romance but there's romance in it - mainly kept in the background.

A delight!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles

  • A Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 881
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 823
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 819

Captain Arthur Hastings, invalided in the Great War, is recuperating as a guest of John Cavendish at Styles Court, the "country-place" of John's autocratic old aunt, Emily Inglethorpe - she of a sizeable fortune, and so recently remarried to a man 20 years her junior. When Emily's sudden heart attack is found to be attributable to strychnine, Hastings recruits an old friend, now retired, to aid in the local investigation. With impeccable timing, Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective, makes his dramatic entrance into the pages of crime literature.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • wonderfully read, engaging mystery

  • By Calliope on 04-28-15

Wonderful Mystery!

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

Reviewed: 04-07-17

This story is SO complicated that even though I'd seen the TV version years ago I still found the mystery compelling. While I had a pretty good recollection of who the murderer was I had forgotten how many of the details, like how exactly it was accomplished and who was complicit in the crime.

Hastings was as naive as in the TV series but also a bit more petty in his relationship with Poirot - who is even more insulting with his friend than I remembered.

The TV producers do a fabulous job with these stories but since they are so complex I found the audio book more satisfying - it's easy to miss some of the details when watching a TV drama.

Hugh Fraser's performance is faultless.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful