LISTENER

Lissa

GRAND RAPIDS, MN, USA
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 39
  • helpful votes
  • 11
  • ratings
  • A Pitying of Doves

  • By: Steve Burrows
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Why would a killer ignore expensive jewellery and take a pair of turtledoves as the only bounty? This is only one of the questions that piques Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune's interest after a senior attaché with the Mexican Consulate is found murdered alongside the director of a local bird sanctuary. The fact that the director's death has opened up a full-time research position hasn't eluded Jejeune either. Could this be his escape from policing?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting, intense, too long

  • By Lissa on 06-22-18

Interesting, intense, too long

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

Pro: good characters, good milieu, good writing. Spectacular performance by David Thorpe, who can do it all from moms to monkeys.

Cons: too long, a bit convoluted.

This is not a book that you can just have on in the background. You have to listen to appreciate it. Unless you just want David Thorpe to keep you company, which is totally valid. I liked it enough to move on to book three.

  • The Last Best Friend

  • By: George Sims
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

At two pm on a Monday in 1966, Ned Balfour wakes in Corsica beside a beautiful woman. In the same instant, back in London, fellow art dealer and Dachau survivor Sam Weiss falls 10 storeys to his death. Ned refuses to believe that Sam's death was intentional, and his investigation thrusts him into the deceit and fraudulence of the art world, where he unmasks more than one respectable face. First published in 1967, this thrilling tale of vertigo, suspicion and infidelity is a long-forgotten classic with an intriguing plot twist.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely mixed feelings

  • By Lissa on 04-27-18

Extremely mixed feelings

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

Reviewed: 04-27-18

Would you recommend The Last Best Friend to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes and no. This was one of those novels where "nothing happens". The mystery takes about one hour of the total. I almost quit and returned the novel several times, yet I didn't.

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

He was the reason I bought this book (besides that I like to read dead, forgotten authors). He can literally do anything! Even some of the characters that are dated, ethnic stereotypes get his full treatment. Can he get an Oscar?

Any additional comments?

Perhaps this is a book you should get when you want "something different", unpredictable and outside your usual reading. Or skip it. Either way. It does not belong on the list of 100 best mysteries. Save that for Reginald Hill or Margaret Allingham.

  • Hidden Depths

  • A Vera Stanhope Mystery
  • By: Ann Cleeves
  • Narrated by: Ann Dover
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 495
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452

On a hot summer on the Northumberland coast, Julie Armstrong arrives home from a night out to find her son murdered. Luke has been strangled, laid out in a bath of water and covered with wild flowers. This stylized murder scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team intrigued. But now, Vera must work quickly to find this killer who is making art out of death. As local residents are forced to share their private lives, sinister secrets are slowly unearthed. And all the while the killer remains in their midst, waiting for an opportunity to prepare another beautiful, watery grave....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thank You Ann Cleeves

  • By Chalis on 03-15-18

Just a fabulous book

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

Reviewed: 03-19-18

Any additional comments?

I've listened to all the Shetland books and read several of Cleeves' early works. Although the Shetland TV shows are probably the best TV made in the last 5 years, the Vera (book) series is turning out to be the best reads. Also the reader for this one is so good. She doesn't does that sweet, smiley uplift of the voice when something sentimental or cutesy is said.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Inheritance

  • By: Phyllis Bentley
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 18 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

This is the first part of Bentley's famous Inheritance Trilogy. Filmed by Granada in 1967, the Inheritance trilogy is Phyllis Bentley's most widely acclaimed work. Set against the backdrop of the textile industry in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the trilogy chronicles the lives of several families over 153 trouble-torn years, from the Luddite riots of 1812 to the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.Vividly depicted, and moving to the last, this trilogy is an example of regional fiction at its finest.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Miserable people doing miserable things

  • By Lissa on 03-25-17

Miserable people doing miserable things

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

Reviewed: 03-25-17

Any additional comments?

The New York Times, in 1932, calls Inheritance "a powerful story excellently told". To me, it was 14 hours of miserable people doing miserable things. The end was positive and uplifting, and it felt like a dutiful plot device, almost like a different author.

I was lucky enough to read "Broome Stages" by Clemence Dane, which, sadly has not been recorded or even remembered. (She was involved in writing the screenplay to "Bill of Divorcement" and won an Oscar in 1945.) Broome Stages is also a sweeping saga of many generations of one family, but it has ups as well as downs, good people as well as bad, and writing that makes every page a treasure.

I would suggest skipping "Inheritance". I'm certainly not going to read any of the sequels.

  • The China Governess

  • By: Margery Allingham
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 65

Timothy Kinnit needs Albert Campion's help. He is rich, handsome and successful but his past is a mystery to him and he needs Campion to find out how it connects him to the notorious Turk Street Mile slum. In addition, his own illustrious adopted family has a sinister secret of his own - involving a murderous nineteenth-century governess - that must also be brought to life by Campion's investigations. An Albert Campion mystery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Allingham's always good, but this one's confusing

  • By Lissa on 12-23-14

Allingham's always good, but this one's confusing

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

Reviewed: 12-23-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The China Governess to be better than the print version?

Have not read the print version.

Would you recommend The China Governess to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, I enjoyed this book, although I found it the most confusing of all the Campion books. I am reading them all in order, and will grieve when they are done.

Which character – as performed by David Thorpe – was your favorite?

I liked Julia so much, as I find young people with firm, strong personalities and self-knowledge to be refreshing.

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

Might have been less confusing if I had. Yes.

Any additional comments?

Although "legend" has it that Allingham wrote these novels as an imitation of Dorothy Sayers, she was immensely talented. Campion is a fantastic character and the sense of atmosphere, especially over the decades, is thorough. Allingham IS as good as Sayers, and that is saying a huge amount in my book!

David Thorpe, as always, is non-traditional and excellent.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Hide My Eyes

  • By: Margery Allingham
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

In Hide My Eyes, Campion finds himself hunting down a serial killer. A spate of murders leaves him and his friend and colleague Inspector Luke, with only the baffling clues of a left-hand glove and a lizard-skin lettercase. However a chain of strange events leads them to an odd museum of curiosities hidden in a quiet London neighbourhood where there is more going on than meets the eye.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good, not great

  • By Lissa on 12-11-14

Very good, not great

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

Reviewed: 12-11-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Hide My Eyes to be better than the print version?

Have not read the print edition.

What did you like best about this story?

Her characterizations are always excellent. People are vivid, well-rounded, unusual and individualistic.

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

David Thorpe is fantastic. Although most people say that Frances Matthews reads Allingham better (and he is great), David Thorpe pushes the envelope and makes each character so individualistic. He has great enthusiasm and attention to detail in his reading. People don't like the high whine he puts into Campion's voice, but that is how Allingham describes Campion's voice in Black Dudley.

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

I wouldn't make a film of it as, although it was good, it was kind of a pale shadow of Tiger In The Smoke.

Any additional comments?

Allingham can do no wrong.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Tiger in the Smoke

  • An Albert Campion Mystery
  • By: Margery Allingham
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 116

Jack Havoc, jail-breaker and knife artist, is on the loose on the streets of London once again. In the faded squares of shabby houses, in the furtive alleys and darkened pubs, the word is out that the Tiger is back in town, more vicious and cunning than ever. It falls to Albert Campion to pit his wits against the killer and hunt him down through the city's November smog before it is too late.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not really a mystery-unique among Campions

  • By Meep on 11-19-13

Too great!

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

Reviewed: 08-27-14

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

The crime is that a novel can be this good! I ignored my work, family and chores last night and laid on the couch for three hours listening to it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tiger in the Smoke?

The discussion between Geoff and the "band". It started with the power on one side and swung around gracefully. Her characterizations were fabulous.

Which character – as performed by David Thorpe – was your favorite?

Probably Dahl. I think David Thorpe is fabulous. Frances Matthews is, too, in a different way. Thorpe is colorful and lively. People criticize how he voices Campion, but, in fact, that's how the author describes his voice in Black Dudley.

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

Just amazement, as well as enjoyment. Wikipedia says that she started writing these books to parody Lord Peter Wimsey. If that's the only reason, how can they be so sublimely good?

Any additional comments?

The Campion series are hot and lukewarm for me. This one was red hot.

  • The House at Tyneford

  • By: Natasha Solomons
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 860
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 776
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 781

It’s the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When Kit, the son of Tyneford’s master, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford - and Elise - forever. An irresistible World War II story of a forbidden romance in a great English country house.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Recommend This Book

  • By Martha on 09-15-13

Not Downton Abbey!

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

Reviewed: 04-01-14

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you love romance novels, you will love this. If you hate romance novels, you will hate this.

Would you ever listen to anything by Natasha Solomons again?

Probably not. Did not find heroine at all likeable. Annoying small mistakes in historical research.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Very precious, with a peculiar and affected curling of the R's, like Barbara Walters.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The House at Tyneford?

It's just not ok to have someone hit in the head with a boat boom and cowering in the bottom of the boat, and then the next second deciding that she's thrilled because loves boating and the water.

Any additional comments?

Quit in the middle. I'm Jewish and I already knew what was going to happen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alice Dugdale

  • By: Anthony Trollope
  • Narrated by: Sheila Lash
  • Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

Anthony Trollope is known primarily for his epic novels like Barchester Towers. However, he also wrote a number of smaller "gems". This is one of the best. Alice Dugdale is a plain but intelligent girl who sees the love of her life pushed by society to marry the beautiful, but somewhat vacuous, rich girl in town. Alice's reaction to this situation makes a wonderful and insightful story.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Right and Miss Wrong

  • By Joseph R on 08-20-09

ok

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-10-10

This is a very old recording, with lots of background noise (like cassette tapes going bad, which it probably is) and read in a monotone. The story is interesting in that people are much franker with each other than in, say, Jane Austen or in Trollope's more famous works. They will say you lied, you insulted me, etc., so the people seemed more realistic. Ended rather suddenly.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Vanity Fair
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        William Makepeace Thackeray
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jill Masters
    
    


    
    Length: 32 hrs and 10 mins
    89 ratings
    Overall 4.0
  • Vanity Fair

  • By: William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Narrated by: Jill Masters
  • Length: 32 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

Becky Sharp, a willful, resourceful, and charming pleasure-seeker, uses her finishing school credentials and connections to get a job as a governess. In her new position, she wins the hearts of the moneyed young and old and is soon living well beyond her means. Meanwhile, her boarding-school friend Amelia Sedley is honest but poor and must give her son into the care of his grandfather, who will have nothing to do with her. The two meet up again at the novel's ironic climax.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Improved quality recording?

  • By Lissa on 02-04-05

Improved quality recording?

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-04-05

This is a fantastic book, and I am so glad to be able to replace my 24-cassette version with a download! I didn't download it before because the quality was poor (#2).. I think Audible must have upgraded it. The previous reviewer should contact Audible and try to get a new download.

This book proves that people have not changed in a hundred years. It is a satire on social climbing. The only comparable book, one I hope Audible will buy, is The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful