LISTENER

Conguirk

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 68
  • helpful votes
  • 29
  • ratings
The House of Mirth audiobook cover art

Perfection

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

Reviewed: 03-18-19

I would listen to Eleanor Bron read the phone book (if there still were phone books), and she is is especially impressive here, paired with the great Edith Wharton’s masterful writing. Bron has modified her lovely British accent into an upper-class standard American accent appropriate for 1905. Thus, Wharton’s heroine Lily Bart’s voice is as charming as her physical beauty. This truly brings the novel to life, and does justice to the story. Kudos!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn audiobook cover art

Perfect story, mediocre production

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

Reviewed: 03-18-19

ATGIB fully deserves its place on any list of American classics, a sensitive and masterful story of a young girl growing up in the Brooklyn slums in the early 20th century. Unfortunately, this recording does not do it justice. The narrator does a mostly passable (though not great) job until she gets to dialogue. At that point, she has trouble differentiating characters voices, and especially handling the subtleties of the Brooklyn accent of the characters’ various backgrounds. I.e., Johnny Nolan often sounds like he is speaking with a Jewish inflection — appropriate maybe for other characters — instead of an underlying Irish lilt. Children and adults speak in a similar pitch. A more skilled narrator could have painted a clearer, colorful picture of the Nolans’ teeming and diverse tenement world. Another poor production choice: each chapter begins with a weird musical riff of bluesy jazz that is definitely NOT reminiscent of 1912 — more like the 1950s. Kind of breaks the mood. Really wanted to like this — too bad.

A Literary Christmas audiobook cover art

Marvelous, with one very avoidable flaw

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

Reviewed: 12-03-14

Would you listen to A Literary Christmas again? Why?

Yes, it's a cozy and thoroughly enjoyable recording, with two of England's finest actor voices.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Literary Christmas?

Simon Callow's reading of the passage describing the Christmas Eve ball in Fezziwig's warehouse absolutely brims with enthusiasm and perfectly brings to life all of Dickens' descriptive powers.

What does Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The right voice brings out all the humor or pathos or excitement that the author intended.

Any additional comments?

For some reason, there is NO pause between selections. Three seconds to allow the sound of the previous story to fade in your mind's ear, and anticipate the next story, would have earned this an overall 5 stars instead of 4.

68 of 71 people found this review helpful

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches audiobook cover art

Narration adds to the enjoyment

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

Reviewed: 05-16-14

Where does The Adventure of the Copper Beeches rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right up there with the best. David Timson does an admirable job handling all the voices, including the woman's, so that they are distinctive but not distracting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Adventure of the Copper Beeches?

No spoilers, please.

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

No, this is my first. He's very, very good.

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

The governess exploring the locked corridor.

Any additional comments?

A cozy, Victorian read for an evening!

The Yellow Wallpaper audiobook cover art

Chilling story, effective realization

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

Reviewed: 05-08-14

If you could sum up The Yellow Wallpaper in three words, what would they be?

Tension builds perfectly.

What other book might you compare The Yellow Wallpaper to and why?

"The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions, which tells of a young man's slow descent into madness in haunted rooms.

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

Her voice brings out the changes in the narrator's state of mind as her "health cure" sends her over the edge.

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

Absolutely. It needs to be heard from beginning to end for the best effect.

Any additional comments?

This is a story that, with an effective narrator, is actually better heard read aloud than read silently.