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Nan51

Sammamish, WA USA
  • 20
  • reviews
  • 40
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  • Striding Folly

  • Three Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries
  • By: Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Narrated by: Ian Carmichael
  • Length: 2 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

Three perplexing puzzles - and three inimitable Wimsey solutions - told with wit, humor, and suspense. Narrator Ian Carmichael, the quintessential Lord Peter, provides great entertainment with his talented performance of these three stories. In "Striding Folly", a frightening dream provides a haunting premonition. A house numbered 13 is in a street of even numbers, and a dead man was never alive in "The Haunted Policeman." And "Talboys" sees Lord Peter's own children accused of theft.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lord Peter as a Father

  • By Kindle Customer on 01-08-18

Delightful!

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

I didn't know what to expect based on the description of this offering of three short Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, but as a recent fan of the series I had to give it a try. I've been reading them, listening to the audiobooks and watching the video versions with both Ian Carmichael and Edward Petheridge. I'm addicted and was glad to find more in any format. These are, for me, better than I hoped. I do not recommend them until you've been introduced to Lord Peter and his more traditional mysteries so you can appreciate his ability of detection as well as his personal life adversities. Dorothy L. Sayers created a complete character with supporting characters to match. But, if you have enjoyed his other adventures, do not deny yourself these three tales. I was mystified, puzzled and delighted to the point of laughing out loud. Wonderful!

  • Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

  • By: M. R. James
  • Narrated by: Bart Wolffe, Emma Hignett, Emma Topping
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Eight classic spine-tingling tales to thrill you by M. R. James. This was James' first collection of ghost stories which he intended to be read aloud in the tradition of spooky Christmas Eve tales.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Stories of Hauntings and Supernatural Even

  • By Nan51 on 12-04-17

Classic Stories of Hauntings and Supernatural Even

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

Tales that you might tell around the fire on a wintry evening when the wind is rattling the door and howling outside. Lots of frights and shudders. Good old fashioned fun!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Quiet Professor

  • By: Betty Neels
  • Narrated by: Anne Cater
  • Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

Megan thought she had it all - a good job, a caring family and a fiancé whom everyone agreed would make her a wonderful husband. But then her perfectly constructed world fell apart, and she found that her one hope was Professor Jake van Belfeld. He seemed determined to rebuild her life - but why was he taking such a personal interest in her? He couldn't think that her heart needed his attention, too, could he?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hope after heartache

  • By PlantGirl on 06-30-16

Enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 07-21-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Quiet Professor to be better than the print version?

I think the audio edition adds to my enjoyment of the story because I can hear accents of the various characters which I just cannot add in my mind as I read it. It's not better than the print version, but it adds another dimension. I would love to find more Betty Neels stories in audio version.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, I think it would have to be the Quiet Professor, Jake van Belfield. He is just so solid, reliable, large and good looking and determined to have his own way. He doesn't force Megan to do to anything she doesn't want to do, but he just manages to convince her that his quietly suggested ideas really would be for the best. The reader believes that if she decided not to go along with him, and he thought she wouldn't budge, he would accept her decision. She just seems to know that he is right about how to get over her "cracked" heart.

What about Anne Cater’s performance did you like?

I love her voice, her pacing of the narration, her manner of acting each character so you know who is talking by the way she changes accent, pitch, pronunciation and so on. She's a wonderful reader and actress.

If you could rename The Quiet Professor, what would you call it?

I cannot imagine.

Any additional comments?

I'm looking forward to more of Betty Neels novels in audio edition. I hope I don't have long to wait.

  • Percival Keene

  • By: Frederick Marryat
  • Narrated by: William Sutherland
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

The adventures of the mischievous young midshipman Percival Keene begin when he learns that the demanding Captain Delmar, a member of the wealthy and titled De Versely family, is actually his natural father. Stung by his father's refusal to acknowledge him, Keene sets about to win his father's love and acceptance and gain the family fortune. To do so, Keene survives shipwreck and capture by murderous pirates, fights duels of honor with his fellow officers, and battles against the French.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • brief comment

  • By Ian on 02-29-08

Story Great - Narration Okay

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

Reviewed: 01-14-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not recommend the audible book to a friend because the story is simply read. The reader has a pleasant voice. But there is no differentiation between characters. He simply reads.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Percival Keene.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reader had a pleasant voice and read well.

Was Percival Keene worth the listening time?

No. I will simply read the book myself next time.

  • A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

  • By: Samuel Johnson, James Boswell
  • Narrated by: Patrick Tull, Alexander Spencer
  • Length: 4 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

In 1773, 63-year-old literary giant Samuel Johnson joined James Boswell, a 32-year-old Scottish lawyer, on an historic horseback expedition across the Scottish Highlands to the Western Islands. The unlikely duo's travelogue records their fascinating conversations and encounters with great wit and incredible detail. Johnson, one of the 18th century's most celebrated writers, provided an elegant and stately account of everything from Loch Ness's medicinal waters to Scotland's puzzling lack of trees.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Tasty, but abridged

  • By Tad Davis on 08-22-13

Enjoyable Travel Story

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

Reviewed: 01-14-16

Would you listen to A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland again? Why?

I think I will listen again. I really enjoyed the voices of Patrick Tull and Alexander Spencer. I thought I had a better understanding of Samuel Johnson and James Boswell thanks to their voicing of their writing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't have a favorite. I was surprised to learn from this book that Samuel Johnson believed that men generally would be overmatched by women intellectually and that was why women were not educated as men were in his lifetime. I had no idea that men of his education and society would even consider that educating women would be desirable.

I liked James Boswell very much. He was so intelligent, so well mannered and humble. He obviously admired Samuel Johnson and wanted to impress him with Scotland. I think that while Johnson was inconvenienced quite often during their travels, Boswell did succeed in changing Johnson's mind about Scots in several instances.

What about Patrick Tull and Alexander Spencer ’s performance did you like?

I thought they captured the personalities quite well. I enjoyed the give and take of the different characters even though the men wrote their accounts separately, the audible book created an illusion of a conversation which entertained and amused me.

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

I hate this question.

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in books about life in Scotland in the 18th century, or how and Englishman and a Scotsman viewed life in the 18th century, I know you would enjoy this. The difficulties of travel, food, lodging and just getting along for a period of time for people of different backgrounds is very interesting. The narration is very enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Peter Simple

  • By: Frederick Marryat
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

In this seminal story of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, Frederick Marryat's young hero embarks upon a life at sea and finds it to be a rough school indeed. Simple's trials and triumphs, with his faithful mentor, Terence O'Brien, at his side, mirror Marryat's personal experiences. Among the exciting events depicted are the hand-to-hand combat of "cutting-out" missions, the devastating hurricane off St. Pierre, and a mutiny aboard the Rattlesnake.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By BARRY on 01-28-07

Wonderful Story and Captivating Narration

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

Reviewed: 01-14-16

Would you listen to Peter Simple again? Why?

I will listen again. The descriptions of life on board a Royal Navy ship in the 19th century whether in storm or in battle are better than modern writer can match. Marryat was there. It's authentic. But beyond that, Marryat's characters and the situations he creates for them are so entertaining. Marryat was a wonderful author. He kept me eager to find out what became of each of the characters he presented. I loved the way he wound up the story.

I have to say that the narration of Frederick Davidson (a pseudonym of David Case) was a wonderful. He brought to life characters with different accents, whether male or female, and they all sounded just right. What an amazing voice actor! He doesn't just read the book, he makes you see it in your mind. I'll look for other books narrated by him. I was so sorry to read that he passed away in 2005.

What did you like best about this story?

It's hard to pin it down to just one thing. I love history so I enjoyed the look into what life was like in the first third of the 19th century in Britain and the Caribbean. I loved Marryat's description of the dangers faced by men at sea. But his sense of humor and romance made it even more enjoyable.

Which scene was your favorite?

Again, I can't pin it down to one scene. There were many. And I don't want to give away some surprises where characters meet again when you don't expect it.

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

I hate that question. I'm not a writer. My tag lines are cheesy.

Any additional comments?

I've read other novels by Frederick Marryat but so far Peter Simple is my favorite. I understand after reading this one why he was such a favorite with boys and young men through the 19th century and into the 20th. I would recommend him to anyone who enjoys adventure, derring-do and men of honor overcoming villains. If you don't mind a little history with your fiction, that's the icing on the cake.

  • Cochrane

  • The Life and Exploits of a Fighting Captain
  • By: Robert Harvey
  • Narrated by: Richard Matthews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

The life and adventures of Thomas Cochrane, a young man who rose from midshipman to admiral, are so extraordinary that, to paraphrase Patrick O'Brian, one has to suspend disbelief. In fact, O'Brian admitted to using Cochrane as the model for his character Jack Aubrey. Second only to Nelson among the heroes of the Royal Navy, Cochrane became a household name in Britain during the 1800s as the Admiralty called upon his extraordinary skill as a sailor, his mastery of gunnery, and his daring use of ruses...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Real Jack Aubrey

  • By Casey Keller on 08-14-06

Better Than Fiction!

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

Reviewed: 04-15-15

Where does Cochrane rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This audiobook ranks among my favorites. The life of Thomas Cochrane was so amazing. The narrator, Richard Matthews, is excellent and brings the words to life. I have to listen when no one is nearby to watch my reactions because I find myself laughing in surprise and admiration of Cochrane's bold choices. So many of Jack Aubrey's adventures follow Cochrane's career as a "Fighting Captain" in the Royal Navy as well as in Chile and Peru.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There's only one - this is about Thomas Cochrane. He's larger than life and yet all too human. I'm sure that once I finish this audiobook I'll have to listen to it all over again.

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

I have not heard any of Richard Matthews's other performances but I'll certainly look for others.

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

So far, my major reaction been when laughing in surprise at the bold decisions of Cochrane when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. He does the unexpected and makes his enemies hesitate just long enough for him to change the odds. So amazing!

Any additional comments?

This book and audiobook have been exactly what I needed after finishing O'Brian's 21 books and audiobooks. Robert Harvey, the author, did a masterful job of writing a biography that educates and well as entertains. Richard Matthews was absolutely wonderful in voicing Cochrane's words and immersing the listener in story. I was captivated. I recommend this audiobook to people who love action, adventure and history. Terrific!

Master and Commander audiobook cover art
  • Master and Commander

  • Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1
  • By: Patrick O'Brian
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,389
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 965

This, the first in the series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful for either gender!

  • By Shelly on 05-05-11

Captivating!

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

Reviewed: 01-18-15

If you could sum up Master and Commander in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, Absorbing, Thrilling

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved both Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. I can't separate them. They are equally important to the stories. Jack Aubrey is the perfect hero. Stephen Maturin is the mysterious, intellectual sometimes-spy. Their friendship is the framework for the story. But each uses his own strengths to do his duty whether it's for his Country or for his friend. Honor, integrity, loyalty are important to each.

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't have just one. I thought the descriptions of sea battles, as well as daily life onboard a sailing vessel was amazing. You could close your eyes and listen to Stephen Vance's narration of Patrick O'Brian's story and imagine yourself there. Wonderful!

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

I wish I were so gifted with words to do that. There was a film in 2003 and while I enjoyed it, it did not do justice to the books. It could not. Master and Commander has so many layers no screenwriter can include it all in the time allowed by film.

This format is the best of the best. You can turn the lights down, press play and take a trip back in time. Adventure, daring-do, nonstop action and wonderful characters created by Patrick O'Brian, enhanced by the voice acting of Simon Vance. Perfect!!!!

Any additional comments?

I have never enjoyed any audible performance more than this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Civil Contract

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 771
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 568
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567

Set in the Regency period, this is a classic tale of misunderstood love and an arranged marriage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • very very good

  • By bebe on 04-19-10

Historical Fiction At Its Best

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

Reviewed: 12-01-14

What made the experience of listening to A Civil Contract the most enjoyable?

Phyllida Nash is so wonderful at voicing multiple characters. She brings them to life. The listener understands so much more clearly the understated humor in the dialogue. She does justice to Georgette Heyer's stories and complex characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't think I can settle on just one favorite. Of course, Mr. Chawleigh is most apparent. He is forceful, amusing, generous, and infuriating as he is determined to gain and maintain the upper hand. But, Adam, Captain Deveril, the new Viscount, is the perfect hero. He has served his country and now must serve his family and his sense of honor. He sacrifices his dearest wish and his dream to make sure his mother and sisters are taken care of. He marries a woman who not at all appealing to him and is determined to fulfill his side of the marriage contract with honor and giving her all the honor due her as his wife. He has a completely appealing personality.

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

I have listened to her before and I have enjoyed all of them. I think this completes all of her Georgette Heyer readings and the rest are already in my library, except for The Foundling. I suppose that will be the next one I will have to add based not only on my appreciation of Georgette Heyer, but on the strength of Phyllida Nash's performances. You are drawn into the story and the characters thanks to her voice acting.

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

The final pages when it all comes together. You see how the main characters have grown. The strength of Adam and Jenny, of his friend Brough, of the relationship between Mr. Chawleigh and Adam. It's so realistic and human.

Any additional comments?

If you enjoy history and historical fiction, you will enjoy this story set in Britain during the Napoleonic period. It's a window into the past. It is not light reading, but it is worthwhile.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil’s Heiress

  • By: Jo Beverley
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 145

Returning home from the battle of Waterloo, Major George "Hawk" Hawkinville discovers his father has squandered away the family estate. To keep his home, Hawk decides to marry Clarissa Greystone, a contemptuous gold-digger, who’s vast fortune isn’t her only asset.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfection!

  • By Maria Footman on 03-10-18

Simon Prebble and Jo Beverley Are Wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 11-11-14

Where does The Devil’s Heiress rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of my favorites. The hero and heroine are well written. He has just returned to England after Waterloo and trying to adjust to civilian life. She is trying to recover from an abusive relationship involving her family's' trying to force her to marry a truly evil man who mysteriously turned up dead. Did she kill him for his money? He was not the type of man to leave his wealth to a fiancée and yet his will seems to indicate he did that. The skills Hawk learned trying to gather intelligence during the Napoleonic War are put to use trying to determine whether she is as innocent as she first appears.

Simon Prebble doesn't just narrate the story, his wonderful voice creates the atmosphere and pulls the listener into the story. This story is perfect for his talent.

Who was your favorite character and why?

George "Hawk" Hawkinville. He is brilliant, thoughtful, a true and loyal friend and a dangerous enemy.

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

I've never been disappointed with any of the audible books I've heard him narrate. Even when some of the storylines were not as strong as others, he has the ability to bridge the areas of weakness and keep my interest.

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

Definitely. It is hours long but it is a page turner.

Any additional comments?

Just writing about how much I enjoyed it makes me want to listen to it again. :)