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Kristen

Geneva, NY, United States
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 16
  • ratings
  • The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax

  • By: Dorothy Gilman
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,233
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,989
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,985

Emily Pollifax is one of a precious few gray-haired female sleuths who solve their cases through unflagging determination, moral courage and wisdom that comes with age. In "The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax", Emily answers the call of that “nice Mr. Carstairs” to go to Istanbul as a courier and search for a missing agent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful story, perfect narration!

  • By Coffee Lover on 09-08-11

Wouldn't be my first choice

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

Reviewed: 12-13-17

The premise is appealing, but this book didn't thrill me. Part of the problem is the dated characterizations of Turkish and Roma people (and heck, even of the Brits), and part of it is a story voicing that didn't work for me. In this case, I might have enjoyed the story more if I had been able to read it on the page and endow some of the characters, in my imagination, with more dignity and depth than I found in this rendering. Even for "easy listening" while washing dishes and folding laundry, this book didn't live up to my expectations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Convenient Marriage

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Caroline Hunt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 466
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 372
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 375

When the most eligible Earl of Rule offers for the hand of the beauty of the Winwood family, he has no notion of the distress he causes his intended. For Miss Lizzie Winwood is promised to the excellent, but impoverished, Mr Edward Heron. Disaster can only be averted by the delightful impetuosity of her youngest sister, Horatia, who conceives her own, distinctly original plans . . .

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yeah! They fixed it!

  • By Yvette on 10-26-10

A last resort

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

Reviewed: 03-13-17

I have 27 Georgette Heyer novels in my Audible library, and have listened to 26 of them, including this one. Although I don't care for her 20th-century mysteries, _A Convenient Marriage_ is the first of her (not-quite-)Regency titles that I've really disliked. The liveliness for which I treasure Heyer doesn't emerge until the last third of the novel, and at that point, it's almost too late. The first portions drag and drag, and the whole structure is belabored. Poor Lt. Heron, for example, is misused as a character, as are Horatia's sisters, Lizzie and Charlotte. I wanted more interactions between Luisa and Horatia, and I wanted the villain to put up a better fight. At least we do get some of the strong male friendships that feature in other of her novels, but I would only recommend this one as a last resort. Instead of listening obsessively, as is my usual approach to Heyer, I left this one aside for long stretches and almost gave up on it entirely. It may only have been saved because I needed something to distract me on a long flight. Oh, and whoever did the cover art featured on the Audible edition didn't bother to find out much about the story.

  • They Found Him Dead

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Ulli Birvé
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 289

The sixtieth birthday party of Silas Kane was marred by argument and dissension among his family. And then, the morning after the celebrations, Kane is found dead at the foot of a cliff. The theory that Silas accidentally lost his way in the fog is confirmed when the coroner returns a verdict of death by misadventure. But then Kane's nephew and heir is murdered and threats are made on the next in line to the fortune, throwing a new and sinister light on Kane's death. All clues point to an elderly lady of eighty as the killer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heyer's classic mysteries are ripe & delicious

  • By Toby on 11-19-14

What a disappointment

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

Reviewed: 04-27-16

I am besotted with Georgette Heyer the Regency romance novelist. Thought I would try Georgette Heyer the mystery writer. What a snooze. The culprit is easily identifiable early on, the characters -- including the protagonist(s) -- barely developed, and the whole thing lacks the sparkle that I associate with Heyer's other work. Not my cup of tea.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Persuasion

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,715
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,159

Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Juliet Stevenson is Simply Amazing

  • By Emily - Audible on 04-15-12

My favorite Austen

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

Reviewed: 07-14-12

As I noted in the title, Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. Anne Elliott is a believable, normal character whose concerns and frustrations don't seem dated in the least, even when they are shaped by outdated (I hope) notions of what it means to be a woman.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Wait for Me!

  • Memoirs
  • By: Deborah Mitford Duchess of Devonshire
  • Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy, who wrote when Deborah was born, "How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl." Deborah's effervescent memoir chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her controversially political sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to the second son of the Duke of Devonshire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The last of the Mitford Sisters

  • By Irene on 01-11-11

Glad I stuck with it

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

Reviewed: 07-14-12

I am an Anglophile of long standing, but it took me a while -- most of Part 1 -- to warm up to the Duchess and her story. Her tales of childhood painted scenes of privilege that I found off-putting, with little to endear the writer or her very young self to me. Once the narrator got older -- just on the brink of WWII and then into the war -- she became more of a real person, not only because she matured, but because she finally began to see hardship and sorrow, and to experience them, herself. Clearly, once Deborah Mitford had real responsibilities (raising children and running Chatsworth), she rose to them. Flosnik's reading is just fine, except when she attempts an American accent. In general, why bother if you can't do it well? In particular, Flosnik attempts the Kennedy version of the American accent when reading from letters to Mitford written by Jack and Bobby. It's appalling.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Hemingses of Monticello

  • An American Family
  • By: Annette Gordon-Reed
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 451
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 286
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 285

This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family's dispersal after Jefferson's death in 1826. It brings to life not only Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson but also their children and Hemings's siblings, who shared a father with Jefferson's wife, Martha.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worried at first

  • By Phillip on 12-13-08

Spectacular

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

Reviewed: 02-25-12

I had wanted to read this book since it was first published, and I'm so glad I was able to get it as an audiobook. I learned SO MUCH about U.S. history and 18th-century Western societies. Gordon-Reed does so well at contextualizing the people about whom she writes, their actions, and their expectations, that I felt I had a very reliable conduit to the time in which the Hemings family lived and worked and was enslaved at Monticello. I'm impressed that she creates such a lively narrative without, as far as I can tell, embellishing or creating dialogue.

Listening to the whole work is a commitment. I stretched my listening over several months, but never lost the thread of the story. This is probably because of the many repetitions of the same concepts throughout the book, but, as Lenin said, "povtorenie -- mat' ucheniia" -- repetition is the mother of learning. I certainly found these repetitions more helpful than annoying.

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

  • The Millennium Series, Book 1
  • By: Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland - translator
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 16 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,913
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,720
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,794

Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN

  • By Pamela M on 03-02-09

Great fun

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

Reviewed: 02-25-12

I avoided this series and both films for quite some time because I generally don't like extremely suspenseful and/or violent stories, but finally saw the second version of the film. I enjoyed the film a lot, and so decided to listen to the book. No surprise, of course, to find much more detail and a few unsuspected plot twists in the original. I actually found myself going to the gym more frequently just so I could listen to the next segment of the book! Overall, I found the extensive detail about how various things worked/happened to be quite interesting, and even though I knew the basic plot from the film, the narrative kept me engaged.

I wasn't crazy about the narrator's voicing of the female characters -- too much breathy little-girlishness in all of them. I suppose I can see where this kind of sound makes sense for Salander, but it just didn't work for me. It bothered me enough that I never quite stopped noticing it, but not enough to make me refrain from listening to the rest of the trilogy.

  • Medium Raw

  • A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
  • By: Anthony Bourdain
  • Narrated by: Anthony Bourdain
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,614
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,502

In the 10 years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business and for Anthony Bourdain. Medium Raw explores those changes, tracking Bourdain's strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood. Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly tender.

  • By Sparkly on 10-09-12

Stick around for the end

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

Reviewed: 12-14-11

I thought the ending, especially Chapter 18, was the best part of the book. The middle chapters dragged quite a lot, in my opinion, but the discussion of fish-cutting at Le Bernardin was beautifully detailed and mesmerizing. Totally worth the price of the book. I generally love Bourdain's opinionated approach to, well, everything, but some of the early chapters and much of the middle was just rehashing points he makes elsewhere. I almost gave up on this book about 2/3 of the way through. I'm so glad I didn't, because then I would have missed my beloved Chapter 18, but it was tough going for a while.

  • Wives and Daughters

  • By: Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Narrated by: Prunella Scales
  • Length: 25 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 584
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424

Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a widowed doctor in the small provincial town of Hollingford, lost her mother when she was a child. Her father remarries wanting to give Molly the woman's presence he feels she lacks. To Molly, any stepmother would have been a shock, but the new Mrs. Gibson is a self-absorbed, petty widow, and Molly's unhappiness is compounded by the realisation that her father has come to regret his second marriage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb! Story and Narration A++

  • By Jo on 05-24-10

Wonderful company

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-02-09

This is my first audio book, so I don't have a lot of context in which to judge, but I enjoyed every second of it. I already knew the story, and was impressed with Prunella Scales's voicing of the characters. Unlike a reviewer below, I didn't find her narration "flat;" I don't want the reader's voice to overwhelm the text. I think I'm going to purchase more of Mrs. Gaskell, as read by Scales.