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KR

Ashland, OR, United States
  • 5
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  • 139
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  • 90
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  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

  • By: Susanna Clarke
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 32 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,814
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,485
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,487

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hang in there!

  • By D. McMillen on 05-31-05

One of the best stories ever written. Seriously.

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

Reviewed: 05-18-15

I've had this book for years on CD, and loved it so much I bought the hardcover just to have a more "tangible" copy of such a masterpiece (that has a few charcoal drawings as well). I bought it again on audible just for the convenience of enjoying it again on my phone. Simon Prebble's reading is one of those that is so good, and each character voiced so well that I hope in the upcoming BBC America mini-series the actors sounds as good as Simon Prebble's impersonation of them. Especially The Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair, where his acting takes one of the most interesting characters in literature to an entirely new level.
The story itself I have listened to 3 or 4 times, and there is so much density to it I get something new out of it every time. The world Susanna Clarke has set up, through fantastic backstory and detours via lengthy footnotes (which work surprisingly well on audio), is a stunning alternate history so real feeling it almost seems it should be true. It's not quite George RR Martin or Tolkien in its complexity, but that level of quality.

For anyone that might enjoy a story of magicians in an England that didn't quite exist, I highly recommend this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Area X

  • The Southern Reach Trilogy - Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance
  • By: Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, Xe Sands
  • Length: 26 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,227
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,017
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,032

Dive into the mysteries of Area X, a remote and lush terrain that has inexplicably sequestered itself from civilization. Twelve expeditions have gone in, and not a single member of any of them has remained unchanged by the experience - for better or worse.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Almost Great

  • By clifford on 12-26-15

Book 1: intriguing! Book 2: Zzzz. Book 3: WTF!

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

Reviewed: 02-03-15

This series starts off like "Lost" - mysterious place with lots of questions.
Book 2 is a slog. It's all inter-company squabbles of the Dharma Initiative.
Book 3 is decent with some action. A bit dreamy and weird and hard to follow but the answers are coming right? And then it ends so abruptly I actually yelled "WTF!" at my car stereo. If you want a great start that then will waste hours going absolutely nowhere... Area X is it.

135 of 147 people found this review helpful

  • The Golem and the Jinni

  • A Novel
  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,500
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,539

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!

  • By Tango on 04-26-13

Fascinating characters you will long remember

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

Reviewed: 01-12-14

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

This book starts with a bang, and then slows for hours. Not boring, but lots of walking and talking. But the characters it builds and their depth keep you listening and you'll be glad. The second half starts weaving all the threads together and it really gets good. George Guidall is easy to listen to and gives voices just enough difference to keep them straight. At the end, you'll be left with some characters you may never forget. Definitely worth it.

  • Hard Magic

  • Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles
  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,637
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,696
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,693

Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I thought it was going to be.

  • By Clinton on 08-06-11

Don't let the bad cover art fool you - a rare gem!

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

Reviewed: 12-28-12

If you could sum up Hard Magic in three words, what would they be?

Enthralling alternate history!

What other book might you compare Hard Magic to and why?

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell comes to mind, but so does X-Men. This is a genre mash-up but the sum is refreshingly original.

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

I SO did not expect "Balki Bartakamous" from Perfect Strangers to be a good reader, but Bronson Pinchot's reading was just one of the many pleasant surprises in this series. He doesn't "read" this book, he acts it like a radio play by different 20 people. Mr. Pinchot's ability to create and maintain specific voices for a huge array of characters is up there with Jim Dale's reading of the Harry Potter series. He really brings each character to life, and it's obvious he's read the series thoroughly ahead of time to create the personas and infuse them with a voice that fits their backstories. Mr. Pinchot is simply one of the best audiobook readers I've ever heard.

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

This book sneaks up on you. It starts off with what seems to be a small 1930's hard-nosed film noir trope (reinforced by the poor cover art), and slowly introduces you to an incredibly well designed alternate history of characters from Lincoln to Roosevelt to Edison.

Any additional comments?

A story this good, and reading this good, really deserves better cover artwork. The cover art for Hard Magic is cheesy, and the sequel Spellbound artwork is just dreadful. They make these look like cheap productions and hide the quality of the writing and the reading. It's true but hard to avoid - don't judge this series by its covers!
If you're on the fence read a few of the reviews because this was one of the most enjoyable "what the heck I'll try it" finds I've had in a long time. I'm only halfway thru the sequel but it seems just as good.

  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,916
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,188
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,222

Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Start To A Space SciFi Series

  • By breckoz on 12-15-12

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 03-12-12

Any additional comments?

This book has a great premise, but it gets completely bogged down in worthless details. Not useful details, like how many ships in the protagonist or enemy fleets (unbelievably never mentioned), but relentless descriptions of people's facial expressions. Usually

3 of 4 people found this review helpful