LISTENER

Peter Darling

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 10
  • ratings
  • A Boy Called Christmas

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

You are about to listen to the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this audiobook is full of impossible things. Are you still reading? Good. Then let us begin....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This deserves a movie adaptation.

  • By Peter Darling on 01-22-19

This deserves a movie adaptation.

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

Of all the origin stories for this mythical figure that exist in movie form, none that I know of comes even close to this. This is original and creative, yet also believable. The characters and events are all down to earth and flow seemlessly but the story does not lack magic. It's just been blended in so well. If Father Christmas was real, this is how he likely would have become the magical figure we know. The relative realism made this such an enjoyable listen, as did the likeable, reasonably complex characters. The narrator is spot-on too. Great job he did.

I only wish he had googled how to pronounce the Finnish names--especially the town names. It got a bit distracting to one who knows how, and the correct pronounciation would be easy enough for those whose first language is english. I also think that in the wring the toilet humour was unnecessary and didn't really fit in, but fortunately there was only four points where that happened. But these flaws are not big enough to lose them stars.

Anyway, great job from the narrator and a heart-felt, creative story from the author. Matt Haig seems to be at his strongest as a children's author and able to make his stories engaging for adults too. I would listen to this again around Christmas.

  • To Be a Cat

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Chris Pavlo
  • Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

Barney Willow thinks life couldn't get any worse. He's weedy and has sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him. And worst of all, his Dad has been missing for almost a year, and there's no sign of him ever coming home. Barney just wants to escape, and find another life. Being a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier - right?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent children's author.

  • By Peter Darling on 01-22-19

Excellent children's author.

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

This, as is Haig's "Boy Called Christmas", is a wonderful children's book. Very imaginative story, easy listening/reading, and a writing style and sense of humour that can entertain and amuse even adults. I enjoyed both books a lot and think both could become very good movies. Though almost every single big plot point is very predictable before even starting to listen to this particular book, at least to adults, it is still very interesting and not predictable to see how the characters get to those points. And the ending was not so obvious after all. This story is somewhat dark and distressing what with the unhappy people and abused cats, but the writing style and well sprinkled light humour makes it perfectly tolorable, especially since a happy ending for the main character is implied early on. Though, even that doesn't lessen the most disturbing bit where the evil cat described how it had murdered its owner in a slow and painful way, especially as the owner was established as the most kind person you could meet. It is by far the darkest thing in this book yet somehow doesn't feel out of place.

So, I might not have very young children listen to or read this. Especially if they love cats and/or are very sensitive. I would recommend this to pre-teens and older people. Anyone younger only if they can truly control their emotions about ficonal characters and events and understand them.

This is a well written, funny, slightly unsettling, emotional and captivating story. Totally worth even the regular price and certainly the Member price. I aim to buy books that I would listen to at least twice in my life, and this is absolutely one of them. There may not be much new to discover the second time around but I do want to experience this story's humour and some of the sweeter emotional bits again some day.

  • Pet Sematary

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Michael C. Hall
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12,249
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,325

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic, rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Yet despite Ludlow's tranquility, there's an undercurrent of danger that lingers...like the graveyard in the woods near the Creeds' home, where generations of children have buried their beloved pets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Damn scary elevated by Hall's narration!

  • By Eric Mochnacz on 04-27-18

One of King's absolute best, but...

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

What did you love best about Pet Sematary?

The human psyche aspect especially through the main character and the way King wrote about it. This is a true horror story but also a fantastic choice to anybody who's interested in human psychology during times or deep grief and horror.

What did you like best about this story?

The family moments. They feel very real and are a great contrast to the horrors lurking and to follow.

What about Michael C. Hall’s performance did you like?

Everything except the way he read the Wendigo "Gage"'s lines at the end, I think those could have been read a whole lot better. All other characters he portrays perfectly natural and well. Also, it's hard to explain but he read the story in just the right pace and way so that every word was captivating and atmospheric. He really does justice to this story.

If you could take any character from Pet Sematary out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The neighbour, Jud. Or his wife, Norma. Both are such sweet old people and I'd like to hear stories they have to tell.

Any additional comments?

This story was nowhere near as terrifying as I remembered. But then again the last time I read this was about twenty years ago as in I was much younger then and less familiar with the horror genre. Now, though the first two thirds are still fantastic the last third is a bit disappointing. Especially after seeing the 1989 movie adaptation which screenplay was also written by King himself.In this book the Wendigo Gage barely makes an appearance which is a shame because the story all along was leading up to the child's death and resurrection. So you'd expect the monster to have a big part at the end. It has more screen time in the movie than it does page time in the book or at least in the movie it feels much more intense even though the 2-year old child actor could not be covered in the appropriate make-up nor could he speak the lines that belong to the character. More Wendigo Gage at the end would probably make this book perfect.I'd say the strength of this book is the psychology of Louis Creed and the painful concept of death and grief which do not come across much in the 1989 movie version. It is all fantastically written and I warmly recommend this book to anybody who can take some horror. But for someone who's looking for more intense and graphic horror the 1989 movie adaptation is the more recommendable option. Personally I'd like the best a version in between these two.

  • Uncivilized

  • By: Sawyer Bennett
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Leigh, Lee Samuels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,890
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,733
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,723

Putting a woman on her knees before me is what really makes my cock hard. I f**k with dominant force and absolute control. I demand complete surrender from my conquests. Savage man, loner, warrior... I am dangerous at my core. I have lived amidst the untamed wild of the rainforest, in a society that reveres me and where every woman falls before me in subjugation. Now I've been discovered. Forced to return to a world that I have forgotten about and to a culture that is only vaguely familiar to my senses.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Loved !!!!

  • By DA on 12-31-14

Very fine X-rated Tarzan story

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

Reviewed: 04-22-17

Could you see Uncivilized being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyable to even those who aren't that into erotica novels. This author is very talented writer both for sexual scenes and story and characters. I found the premise, the Tarzan-like story intriguing and the author managed to dive into Zach's character truly well and execute his story believably. All the characters felt real and the descriptive narrative was so good I could vividly see every moment of this story in my mind. Zach's character is strongly created and developed, by far my favorite character in this book and I never lost interest in how this all would end up for him.

95% of this book is absolutely great. But I do have a few complaints.

While I understand the whole point of this book is to be an erotic novel and thus tons of sex was to be expected...At couple of points they were having so much sex that it began to feel a bit obnoxious, like, those parts of the book would have benefited from several significant and character-developing scenes without sex, in between the sex scenes to balance it out. Especially as sex was almost all Zach and Moira thought about when they weren't doing it. That's another thing, I wished they'd have more room for other things in their brain when socializing with other people together. Even so, somehow, the author managed to put in a lot of other stuff too and clear character development. The story never really gets overshadowed by the sex even as plentiful as the erotica is here. So, for the most part the balance between sex scenes and other scenes was fine. Many of the non-sex scenes could have used less sexual overtones but there was sufficient amount of totally sex free scenes.

Moira's character felt a bit underdeveloped for a main character, especially in comparison to the great depth and development Zach's character was given. But she was okay, and all side characters were interesting and well used.

The ending was very disappointing. It made it painfully obvious this story was written by a woman for women. Which is a pity because the rest of this story was perfectly gender-neutral read/listen, further strengthened by the main character being a manly man and the dual narrative of one chapter from the man's point of view, the next from the woman's and so on. Then the ending happened, not only is it much more likely enjoyed by women than men at all and was written in horribly cliche way for what it wanted to be...but also weakened the whole story's core a lot. The ending is largely the reason why I give the story three stars instead of five. If this was ever adapted into a movie or TV series I would hope they'd completely change the ending.

The female narrator is great both in her narration and the voice itself. The male narrator is okay and though I don't think his voice quite suits Zach I got used to it quickly.

Even though the ending weakened the story a lot, everything up to that point is solid, interesting, and very well written. The sex scenes are totally hot - even if they don't arouse you for whatever reason, they are very pleasing to listen to or read anyway. As hot and great as the sex scenes were and i enjoyed them, I wasn't aroused and I found myself much more interested in the non-sexual parts of the story and eager to know how it ends and had hopes for one as strong as the rest of the story, which made the ending all the more disappointing.

I warmly recommend this to anyone who is interested in a Tarzan story for its psychological and cultural aspects while doesn't mind lots of sexuality and sex scenes included. That's basically why I checked this book out after concluding that possibility from a handful of reviews. As in you might very well enjoy this book even if you weren't a fan of erotic novels.

I'll definitely give this one another listen some day and just stop at certain point animagine a better ending. This book was worth the credit I used for it.

I'll be checking if this author has written any books that aren't erotica or even romance, because she definitely has the talent to beautifully write meaningful, psychological characters and stories which are my cup of tea way more than sex and romance. While she also definitely has the talent to write quality sex and romance aspects as well.

  • Kazan

  • By: James Oliver Curwood
  • Narrated by: Kevin Foley
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

Part wolf, part Husky, he was born to the wilderness and carried his burden among men stoically. He had known starvation, bitter cold, overwork and suffering at the cruel hand of man. He was a giant among his kind and as fearless as the men who drove him mercilessly through the perils of a frozen world. And now, through the uncertain hand of fate, he is free...he is called Kazan, the Wild Dog. But his journey has just begun and survival against the unforgiving wilderness with his blind mate, Grey Wolf, is a personal challenge. He had never known fear...until now!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating tale for a lover of dogs and the wild

  • By Peter Darling on 03-12-17

Captivating tale for a lover of dogs and the wild

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

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

Realistic. Engaging. Sweet.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Kazan?

The forest fire, particularly when Kazan's then blinded wolf mate refuses to cross the river to safety and they had to find another way to save themselves.

Did Kevin Foley do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Well, not really but not bad either. I mostly noted how he portrayed the women characters voices which I found auitable enough.

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

When Kazan's blind wolf mate tried to hold on to any remaining scent of him; sleeping in the very same spots he had slept, even laying her head on the club that still had Kazan's blood and hair on it from the beating the man who had kidnapped him had given the poor wolf-dog...The rain washed all those away in the night but she found another spot with his scent where they had made their last kill but that too was soon washed away...Bare in mind that she was completely blind - a lynx had ripped out her eyes years ago.

Any additional comments?

I first read this as a young child and though most of its details had slipped my mind in these 20+ years, I still remembered how great this story was. This is a wonderful story about wilderness and the nature of dogs and wolves, and how a dog who was born and grew up with humans will always remain a dog, having some loyalty to humans, no matter how wild he becomes and even if he is part wolf. (In Kazan's case he really only loved women, as women had never beaten him.) Yet also how well a part wolf dog can adapt and belong into the wilderness. It also seems like the author reall knew about the Canadian wilderness, and the sled dogs of the early 1900's so it's like this story could have really happened.

I recommend this to people who love dogs, wolves and/or wilderness adventures BUT note that this may be upsetting to very young children because there's a lot of violence; men beat the dogs mercilessly with clubs and whips as punishments and/or to tame them and Kazan himself receives several of them, and there's also a lot of violence between the wild animals. It's fairly graphic, too.

The narrator is fine, especially for children. My only complaint is that it is very clear he recorded this in three different takes, possibly all in different locations. As in the recording wasn't edited to sound similar, the patching is very clear. But that's really minor, not too distracting.

  • Jurassic Park

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,583
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,566

Audie Award, Science Fiction, 2016. An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind's most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them - for a price.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • CHAOS THEORY

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 01-30-16

Thrilling and captivating

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

Reviewed: 03-09-17

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

Second best, following Peter Pan narrated by Jim Dale.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tim. I love writing and reading about child characters and Tim is nicely written, realistic and pleasent that of. Unlike his sister Lex who is a total brat and I almost wished something would eat her, several times throughout the book...

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

No. There are a few scenes that could have but the narration doesn't dive into those moments much at all. This is perhaps a bit too action-heavy book but I don't mind because the action is written great!

Any additional comments?

I was surprised how different the 1993 movie adaptation is yet how well it adapted this story. I'd recommend this novel to any teenager or adult who enjoys the movie, while I'd mention that Hammond's character is almost the opposite from the movie version when it comes to his personality and Timmy and Lex are too. But though some of the characters are very different, you'll get tons more cool dinosaur action and thrills, many more different species of dinosaurs, and the best of all you get numerous lengthy and thrilling scenes with the T-Rex! If today's movie makers weren't so cheap as to use CGI only, I would like to see another adaptation of this book. But as is, I hope the 1993 one remains the only one.

I would not recommend this to very young children, because some of the dinosaur action/kill scenes are quite intense and frightning and the narration is full of big words as well as science talk even most adults don't necessarely understand, as in chances are young kids get too scared or quickly bored. For teens and adults i believe the balance between the action and science talk is okay.

I like the movie's ending scene much better than this book's but I am nonetheless very interested in listening to the sequel novel.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Deep End of the Ocean

  • By: Jacquelyn Mitchard
  • Narrated by: Dana Ivey
  • Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45

Both highly suspenseful and deeply moving, The Deep End of the Ocean imagines every mother's worst nightmare - the disappearance of a child - as it explores a family's struggle to endure, even against extraordinary odds. Filled with compassion, humor, and brilliant observations about the texture of real life, here is a story of rare power, one that will touch listeners' hearts and make them celebrate the emotions that make us all one. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great reading, but way too much cut out

  • By Peter Darling on 03-09-17

Great reading, but way too much cut out

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

Reviewed: 03-09-17

Would you try another book from Jacquelyn Mitchard and/or Dana Ivey?

Yes.

What other book might you compare The Deep End of the Ocean to and why?

I don't know.

What aspect of Dana Ivey’s performance would you have changed?

She reads sad moments too cheerfully.

Do you think The Deep End of the Ocean needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. After a story this dramatic and deep and the way it ends I prefer imagening myself how their lives carried on.

Any additional comments?

Don't purchase this audiobook if you want to know the full story. I've read this book before and HUGE important parts and events of especially the first chaptets have been cut out in this audio version. This is nowhere near as emotional as the physical copy version. Like, I can't believe how much they've left out!!! And can't understand why anything had to be cut out at all. That's why I gave the story only three stars. The original, full story in the physical paper copy is solid five stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful