LISTENER

Darcy

United States
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 64
  • helpful votes
  • 111
  • ratings
  • The Ensemble

  • A Novel
  • By: Aja Gabel
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 93

Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; the viola is Henry, a prodigy who's always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry skeptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness String Quartet. In The Ensemble, each character takes the spotlight and picks up the melody, from the group's youthful rocky start through to middle age, through both devastating failures and wild success.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful journey for musicians

  • By Helene Grotans on 07-16-18

Score!!!

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

Reviewed: 05-28-18

Intelligent, funny and evocative. Beautiful language telling the tale. Luxurious exploration into character' pysches. Great production and narrator. Enjoy!

  • The Woman in the Window

  • A Novel
  • By: A. J. Finn
  • Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21,613
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19,870
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19,814

Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times...and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble. And its shocking secrets are laid bare.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • An excruciating listen.

  • By Debra on 01-12-18

Oh to have had another narrator, alas.

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

As you can see this is a five star story and will probably be successfully made into a film. in our case, however, a clever plot is compromised by bad narration. A third in I changed the audio speed to 1.20 which helped a little. Sadly, just as this psychological thriller as heating up I reached my max on tolerating overly dramatic and monotonous reading. Every word is give the same intensity and volume and my brain began to freak out with every !!!!! It is worth it to get to the end - actually, the story is compelling enough to push you to the finish line regardless. I really hate this kind of theatrical delivery. Not to be confused, theater is one animal; audio books are a completely different species. I really hate it that my sex are most guilty of this transgression of hysterical reading. My recommendation: Skip the audio and read the book.

  • The Little Red Chairs

  • By: Edna O'Brien
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 395

Vlad, a stranger from Eastern Europe masquerading as a healer, settles in a small Irish village where the locals fall under his spell. One woman, Fidelma McBride, becomes so enamored that she begs him for a child. All that world is shattered when Vlad is arrested, and his identity as a war criminal is revealed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exquisite prose

  • By Sharey on 05-04-16

YES

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

Reviewed: 04-02-16

Darkly human; Beautifully written; Brilliantly read. An outsider tantalizes and brings the evil of wars to a small contemporary Irish community. Wounded souls try to make make meaning and heal together. Gorgeous and horrifying imagery. Juliet Stevenson exceeds the challenge and nearly creates a new performing arts form. Brava!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Nature of the Beast

  • A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,594
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,329
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,309

Hardly a day goes by when nine-year-old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions to walking trees to winged beasts in the woods to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Go with hard copy next time

  • By Angela on 07-30-16

Deep in Three Pines

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

Reviewed: 08-28-15

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

For all you Louise Penny lovers out there, this return to Three Pines does not disappoint. We have a new narrator and -- personally -- I found him to be quite good. The former voice of Inspector Gamache, Jean Guy Beauvoir, Clara, Ruth, Gabri et. al. was wonderful but I had difficulty with his articulation of Ms. Penny's lyrical prose. This time I didn't miss a word but I did have to adjust to a new timbre for Gamache and Ruth. The great news is that the entire story takes place in Three Pines so we get to catch up with each of the characters we have grown to love.

Ms. Penny's multi-leveled story centers on two murders, a dangerous object discovered in the forest and suggests a new chapter in the life of Inspector Gamache without revealing his decision. Can he adjust to being "still" in Three Pines or will his work as a consultant to the new Inspector General, his protege Isabelle Lacoste, draw him back into the world of homicide?

Here is the thing: I had difficulty with the central conceit of the book (spoiler alert!) that a special weapon of mass destruction pointed at the U.S. and meant for sale to Sadam Hussein, a weapon that does not require electricity for launch, guidance, etc., would be stashed in Three Pines. I found myself going back to listen to the explanation several times just to make sure I understood what was being offered. In addition, the murder of the little boy just does not make sense -- the thread of which is lost as the book progresses to its denouement.

Granted, Ms. Penny has developed a formula that engages our beloved characters in solving murder but I missed the well-researched historic elements we have grown used to hearing. There are bits about the cold war, the first gulf war, and even Vietnam (with reference to draft dodgers and Mei Li) but somehow it all felt very disjointed. It was at this point that my attention began to wane a bit.

All in all, I really liked the book and listened to it in two days. Ms. Penny writes so beautifully that to split hairs about details is an exercise of no real benefit. Just go with the flow and enjoy the world of Three Pines and all its quirky residents.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133,224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117,656
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117,532

Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2016. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Psychological Thriller Mystery

  • By Victor @ theAudiobookBlog on 01-23-18

familiar yet compelling read

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

Reviewed: 02-22-15

As an Audible listen this book takes a bit of perseverance to straighten out characteristics of the three main female and male protagonists. It is written in journal format but the three main females lack definition so whose story was advancing could be confusing. Some fresh expressions and ideas partnered with the more banal of mass market fiction. Recommended if on sale

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Doc

  • A Novel
  • By: Mary Doria Russell
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 16 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 828
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 825

The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail 26-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great writing and narration

  • By Dennis on 06-02-11

Stunning and Sensational

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

Reviewed: 12-16-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Doc to be better than the print version?

Did I get your attention? Good! This is a must listen.

Ms. Russell has written a master-work about characters we thought we knew. She picked a few important years in Dodge City when it seemed that all Western icons (famous and infamous) gathered and lived. Her descriptions of the Earp brothers, the sex workers (Doc's partner Kate is an absolute original!), the law (Bat Masterson), legislature and organized religion, and of course, Doc Holliday and his life, a sweeping and fascinating saga. From antebellum Georgia to post Civil War Dodge City and finally to Arizona and Tombstone,

I absolutely fell in love with, got angry with, felt sorry for, was amazed and disgusted by Doc Holliday. Now that is what I call a relationship!

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

Mark Bramhall is a national treasure. His reading of Doc is THE BEST I have listened to since joining Audible a couple of years ago. I think we are talking about nearly 200 books and this one is tops.

Who was the most memorable character of Doc and why?

The depth of character development is outstanding. Events, responses, and consequences or lack thereof abound along with wonderful "inner monologues" of Morgan and Wyatt Earp, Dc Holliday and Kate. Secondary and even lost souls have their say in Ms. Russell's book which is people'd with a truly unique cast of characters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • To Kill a Mockingbird

  • By: Harper Lee
  • Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27,566
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 24,895
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 24,824

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning

  • By Alan on 07-08-14

Tour de Force Performance of Classic

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

Reviewed: 12-16-14

What did you love best about To Kill a Mockingbird?

Why would anyone need to listen to the book of To Kill A Mockingbird when we have the movie to enjoy, Gregory Peck and all? Two words: Sissy Spacek! Ms. Spacek's voice is pitch perfect for Ms. Lee's narrator, our grown up little girl looking back on her childhood and its traumatic and richly educational events. As her voice began to describe the southern village of our setting I dropped into imagery and only left when I had to switch Audible off for those pesky real world problems..

What other book might you compare To Kill a Mockingbird to and why?

No comparisons but if you are looking for a great historical novel with stunning characters, plot, and dialogue go no further than Doc by Marie Doria Russell.

Which scene was your favorite?

To Kill a Mockingbird teams with ethical and legal lessons -- soft and hard -- that reminds us of the importance of making heroic and not so heroic choices based upon our ethical code. The book also peoples its world with characters quirky and pathetic reminding me to appreciate differences and practice empathy.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

  • By: Alan Cumming
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,430
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,887
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,849

With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best Part of Saturday

  • By George Knight on 12-16-14

Who Are We? It Matters!

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

Reviewed: 12-16-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Not My Father's Son: A Memoir to be better than the print version?

Concurrently my friend read and I listened to Alan Cumming's book and we both loved it although getting to listen to the author read (an actor at that) was a big bonus for me. Half way through the book I went to You Tube and watched the Who Do You Think You Are? episode which was a great addition to the overall experience.

What did you like best about this story?

Mr. Cumming did a great job of presenting Then ... and Now ... alternating chapters keeping the reader engaged with both historical and current day facts and events. The impact of the past on the present is palpable as Mr. Cumming sorts out his abusive childhood and terrifying relationship with his "Father." No spoilers here.

What about Alan Cumming’s performance did you like?

Great actors don't always make great narrators but this is not the case here. Mr. Cumming brings his trained instrument (voice - sense memory) to the telling of the story with a lovely sensitivity to those near and far as he conducts his inquiry. One also gets the sense that we are hearing moments of authentic emotional and intellectual upheaval and processing. Thanks you for sharing such a personal journey.

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

Great writing that kept me listening to the whole book in two days. Detailed descriptions of cruel parental punishment/abuse may be difficult for some but these moments are balanced with a sense of wonder and gratitude (to the known and the unknown) by Mr. Cumming as he conducts his search.

Any additional comments?

Highly Recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Return of the Native

  • By: Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by: Alan Rickman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 913
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 835
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 812

Set on Egdon Heath, a fictional barren moor in Wessex, Eustacia Vye longs for the excitement of city life but is cut off from the world in her grandfather's lonely cottage. Clym Yeobright who has returned to the area to become a schoolmaster seems to offer everything she dreams of: passion, excitement and the opportunity to escape. However, Clym's ambitions are quite different, and marriage only increases Eustacia's destructive restlessness, drawing others into a tangled web of deceit and unhappiness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Always Hardy

  • By Wallen on 04-20-11

Rickman and Hardy: A Perfect Pair

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

Reviewed: 09-21-14

Would you listen to The Return of the Native again? Why?

I will listen to this book again simply to hear the mellifluous tones of Alan Rickman. But I must admit that I enjoyed the book itself; the story, the countryside, and characters came alive much more clearly than if I had read it silently myself. Every image became vivid with Mr. Rickman's description and his accents and slight changes in tone indicated different characters without all that fakery of imitating women's voices that other narrators chose. Highly recommended for its spot on capture of place and time, the manipulations and frustrations of our Scarlet O'Haraesque heroine, and the struggle of our titular hero to weather his urges and realize his true passion. But overall, How Great is Alan Rickman!!!! More, please.

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

This is the first Alan Rickman Audible Book I have found but you can bet I will look for more!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Testament of Mary

  • By: Colm Toibin
  • Narrated by: Meryl Streep
  • Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,813
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,678
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,661

Meryl Streep’s performance of Colm Tóibín's acclaimed portrait of Mary is hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “an ideal audiobook,” presenting the three-time Academy Award-winner in “yet another great role.” Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary presents Mary as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone, in a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • from a non believer...

  • By Taormina60 on 09-27-13

Stunning Consideration of Historical Mythology

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

Reviewed: 02-21-14

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

This story and its brilliant narration is the raison d'etre for audible books. I have been listening to books, good, better, and worse for 6 months. Some have been enjoyable and thoughtful experiences: an informative historical fiction, a lyrical work of classic literature, or a moving biography that unveils a wounded soul . Others selections have been quite engaging -- a story that slings a wicked twist or a history that opens my mind to previously unknown event. But this story brings the very best of all these qualities to our ears. Colm Toibin's imaginal exploration of the memories of Mary, mother of Jesus, is nothing short of amazing. We experience the doubts and fears of the mother of a young man who is individuating into a new and dangerous future. Mary's confusion amid the chaos of the political upheaval and her disgust and rage against her "keepers" who are the shapers of history is palpable. Meryl Streep amazes as she delivers ordinary observations contained within extraordinary situations and hard and brutal truths perceived as any human soul might attempt to make meaning of circumstances out of her control. I highly recommend this audio book to one and all.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This story is Mary's and she is the lens through which we view (and hear) the story of Jesus.

Which scene was your favorite?

The wedding at Cano brings the naïve Mary into the fray where she witnesses the dynamic change in her son and the societal response to his new spiritual movement all the while beginning to glimpse the deadly danger it evokes.

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

For me this occurred when Mary is witness to the crucifixion of her son, Jesus. Although she is in agony for his pain and hopes for some kind of magical intervention that will save him, she honestly admits fear about her own safety. Earlier she told us of the trauma of having seen a crucifixion and now we share her worst nightmare without vain glory or heroics. Only that damned caged eagle being fed live rabbits, people selling wares and grilling food, her son on the cross, and the primal instinct for personal survival.

Any additional comments?

Buy this book!

20 of 27 people found this review helpful