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J.Means

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME, United States
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • The Moonstone

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: David Thorn
  • Length: 20 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 69

Claimed as the first detective story in the English language, Wilkie Collins weaves his classic mystery through a series of often "meandering" narratives by various characters in the book who had first hand knowledge surrounding the disappearance of a large valuable yellow diamond (the Moonstone) from the room of it's young owner, Rachel Verinder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Classic

  • By Barbara on 09-25-10

Engaging mystery brought to life by a great reader

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

Reviewed: 10-31-14

Any additional comments?

It's a fine story and a fine performance. Oddly, the production included quite a few bad edits and even some accidental commentary by David Thorn during difficult passages.

  • The Maples Stories

  • By: John Updike
  • Narrated by: Peter Van Norden
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

In 1956, Updike published a story, "Snowing in Greenwich Village," about a young couple, Joan and Richard Maple, at the beginning of their marriage. Over the next two decades, he returned to these characters again and again, tracing their years together raising children, finding moments of intermittent happiness, and facing the heartbreak of infidelity and estrangement.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A weak reader hampers the work of a legend

  • By J.Means on 01-06-14

A weak reader hampers the work of a legend

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

Reviewed: 01-06-14

What did you like best about The Maples Stories? What did you like least?

The performance drags down the stories here. Updike is a master of prose and characters, but Van Norden's reading has numerous problems: Pacing (he's too fast, never dynamic); Accents (I'm from the North Shore of Boston, where the Maples live, and his attempt at the middle class accent of minor characters is cringe-worthy); Consistency (often you can hear when there's a re-recorded section spliced in, because his timbre and tone are noticeably different in such moments). Overall, Van Norden's flaws are too distracting and I plan to avoid his other work.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Van Norden?

Updike himself had a musical, lilting tenor voice, which he used to great effect in reading his own works publicly and in some recorded poems. For upcoming recordings of Updike's work, I suggest a similarly-voice, dynamic reader who can handle regional and class accents.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Collector

  • By: John Fowles
  • Narrated by: James Wilby
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 304
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 277

Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful narration

  • By Sharon on 06-04-13

Exceptional performance of a gripping novel

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

Reviewed: 01-06-14

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

One of the best audiobooks I've heard. Couldn't stop listening - finished in two days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful