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Anne

Durham, NC
  • 35
  • reviews
  • 64
  • helpful votes
  • 132
  • ratings
  • Lethal White

  • A Cormoran Strike Novel
  • By: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,975
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,734
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,705

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best 22 hours of the last week

  • By Jennifer on 09-27-18

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

The narration in this 4th Robert Galbraith novel is brilliant, and a wondrous example of the skilled acting that is required by sustained reading of a long piece of fiction. How Glenister manages to bring to life characters from widely different social backgrounds and places and widely different characters is a mystery, but one that brings great enjoyment to a listener. He is as good at presenting a character through voice as Rowling is at creating them.

  • The Moonstone [Naxos AudioBooks Edition]

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: Ronald Pickup, Sean Barrett, David Timson, and others
  • Length: 22 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 122
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

Upon inheriting the Moonstone, a huge and priceless diamond, Rachel Verinder's delight turns to dismay when the gem suddenly disappears. But this is no ordinary theft. Sergeant Cuff of Scotland Yard is called in and immediately suspects an intricate plot. However, not even his powers of detection can penetrate fully the mysteries surrounding the diamond.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The very finest detective story ever written

  • By John on 11-10-16

Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 09-06-18

The hours speed by in this amazing narration of the brilliantly plotted and tightly written Collins' novel. It seems discursive in the glorious tradition of English 19th century novels, but, as the climax approaches, each and every detail falls into place and the listener realizes the elegance and economy of the text. The performances are absolutely top notch and the series of narrators exactly realizes the structure of the novel in text form. I'm ready to listen again!

  • The Victorian and the Romantic

  • A Memoir, a Love Story, and a Friendship Across Time
  • By: Nell Stevens
  • Narrated by: Nell Stevens
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

In 2013, Nell Stevens is embarking on her PhD - about the community of artists and writers living in Rome in the mid-19th century - and falling head over heels for a soulful American screenwriter in another city. As her long-distance romance founders and her passion for academia never quite materializes, she is drawn to Mrs. Gaskell. Could this indomitable Victorian author rescue Nell's pursuit of love, family, and a writing career? Lively and witty, The Victorian and the Romantic is a moving chronicle of two women each charting a way of life beyond the rules of her time.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • So promising, but...

  • By Anne on 08-19-18

So promising, but...

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

Reviewed: 08-19-18

I love the idea of this book, particularly the connection the author feels with Mrs. Gaskell, more than a century away. But the suspicion that it was, essentially, just a long, sad story about the breakup of a romantic relationship and the difficulty of doing work you don't like very much grew to the point that I gave it up 2 hours before the end. Her field of interest, apparently so novel, given her attachment to Mrs. Gaskell, turns out to be mostly her sad romance and her failure to motivate herself to work on her doctoral dissertation. I just got tired of listening to her and wanted to suggest that she get some career counseling. Her prose is charming, however, and her narration is skilled.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Iliad

  • A New Translation by Caroline Alexander
  • By: Homer, Caroline Alexander - translator
  • Narrated by: Dominic Keating
  • Length: 19 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

Carved close to the original Greek, acclaimed classicist Caroline Alexander's new translation is swift and lean, with the driving cadence of its source - a translation epic in scale yet devastating in its precision and power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Forceful

  • By Tad Davis on 04-22-16

Absolutely Thrilling

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

This translation and the performance together make an absolutely thrilling listen. A narration that sends a listener back to the text to enjoy it again and in another way is rare, indeed, and this production does just that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dear Mrs. Bird

  • By: AJ Pearce
  • Narrated by: Anna Popplewell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236

London, 1940. Emmeline Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent suddenly seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A Happy Romp Through The Blitz

  • By Sara on 07-06-18

Unbearably tedious

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

Dear Mrs. Bird is ludicrously predictable in plot and unbearably juvenile in tone, rather like a Girl Guide story of a plucky young woman. I suppose the narrator is trying to do justice to the cliched material, but I found I could not stand listening to it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Double Life

  • By: Flynn Berry
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 65

Claire is a hardworking doctor living a simple, quiet life in London. She is also the daughter of the most notorious murder suspect in the country, though no one knows it. Nearly 30 years ago, while Claire and her infant brother slept upstairs, a brutal crime was committed in her family's townhouse. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I throughly enjoyed this book.

  • By FoxMom on 08-06-18

Interesting, but uneven

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

Parts of A Double Life are engrossing, parts are quite suspenseful and parts are oddly tedious, with the feel of an effort to prolong the suspense. The pacing, so important in a suspense book, is off a bit. And then the resolution of the mystery and the wrapping up of a couple of other narrative strands are hurriedly done, as though after being forced to dawdle along the way we are then urged to hurry up and get to the end before the author loses patience with it.

Altogether, worth a listen, certainly, but less skillfully done than book reviews would suggest.

The narrator is skilled and sure with the twists and turns of the plot and tone. Well done.

  • The Song of Achilles

  • A Novel
  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Frazer Douglas
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,878
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,446

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wasn't Expecting to Like It- BOY! was I wrong!!

  • By susan on 06-11-14

Romance treatment of classic lit

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

The narration of The Song of Achilles was pretty good. It was the material, i.e. the book that was so very disappointing. After listening for several hours, at first impatient and then puzzled, I looked up reviews. The NYTimes review hit was spot on - it describes The Song of Achilles as having "the head of a young adult novel, the body of The Iliad and the hindquarters of Barbara Cartland." I decided it wasn't worth my time to find out how the author finished a story that ends after the narrator is killed.

  • The Cooking Gene

  • A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South
  • By: Michael W. Twitty
  • Narrated by: Michael W. Twitty
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touchpoints in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes listeners to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing, interesting culinary history

  • By V R on 08-07-18

Important to listen to

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

Reviewed: 07-01-18

This book is undoubtedly important, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its flaws. That said, I unreservedly recommended listening to it.

The flaws, in my opinion,could have been mitigated if the author had made the sentiments in the Afterword part of the introduction instead. The tsunami of information is overwhelming - partly because of the volume of it, but partly because it is not organized in a conventional way. The book at first seems to be academic, but then sidesteps into the personal, and that is difficult to manage as a listener. In the Afterword, Twitty explains his approach as a "patchwork" of academic, personal, impressionistic. That makes sense! But listeners, and, perhaps, readers, would have been better served to have understood that from the beginning. Call me a literal thinker, but presenting so much complex objective information with so much subjective emotions is a wild ride.

I respect what Twitty has done and there is a case to be made that this was the only way to do it. I only maintain that it would make listening less challenging if one understood the terms from the beginning. The information he offers and his interpretation of Southern cuisine and its influences are, I think, nothing short of revelatory and I hope it will change the way we think about food in the "Southern tradition."

I rated the performance as merely good because he is not a talented narrator. I understand that he might have felt he was the only one to narrated his own story, he is not easy to listen to. Unexpected pauses and many mispronunciations were wearing. But it is a great and important book and deserves a wide audience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Means of Ascent

  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson
  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 22 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,260
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,126
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,128

Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson continues - one of the richest, most intensive, and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LBJ and the New Politics

  • By George on 05-02-14

The Incomparable Robert Caro

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

Robert Caro's multivolume biography of LBJ is the standard agains which all political biographies should be judged and it is a standard almost impossible to match. His mastery of the each of the scenes in which LBJ acted - rural childhood; low status college; Texas state government; the many faces of Washington DC - is breathtaking. LBJ's life was full of drama, but Caro's meticulous background on the scenes is what gives a reader/listener a chance at understanding the meaning of it all. The narrator has an odd, flat sort of voice, and at first I did not like it at all. But after a time, the plain almost "tough" delivery seemed just right for the story of Johnson, a guy rough at the edges who clawed his way to power. Caro's book(s) are more exciting than any novel of politics.

  • Parisians

  • An Adventure History of Paris
  • By: Graham Robb
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 13 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 101

This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction. A young artillery lieutenant, strolling through the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their trade. A particular woman catches his eye; nature takes its course. Later that night, Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual encounter....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Difficult....but worth it

  • By Myrna Minkoff on 10-11-10

Guide to Paris from Another Slant

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

Graceful prose and a superlative narration (I have a crush on Simon Vance) combine to beautifully present a view of Paris from unique guides - the experiences of historical figures presented by an inspired writer. The most appealing aspect of The Parisians is the sense of the immense and rich history of the place living in the streets and buildings and even the air. It offers the reader the same opportunity for intimacy and lived experience that a good novel would. For the would-be traveller, I would highly recommend this book over any "travel guide" to Paris.