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S. Williams

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 22
  • ratings
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Emus

  • A Meg Langslow Mystery, Book 17
  • By: Donna Andrews
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89

Meg's paternal grandfather has hired Stanley Denton to find her grandmother Cordelia. Stanley has found a trail to his long-lost love in a small town a short drive away. He convinces Meg to come with him to meet her, but unfortunately, the woman they meet is Cordelia's cousin. Cordelia died several years ago, and the cousin suspects she was murdered by her long-time neighbor. Stanley and Meg agree to help track down the killer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • E-Myoos - not E Moos!

  • By S. Williams on 04-05-17

E-Myoos - not E Moos!

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

Reviewed: 04-05-17

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

This is one of the more "meaty" titles in the Meg Langslow series. There are more issues, real and fictional. It's great that we've gotten another addition Meg Langslow's ever-increasing quirky family.

What other book might you compare The Good, the Bad, and the Emus to and why?

Offhand, I can't come up with another extremely well-written entertaining ecological / rural issue cozy.

What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

Other than mispronouncing emu every single time, her performance was excellent, as always!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Emus, mothers, murderers, and minerals - too many things are missing in this small town.

Any additional comments?

Emu is pronounced e-myoo. Not e-moo. Tooth grindingly irritating. That's the only reason to tick off one star for the performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • SPQR

  • A History of Ancient Rome
  • By: Mary Beard
  • Narrated by: Phyllida Nash
  • Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,310
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,099
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,075

In SPQR, world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even 2,000 years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Reexamination of the History of Rome

  • By Christopher on 12-17-15

This "should" be good. It isn't.

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

Reviewed: 02-19-17

Would you try another book from Mary Beard and/or Phyllida Nash?

Phyllida Nash - certainly. It would have to be a very different topic - she's not the "earthy" sort of narrator. Mary Beard? Maybe. She'll need to entirely remove every instance of "Here's an interesting topic, but we'll talk about that in a different chapter." She seems to beat very tiny issues to death with a HUGE club.

What do you think your next listen will be?

In this vein, I'm going to try Paper by Mark Kurlansky. I enjoyed Cod and Salt. And the history of paper is fascinating!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The history of Rome is essentially rough-and-tumble. Phyllida Nash has a cut-glass upper-crust English accent. It was like trying to watch a wrestling match or a football game narrated by your disapproving maiden aunt. Nash is a wonderful narrator. This was NOT her venue.

What character would you cut from SPQR?

Nash starts off by stating that THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT in Roman History was Cicero attacking Cataline. Then she jumps all over history, trying to relate anything that happened (even prehistorical events) to that act. She keeps dragging everything back to that issue. Having said it's THE MOST IMPORTANT thing, she has to then prove it, but it never actually works.

Any additional comments?

I really wanted to like this. I was looking forward to it, and put aside special time for this. I adore the history of Rome and read a lot about it. I sat through five hours of the narration and realized I could not remember any single point that she'd made. Nash's Oxbridge narration didn't help. Perhaps a lustier narrator might have imbued this tome with some life and interest. I gave up after five hours.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Fire's Stone

  • By: Tanya Huff
  • Narrated by: Bill Hensel
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109

A wizard, a drunkard, and a thief - three strangers who must learn to work together or Ischia is lost beneath a sea of lava. But Aaron, the thief, is hiding more than stolen jewels. Chandra, the wizard, is running from a political marriage. And Darvish, the prince Chandra is intended to marry and the man Aaron has hidden the most from, well, Darvish really needs a drink. Before they can hope to save Ischia, they must save themselves.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overall an enjoyable listen

  • By a on 01-11-13

Poor narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-09-16

What did you love best about The Fire's Stone?

The story is unbeatable

What didn’t you like about Bill Hensel’s performance?

When he's doing straight narration, he's fine. The moment he does a "voice", he tanks. All the women are done in a horrid falsetto. Dervish has a funky thick middle-eastern/Spanish accent, despite the fact that the entire rest of his family has no accent. Local military ships captains have thick Irish accents. I doubt I'll be able to listen to the rest. I've listened to more than half. It's too painful. If he could just read it and not try to perform.

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

Hensel's"voices" made me cringe and weep.

Any additional comments?

New narrator? Please?

  • A Murder of Crows

  • A Sir Robert Carey Mystery
  • By: P. F. Chisholm
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 27

It’s September 1592, and the dark streets of London are full of people up to no good. The redoubtable Sergeant Dodd and that dashing Elizabethan gunslinger Sir Robert Carey are in London where Carey’s powerful father, Lord Henry Hunsdon, wants him to solve the mystery of a corpse that has washed up from the Thames River onto Her Majesty’s privy steps.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Seems like a series but where are the other books?

  • By Christine Ehren on 07-26-11

I adore Land Sergeant Dodd

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

Reviewed: 09-28-16

I desperately want the entire Sir Robert Carey series in audio. This narrator did a lovely job with the battling accents. The story is one of my favorites. And Dodd is always a treat.

  • Master and God

  • A Novel of the Roman Empire
  • By: Lindsey Davis
  • Narrated by: Robin Sachs
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 51

Lindsey Davis’ Master and God is a vastly entertaining historical novel set in the reign of the Emperor Domitian in first-century Rome. It is on the one hand a love story between Gaius Vinius Clodianus, a valiant but reluctant member of the Praetorian Guard, whose military career is as successful as his marital history is disastrous, and Flavia Lucilla, daughter of a freed slave and hairdresser to the ladies of the imperial household. A devastating fire in Rome brings them together....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Info Dump with Romance

  • By S. Lev-Ami on 10-03-12

A "Listen Again" book

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

Reviewed: 08-08-16

What did you love best about Master and God?

I loved the view into the "real" life in ancient Rome. Most books deal with life as an aristocrat. You never think about how the hairdressers and beat-cops live.

What other book might you compare Master and God to and why?

Master and God is very similar to Davis' incomparable "The Course of Honour" - it's both a history and a love story. Both couples ended with the long-term best type of companionship. But the road there was rocky - and the political situation added materially to the bumpy path.

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

I haven't listened to any of Sachs' other recordings. This one was calm. Very, very, VERY calm. He almost spoke in a monotone - but looking back, he nailed every voice perfectly. And, that calm mirrored the attitudes of the two main characters. Nicely done!

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

I don't think I'd go out drinking with any of the characters here. Most of Davis' other books have individuals who interest me - but no one here really catches my interest and sympathy. I admire and am interested in them, but am happy to do so from a distance.

Any additional comments?

This is a long book with a lot of history. As with all of Davis' books, I keep nipping out to check maps, look at the history of some of the characters, and find out more about food and implements and activities she mentions. This is my cup of tea. The book is filled with a lot of political stress. Sachs' even narration kept it from becoming too fraught.

  • Trick or Treat

  • By: Kerry Greenwood
  • Narrated by: Louise Siversen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 272
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 227

Amateur sleuth and baker extraordinaire Corinna Chapman is upstaged when the hot new bread chain, Best Fresh Bread, opens just down the street from her own bakery, Earthly Delights. Meanwhile Daniel's tall, blonde and gorgeous old friend is staying with him while she establishes a base and a business in Melbourne.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Witches and Covens and Curses, oh my!

  • By Sara on 04-04-11

Pronunciation counts.

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

Reviewed: 06-20-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Trick or Treat to be better than the print version?

No. This is the worst of the recordings. (In a very relative way - it's still very very good.) Samhain is pronounced "SOW wen". And the narrator smacks and lisps excessively in this recording.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Trick or Treat?

I'm awfully fond of Uncle Solly, even if he does smack when he talks.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator has too many of the characters "smacking" before they start talking. And the pronunciations of wiccan ceremonies are massively incorrect and irritating. She was trying too hard making "voices" for many characters. (smack smack smack. Sigh.)

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

I enjoyed the hostage standoff. Very unlikely but wouldn't it be nice if things turned out this way?

Any additional comments?

Pronunciation counts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Reluctant Swordsman

  • By: Dave Duncan
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 415
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 383
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 386

Wallie Smith can feel the pain. He goes to the hospital, remembers the doctors and the commotion, but when he wakes up it all seems like a dream. However, if that was a dream how do you explain waking up in another body and in another world? Little Wallie finds himself in the physique of a barbarian swordsman, accompanied by both an eccentric priest babbling about the Goddess and a voluptuous slave girl. Is this a rude awakening or a dream come true?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable listen

  • By Joe on 10-21-12

What would I have done?

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

Reviewed: 06-18-16

If you could sum up The Reluctant Swordsman in three words, what would they be?

Definitely Not Amish.

What other book might you compare The Reluctant Swordsman to and why?

This has some of the same flavor as David Brin's "The Practice Effect" - for being placed in a world where everything is different. Your instincts aren't necessarily right. Everything you've learned betrays you. And that "what's right" is not a constant.

Which character – as performed by Donald Corren – was your favorite?

Donald Corren has a deceptively mild voice to start with. He was *very* good at different voices, and the strong voices that predominated in the swordsmen were done extremely well. He nailed Walliesmith.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too long for one sitting. And not a comfortablre story. It's challenging morally. And painful ethically. It needs some thinking.

Any additional comments?

Well done - This is a book I read decades ago, and have come back to several times. I wasn't sure how the Audible version would be. Better than I'd hoped!

  • Blood Price

  • Blood, Book 1
  • By: Tanya Huff
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 408
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 359
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 365

Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that begin plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki, in an attempt to stop these forces of dark magic, is forced to renew her relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci - along with another, unexpected ally…. Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his life how to blend with humans; how to deny the call for blood in his veins.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Off to a Good Start

  • By Jennifer on 03-28-12

The print books are amazing.

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

Reviewed: 06-06-16

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

Vampires are misunderstood.

What other book might you compare Blood Price to and why?

This is a hard question. There's nothing quite like this series. It's VERY gritty. The bad guys are awful. The good guys are good, and in some cases unexpected. I learned stuff. Very Canadian.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She wasn't awful. But. I stopped listening after about 2 chapters because I just couldn't listen to her any longer. Mispronounciations. Irritating "voices". Whiney. I didn't throw it across the room, but it just wasn't worth listening any longer.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This is NOT the TV show! It's actually good!

Any additional comments?

Read the books! All of them! And the spin-offs! (worth every moment.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Eyre Affair

  • A Thursday Next Novel
  • By: Jasper Fforde
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,882
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,467
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,470

In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • six stars

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-13-11

Crazy, whacky, thought provoking.

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

Reviewed: 06-06-16

Fforde's books are always hugely tongue-in-cheek. With a razor edge. Susan Duerdan did a magnificent job capturing the absolutely deadpan silliness, and the knife edge. Well done.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Burn Me Deadly

  • An Eddie LaCrosse Novel
  • By: Alex Bledsoe
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

Eddie's on his way back from a routine investigation when his horse almost runs down a half-naked blonde in serious trouble. Against his better judgment, he promises to protect the frightened young woman, only to find himself waylaid by unknown assailants and left for dead beside her mutilated body.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Winner for Bledsoe!

  • By Paul on 12-27-11

Listen again and again.

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

Reviewed: 05-27-16

Eddie LaCrosse is an unlikely yet totally believable hard boiled detective, in an unlikely but believable medieval world. I'd love to meet him and know him. And the occasional anachronisms, which fit perfectly, make me smile with delight every time.

Stefan Rudnicki has the perfect "Eddie" voice. His character accents absolutely personify a "hard boiled" medieval world, and actually make the stories (if possible) better.

And Rudnicki's voice is liquid dark chocolate velvet. I could listen to him read a phone book, or a doctoral dissertation written in passive voice, and still be happy.

I can (and have) listened to the Eddie LaCrosse stories over and over, and loved then every time.

They're on my "listen to these when you need a reliably entertaining story" list.