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w

Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 55
  • helpful votes
  • 79
  • ratings
  • Under Milk Wood (Dramatised)

  • By: Dylan Thomas
  • Narrated by: Richard Burton
  • Length: 1 hr and 41 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

A classic BBC Radio full-cast production of Dylan Thomas' poetic play for voices starring Richard Burton as the narrator. To begin at the beginning: it is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black.... When Richard Burton breathed the opening words of 'Under Milk Wood' into a microphone, broadcasting history was made.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling voice, classic 20th-century poetry/prose

  • By w on 12-11-10

Thrilling voice, classic 20th-century poetry/prose

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-10

I was thrilled to find Under Milkwood; I've loved its sly ribald barbs, and to hear Richard Burton's declamation and Welsh accent was a treat. This production with its multiple actors is also easier to follow than Dylan Thomas's own solo performance.

Like so many celebrities today, Thomas died in his late 30's, from the combination of alcohol and narcotics from a Dr. Feelgood who neglected Thomas's pneumonia during a New York performance tour of Under Milkwood.
Thomas's radio-play is a poetic masterpiece from the mid-20th century, literally meant to be spoken aloud, and now to be 're-wound' to enjoy the wordplay.
It is a stream-of-consciousness eavesdropping on the dreams, secrets and gossip of a night and day in a entire Welsh village, petty vices and great passions peeking through their conservative veneer. And who among us on such a night has not been stirred by spring 'like a spoon', or dreamt of their lover, 'whacking-thighed and piping hot'.
'And Lily Smalls is up to Nogood Boyo in the wash-house.'
'And Cherry Owen, sober as Sunday as he is every day of the week, goes off happy as Saturday to get drunk as a deacon as he does every night. 'I always say she's got two husbands,' Cherry Owen says, 'one drunk and one sober. And Mrs Cherry simply says, 'And aren't I a lucky woman? Because I love them both.''

Over lunch, the schoolmaster researches how to poison his wife, pretending to the read 'Lives of the Great Saints'. His intended victim sniffs, "I saw you talking to a saint this morning. Saint Polly Garter. She was martyred again last night. Mrs Organ Morgan saw her with Mr Waldo."
"But it is not his name that Polly Garter whispers as she lies under the oak and loves him back. Six feet deep that name sings in the cold earth."

Dated, yes, but an often overlooked classic, read by one of the greatest British poetic actors, with today's technology: a treat indeed. For less than $10, one of these characters will make you laugh or cry.
Enjoy!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Dead In the Family

  • Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #10
  • By: Charlaine Harris
  • Narrated by: Johanna Parker
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,954
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,954

Finally settled with Viking vampire Eric, Sookie finds normalcy just as chaos surrounds her. Sookie’s former lover Bill, her boss Sam, and even Eric are struggling with family problems. Then things get really interesting when the werewolves tell Sookie an ominous presence is lurking.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I think this is one of the better of the series

  • By Michael on 08-15-10

Weak; waiting for the next.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-06-10

A weak bridge from the last action-packed novel.

Sookie, an under-educated telepath heroine, craves normality, peace, and good sex with her vampire sheriff, the Viking Erik. But sometimes she gets brave enough to help her friends, including ex-lover Bill [this time with an e-mail instead of her body] and for you to cheer for her battling with the undead, physically and politically. I suppose the narrator's southern drawl portrays this conflict, but either she or her producer should learn that 'Niall' is pronounced 'kneel', not 'NYE L', 'Brendon' is 'BRENdun', not 'BRENN-DAWWNN', 'Alexei' is 'AlEXye', not 'L.x.A.'. The middle of the book bogs into the domesticity Sookie craves.
Even the action climaxes appear foreshortened and 'clanging'.

We're left waiting for the next in the series.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Farewell, My Lovely
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Raymond Chandler
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Elliott Gould
    
    


    
    Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
    188 ratings
    Overall 3.8
  • Farewell, My Lovely

  • By: Raymond Chandler
  • Narrated by: Elliott Gould
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 55

Philip Marlowe navigates the underworld of the Los Angeles gambling circuit while investigating the disappearance of a beautiful nightclub girl. Written at the height of the author's creative career, this novel, with its crooked cops, ex-cons and deadly, seductive women, is a masterpiece of the genre Chandler is credited with creating. "Farewell, My Lovely" is Raymond Chandler's second novel featuring his archetypal private eye.

  • out of 5 stars
  • good quality, no complains

  • By Krzysztof on 09-23-09

Beautifully written, badly read

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-09-10

Raymond Chandler is a gorgeous writer, whose prose outshines the mystery it describes.
But Elliot Gould is a poor choice of narrator: a college man from California like Marlowe wouldn't pronounce 'yoomer' for 'humour' and 'yooj' for 'huge,' which grate as much as the inherent racism of the time.
But the rest of the story plays as well now as it did 70 years ago: Chandler's rugged Robin Hood PI, Philip Marlowe, meets a huge, scarred, ex-boxer looking for the red-headed girl he hasn't seen since being framed and jailed eight years ago. Marlowe decides to help him and asks around before being hired to help get some stolen jewels back: as always, Marlowe need the money.
But it goes wrong, Marlowe is sapped and his client is killed. An armed redhead comes to his rescue. Or does she?

Love, revenge, integrity, greed, repartee, in prose like "a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window."
Beautiful.

  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

  • By: David Foster Wallace
  • Narrated by: David Foster Wallace, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Cerveris, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
  • Highlights
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264

David Foster Wallace made an art of taking readers into places no other writer even gets near. In his exuberantly acclaimed collection, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, he combines hilarity and an escalating disquiet in stories that astonish, entertain, and expand our ideas of the pleasures that fiction can afford.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • This is ABRIDGED

  • By Mark on 09-26-09

Hideous and not in a good way

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-10

Truly dreadful in every sense. The author abuses his ability for deft description by using it only to describe horrible men. Even worse, he feels he can do and say any hurtful thing yet honestly believes an apology and a whine that it hurts him too will make up for his Catskills humour excuse for sociopathy.
The only amusing thing is that the narrators *say* the word 'cue' in between paragraphs.
I bought this because I enjoy the work of some of the narrators: sucker! Anyone watching my expression as I listened to this on a commute would have thought I was in pain: and they'd be right.

4 of 19 people found this review helpful

The Lost Symbol
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Dan Brown
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Paul Michael
    
    


    
    Length: 17 hrs and 51 mins
    67 ratings
    Overall 3.9
  • The Lost Symbol

  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 17 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Awful!

  • By MJ on 01-20-10

eye-rollingly bad: avoid

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-14-09

An entire day's worth of eye-rolling pseudoscience, conspiracy-theory piffle and huge errors that punch holes in his tissue of a plot [no spoilers, but Brown should have consulted an endocrinologist and a pathologist]. Its only slight positive is the double-edged sword of its repetitiveness, tailor-made to be an audiobook since each of almost 200 chapters repeats plot points in case you forgot or couldn't hear the previous ones. Irking deus ex machina, cardboard female characters, predictable 'surprises' directly from other movies and yawn-worthy ending. I admire the narrator for not permitting his opinion of the material creep into his voice; now *that's* acting.

Avoid.

  • Lover Enshrined

  • The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6
  • By: J. R. Ward
  • Narrated by: Jim Frangione
  • Length: 17 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,672
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,916
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,920

In Lover Enshrined, a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood must make a decision that could save - or spell doom for - his race of vampires. Phury knows his share of pain, but can the Primale of the Chosen experience love as well?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really Love These Books!

  • By Book Worm on 05-12-09

Save your time and money

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-09

Save your time and money, go read Jim Butcher.
Couldn't get through this 'born to serve' claptrap, so if the last two-thirds of the book somehow make up for the sadism and sexism of the first part, someone else will have to tell me. I want my time and money back!

3 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: George Hagan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Written in 1890, the story is a murder mystery in which Edwin Drood is supposedly murdered. The novel investigated the characters in a distinctly Dickensian manner from the suspicious and tormented Jasper to the Reverend Crisparkle to Princess Puffer, the enigmatic Datchery and finally the gravedigger and his obnoxious but perceptive boy assistant. But who is the murderer? We will never know.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Avoid! Get another narrator.

  • By w on 02-25-09

Avoid! Get another narrator.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-25-09

I do enjoy unabridged Dickens read by Brits, but the narrator is truly dreadful, although likely the producer is more to blame for not forcing the voice actor to do more takes. The stuttering and stammering get increasingly annoying and more frequent as it goes along.
One of the lowest quality narrations I've heard here. Content excellent as always from Dickens, so I'm willing to try another version.
Avoid this one, even if the price is tempting.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

Of Human Bondage, Volume 1
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        W. Somerset Maugham
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Charlton Griffin
    
    


    
    Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
    138 ratings
    Overall 4.0
  • Of Human Bondage, Volume 1

  • By: W. Somerset Maugham
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Of Human Bondage is one of the greatest novels of modern times, and it is certainly Maugham's greatest achievement. It was published in 1914, when Maugham was at the height of his creative powers. The story concerns Philip Carey, afflicted at birth with a club foot, and his passionate search for truth in a cruel world. We follow his growth to manhood, his educational progress, his first loves, and the wrenching tragedies and disappointments that life has in store for him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Men Only

  • By John on 04-12-07

on sale only, or read the book

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-08

I agree with the previous reviewer that the narrator is a disappointment, but I also blame the director, who let slip a substantial number of clanging mispronunciations: 'clo' for 'Chloe' [clo ee] and 'fasTEEDEEous' for 'fasTIDious'.
All child and female voices sound exactly alike, like an elderly man doing a querulous lisping Cockney [even the Scottish office boy] or a falsetto bordering on the misogynous. Annoying, and takes one out of the story.

'Of Human Bondage' is another compelling classic work with a contemporary feel despite being written almost a century ago, which alone is reason enough to buy Volume II, but wait until they're on sale, or read the book yourself.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Running in the Family
    
    
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        Michael Ondaatje
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Michael Ondaatje
    
    


    
    Length: 2 hrs and 33 mins
    27 ratings
    Overall 3.5
  • Running in the Family

  • By: Michael Ondaatje
  • Narrated by: Michael Ondaatje
  • Length: 2 hrs and 33 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13

In the late 1970s, Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, returned to his native island of Sri Lanka. Recording his journey through the drug-like heat and intoxicating fragrances of that "pendant off the ear of India," Ondaatje simultaneously retraces the baroque mythology of his Dutch-Ceylonese family.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Mary on 06-01-07

Sri Lanka by the author

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-08

Michael Ondaatje has written some heartbreakingly beautiful poetry [The Cinnamon Peeler's Wife] and prose [In the Skin of a Lion, which I think is superior to his better-known 'The English Patient'], and his autobiography is fascinating. I'm loathe to purchase abridgements, but what a treat to hear the author's soft yet rivetting narration of the story of his family with facts laced with magic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Wintersmith

  • Discworld Book 35, (Discworld Childrens Book 4)
  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Tony Robinson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 20 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance, the crossover from summer to winter, she does what no one has ever done before: she leaps into the dance. And into the oldest story there is. She draws the attention of the Wintersmith himself....As Tiffany-shaped snowflakes hammer down on the land, can Tiffany deal with the consequences of her actions?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wait for the unabridged version

  • By w on 07-01-07

Wait for the unabridged version

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-01-07

Another good Pratchett, the third in the Tiffany Aching series with the six-inch high, kilt-wearing, tattooed fighting Pictsies.
This time Tiffany is fighting but falling a bit in love with Winter, as the Wee Free Men help Prince Roland race to rescue Summer, and in true Pratchett absurdism, there is also a tartan-wearing sentient cheese, Horace.
I *love* Pratchett and his melding of old Celtic folklore, as well as the expressive reading of Tony Robinson, but the abridgment misses some salient plot points.
So, OK for an abridged version, but wait for the unabridged.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful