LISTENER

Barbara

  • 75
  • reviews
  • 638
  • helpful votes
  • 4,195
  • ratings
  • Airs Above the Ground

  • By: Mary Stewart
  • Narrated by: Antonia Whillans
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 44

Vanessa March's husband, Lewis, is meant to be on a business trip in Stockholm - so why does he briefly appear in newsreel footage of a fire at a circus in Vienna, with his arm around another woman? Vanessa flies to Austria to find her husband, inadvertently becoming involved in a mystery that spans three countries...and the famous dancing stallions of the Spanish Riding School. The moonlight flooded the meadow, blanching all colours to its own ghostly silver. The pines were very black.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Vintage book...still a great story.

  • By Barbara on 05-09-19

Vintage book...still a great story.

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

Reviewed: 05-09-19

I loved this book when I read it years ago. My teenaged granddaughter and her friends all thought the main character was unrealistic. This brought about a very cheerful discussion about what a woman would do or not do she found herself in the situation Mary Stewart created for her main character. Actually they all finally agreed that what she did took courage, even though it was "mutton headed". My point is that the book was so well written it had even young readers responding as if it were real. I liked that this woman did not "rush to judgment", but put on her big girl panties and charged out to find out what was going on. Whew, this took a bit to write without spoilers.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Zero G

  • By: Dan Wells
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller, Margaret Ying Drake, Josh Hurley, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,093
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,210

Twelve-year-old Zero is traveling with 20,000 people for 105 years to colonize a new planet. Everyone is in stasis, so they'll be safe during the trip, but when Zero's pod malfunctions it wakes him early, like 105 years early. At first he's excited to be the only one awake - he has the entire ship to himself, so he can go anywhere and see and do and eat anything he wants - but when a family of space pirates show up, trying to hijack the ship and kidnap the colonizers, Zero has to think fast and find a way to stop them all on his own.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Passengers movie with space pirates

  • By Kingsley on 12-07-18

This is delightful...

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

Reviewed: 12-18-18

I listened to this with children ranging from 9 to 12 years old. I liked it as much as they did.

  • Look Alive Twenty-Five

  • A Stephanie Plum Novel
  • By: Janet Evanovich
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,782
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,771

There's nothing like a good deli, and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. World-famous for its pastrami, cole slaw, and for its disappearing managers. Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, and the only clue in each case is one shoe that's been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it's a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they'd better figure out what's going on before they lose their new manager, Ms. Stephanie Plum.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I waited for this???

  • By karen on 11-14-18

If you like Stephanie Plum you will like this.

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

Sometimes we just need slap stick. The later Stephanie Plums are just written for fun. They may be closer to the Three Stooges than the Marx Brothers, but in the end they entertain. I do not mind the Cross Overs. These books are romantic comedies and as such they are as much a fantasy as the paranormal fantasy. So why not have a few Unmentionables. I love the gentle sarcasm Janet Evanovich throws into her stories. Heck I even like the broad comedy. Again sometimes we need a break from reality. These days silly does it for me.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard

  • By: Thomas Gray
  • Narrated by: Glenn Hascall
  • Length: 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

Where does inspiration originate? Some find it in flowers, true love, the ocean, or perhaps a scenic mountain. For Thomas Gray the inspiration for this story poem originated - elsewhere. In this piece Thomas wrestles with his mortality and invites the listener to join the journey. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • No Courtyards involved in this elegy.

  • By Barbara on 09-17-18

No Courtyards involved in this elegy.

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

Reviewed: 09-17-18

Like most books and poems that have been read over a period of years, and in this case decades, no narrator will match the one in the mind of the reader. Glenn Hascall is clear and easily understood, even if he does match the voice I "hear" when I read this poem.

Ok. I think I could make a joke about a compare and contrast essay on court yards and churchyards, except if a listener is searching for this poem written about being in a churchyard.

  • Paul

  • A Biography
  • By: N. T. Wright
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,059
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049

In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and best-selling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology - transforming a faith and changing the world. For centuries, Paul, the apostle who "saw the light on the Road to Damascus" and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church's most widely cited saints.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Different type of writing for Wright is helpful

  • By Adam Shields on 04-25-18

You do not need to be a scholar to enjoy this.

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

James Langton does a great job with this work. The listener does not have to be a Bible scholar to find this both interesting and informative. For full disclosure, Saint Paul has always been the most difficult of the early Christians for me to understand. Not holding myself out as a Bible scholar, or any sort of scholar. But I am happy to have this full view of Saint Paul.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Iron and Magic

  • Iron Covenant, Book 1
  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,056
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,054

Hugh d'Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hugh recreating his life

  • By IreneMBBT on 07-27-18

He is a Monster but he is Her Monster

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

The characters in this book both new and old are fascinating. There is not a cardboard cutout in the lot.

I was almost reluctant to buy this title because ever since Hugh d'Ambray was introduced in the book Magic Strikes he has been portrayed as a skilled War Lord and without mercy. Hugh's storyline through the earlier books leaves a really black stain. Hugh is the poster boy for someone who follows orders, any orders, without question and the results are horrendous. Hugh is really good at horrendous. I wasn't sure I wanted to give that level of self-assured badness space in my head. I also didn't want the authors to just present a misunderstood bad boy. Nope. I should have known these authors do not play games with their readers. What Hugh is now and what makes him interesting is not only convenient but inevitable given the story arc through all of the books since Magic Slays.

We have all heard the phrase power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think the story line in these books might more closely follow Robert Caro's idea that "Power reveals character". All of the main characters in this book have a tremendous amount of power. Their use of it is fascinating. I did not mention Elara who is probably the most powerful person in a community of powerful people. Her introduction is wonderful.

  • An Argumentation of Historians

  • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 9
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,119
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,038
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,028

They say you shouldn't push your luck. Max gives her own luck a massive shove every day - and it's only a matter of time until luck pushes back.... January, 1536 - the day of Henry VIII's infamous jousting accident. Historians from St Mary's are there in force, recording and documenting. And arguing - obviously. A chance meeting between Max and the Time Police leads to a plan of action. And it's one that will have very serious consequences - especially for Max.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Re-download for final chapter

  • By Townsend on 04-13-18

Begin with the First Book...

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

Well it is not necessary to begin at the beginning, but getting to know the Historians of Saint Mary's is well worth the time spent with the first eight books.

I adore Ms. Taylor. I like her sarcasm, her wit and the earnestness that comes through her madcap heroine and the zany situations she finds herself in.

But the main reason I like her books is because she does the most difficult thing an author of light fiction has to do; she makes her characters and her plots both outrageous and still believable. Her main character's personality is drawn with depth including flaws. Yet no matter how outrageous the situation Max encounters, the reader silently nods and thinks well of course that is how Max would react. The woman is just that stubborn.

These books are not for people who want to snuggle down with Gibbon. They are fun.

I keep coming back to these books because I am anxious to join Max and her fellow Historians in their latest adventures. Which is the only reason I ever buy the next book in a series.




  • How to Date Your Dragon

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,024
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,567
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,555

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As someone from Louisiana...

  • By Kristi on 02-13-18

Dual Narrators Are Self Destructive

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

Reviewed: 01-24-18

I understand that alternating chapters with alternating character points of view can indicate there should be dual narrators. Except that obviously the person narrating each chapter has a voice for both characters. So every other chapter the listener hears a different voice for each character. I apologize for not explaining this well, but Amanda Ronconi does a great job narrating the female and the male characters in the first chapter. Jonathan Davis does a good job too narrating the same male and female character. But it takes a bit of work on the listener's part not to be jerked out of the story by the change in the voice of these characters every other chapter.

Molly Harper writes good stories and this one survived the voice of each character changing constantly. This sort of thing works wonderfully if the book is read as a play with the same voice actor consistently reading the same part. But done like this it is distracting. Since most of Molly Harper's books are narrated by Amanda Ronconi and her male voices are consistently good it seems a shame fix something that is not broken.

85 of 102 people found this review helpful

  • Secrets of Manipulation

  • Forbidden Secrets They Don’t Teach You About in School
  • By: Michael Wright
  • Narrated by: Bruno Belmar
  • Length: 1 hr and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 2

Today, your life will be yours again, and from here on out, you will have control over your destiny, but only if you take advantage of the secret manipulative psychological strategies that I’m about to reveal.... Dominate any situation. There are no gimmicks or tricks here. You hear the information, apply all of the techniques described, and in less than 25 days, you could be enjoying all of the incredible benefits that persuasion can bring to your life.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • If you want a good time get in my car, really?

  • By Barbara on 01-08-18

If you want a good time get in my car, really?

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

I did not know whether to laugh or be horrified. I should have believed the author when he used the word manipulation in the title. I thought he was being sarcastic. Manipulating people is insulting to the person you think will be too stupid to see through the manipulation. The people who do see through this sort of thing will try to be across the room when the manipulator walks in the door.

Not good on a bunch of levels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Missing Susan

  • By: Sharyn McCrumb
  • Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

When Rowan Rover is offered $50,000 to murder a woman on his September Mystery Tour, he is surprised to find himself accepting the offer. The thought of committing murder chills him, until he meets the beautiful Susan Cohen. After days of listening to her nonstop chatter, with insults tossed in every direction, Rowan reaches a startling conclusion: she is someone he would like to kill.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Anyone who has taken a package tour can relate.

  • By Barbara on 12-30-17

Anyone who has taken a package tour can relate.

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

Reviewed: 12-30-17

This book is the 6th in a series of books featuring Elizabeth MacPherson. Like all of the early McCrumbs this book has a biting wit and sharp humor. I love all of McCrumb's early books while like all human beings she has grown in skill and outlook, the fine bones of her work are here. These books have all of the wit and character of her magnificent ballad novels but are more straight forward and more harsh

I love all of them. They are set in the late eighties and early nineties. This book opens with Elizabeth and her marine biologist husband Cameron, settled in Edinburgh and trying to negotiate a two job marriage. Elizabeth is a forensic anthropologist Cameron is a little concerned about the circumstances that would require Elizabeth's services. She cannot find a job and doesn't want to wait alone for Cameron to come back from his ocean going seal research, she decides to take a packaged Mystery Tour which will visit some of the more colorful sites of Victorian crimes. Jack the Ripper is mentioned. What could go wrong?

Elizabeth's forensics skills are not required. But everyone who has been on a plane, a train, especially a tour bus trapped next to someone who talks without cease can contemplate at least for a moment murder. The fact that an expert in crime is trying to do just that and keeps missing is not however acceptable. But although Elizabeth is a scientist and not a detective even she notices that the trail of accidents including one to the tour guide himself is a bit odd. If you like old crimes and a guide book tour of England you may like this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful