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A. Taylor

San Francisco, CA
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 0
  • helpful votes
  • 53
  • ratings
  • One Hot Summer

  • Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858
  • By: Rosemary Ashton
  • Narrated by: Corrie James
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

While 1858 in London may have been noteworthy for its broiling summer months and the related stench of the sewage-filled Thames River, the year is otherwise little remembered. And yet, historian Rosemary Ashton reveals in this compelling microhistory, 1858 was marked by significant, if unrecognized, turning points. For ordinary people, and also for the rich, famous, and powerful, the months from May to August turned out to be a summer of consequence.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More Dickens than history

  • By A. Taylor on 05-30-18

More Dickens than history

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

Reviewed: 05-30-18

While the book was interesting, it tended to focus on Dickens for long periods rather than other figures or the overall history. Since his life is well known already, this seemed unnecessary.

  • A Useful Woman

  • A Rosalind Thorne Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Darcie Wilde
  • Narrated by: Sarah Nichols
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,084
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 973
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 973

The daughter of a baronet and minor heiress, Rosalind Thorne was nearly ruined after her father abandoned the family. To survive in the only world she knew, she began to manage the affairs of some of London society's most influential women, who rely on her wit and discretion. So when artistocratic wastrel Jasper Aimesworth is found dead in London's most exclusive ballroom, Almack's, Rosalind must use her skills and connections to uncover the killer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Give this a chance

  • By James on 05-28-17

Excellent Regency-set mystery

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

Reviewed: 11-09-17

I wanted a non-dark, non-gritty, challenging mystery story, and this fit perfectly. I was sorry for it to end!

  • The Witches

  • Salem, 1692
  • By: Stacy Schiff
  • Narrated by: Eliza Foss
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 564
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 506
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 505

It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really annoying narration

  • By MAG on 11-10-15

New perspective on a well known story

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

Reviewed: 03-08-17

I have read about the Salem Witch Trials since my teens, but still learned much from this well-crafted new examination. The trials were placed in the context of the uncertain world of frontier New England, where real dangers from nature and hostile Native Americans were amplified by the apocalyptic religious teachings of the day.
An excellent narrator made this a gripping listen indeed.

  • Persuasion

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,828
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,260

Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Juliet Stevenson is Simply Amazing

  • By Em on 04-15-12

Austen's finest work

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

Reviewed: 02-10-17

Outstanding reading of Austen's best, most subtle work. Although I have read it many times, I noticed new details as I listened.

  • Black Coffee

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: John Moffatt
  • Length: 4 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 316

Sir Claud Amory's formula for a powerful new explosive has been stolen, presumably by a member of his large household. Sir Claud assembles his suspects in the library and locks the door, instructing them that the when the lights go out, the formula must be replaced on the table - and no questions will be asked. But when the lights come on, Sir Claud is dead. Now Hercule Poirot, assisted by Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp, must unravel a tangle of family feuds, old flames, and suspicious foreigners to find the killer and prevent a global catastrophe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A REAL TREAT for Poirot fans!

  • By Kathi on 03-11-14

Enjoyable,but derivative

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

Reviewed: 01-13-17

A fun story, but essentially a pastiche of other Christie stories. Excellent performance by John Moffatt.

  • A Darker Shade of Magic

  • A Darker Shade of Magic, Book 1
  • By: V. E. Schwab
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,866
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,534
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,524

Kell is one of the last Travelers - magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes. As such, he can choose where he lands. There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there's Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. There's White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not a fan of the narrator

  • By Alex on 06-11-15

Gorgeous, original fantasy with a memorable cast.

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

Reviewed: 02-25-16

Beautiful, magical, funny, and thrilling. A perfect antidote to the over-dire trend in fantasy with a satisfying ending.