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Chrysanthemum

Wayland, MA United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 26
  • ratings

Death caps, nightcaps, and recaps

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

Reviewed: 10-25-15

What made the experience of listening to A Is for Arsenic the most enjoyable?

Beth Chalmers was an ideal narrator, capturing the Britishness of the book and dealing well with the technical detail.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The book talks about several poisons as they were discovered, used in historical poisonings, and their effects on the body. Each chapter also gives an overview of the way each poison was used in an Agatha Christie book. I have read many of Christie's works, and I found the recap sections both tedious and unnecessary,

Any additional comments?

This is a little tough as an audio book, since the author goes into quite technical descriptions of nerve receptors, molecule shapes, and the functioning of body cells. I found myself losing the thread fairly often in these parts as I listened in the car.

Alzheimer's and Being Gay: Coping, Humor, and Life

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

Reviewed: 07-26-15

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bettyville?

Toward the end, the author, who has spent his whole life in worried pursuit of making things perfect just so he can feel good enough, discovers that he actually is just fine.

What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

The reader made the two main characters come alive by using vocal variety and an underplayed ironic sensibility.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

1950s style tale

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

Reviewed: 07-17-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Neil Hunt reads the story well, manages the accents perfectly, and makes the characters come alive. But although the book gives insight into the plight of Malaysia in WWII, and into the challenges of developing post-war Australia, in the end it felt like a Maeve Binchy tale melded with one of the tamer Harlequin romances.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The main female character was such a paragon of plucky virtue that it was hard to take her seriously. The male leading character was humorous, kind, gentle, brave, and manly, without flaw. The narrating character was perhaps a bit stuffy, but honest, honorable, and grandfatherly. I would have loved just a bit of realism thrown in. One example: the plucky heroine, who has ridden a gentle horse six whole times, takes on a rescue ride of 40 miles, walk/trot, through the trackless Australian bush, with only a plucky servant by her side, Yes, she is blistered and sore afterwards, but really.

Was A Town Like Alice worth the listening time?

Well, I listened during my barn chores, so it was better than not listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A real life Game of Thrones

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

Reviewed: 06-10-15

What did you love best about Bring Up the Bodies?

The author seems to inhabit the subtle brain of Thomas Cromwell, a master strategist and Machiavelli-like advisor to Henry the eighth. And the reader, Simon Vance, was ideal for the subject, with his British accent and thespian's vocal variety.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bring Up the Bodies?

The execution scene for Ann Bolyn is chilling.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

Cromwell himself, with his wry wit, as when he accepts a known spy into his retinue. The spy introduces himself by saying, "Call me Risley". Cromwell shortens this, fondly to a nickname: "Call Me" as if it were the character's first name.

If you could take any character from Bring Up the Bodies out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I wouldn't dine with any of them. I would worry about a misplaced word, a subtle poison, a slim blade between the ribs.

Any additional comments?

I read Wolf Hall in the print version before this one, and I must say that listening to this sequel on Audible was a far better experience.

Clear, funny, and coherent. Compelling!

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

Reviewed: 04-28-15

What did you love best about Your Inner Fish?

Shubin uses concrete visual analogies that help make his work approachable and entertaining. Take that, evolution deniers!

Which character – as performed by Marc Cashman – was your favorite?

This is nonfiction, as such has no characters in the way that a novel does. But his Bozo analogy is quite entertaining.

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

The incredible morphing transfomers: us! People!

Dickensian tale wonderfully read

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

Reviewed: 02-23-15

This book requires a commitment of time and attention, but these are well rewarded.

The writer takes her leisurely time, and if you do too you will develop a cinematic picture of life on the gold fields in New Zealand. Moving back and forth in time, the story unravels and knits back up, each time with a few more pieces in place. I am ALMOST tempted to begin again from the beginning just to enjoy how deftly the author does it.

The book is amazingly read. Each character is given his or her own voice, so there is no doubt about who is speaking. If I have any quibble at all it is that a bit of the comic timing could have been improved. That said, I'd gladly spend more time with this reader.

Not a good candidate for an audiobook

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

Reviewed: 01-11-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Biblical scholars

What was most disappointing about Eric H. Cline’s story?

There are so many names for so many tribes in so many languages with so few real known facts about the time frame that for a listener it becomes simply just a recitation of items leading to no conclusion; and making it difficult to follow.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from 1177 B.C.?

I didn't make it past the first couple of chapters, and I would have cut them both!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful