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  • Death of Mrs. Westaway

  • By: Ruth Ware
  • Narrated by: Imogen Church
  • Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,705
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,487
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,470

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person - but also that the cold-reading skills she's honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased...where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware's signature suspenseful style, an addictive thriller.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It's good, but the end?...could have been better

  • By Adrienne on 06-06-18

A contemporary homage to Christie and Du Maurier

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

This impressive mystery (with a touch of suspense at the end) is finely constructed and engaging. This one had infrequent f-bombs compared to Woman in Cabin 10, which I appreciated. The protagonist is a tarot card reader, and I worried that it would be too occultish, but she (and Ware0 is a skeptic and the tarot cards feature as an artful motif rather than a supernatural influence. While being hounded by a loan shark, orphaned Harriet receives notice that she is a benefactor in a will – which she figures must be a mistake. When she decides use her people-reading skills to pose as the legitimate heir, she finds herself almost in the novel Rebecca, and complications, mystery, and danger ensue.

  • The Cricket on the Hearth

  • Golden Deer Classics
  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Janet Paulson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

"The Cricket on the Hearth" is a novella by Charles Dickens, written in 1845. It is the third of Dickens' five Christmas books, the others being "A Christmas Carol" (1843), "The Chimes" (1844), "The Battle of Life" (1846), and "The Haunted Man" (1847). John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy and their nanny Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle's house for a few days.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This Narrator Makes the Difference

  • By Ruth Green on 12-12-17

This Narrator Makes the Difference

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

This lesser-known Dickens Christmas story was more popular in its day than "A Christmas Carol," though its sentimental depiction of a sweet wife and super-sweet blind girl borders on saccharine for modern tastes. Dickens is the master of characterization and delivers plenty of gentle humor in this tale of threat to hearth and home. Jumping to conclusions or creating a false reality provide the drama, which is -- as expected -- comfortingly resolved. I've listened to other versions, and what makes this one stand out is how lovingly rendered the narration is. Paulson infuses her reading with such warmth and affection that I kept imagining myself sitting by the fireside in Victorian England, with all the time in the world to get to know the gentle giant John, his eager-to-please wife Dot, clumsy but well-meaning Tilly, and the rest.

  • Lives of the Writers

  • Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought)
  • By: Kathleen Krull
  • Narrated by: John C. Brown, Melissa Hughes
  • Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Twenty literary luminaries, ranging from Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare to Louisa May Alcott and Mark Twain, are profiled in this entertaining and informative collection. Winner of A School Library Journal's Book of the Year Award, Lives of the Writers is both an indispensable reference tool and an exhilarating gossipfest. Author Kathleen Krull makes learning fun, painting realistic portraits of Hans Christian Andersen, Edgar Allan Poe, Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Brontë sisters, Emily Dickinson, E.B. White, Jack London, Murasaki Shikibu, Miguel de Cervantes, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, and more. Krull serves up an outstanding introduction to the classics of literature for the whole family, while telling us all the real stories behind their writers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Index of Content

  • By Ruth Green on 09-12-16

Index of Content

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

Reviewed: 09-12-16

LIVES OF THE WRITERS INDEX

0- 3:07 Introduction
3:14 - 9 Murasaki Shikibu
9:04 – 13:30 Miguel de Cervantes
13:35 – 22:56 William Shakespeare
23:01 – 28:26 Jane Austen
28:30 – 33:54 Hans Christian Anderson
33:59 – 43:34 Edgar Allan Poe
43:39 – 49:14 Charles Dickens
49:18 – 51:00:04 Charlotte and Emily Brontë
1:00:09 – 1:05:25 Emily Dickinson
1:05:28 – 1:10:57 Louisa May Alcott
1:11:03 – 1:20:21 Mark Twain
1:20:25 – 1:25:40 Francis Hodgson Burnett
1:25:46 – 1:31:02 Robert Louis Stevenson
1:31:07 – 1:36:23 Jack London
1:36:26 – 1:42:15 Carl Sandburg
1:42: 20 – 1:47:50 E. B. White
1:47:56 – 1:53:52 Zora Neale Hurston
1:53:57 – 1:59:30 Langston Hughes
1:59:24 – 2:04:56 Isaac Singer

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • God's Trombones

  • Seven Negro Sermons in Verse
  • By: James Weldon Johnson
  • Narrated by: Joe Morton, Robert Earl Jones, Calvin O. Butts
  • Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

Johnson transformed memories of the sermons he heard in the late 1800s by renowned African American preachers into this now-classic work of original poetry. Basis for a PBS documentary on Johnson titled Lift Every Voice and Sing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Index of the poems

  • By Ruth Green on 04-25-15

Index of the poems

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

Reviewed: 04-25-15

Because these poems honor the black preachers of Johnson's memory, it's invaluable to listen to them read by similarly skilled orators, especially if you are using them in the classroom.

Here is an index of the locations of the poems in this recording.

Preface: :40 – 15:30
Listen, Lord – A Prayer: 15:30 – 18:16
The Creation: 18:30 –23:57
The Prodigal Son: 24:19 –31:21
Go Down Death – A Funeral Sermon: 31:35 – 36:37
Noah Built the Ark: 36:55 – 45:25
The Crucifixion: 45:35 – 51:00
Let My People Go: 51:10 – 1:00:29
The Judgment Day: 1:00:40 – 1:06:30

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Best of Connie Willis

  • Award-Winning Stories
  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Eliza Foss, Jessica Almasy, Mia Barron, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 142
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 122

Here are the greatest stories of one of the greatest writers working in any genre today. All ten of the stories gathered here are Hugo or Nebula award winners - some even have the distinction of winning both. With a new Introduction by the author and personal afterwords to each story, plus a special look at three of Willis' unique public speeches - this is unquestionably the collection of the season, an audiobook that every Connie Willis fan will treasure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An index for locating stories

  • By Ruth Green on 11-29-14

An index for locating stories

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

Reviewed: 11-29-14

Any additional comments?

Other reviewers have provided helpful annotations of the stories. This is simply an index of the location of the individual stories on this audiobook for those who need an easy way to locate a particular story. Note that each story is followed by an afterward written by the author; these times include the afterword for each work.

Introduction: 0 – 17:10
A Letter from the Clearys: 17:17 – 50:30
At the Rialto: 50:34 – 1:50:25
Death on the Nile 1:50:32 – 3:01:36
The Soul Selects Her Own Society: 3:01:38 – 3:27
Fire Watch: 3: 27:44 – 5:13:45
Inside Job: 5:13:50 – 8:05:53
Even the Queen: 8:05:56 – 8:50
[INTERRUPTION. excerpt from “The Winds of Marble Arch” 8:50 – 9:02]
Even the Queen Afterword: 9:02 – 9:06:13
The Winds of Marble Arch: 9:06:14 – 11:18:45
All Seated on the Ground 11:18: 47 –
The Last of the Winnebagos 13:59:15 – 16:05:50
Editor’s Note 16:05: 52 – 16:06:27
2006 Worldcon Guest of Honor Speech: 16:06:30 – 16:29:57
Grand Master Backup Speech(never given): 16:30 – 16:42:47
Grand Master Acceptance Speech:16:42:52 – 16: 50:48

46 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman in White

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
  • Length: 25 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,040
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,735
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,748

One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping novel, excellent production

  • By David on 01-18-11

The Mystery Novel Starts Here!

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

Reviewed: 10-31-13

Drawing master Walter Hartright falls in love with Laura Fairlie, above his station, and gets drawn into the unraveling of a conspiracy which deprives her of her title and fortune. A precursor to the modern mystery/detective novel, the story is told with multiple narrators. I knew I was committing to listening to about 25 hours, so I invested the time to test out the samples from all the other audiobook versions of this title, and settled on Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble as the BEST! In my enthusiasm for the pleasure this book gave me, I persuaded my book club, my high school English students, and even my skeptical neighbor to read it! Perhaps the best recommendation I can give is that I am coming back four years after listening to it to write this review. It still lingers as one of my favorite listens. Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry.

  • A Child's Christmas in Wales

  • By: Dylan Thomas
  • Narrated by: Dylan Thomas
  • Length: 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

Thomas's recording of this holiday classic is considered the first official audiobook. You'll hear the author's recollection of a holiday in the seaside town of his youth as well as some of his most celebrated poems, including "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Christmas Classic

  • By Janet on 12-01-06

An index of contents

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

Reviewed: 12-16-12

Any additional comments?

There is a barely perceptible pause between the various pieces on this recording, so I'm providing an index for those who are looking for a particular one.
00:01 -- 20:48 A Child's Christmas in Wales
20:50 -- 25:53 Fern Hill
25:55 -- 26:28 Do Not Go Gentle
26:30 -- 44:21 In the White Giant's Thigh
44:23 -- 48:21 Ceremony After a Fire Raid

The sound quality of the recording is not as excellent as we have become used to with contemporary recordings, but the benefit of hearing Thomas's own rich voice is worth a little background fuzziness, in my opinion.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Children and Fire

  • A Novel
  • By: Ursula Hegi
  • Narrated by: Ursula Hegi
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Children and Fire tells the story of a single day that will forever transform the lives of the townspeople. At the core of this remarkable novel is the question of how one teacher - gifted and joyful, passionate and inventive - can become seduced by propaganda during the early months of Hitler's regime and encourage her 10-year-old students to join the Hitler-Jugend with its hikes and songs and bonfires.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful and moving literary fiction

  • By Ruth Green on 10-10-11

Thoughtful and moving literary fiction

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

Reviewed: 10-10-11

The publisher's summary more than adequately explains the setting of the novel. I simply want to recommend this novel and its narration, done by the author herself. It is warm, intimate, and deliberate. The German accent is not difficult, but rather gives a flavor to the reading that enhances the experience of listening. As a teacher, I found the relationship of the protagonist to her students to be remarkably insightful. The canvas of the novel is brush-stroked with the complexities of human relationships, whether it be parents to children, one teacher to another, among the villagers, or among the children themselves, and the author explores the ambiguous question of when compromise is a virtuous sacrifice, and when it becomes a moral failing. We see this village through a mist of melancholy, as we know what is around the corner for these schoolboys with the rise of Nazism, and yet the experience of listening to this book is ultimately affirming of the preciousness of human life and relationships, at the same time it gives an appreciation for the precariousness of identity and belonging.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Next to Love

  • A Novel
  • By: Ellen Feldman
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19

A story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave, Next to Love follows the lives of three young women and their men during the years of World War II and its aftermath, beginning with the men going off to war and ending a generation later, when their children are on the cusp of their own adulthood. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does America.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • historical frame for love and war today

  • By connie on 04-21-12

Interesting premise, less effective in execution

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

Reviewed: 09-27-11

I wonder if I would have enjoyed this book more if I read the text. Especially for the first half of the novel I was distracted by the overwrought reading of the narrator. She sounded as if she was continually wringing her hands. The book deals with emotional scars left by war, but the topic is more effective if presented in an understated way. Having just finished The Rules of Civility, this suffered by comparison.

In addition, the jumping back and forth in time as the same incidents were related from the point of view of the different women was a little confusing. Maybe using different narrators (as was done for the wonderful recording of The Help) would have been a good idea.

The book explores the effects of WW II on three women and their children, during, and in the years after, the war. While too many topics are attempted to be completely successful with all of the threads, the author does write well and I found myself caring about the characters. The title comes from a quote of lexicographer Eric Partridge: ???War???next to love, has captured the world???s imagination.??? This novel is a pleasing foray of imagination into the struggles of loving well under war conditions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Selected Shorts

  • Lots of Laughs!
  • By: Nicholson Baker, John Updike, David Schickler, and others
  • Narrated by: Thomas Gibson, Charles Keating, David Rakoff
  • Length: 3 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51

Selected Shorts is an award-winning series of classic and contemporary short fiction read by acclaimed actors. The readings are recorded live at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City. The Selected Shorts radio series is a co-production of Symphony Space and WNYC, New York Public Radio, and is heard on public radio stations nationwide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Radio Show

  • By Steve on 11-26-05

An index of the stories

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-02-10

For those who would like to be able to locate individual stories quickly:
0 ??? 27:26 * Nicholson Baker's "Subsoil";
27:40 ??? 49:54 * John Updike's "Farrell's Caddie";
50:22 ???1:28:47 * David Schickler's "Jamaica";
1:29:10 ??? 1:55:45 * Neil Gaiman's "Chivalry";
1:56 ???2:43 * Leonard Michaels' "Nachman from Los Angeles";
2:43:45???2:55:45 * Ron Carlson's "On the U.S.S. Fortitude";
2:56???3:04:57 * Etgar Keret's "Fatso"

10 of 10 people found this review helpful