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TiffanyD

  • 40
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 40
  • ratings
  • What a Carve Up!

  • By: Jonathan Coe
  • Narrated by: Colin Buchanan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

It is the 1980s and the Winshaw family are getting richer and crueller by the year. Newspaper-columnist Hilary gets thousands for telling it like it isn’t; Henry’s turning hospitals into car-parks; Roddy’s selling art in return for sex; down on the farm Dorothy’s squeezing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A triumph

  • By S. R. Gibb on 08-10-10

Excellent story & narration, weirdly abridged

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

Reviewed: 09-03-18

I loved the story and I think the narrator did an amazing job. With a few exceptions, these aren't lovable characters, but they are all brought to despicable and/or pathetic life and the humor is top notch.

Normally I would give this nothing but high marks. Unfortunately, the book is not truly unabridged.

Dorothy's section was exceptionally curtailed (and rearranged, coming in a different chapter order than in the print edition) and I found several instances of other edits as well. I know this was published in both America and Britain, so I suppose there might be differences in the print editions themselves and that the audio book is following a different edition than mine. But the Dorothy section is cut down so excessively that this doesn't seem like a good explanation.

If you don't mind an abridged version, go for it. But maybe keep a print edition handy to see what you're missing.

  • Gather ‘Round the Sound

  • Holiday Stories from Beloved Authors and Great Performers Across the Globe
  • By: Paulo Coelho, Yvonne Morrison, Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Angele Masters, Daniel Frances Berenson, Magda Szubanski, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 5,242
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,603
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 4,600

2017 has been a monumental year for Audible, having just celebrated our 20th anniversary, a milestone that would have never been possible without our wonderful and loyal listeners. One of our major commitments is bringing new and diverse audio experiences to our members, so this year, as our gift to you, we pulled together a collection that reflects a little bit of everything we’ve been up to recently.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Holidays

  • By ZOE R on 12-12-17

The best bit is more Halloween than Christmas

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The first part is a mildly interesting This American Life knock-off about some people answering letters from Santa. Then we get into some cute stuff by Paulo Coehlo (not my cup of tea) before eventually hitting on some Dickens. That is the meatiest bit but it's not remotely Christmas-like except that it was a Dickens story once published in a Christmastime issue of a magazine. But it's more like a gothic ghost story. Ultimately, this collection feels pretty scattered. If it wasn't free, I'd definitely be returning it.

  • The History of the Siege of Lisbon

  • By: Giovanni Pontiero (translator), Jose Saramago
  • Narrated by: Robert Blumenfeld
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

In this "ingenious" novel ( New York Times) by "one of Europe's most original and remarkable writers" ( Los Angeles Times), a proofreader's deliberate slip opens the door to romance-and confounds the facts of Portugal's past.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not for those who love a plot-driven novel

  • By TiffanyD on 08-06-18

Not for those who love a plot-driven novel

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I want to love Saramago as much as I love Portugal. But his novels are so thin on plot that I struggle. This is my second attempt (Balthazar and Blimunda was my first) and I just can't do it. The rambling, the lack of chapters, the run-on sentences...I know this is about me and my preferences, but there you have it. If you love a novel with plot, consider finding a different Nobel Prize winner or a different Portuguese author.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Return of the Soldier

  • By: Rebecca West
  • Narrated by: Harriet Carmichael
  • Length: 3 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

The Return of the Soldier is Rebecca West's 1918 novel of the struggle of a World War I veteran, Chris Baldry, who is shell-shocked with amnesia, to return home and make sense of the life that he had before he went to war, a life that now he can't entirely remember.

This dramatic novel shows with great heart, that the horrors of war are not always left on the battlefield.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short but powerful tale

  • By TiffanyD on 08-06-18

Short but powerful tale

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Having only read Rebecca West's massive travelogue about Yugoslavia, I was a bit amazed to find out that she could write such a succinct piece of fiction. The novella is about war, lost chances, and the illusion of second chances all within about 100 pages. I felt almost guilty for audiobooking this one since I could have read it in about an hour, but the narration was pleasant and I think enhanced my interest in the chracters.

  • The Go-Between

  • By: L.P. Hartley
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

During the long, hot summer of 1900, young Leo Colston is invited to stay for a month at a lordly, aristocratic manor in Norfolk. There he falls in love with his friend's older sister, who commissions him to ferry secret messages to the local farmer, her lover. His naiveté sustains their affair until ultimately leading to an event that will change their lives irrevocably.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Evocative and a little heart breaking

  • By TiffanyD on 08-05-18

Evocative and a little heart breaking

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

A beautiful opening line leads to a rather heartbreaking story, of lies and misunderstandings and class divides in pre-WWI England. The book must be better known in Britain than in the U.S. because I had only heard of it recently, even though I tend to be read a lot of British literature.

The reading was quite good, and managed to get me through a key plot point about cricket even though I know almost nothing about it.

  • The Diary of a Nobody

  • By: George Grossmith, Weedon Grossmith
  • Narrated by: Keith Wickham
  • Length: 3 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

George and Weedon Grossmith's The Diary of a Nobody paints a detailed picture of life in 1892. Pooter's diary notes his daily business, parties, embarrassments, and his agitated relationship with son Lupin - a strikingly familiar world, brought to life by Keith Wickham, which provides continual amusement.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • If you loved Three Men in a Boat...

  • By TiffanyD on 05-14-18

If you loved Three Men in a Boat...

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

Reviewed: 05-14-18

I actually DID love Three Men in a Boat and the Very British sense of humor in that book is very similar to what you find here. So I think most people who loved the one will love the other. For me though, I couldn't really give myself over to the absurdity enough to really appreciate this. That may have more to do with me and my personal feelings of anxiety over the world at this moment. I suspect if I read this at a more carefree time, I might have enjoyed it much more. So for anyone else who loves Three Men in a Boat, or even The Office (British version), I would recommend.

  • The House in Paris

  • By: Elizabeth Bowen
  • Narrated by: Michal Friedman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 42

When 11-year-old Henrietta arrives at the Fishers’ well-appointed house in Paris, she is prepared to spend her day between trains looked after by an old friend of her grandmother’s. Henrietta longs to see a few sights in the foreign city; little does she know what fascinating secrets the Fisher house itself contains.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A marvelous book

  • By Julie on 11-15-11

Beautiful but quiet story

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

Reviewed: 05-10-18

This is a quiet book, where there is little action even though there are many passions roiling. I admit the character of Madame Fischer was a bit of a mystery to me. I had trouble understanding her motivations. And Max was perhaps not the greatest romantic lead I've ever encountered. But I still found myself enveloped in the atmosphere that Bowen and our narrator have created. The narration was interesting. It was very child-like, which is appropriate since we are led to believe that a great deal of the story, even the middle section when we leave the children and turn to adults, really does spring from the children.

  • Underworld

  • By: Don DeLillo
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 31 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 351
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 354

Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life, haunted by the hard logic of loss and by the echo of a gunshot in a basement room. She is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • CYBEX burned into my eyes

  • By Ruth Ann Orlansky on 07-01-12

Great American Novel = White Boy with Daddy Issues

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

I get why people love this novel. It's beautifully written in parts and it ticks a lot of Great American Novel boxes.

But I am a very plot-driven reader. Consequently, this book was a difficult slog for me. There are portions of plot and the praise for the opening scene about the Brooklyn Dodgers game is well-deserved, but mostly this novel skips from place to place, time to time (all within the confines of the cold war).

And ultimately, like most Great American Novels this was about a white boy and his daddy-issues. There are interesting minor characters who get not enough page time. Poor Cotter, the African-American kid who is so prominent in the opening pages and then disappears. How much more would I enjoy reading about Cotter's life story? So much more.

All that being said, the narration was really well done and very engaging. During the more plot-driven moments, it very much pulled me in. But then I'd get to a breaking point and just...leave it there. Because there was no overall storyline to pull me back.

  • I Am Legend

  • By: Richard Matheson
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,038
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,504
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,520

In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Everyone else has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he stalks the sleeping undead, by night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By Steven Casper on 01-24-08

Surprisingly engaging, even for a non-sci-fi fan

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am not a Sci-Fi fan, and I am super bored with the zombie trend so I didn't expect to like this book at all. But I really was hooked from nearly the first few words. Something about the last man alive concept felt interesting and fresh in this short novel. Some of it was a little too beyond belief for me (I have so many questions about sewage in this man's post-apocalypse!) but overall I was just able to let it go and enjoy the story.

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

Sometimes the narrator gets a little bit shouty, but overall the performance manages to be a great listen for a dark and stormy night. The tension builds slowly and the atmosphere, while not exactly one of horror, is one of suspense and despair.

Any additional comments?

I have a tendency to assume that sci-fi fiction is really bad when it comes to women characters. This, despite the fact that there are female authors of sci-fi, and that authors of literary fiction are often just as inept as those of genre fiction when it comes to crafting a realistic human woman. So it's not fair to hold a book to task just because it's sci-fi, but I will admit that I was disappointed in the one female character who did show up. Very cardboard.

  • Her Royal Spyness

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,204
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,058
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,028

Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’ve Been Charmed

  • By Emily - Audible on 06-11-12

Light as air mystery novel

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Would you listen to Her Royal Spyness again? Why?

While I don't think this will be a repeat listen for me, I would definitely read other books in the series. Light as air, brain candy mystery novel.

Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first book I've read by this narrator, although I have had Henry James' "The Golden Bowl" in my library for awhile. I definitely enjoyed the performance and am sorry to hear she recently passed away.