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B. Newby

any town, USA
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  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 6
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  • Exorcist III

  • By: Morgan Creek Productions
  • Narrated by: full cast
  • Length: 1 hr and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

A haunted homicide detective is confronted by the apparent return of a brutal serial killer he helped send to the electric chair 15 years earlier.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Warning: This is literally just the film's audio

  • By B. Newby on 11-01-16

Warning: This is literally just the film's audio

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

Reviewed: 11-01-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I have a soft spot for this movie and I consume anything of it I can get. However, much of the movie's gravitas is in its visuals. This audio, which is essentially Audible's equivalent of a kid holding a tape recorder up to the TV's speaker, only gives you a portion of Blatty's work. It might work better with some editing and narration, like the old Doctor Who audios for lost episodes.

What other book might you compare Exorcist III to and why?

This is very much like the lost episode audios of Doctor Who, but without any narration. So random noises are all you get for minutes at a time.

What about full cast’s performance did you like?

If you like the movie, you already have an appreciation for this cast and what they do. George C. Scott is remarkable as Kindermann and you get (half of) a wonderful performances from Brad Douriff.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It does evoke memories of the movie, which are fine for me.

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless, like me, they are hard-core fans of this movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alien: Out of the Shadows

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Tim Lebbon, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,412
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,728
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,665

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell - and trimonite, the hardest material known to man. When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a work that I highly recommend

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 05-02-16

It just wasn't necessary

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

Reviewed: 05-17-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I really wanted to like this, and I have such a soft spot for the Alien movies (even the bad ones). Unfortunately, this was 4.5 hours when it should have been 3 at most. The acting was fine, and Laurel Lefkow was so convincing as Ripley that I had a tough time remembering that it wasn't Sigourney Weaver. The other actors were fine as well, but the script gave them nothing to do. The worst part of it was the extreme redundancy of it all. Why did we need to mention the tragedy on the Nostromo in every scene? We are listening to this because we are fans of the films, so we know all about the Nostromo. Mention it once, twice tops, and move on. There were other redundancies in the script. Had the constant repetition of certain plot points been reduced, this might have had more appeal.

As much as I wanted to like this latest incarnation of Ash (Rutger Hauer was convincing as the soulless android), his part was tragically thin. He just kept narrating the scenes over and over. I was bored and wanted to skip his parts. This anemic nature to the Ash character was typical of just about all the other characters as well. None of them did much, despite how long they survived through the story. I just didn't care at all about them. Being indifferent to so many characters for 4+ hours is not my idea of fun.

Overall, I just felt like Dirk Maggs phoned this one in. I've loved other audio productions he's made and they never felt this thin. The end was the worst. Don't drag me through all of that just to....well I don't want to spoil it in case you really want to listen. But the end was a cheat so they could shoe-horn it into the movies' canon story.

Has Alien: Out of the Shadows turned you off from other books in this genre?

I won't be buying any of the other Alien novels, that's for sure.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

I think Lefkow's Ripley was my favorite. She was the least boring character, which I assume is by virtue of the fact that we already know her from the films.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There were moments in this story that I didn't mind, but they were few and far between.

Any additional comments?

If you want to uncritically listen to an expanded universe tale from the "Alien" universe, this is your best bet because it has a full cast. But if you are not a fan of under-done characterization and thin plots, then avoid this one. Overall, this ranked as high with me as a bad video game plot.

  • Good Omens

  • The BBC Radio 4 dramatisation
  • By: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Mark Heap, Full Cast, Peter Serafinowicz
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,855
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,708
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,712

A full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s celebrated apocalyptic comic novel, with bonus length episodes and outtakes. According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday in fact. Just after Any Answers on Radio 4….Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An adaption of one of my all time favorite books

  • By Mr Benn on 02-03-15

Fantastic full cast adaptation of a brilliant nove

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

Reviewed: 01-26-16

Where does Good Omens rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Since it is a full-cast play, I cannot rank it as an "audio book" per se. However, there are very few full-cast audios outside of Big Finish productions that have kept me as perpetually happy as this one. I was amazed at how well the background sound design was, as well as how varied and entertaining the cast was.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Crowley. Any character who firmly believes that every car should carry a copy of "Queen's Greatest Hits" is a winner in my book. I was so happy that they included Queen music in the background. That kind of attention to detail means that Dirk Maggs and crew put a lot of quality and effort into this production.

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

There are many actors in this cast with whom I am familiar and each one gave a brilliant performance. In terms of comparison, I would say that this was not as "star-studded" as Maggs' adaptation of "Neverwhere" but it was a really well-done cast.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The whole book, front to back, has always made me laugh out loud. I have read the novel several times as it is my favorite comedy, so I was extremely please to discover that an audio play had been made of it, and it was excellent in its own right.

Any additional comments?

I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the novel, is a fan of either Gaiman's or Pratchett's works, or someone who just wants to enjoy a great comedy. The characters are well written, well acted, and the story is great fun.

  • Winter's Tale

  • By: Mark Helprin
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 27 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 964
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 733
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 748

One night, Peter Lake - orphan, master-mechanic, and master second-story man - attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the affair between the middle-aged Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl who is dying. Because of a love that at first he cannot fully understand, Peter, a simple and uneducated man, will be driven "to stop time and bring back the dead".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book and narrator - bad technical glitch

  • By David on 04-11-11

Too much story, too little performance

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

Reviewed: 01-26-16

What disappointed you about Winter's Tale?

While I was intrigued by the movie (which was underwhelming because it needed to cut the story so short), I really wanted to dive into the novel and get a better sense of the universe Helprin created here. Unfortunately, I simply could not endure his overly baroque writing style on the page. This was a personal problem, and not necessarily a problem of the novel. Though, I will state that I found his writing style unnecessarily verbose and taxing. Normally I am up to such challenges when reading novels, but I could not bring myself to make it through this one.

So I figured I would let someone else do the reading for me. I adore audio books and dramas, so I figured I wouldn't have a problem. But I could not make it through one chapter of this audio book. Wyman's narration sounds like he is reading a children's book. His voice, high and often lilting, gives the listener the impression that he should be reading Dr. Seuss, not Helprin. I also did not agree with his choice of voices. They all sounded high pitched and cartoonish, again as if he were lending his voice to children's fare, not a deep novel. He should have read it straight, perhaps that would have alleviated some of the problems. However, at times, I swore his reading was almost condescending, as if he didn't take the material seriously.

So while I found the book too laborious for my own taste, I found the audio book utterly unpalatable. I could recommend the book to those with more patience than I, but I could never recommend the audio (and that is a first for me).

Would you recommend Winter's Tale to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend the novel to those who might have the patience to tolerate Helprin's writing style, but I don't know too many people to whom I would recommend this. As for the audio book by Wyman, I would recommend this to no one. His was not the proper voice for this novel.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Oliver Wyman?

The novel has too many descriptive parts to work well as a multi-voice piece (the film version proved that). However, this audio might benefit from an entirely different narrator.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Pure disappointment. I really wanted to read it and I tried, but sadly could not find the energy to do so.

  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

  • By: Bram Stoker
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,293
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,276
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,289

The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well Read, Throughly Enjoyable!

  • By WickedGoodYarn on 03-11-12

An interesting approach to a rather dull book

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

Reviewed: 11-04-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is a novel, in my opinion, that is best served in abridgement. Stoker's ability to provide information in a redundant fashion while never doing more that superficially developing most of his characters is taxing to me. I'd rather just get to the main crux of the story, which I do find fascinating (there is a reason it has inspired to many interpretations and reimaginings). Also, I am not a fan of novels that tell their story through the juxtaposition of letters between characters and personal diary entries. It is a highly limiting technique that leaves characters feeling wooden and stale. If this were a mystery, you might find more enjoyment from trying to piece random clues together, but it is not a mystery and the plot's development is slow and tedious.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bram Stoker again?

I have listened to other versions of "Dracula" as audios, along with a couple of his short stories, but I rarely seek them out and I doubt I will ever do so.

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

The only thing that got me through this long book was the various narrators. The changing of voices was pleasant enough to break up what is, to me, a tediously paced story. In particular, Simon Vance as Harker and Alan Cumming as Seward are particularly good (even though Vance's voice for Dracula is nearly indistinguishable from his voice for Van Helsing). Katy Kellgren was very good as Mina, as well. Unfortunately, Tim Curry is wasted in the role of Van Helsing, whose voice in the novel is rarely his own. Rather, most of his dialogue is read by other narrators. This leaves Curry with about 10 minutes of reading time out of the total 15+ hours. I cannot recommend anyone listen to this audio based on Curry's inclusion in the cast. That was very disappointing.

Do you think Dracula [Audible Edition] needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It does not need a follow-up book. The cast do an adequate job reading their parts but I cannot say I was left clamoring for more. Rather, its end was a relief to me.

Any additional comments?

Overall, while the narrations are of good quality, you really need to be a fan of this novel to get any significant joy from listening to it. I got it for 99 cents after buying the e-book from Amazon and I feel like I paid quite enough. Even the presence of Cumming, whom I usually enjoy as a narrator, was not enough to enthrall me.