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Kathy N

Long Beach, CA United States
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  • Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life

  • By: Lucy Worsley
  • Narrated by: Lucy Paterson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 28

Perhaps one of the best known of the English monarchs, Queen Victoria forever shaped a chapter of English history, bequeathing her name to the Victorian age. In Queen Victoria, Lucy Worsley introduces this iconic woman in a new light. Going beyond an exploration of the queen merely as a monarch, Worsley considers Victoria as a woman leading a truly extraordinary life in a unique time period.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gloriana!

  • By Karen on 01-21-19

Fascinating and Engaging

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

Reviewed: 03-12-19

Lucy Worsley is one of my favorite historians because of her ability to make history come alive for the non-academic reader. She brings a sense of human interest and fun to her subjects that makes them live. She also applies a bit of psychological analysis to their motives and behavior that may not be strictly academic and no doubt reflects her own experiences, but it engages the reader, who can accept it or apply their own insights.

A very interesting telling of Victoria's life through the device of 24 pivotal days. If the queen or her times interest you at all, I recommend it.

  • The Witches' Tree

  • An Agatha Raisin Mystery
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Alison Larkin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 305
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 268
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 269

Driving home from a dinner party in the village of Sumpton Harcourt, Rory and Molly Harris, the new vicar and his wife, strain to see the road ahead - and then suddenly brake, screeching to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights, a body hangs from a gnarled tree at the edge of town. An elderly spinster has been murdered - and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime. Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion (a little glad for the excitement, to tell the truth, after a long run of lost cats and divorces on the books).

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • What Happened?

  • By R. Turner on 10-05-17

Typical Agatha Raisin

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

I'm not sure what other reviewers are unhappy about. This story is a little dark, but so are many of the Agatha Raisin books. And the narrator isn't Penelope Keith, but who is? Her voice has perhaps a slightly sharper edge than some other narrators, but it's perfectly fine, and I thought she did a decent job with the voices.

If you like the Raisin series, just prepare for a little different narration than the others, and then go ahead and enjoy this one.

  • Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash's Greatest Album

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Danny Robins
  • Narrated by: Danny Robins
  • Length: 2 hrs and 21 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,526
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,737
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,721

This is the story of one of the greatest records ever made - Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison - and its shocking and tragic aftermath. Join award-winning journalist Danny Robins on the 50th anniversary of the album as he takes you on a road trip back to 1968, a pivotal year in US history, to investigate the dramatic and unlikely friendship between Johnny Cash, American icon, and Glen Sherley, armed robber and Folsom inmate, and how that friendship was violently torn apart. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Very disappointing.

  • By Margaret on 02-04-19

A little overwrought but interesting

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

The narration feels a little overly dramatic and some conclusions are uncertain, but this is an interesting history of an impactful event at a pivotal moment.

  • Out of My Mind

  • By: Alan Arkin
  • Narrated by: Alan Arkin
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,444
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,879
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,850

In this Audible Original “mini-memoir”, the Academy Award-winning star of Little Miss Sunshine and Argo looks back on his life as a series of philosophical turning points, learning experiences, and a-ha moments. Drawn from a collection of seemingly inexplicable stories and encounters from Arkin's 84 years on this planet, Out of My Mind is a candid, relatable and delightfully irreverent take on how one man went searching for meaning and ended up discovering himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing journey into Alan's self!

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-09-18

Arkin's Philosophical Statement

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

Reviewed: 02-16-19

The official summary of this book understates the fact that it is NOT an autobiography. Though there are vignettes of Arkin's life, they're vehicles to express his philosophical life journey. For writing and honest self expression, I would give four stars. But as a committed Christian I have to give only one because his belief system is Eastern religious and travels in territory of what I believe to be dangerous spiritual beliefs and practices. I like him and regret this rating, but I have to give it as a matter of my own spiritual conscience so that potential readers can make the informed choice that I couldn't for lack of information about the book's purpose.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Bootlegger's Daughter

  • By: Margaret Maron
  • Narrated by: C.J. Critt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 428
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 308
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 308

Attorney Deborah Knott is North Carolina's answer to V.I. Warshawski, a legal sleuth with a knack for sniffing out the most baffling crimes. Deborah has just done the unthinkable: entered the heated race for judge of old-boy-ruled Colleton County. The only female candidate, she's busy reeling in voters and giving campaign speeches. There couldn't be a worse time for Gayle Whitehead to beg Deborah to investigate the 18-year-old unsolved murder of Gayle's mother, Janie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Series

  • By J. Byerly on 01-06-14

Skillful Storytelling With Humor

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

Reviewed: 02-15-19

I loved this book! The author very skilfully and slowly unrolls the scroll of the past to reveal the truth of the present, with a generous splash of humor along the way. She clearly knows the American South, including the depth of its religious culture (as the post book interview with her confirms).

The two-plus decades since it was published have brought a lot of cultural changes, and readers/listeners who are sensitive to attitudes expressed toward African-American and gay characters may not appreciate the book, but it was progressive for its early 90s era and therefore valuable as a microcosm of it.

The audio narrator is wonderful, but the editor left one too many beats of silence between some sentences and at chapter ends, which I found annoying. But not enough to destroy my enjoyment. I'll definitely be continuing with the series.

  • Black Mask Audio Magazine, Volume 1

  • Classic Hard-Boiled Tales from the Original Black Mask
  • By: Hugh B. Cave, Paul Cain, Frederick Nebel, and others
  • Narrated by: Hollywood Theater of the Ear
  • Length: 5 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

In the1930s and '40s, Black Mask was the single most important magazine for the modern mystery field. Here writers such as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Earl Stanley Gardner reshaped the established view of mystery fiction, creating the "hard-boiled" private eye. Now this series resurrects from those pages the toughest of tough detectives in sonic dramatizations from the award-winning Hollywood Theater of the Ear.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beware

  • By joan on 10-27-11

Fun But Of Its Time

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

Reviewed: 02-11-19

The production is great on this dramatized compilation of short stories, with campy but good acting and fun sound effects. It's "film noir" for the ears.

I'm not bothered by elements that were of their time and might be offensive today, but if you are you might want to give this a miss. Some of its attitudes toward ethnic groups and women are definitely dated.

  • Dead as a Door Knocker

  • A House-Flipper Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Diane Kelly
  • Narrated by: Sophie Amoss
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

Meet Whitney Whitaker. A hopeless romantic when it comes to real estate, she knows what it takes to find - and flip - the home of one’s dreams. A fixer-upper is like catnip to Whitney: She can’t resist the challenge of turning an eyesore into a priceless work of art. So when one of her clients decides to liquidate a crumbling property, Whitney seizes the opportunity to purchase it for a song. But soon a curious incident of the cat in the night-time leads to a change in tune.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved the characters!

  • By DiAnn on 02-08-19

Enjoyable Cosy Debut

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

This is a light and fun cosy mystery with a home renovation touch. Nothing profound and no deep character development, but enjoyable.

A few small complaints kept me from giving 5 stars. The cat's occasional narration felt more contrived than necessary to the plot. The lack of a Southern accent in the few sections that aren't first-person narration or speech by characters felt odd since they all had accents. And though I'm not from the American South so I can't really judge, it sounded to me as if the narrator was affecting the accent. (I'd be interested to hear what Southern listeners think.) Finally, as a home renovation show fan, I'd hoped for more of those touches, but other than a few mentions of things like knob and tube wiring and quart countertops, not much of the renovation process was described.

Those are all small things, though, that didn't prevent me from enjoying the book.

  • The First Conspiracy

  • The Secret Plot Against George Washington
  • By: Brad Meltzer, Josh Mensch
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,136
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,061
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,055

Taking place during the most critical period of our nation’s birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington’s character, but also illuminates the origins of America’s counterintelligence movement that led to the modern day CIA. In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. Washington trusted them; relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliantly written and narrated!

  • By Wayne on 01-09-19

Gripping history

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

This is the well-told, gripping story of a little-known but crucial moment in American history, distilled for the average reader instead of the academic historian. The narrator is a little too breathlessly dramatic for my taste (think movie trailer for a thriller), but that's a matter of personal preference. Recommended for anyone who enjoys American history.

  • The Blood of an Englishman

  • The Agatha Raisin Mysteries, Book 25
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Alison Larkin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 338
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 339

Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of Babes in the Woods, Agatha watches as the baker, playing an ogre, struts and threatens on the stage. Then a trapdoor opens… followed by a scream and then silence. Surely, this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, awful narration

  • By lisa on 09-25-14

Enjoyable, not best Raisin

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

Reviewed: 01-24-19

I always enjoy Agatha Raisin books. Though she's not very likable, she has grown on me. This particular plot seemed to meander a bit, so I don't think it's the best, but it's still enjoyable, especially for series fans.

The narrator did a creditable job. I didn't expect her to live up to the inimitable Penelope Keith, who's narrated most of the series. But one thing was distracting - this narrator pronounced the town as MUR-ses-ter, where it's been MUH-stuh in all the other books. Did Penelope Keith have it wrong (hard to believe) or did this narrator inexcusably not do her homework before taking on a series? That grated as the town's name was mentioned repeatedly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

  • By: Julie Klassen
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Jasicki
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 913
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 838
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 832

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood...somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Story with Lovable Characters

  • By Maryalice Davis on 02-03-18

Slowly Unfolding Character Tale

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

This is the interwoven story of three early nineteenth century friends, each having lost a former position in society and now struggling to find their new places.

I liked the main characters and the gradual development of both their backstories and their new opportunities. I liked less the very slow pace at which everything unfolded. I think the book would have been better with about a quarter cut out for a tighter plot. On the other hand, it will be enjoyable for readers who enjoy a leisurely pace.

I also struggled with the numerous supporting and minor characters that became a little hard to follow at times. (Now who is Mr. X or Miss Y again?) And the sheer volume of Jane Austen allusions in plot points and even actual Austen dialogue seemed after a while less like honor toward a favored author and more like an exercise in making the plot fit a list of desired inclusions, or even near plagiarism. I only hope the author intended the honor.

Several plot points were left unfinished at the end. That's more like real life than the usual neat endings but also felt a little like the author keeping open the door for a sequel at the expense of the reader of this volume.

My complaints sound as if I liked the book less than I did. It was an enjoyable listen that I would recommend to someone who enjoys a leisurely Austen-type story of period characters and societal mores. Probably not for other readers.

The narrator is excellent, though her pace of speech is a bit slow. Then again, that suits both the plot and the time period.

Overall, a fairly good read. But not one of the best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful