LISTENER

Book Maven

Calera, AL USA
  • 31
  • reviews
  • 84
  • helpful votes
  • 170
  • ratings
  • Agatha Christie: Murder Is Easy

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Michael Cochrane
  • Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138

It's very easy to kill - so long as no one suspects you.' So says Miss Pinkerton when ex-policeman Luke Fitzwilliam meets her on a train. Luke doesn't take much notice of this little old lady's story about a serial killer on the loose in her village - until her predictions start to come true, when he feels compelled to check it out. Very soon the race is on to prevent any more murders...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not That Easy

  • By Mary Specht on 10-21-17

A Christie overlooked but very well done

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

I thought I had read all of Christie’s work over the years but I had missed this one. The story is clever with subtle twists and turns. The narration was excellent. I’m sure I will re-listen at times to enjoy the first-time feeling.

  • The Writing Game

  • By: David Lodge
  • Narrated by: Ian Abercrombie, Michael Brandon, Christine Estabrook, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

In a rickety, converted 17th-century farmhouse in Dorset, England, a group of authors teaches a creative writing seminar. One of them - a brash American novelist - finds he's got more to learn about writing and romance than he ever dreamed possible. An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring Ian Abercrombie as Jeremy Dean, Michael Brandon as Leo Rapkin, Christine Estabrook as Maude Locket, Jeremy Geidt as Henry Locket, David Hunt as Simon St. Clair, and Melanie van Betten as Penny Seawell.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Comic version of the “ugly American”?

  • By Book Maven on 10-15-18

Comic version of the “ugly American”?

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

At the risk of sounding prudish or being accused of it, the obnoxiousness of the American writer, whose forte was spewing vulgarity and rudeness, was irritating and nearly took away from the play. However, the superior performances of the rest of the cast made up for the pompous American writer’s barns of criticisms. Somewhere within, there was some helpful advice on what writing is and a last minute attempt of the brash America to redeem himself (but never admitting it as such) with a a slightly human comment. Overall I say “bravo to the Brits”.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alfred Hitchcock Interviews

  • By: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Narrated by: John Dunning
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

Arguably the most famous of all film directors, Hitchcock was very likely also the most interviewed; his career total is probably more than 1,000 interviews. This collection presents us with some gems from throughout the five decades of Hitchcock's career, showing us his views on various topics.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Same content on youtube

  • By Cam Noble on 02-01-19

Very comprehensive interview

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

An interesting and detailed series of interviews and a compilation of Hitchcock’s movies with some life details included which adds to the image of the man himself. Previously, he seemed a distant and unknowable person except for his films and that memorable “Good eeeevening!” as he announced his television program. He certainly left a legacy! This was a very absorbing “listen”.

Lady Windermere's Fan audiobook cover art
  • Lady Windermere's Fan

  • By: Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by: Brian Kelly
  • Length: 2 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7

"Lady Windermere's Fan, A Play About a Good Woman" is a four-act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced 22 February 1892 at the St James's Theatre in London. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it bitingly satirizes the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage. The story concerns Lady Windermere, who discovers that her husband may be having an affair with another woman. She confronts her husband but he instead invites the other woman, Mrs Erlynne, to his wife's birthday ball. Angered by her husband's unfaithfulness, Lady Windermere leaves her husband for another lover.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Frightful production of a good play!

  • By Book Maven on 07-05-18

Frightful production of a good play!

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

After only 10 nerve-cringing minutes listening and trying to find a reason to keep this version of a well-written and entertaining play, I had to stop listening to this production. The reasons include not only an uneven, nasal narration with a whiny American accent (and I'm American) but the play is recited with stage directions, descriptions of the characters' actions and a sing-song effect back and forth overall. I usually listen to the Audible Sample, but this time I trusted that it would be up to par having just listened to other Oscar Wilde recordings that were done very well. Now I know better. This particular version MIGHT please other listeners, but I recommend that they listen to the sample Audible provides before hitting the Purchase button.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lord Peter Wimsey: BBC Radio Drama Collection Volume 2

  • Four BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatisations
  • By: Dorothy L Sayers
  • Narrated by: full cast, Ian Carmichael
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 250
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250

Ian Carmichael stars as Lord Peter Wimsey in the much-acclaimed radio dramatisations of: Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Strong Poison, Five Red Herrings and Have His Carcase.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Story & Voice Actors - Horrifying Music

  • By Gen on 04-13-18

Story and actors kept my interest all the way...

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

Reviewed: 07-03-18

...but the music before and after EVERY single chapter was teeth-grindingly tedious. Overlooking that, it’s worth listening to and probably more than once.

  • Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers

  • A 44 Scotland Street Novel
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Robert Ian Mackenzie
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 564
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 512
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 510

Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce’s first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie's birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin, and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie's mother, Irene, to a warmer--if not a better--place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bertie turns seven!!!!

  • By Lynne F on 02-20-15

Never fails to please and tell a great story

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

Reviewed: 07-03-17

This is an addictive series. The characters are so real we feel we know them, and want to know more! I love following Bertie and how he deals with near-thugs at school and with an over-bearing mother. (Luckily she is on vacation.) Charming and insightful, Angus is a low-key philosopher with so much knowledge which he lets escape rather than beating you over the head with it. His dog, Cyril, is character unto himself. I highly recommend this series to lighten the mood and learn about the Scottish way of life.

  • The Bertie Project

  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Robert Ian Mackenzie
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 395
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 369
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 369

Bertie's respite from his overbearing mother, Irene, is over. She has returned home from the Middle East, only to discover that her son has been exposed to the worst of evils: cartoons, movies, and even carbonated beverages. But the one who should be most concerned is her unfortunate husband, Stuart, upon whom her wrath is about to descend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not again

  • By lerone on 02-16-17

Another marvelous encounter with the denizens of Scotland St.

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

Reviewed: 03-15-17

Young Bertie continues his life as his mother, Irene, returns from the Middle East, more overbearing than usual. Other residents also learn unusual lessons as the author spins his usual magic, keeping us riveted to what happens with each character. One of my favorite series by this marvelous writer.

  • M. C. Beaton

  • Audible Sessions: FREE Exclusive Interview
  • By: Robin Morgan-Bentley
  • Narrated by: M. C. Beaton
  • Length: 14 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Exclusive to Audible. M. C. Beaton talks about her Agatha Raisin series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How wonderful to hear the author!

  • By Book Maven on 09-12-16

How wonderful to hear the author!

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

Reviewed: 09-12-16

I've long had an image of MC Beaton in the back of my mind as I read or listened to all the Agatha Raisin books and I imagined her either as Agatha or Mrs Bloxby. She's neither! She's even better. Her comments about reading and writing (ah, that procrastination!) made me laugh and warmed my heart because her views on why people read were "spot on" with my own and these days that doesn't happen often. Obviously a majority of people don't read out of a book before going to bed. Whereas, that's a family tradition for me despite what doctors and non-readers may say about it ruining your sleep! As if!
Thank you for the free interview.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dishing the Dirt

  • An Agatha Raisin Mystery
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Alison Larkin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 345
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347

When therapist Jill Davent moved to the village of Carsely, Agatha Raisin was not a fan. Not only was this therapist romancing Agatha's ex-husband, she dug up details of Agatha's not-too-glamorous origins. Jill also counsels a woman, Gwen Simple, that Agatha firmly believes assisted her son in some grisly murders, although there is no proof. Not one to keep her feelings to herself, Agatha tells anyone who will listen that Jill is a charlatan and better off dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The only thing missing is Penelope Keith

  • By Linda on 09-29-15

Tried hard to like this reader to no avail...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-02-16

Having enjoyed over a dozen Agatha Raisin books, I simply cannot accept this new reader’s voice or interpretation of the characters, especially Agatha! Her sing-song, lispy voice is not endearing or correct for the personalities in my humble opinion. Penelope Keith was the best with voices and making each character distinctive. I tried several times on this book but I regret I can't get through the story. Sad to say...I'll look for other readers if Miss Keith is no longer available

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Unexpected Guest

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
  • Length: 3 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 391
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 387

A classic from the queen of mystery: Agatha Christie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Performance by Hugh Fraser

  • By Customer on 04-03-16

This doesn't sound like a Christie to me.

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

Reviewed: 12-25-15

What would have made The Unexpected Guest better?

The story having more of the "Christie voice".

What was most disappointing about Agatha Christie’s story?

The story had such brutal dialogue it didn't sound like Agatha's usual writing when it came from the mouth of the husband and Jan, the strange child. Too gory, all the descriptions of shooting and killing things (animals).

What does Hugh Fraser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Hugh Fraser is the BEST narrator for the Christie books because he can do so many voices and accents. I think I'll probably "hear" his voice when I do actually read or reread a Christie novel.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Unexpected Guest?

Some of the descriptions of how the husband enjoyed "killing things" and some repetitive material when the characters were analyzing the death and some of the high-pitched remarks of Jan.

Any additional comments?

I don't think this will be a repeat listen for me.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful