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Reademandweep

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  • The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

  • No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 14
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,161
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,035
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,040

Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. First, she is approached by the lawyer Mma Sheba, who is the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate. Mma Sheba has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward may be falsely impersonating the farmer’s nephew in order to claim his inheritance. Mma Ramotswe agrees to visit the farm and find out what she can about the self-professed nephew. Then the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon comes to Mma Ramotswe for advice.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Comfort, Comfort, Comfort

  • By Carole T. on 02-06-14

Turn up speed to 1.25

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

Reviewed: 02-17-19

Great book series, pleasant characters. Nothing heavy but interesting. The reader, Lisette Lecat is great but awkwardly slow. Turning the speed up to 1.25, corrects this.

  • The Full Cupboard of Life

  • More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 981
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588

New York Times best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith's critically acclaimed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series continues in this engaging book that won the first ever Saga Award for Wit, given to the wittiest British book of the year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • #1 Ladies Detective series delivers another winner

  • By MusicMom13 on 06-22-05

They’re going downhill.

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

Reviewed: 02-02-19

The book series started off like gangbusters for me. I enjoyed book one very much. Book two also but by book three, I noticed that the first three chapters are wasted retelling the previous books. This is not necessary. You could explain the characters in a few short sentences. These are not plot heavy books.
In fact, they are so simple they feel like an episode of a lighthearted TV detective show. And I’m talking a one hour show. My point is, although I enjoy the books as they progress, very little happens and much of the book is wasted by repeating incidents from previous books.
It’s a little disappointing. I don’t expect everyone to be Arthur Conan Doyle but each book should stand on its own and be a full bodied story

  • Killer by Nature

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jan Smith
  • Narrated by: Angela Griffin, Robert James-Collier, Katherine Kelly, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 31 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,823
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,328
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,308

Dr. Diane Buckley, a talented freelance forensic psychologist, is drafted in to examine a grisly murder – a body found in a children's playground. The murder carries all the hallmarks of one of her most famous incarcerated clients, 'The Playground Killer' (aka Alfred Dinklage). In a series of intimate 1:1 sessions, Buckley has to race against time to unpick the facts and delve into Dinklage's often manipulative, complicated mind to understand his past whilst striving to prevent further murders....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too much music in background

  • By Sharon on 02-04-19

Like a bad B movie. More background noise than story.

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

Reviewed: 02-02-19

These audible original dramas are terrible. What’s happening with the quality of audible material the past few years? Since the merge with Amazon it’s been going steadily downhill. We expect better quality from audible than this. You can’t save a sub par story with multiple “actors”, bad music and cheesy sound effects.
You need to step up audible or maybe I should say step back and return to us the quality material we signed up for and the quality that put you on the map. If you keep lowering your standards you’re going to lose your spot as the best audible audiobooks

28 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • The Kalahari Typing School for Men

  • More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,126
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 693
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 694

Precious Ramotswe's comfortable existence as the only detective in Botswana is suddenly rattled when the Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency opens, and its brochure proclaims, "Don't take any chances! Entrust your enquiries to a MAN!" As if the development isn't enough, Mma Ramotswe has also taken on two difficult cases, one of which hits close to home. But with wisdom on her side, Mma Ramotswe figures to crack both cases and upstage her competition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audiobooks don't get any better than this

  • By Richard on 07-15-04

The recap takes up half the book

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

I enjoy this book series and I left positive reviews for the first three books. However, I have to complain about the recap. I’m entering the fourth chapter and the first three have been used by recounting the events of the first three books. This is unnecessary when you’re writing a series. Who is going to pick up a 19 book series in the middle? And if they do, this is not heavy duty stuff. It’s very lightweight story about a woman with a detective agency in Botswana. That’s enough. There’s no reason to retell everything that happened in previous books. Now I’m concerned about buying another for fear of what’s going to happen by book 19.

  • Morality For Beautiful Girls

  • More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,212
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 752
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 749

Between intriguing new cases and troubling personal developments, Precious' hands are full. The four Miss Beauty and Integrity pageant finalists may have questionable moral fiber, and the brother of an important government worker has allegedly been poisoned. On top of all that, Precious' reliable fianci might be hiding something.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refreshing view of life in a small country

  • By Janet on 11-27-03

Wonderful light listening for YA too.

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

This is the duplicate review of a previous book in the series because my sentiments are the same. It’s a bit like reviewing an episode of the American TV series “Murder She Wrote“ starring Angela Lansbury.
If you like one episode you will like all the episodes.
So my review is more for the series in the odd chance that someone is purchasing them out of sequence or checking reviews out of sequence.

I generally listen to heavier stuff but needed something lighter while I work on something involving a legal issue, compiling paperwork etc.
my sister recommended Alexander McCall Smith, (specifically this series) and she was so right.
The characters are endearing, the storyline is interesting but not heavy and it’s up to pleasant diversion if you want something lighter.

This should be classified as YA. It’s easy to understand, contains no offensive language or behavior, in fact - offers plenty of good philosophical points for kids to ponder pertaining to morality and defining good values.

The only con for me was the price. With my annual subscription the cost of credits is about $10 so I kept thinking “do I use a credit for books that cost $12 instead of a classic worth $25-$40? (especially one I know I will only listen once). I finally came to my senses and realized Alexander McCall Smith‘s books are a wonderful diversion while I’m going through a stressful time so what’s worth more than that?

I recommend these books for adults but REALLY recommend them for teenagers and even mature preteens. The stories are pleasant the values are good and the fact that it takes place in Botswana is a wonderful cultural learning experience for all of us in the Western world.

  • Tears of the Giraffe

  • More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,697
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,063
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,056

Now engaged to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, Mma Ramotswe must contend with the hostility of her fianci's unscrupulous maid, who quickly begins plotting the disintegration of the arrangement. Then an American woman asks for help to learn the truth behind her son's disappearance in Africa, and Mma Ramotswe has all the troubles she can handle.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A tender tale, sweetly told

  • By Barbara on 08-30-05

Sweet story. Great for YA and preteen too

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

I generally listen to heavier stuff but needed something lighter while I work on something involving a legal issue, compiling paperwork etc.
my sister recommended Alexander McCall Smith, (specifically this series) and she was so right.
The characters are endearing, the storyline is interesting but not heavy and it’s up to pleasant diversion if you want something lighter.

This should be classified as YA. It’s easy to understand, contains no offensive language or behavior, in fact - offers plenty of good philosophical points for kids to ponder pertaining to morality and defining good values.

The only con for me was the price. With my annual subscription the cost of credits is about $10 so I kept thinking “do I use a credit for books that cost $12 instead of a classic worth $25-$40? (especially one I know I will only listen once). I finally came to my senses and realized Alexander McCall Smith‘s books are a wonderful diversion while I’m going through a stressful time so what’s worth more than that?

I recommend these books for adults but REALLY recommend them for teenagers and even mature preteens. The stories are pleasant the values are good and the fact that it takes place in Botswana is a wonderful cultural learning experience for all of us in the Western world.

  • The Book of Lost Things

  • By: John Connolly
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,035
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,774

High in his attic bedroom, 12-year-old David mourns the loss of his mother. He is angry and he is alone, with only the books on his shelf for company.But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds that the real world and the fantasy world have begun to meld. The Crooked Man has come, with his mocking smile and his enigmatic words: "Welcome, your majesty. All hail the new king."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For Those Who Enjoy Playing with Fairytales

  • By alison on 01-06-13

Narrator A+, schizophrenic story D-, more Horror than fairytale

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

Reviewed: 01-23-19

I was disappointed with this book and had it not been for Stephen Crossley’s talent as a reader, I would’ve stopped listening at about chaper 3. As it was, I hung in until about chapter 14 when I finally admitted to myself that it was tome to stop hoping for the book to develop. I fast forwarded to the last chapter, more of the same, then to the last 15 minutes of the last chapter and finally the ending. What a disappointment. I don’t recommend this book.

Why Not?: (Possible Spoilers)
1) There is zero humor, colorful description or lightness of any kind. Even a good drama, horror or thriller generally has a few moments of lightness to create contrast. There is zero contrast here. The same dark, dreary, repetitive story.
2) Disjointed storyline: There is one story in the beginning which abruptly changes to something entirely different for the duration, only revisiting the original characters/setting in the last few minutes of the book. This can work (It certainly did for Alice in Wonderland) if we hadn’t invested so much time in the beginning, listening to details that are never developed or revisited. Suddenly, we are zapped elsewhere and the original details are never revisited.
It feels like Connolly forgot to delete his backstory.
3) This book feels schizophrenic. It promotes itself, and in fact begins like Harry Potter but soon switches to Cujo. If you’re going to be horror, promote it as horror. People deserve to know what they’re paying for. Nothing wrong with horror, Stephen King does quite well with it but he lets you know what you’re getting. Horror is like porno. A 12 scene movie with 11 scenes PG and 1 X, is still X. End of story. Likewise, a fairytale that switches to a nightmare is Horror. You should warn your readers and promote your book as horror.
4) Needs editing- Good writing doesn’t need explanation. You get absorbed in the story and time flies. This book was, for me the opposite. I didn’t care about the characters, there was no emotion or humanity, just blah blah blah words without connection. I felt like I was listening to an outline waiting for the author to add the colors.
There is little variation in plot or characters but lots of repetitive description that does not build the story (description of blood and suffering, dark, dreary but unimaginative settings and details behavior that qualifies characters’ as disgusting - non of which adds to story development. It’s a bit like dreariness porn. LOL. No twists - just more of the same.

For me, the book’s biggest problem is schizophrenia.
It needs a good editor.

  • The House with a Clock in Its Walls

  • By: John Bellairs
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,266
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,071
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,066

When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan, comes to stay with his Uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are both witches! Lewis is thrilled. At first, watching magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Serenna Izard. It seems that Serenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls - a clock that could obliterate humankind. And only the Barnavelts can stop it!

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Before Harry Potter, there was Lewis Barnavelt

  • By Richard S. Swol on 08-26-18

What a NOTHING story! HOW did this even get Published?

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

I am astounded that this poor excuse for a story is being made into a movie. What in the world is going on? The sorrowfully weak plot, poorly developed characters, mediocre writing with unimaginative description and flat, predictable dialigue is just awful. I can’t think of any aspect of the story that is memorable. This is on par with anything a typical 10-year-old could write. I do not understand what’s going on if a book like this can get published and made into a movie.
I cannot recommend and now that I’ve heard it I certainly will not spend the money on the movie.

As for the reader, George Guidall is usually wonderful but he was miscast in this. Perhaps someone more whimsical like Stephen Fry or Jim Dale could have breathed some life into it but I doubt it. Just terrible.

  • The Glorious Revolution

  • The History of the Overthrow of King James II of England by William of Orange
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Scott Clem
  • Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 3

The Enlightenment had been awakened by the European Age of Discovery, but the continent was also a seedbed of insurrection, holy wars, and volatility. People were growing weary of the unpredictable system of monarchy, a post that was inherited only by members of an exclusive bloodline or connection, one that often muted the voices of the people. Time and time again, grossly incompetent and seemingly diabolic rulers had come to power through the rigged regal system.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Unacceptable quality for a paid subscription

  • By Reademandweep on 12-21-18

Unacceptable quality for a paid subscription

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

Audible needs to raise its standards. The reader is worse than most free, Libravox readers. This is unacceptable quality for a paid subscription. It’s not the cost of the book. This one was not very expensive but one of the reasons to subscribe to audible is to feel confident that the standards are maintained. If any Tom Dick and Harry is allowed to read the books, where do I sign up? I can definitely do a better job than this.

  • The Age of Enlightenment: A History From Beginning to End

  • By: Hourly History
  • Narrated by: John Riddle
  • Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

From its beginnings as a loosely definable group of philosophical ideas to the culmination of its revolutionary effect on public life in Europe, the Age of Enlightenment is the defining intellectual and cultural movement of the modern world. Using reason as its core value, the Enlightenment believed that progress and the betterment of the human condition was inevitable.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Reader, so bad listening is futile

  • By Reademandweep on 12-21-18

Terrible Reader, so bad listening is futile

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

Reviewed: 12-21-18

This is one of the worst readers I’ve had the misfortune to experience, Not to mention throw my money away. The flat, monotone delivery would be bad enough it a novel but with material like this it’s worse. A computer could read it better. Save your money and the frustration. It’s a shame because it could be a nice little synopsis if not for the reader ruining the experience.