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beatrice

El Cerrito, CA, United States
  • 39
  • reviews
  • 247
  • helpful votes
  • 63
  • ratings
  • Persuasion

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Olivia Williams
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 70

Persuasion tells the story of one of the most popular of literary heroines, the glorious Anne Eliot. Persuaded out of marrying the man she loves due to his not being a good enough match, Anne calmly and wittily takes us through her journey from her life as the middle daughter of a spendthrift and vain baronet through a sojourn in the marriage market that the City of Bath became in the 19th century to a final and merry resolution of the long search for the ideal match.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect!

  • By Frances on 03-05-18

love Olivia Williams

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

Reviewed: 03-13-19

When Mrs. Smith describes Nurse Rooke as "a shrewd, intelligent, sensible woman... sure to have something to relate that is entertaining and profitable: something that makes one know one's species better," I thought, well, that's what Jane Austen does so admirably. And Williams, herself shrewd and entertaining, is an admirable narrator.

  • No One Belongs Here More Than You

  • Stories
  • By: Miranda July
  • Narrated by: Miranda July
  • Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 256

In a series of stories that are shocking, sexy, charming, and ultimately unforgettable, Miranda July explores the hearts and minds of characters who are desperate for human connection and yet don't know what to do when it actually happens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best

  • By Xavier on 01-25-08

queer as folk

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

Reviewed: 07-28-15

Not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of crazy in these pages, acutely observed. Funny and excruciating, like people, like life. I think I liked this book of short stories better than July's novel The First Bad Man, because the crazy comes in smaller packages.

The Audible app is a must for this book, as you can set it to stop at the end of a chapter, and I'm not sure how else the listener could know that one story had ended and another was beginning--the stories are of different length, and July doesn't pause significantly between stories, or give any other indication of a transition.

  • A Game of Thrones

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102,582
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88,866
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 88,787

Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King's Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert's name. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse - unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season. Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Review of First 5 Books

  • By DCinMI on 09-12-13

a bit silly

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

Reviewed: 09-05-13


Imagine two columns, Column A headed "yes, please" and Column B headed "no, thanks." When you think about what you enjoy in an audiobook, into which column would you place each of the following?

—knights and swordplay
—made-up languages
—ritual barbarian sex
—animals with preternatural powers
—fantastic buildings with inconceivable supply and waste-removal systems
—dragons
—zombies
—teenaged and pre-teen heroes and heroines in adult roles
—wenches and whores
—blood, LOTS of blood

I had thought I was up for all of the above. In my youth, my Tolkein paperbacks were limp from exhaustive rereading. More recently, I've been a fan of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. However, 33 hours of irony-free fantasy proved too much for this listener. Around hour 25, when bastard Jon Snow saves Lord Jeor from a midnight attack by a wight assassin, he is rewarded for his courage by being given the sword of Valyrian steel (whoo-hoo!) that has been passed from father to son in Jeor's family for five centuries. While part of me was busy noting the emotional significance of this gesture for Jon and calculating its implications for the plot...I also found myself giggling at the sword's name (for the record: Longclaw). Am I the only person who finds this epic story a bit silly?

.


  • Where Angels Fear to Tread

  • By: E. M. Forster
  • Narrated by: Edward Petherbridge
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34

English widow Lilia causes a scandal by marrying Gino, a highly unsuitable Italian 12 years her junior. But when her relatives are confronted by the beauty of Italy and the charm of Gino, they are forced to examine their own narrow lives.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Forster

  • By Kimberly on 06-08-10

Forster's first novel, and it shows

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

Reviewed: 09-03-13

The synthesis of thought and feeling that makes Forster's later work so compelling is missing here, and the storyline descends into bathos (I literally rolled my eyes during the scene with the Baby's milk). I almost wish I hadn't read this book, because now I keeping thinking I detect untrammeled sentimentality around the edges of scenes in other books by Forster, like when you keep thinking you smell something bad after you actually have. Edward Petherbridge reads expressively but even less intelligibly than he did for Howard's End, which make this somewhat confusing story even harder to follow.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Room With a View

  • By: E.M. Forster
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 333
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 125

Set in Italy and England, this is a rich and romantic story of Lucy Honeychurch and the choice she must make between love and convention.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Funny, Beautiful, and Moving than the Movie

  • By Jefferson on 02-18-12

tireless observer

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

Reviewed: 07-31-13

After I listened to the book, Hubby and I streamed the movie. Afterwards:
Hubby: When was the book written?
Me: About a hundred years ago.
Hubby: It seems so modern!
That's Forster for you. He watches people, and understands their prejudices and passions, and gets it down in writing. And though society changes, and the nature of the pressures it exerts on people changes, human nature is just the same as it was 100 years ago. As a man with secret passions, Forster knew his material inside and out.
Wanda McCaddon is an excellent narrator. Sometimes women's voices are too brassy for male characters, and I was concerned that McCaddon's voice would be distracting, but her inflections are so convincing that this was not an issue. I would definitely choose her again.


  • Good Omens

  • By: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,039
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,952
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,976

The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • You'll laugh yourself silly

  • By goddess_of_pipework on 11-28-15

major fun

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

Reviewed: 07-13-13

If you enjoy Gaiman and Pratchett, as I do, here you go—two for the price of one, a deal not to be missed (I could hear them each in my head, in different parts of the story). Could I give Martin Jarvis deserves 6 stars for his performance, I would. He keeps the multitude of voices distinct, and channels the wry humor of the Gaiman/Pratchett team marvelously.

Howards End
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        E. M. Forster
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Edward Petherbridge
    
    


    
    Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
    65 ratings
    Overall 4.4
  • Howards End

  • By: E. M. Forster
  • Narrated by: Edward Petherbridge
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55

First published in 1910, Howards End is the novel that earned E. M. Forster recognition as a major writer. At its heart lie two families - the wealthy and business-minded Wilcoxes and the cultured and idealistic Schlegels. When the beautiful and independent Helen Schlegel begins an impetuous affair with the ardent Paul Wilcox, a series of events is sparked - some very funny, some very tragic - that results in a dispute over who will inherit Howards End, the Wilcoxes' charming country home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Now I need a hard copy

  • By Susanne on 04-19-12

read this, then watch the movie

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

Reviewed: 07-13-13

Wonderful stuff about money and privilege—who's got it, who hasn't, and what consequences follow. Though Forster's work is challenging to narrate because it is so dialogue-heavy, Petherbridge reads expressively and well, and I was rarely confused as to who was speaking. My only complaint about Petherbridge's narration is that sometimes his voice sinks to a whisper unintelligible to the dogwalker or commuter, and sometimes difficult to understand even by a bedtime listener.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Bring Up the Bodies

  • A Novel
  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,456
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,159

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfection in story and the telling

  • By Ry Young on 09-18-12

what a downer

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

Reviewed: 04-11-13

I finally realized why I don't enjoy the talented and accomplished Simon Vance as a narrator: his voice strikes me as chilly, even though I realize he might in real life be the warmest-hearted person I could ever hope to meet. But what this meant for my "Bring Up the Bodies" listen is that I was left wondering if Hilary Mantel was telling the story of a man (Cromwell) corrupted by power, who had lost some of his human qualities—or if it was just that Simon Slater (for Book One of the series) was better able to express Cromwell's tenderness and regrets. I couldn't tell if Cromwell had changed, or if I was just confused by the change in narrator. Also, while "Wolf Hall" chronicles the rise of the plucky Cromwell and equally plucky Anne Boleyn, and it's the icky Thomas More who loses his head, in "BUtB" it's the demure (and less fascinating) Jane Seymour whose star is rising, and it's hard not to feel sorry for the innocent and/or naive courtiers who end up paying the ultimate price when Cromwell starts calling in accounts. Despite the excellent writing and narration, I didn't enjoy this audiobook as much as its predecessor.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Wolf Hall

  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater
  • Length: 24 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,877
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,950
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,956

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Divorced, beheaded, died...

  • By Tim on 09-30-11

superlative

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

Reviewed: 03-09-13

I love Simon Slater's voice so much, I want to marry it. I even considered buying one of the "Dummies" books so that I could listen to him read some more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Good Soldier

  • By: Ford Madox Ford
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 113

The Good Soldier is a story about the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples - one English, one American - and the growing awareness of American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian façade. It is Dowell’s attitude - his puzzlement, uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration - that makes the book so powerful and mysterious. In Ford’s brilliantly woven tale, nothing is quite what it seems.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Clueless Cuckold and the Romantic Philanderer

  • By Jefferson on 05-28-13

the unreliable narrator par excellence

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

Reviewed: 10-21-12

I found this book enormously engaging, because every statement--whether the narrator's or his accounts of what other characters have said--must be weighed for degrees of truth: each person has his or her own self-interests to rationalize and justify. Ralph Cosham's voice perfectly expresses the appropriate nuances of self-doubt, puzzlement, and regret. I liked Cosham's work here so much that I subsequently chose him as my narrator for Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," and noticed that while his voice sounded younger and fuller for HoD, for TGS he seemed more a master of the meaningful pause, making his reading of this devastating story all the more powerful.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful