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Elle

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 49
  • helpful votes
  • 5
  • ratings
  • Pride and Prejudice

  • By: Jane Austen
  • Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,074
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,908
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,900

One of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Pride and Prejudice, is vividly brought to life by Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike ( Gone Girl). In her bright and energetic performance of this British classic, she expertly captures Austen’s signature wit and tone. Her attention to detail, her literary background, and her performance in the 2005 feature film version of the novel provide the perfect foundation from which to convey the story of Elizabeth Bennett, her four sisters, and the inimitable Mr. Darcy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect

  • By katherine on 30-01-16

bland narration

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

Reviewed: 14-03-19

A classic story narrated rather blandly. Rosamund Pike's voice acting wasn't unpleasant or difficult to listen to, but just sort of.. "meh". I may trade this particular version in for a different narrator, possibly Lindsay Duncan. I will say that Rosamund does a good job of making Austen's sometimes overly wordy sentences easy to follow, but as far as conveying satire and comedy it was all quite deadpan. In my opinion this doesn't suit the tone of the book as it needs a much more emotive and mischievous delivery. Horses for courses I suppose.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • By: Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for eternal youth. As Basil Hallward, an aspiring artist, puts a few touches on a portrait of his handsome young friend Dorian Gray, Gray wishes that the portrait might grow old while he remains forever young. While Dorian Gray spends his life pursuing fresh experiences and new sensations, his looks do not change. However, the portrait, secretly hidden in the attic of his residence and with which he has grown increasingly obsessed, does.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Abridged version!!

  • By Elle on 08-01-19

Abridged version!!

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

Reviewed: 08-01-19

Fry does a fabulous job narrating as per usual, but I was incredibly disappointed to realise that this was an abridged version of Wilde's only novel. I won't return the title but why would you spoil it like this? Very frustrating.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Anne of Green Gables

  • By: Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Narrated by: Rachel McAdams
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 420
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 372

With all of the pluck and charm of its eponymous young hero, Rachel McAdams ( The Notebook, Spotlight, Midnight in Paris) delivers a spectacular reading of Montgomery's beloved bildungsroman. In moments both funny and bittersweet, McAdams' voice is imbued with the spark that has made Anne a much-loved symbol of individualism and cheer for over a century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic rendering of well-loved book

  • By carolr on 15-12-17

Wonderful narration of a childhood classic

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

Rachel McAdams does such a beautiful job of reading this story. She made Anne's incessant twittering sound so pleasant and easy on the ears, and no part of this book was over-acted - despite the dramatics we know Anne can be predisposed to! Wonderfully understated performance, one of my favourite audiobooks to return to again and again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Harry Potter: A History of Magic

  • An Audio Documentary
  • By: Pottermore Publishing, Ben Davies
  • Narrated by: Natalie Dormer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 434
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 402
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 405

The history of magic is as long as time and as wide as the world. In every culture, in every age, in every place and, probably, in every heart, there is magic. Harry Potter: A History of Magic reveals some of the hidden stories behind real-world magic and explores some of J.K. Rowling's magical inventions alongside their folkloric, cultural and historical forebears.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Better as a documentary - read review to the end

  • By Elle on 04-10-18

Better as a documentary - read review to the end

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

I pre-ordered this instantly without really checking to see what the book was about, purely because Natalie Dormer is one of my favourite actresses who did an amazing job narrating the Game of Thrones History and Lore animated shorts. At first it felt like I was listening to a podcast, Natalie being our wonderful host with guest interview excerpts ranging from academics and historians to Potter illustrator Jim Kay and narrators Jim Dale and Stephen Fry.

Initially it was interesting listening to the behind the scenes tidbits about how the world of Harry Potter came into being, but as time went on the discussion shifted to the real life history of magic, based around the British Library exhibit of the same name, it felt a little frustrating. The chapters are rather quaintly divided into Hogwarts subjects like herbology, divination, potions, magical creatures, dark arts etc... but unless there is some kind of online PDF accompaniment to go with this audiobook to display the art and artefacts that are being discussed at length, something that you're able to refer back to even after completing the audiobook, then this book is probably better enjoyed in the traditional book format or - better yet - as a visual documentary. There's a lot lost in the audio-only experience and unless you're idly listening to the book and able to stop and Google search the illustrations and images that are being described - then the whole experience feels very lacking.

Another massive frustration was the fluctuating quality of audio when it flits between the narrator and guests who clearly did not record their interviews in the best settings with the best audio equipment. Having to shoot the volume up and strain to hear someone then suddenly fumble to turn the volume back down is the. most. annoying. thing. The whole point of an audiobook for me is to listen to something hands-free! The directors and producers of this audiobook clearly made enough of an effort to include musical interludes and effects in and between chapters, a basic thing like VOLUME should have been addressed long before that to make the listening experience comfortable.

Overall, so far at least, I'm enjoying Natalie's narration and hopefully she will do more audiobooks after this. The historical tidbits are interesting and probably a good launch pad to delve into the stories and subject matter that interest you. But it really would have been better as a documentary.

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EDIT: I've just done my research and found that this actually WAS a documentary, it aired on the BBC on the 28th October 2017 and focused on the Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition which ran from 20/10/2017 to 28/02/18. It's on Youtube to view. Of course the documentary was only an hour long, so they've fleshed it out using the same interviews and used the audio samples from Jim Dale and Stephen Fry, then engaged the services of Natalie Dormer in to stitch it all together. Knowing this, and the fact that a lot of people will have purchased the hard copy of the book after listening to all the descriptions of images we can't actually see... this audiobook sniffs suspiciously like a cash grab. And from the people who gave us The Cursed Child and seemingly endless tiresome cinematic adaptions of Fantastic Beasts, I'm not even surprised.

38 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • The Red Necklace

  • The French Revolution, Book 1
  • By: Sally Gardner
  • Narrated by: Tom Hiddleston
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

France 1789: a time of terror; a charismatic boy, Yann, who must find out who he is; the daring rescue of Sido, an aristocrat's daughter: these are the elements in this tremendous adventure by a consummate storyteller, a marvellous tale of the first days of the French Revolution.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Narration

  • By jessica harby on 28-08-18

Tom Hiddleston: an exceptional voice actor

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

Reviewed: 09-02-18

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story itself is very enjoyable, and the narrator enhances it tenfold.. Too many times I've started an audiobook and ended up abandoning it because the narrator couldn't carry the story, preferring instead to read it myself - not here. Tom does an incredible job of making each character sound distinct and unique by employing different accents, vocal pitches, varying speeds of speech etc. and generally exercising his full array of talents to bring the story alive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful