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Mary

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  • 20
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Very Poor

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

Reviewed: 02-10-19

I wasn't expecting much, to be fair, but this really was terrible. Mispronunciations of place names, calling Derry Londonderry, a bit of chest thumping about how noble the Irish are and a really thin understanding of history. I had to stop listening. I hope I get a refund.

Should appeal to American teenagers.

Outstanding

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

Reviewed: 02-10-19

An incredibly immersive, rich, absorbing read/listen. The writing is stunning and the performances more than measure up. I cannot do this justice in a review - I can only say that this is the best literary discovery I have made all year. I had to buy the physical copy as well so that I could sink in to the text, so wonderfully brought to life by these excellent narrators.

Sounds routine

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

Reviewed: 26-04-19

Seems a shame to give something as beautiful as the rosary a poor review, but this sounds a bit perfunctory and rushed as opposed to meditative and reverential. You can find more prayerful sounding and reverent versions in many places online, for free. Still, though it loses points for the delivery it is still the rosary so deserving of respect, as is the reader for making this available. After all, he is not an actor, so that might explain the tedium of the 'performance.' (That is to say, one shouldn't 'perform' a prayer, so my criticism might well be churlish.) Some might benefit from it.

Decent

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

Reviewed: 03-12-18

Towards the end it got a bit tedious - endless reminiscences from different povs about who had the worst of it in the zombie war. I found the reminiscences of the French survivor particularly annoying, since the character voiced a sense of national shame for the Second World War which, quite frankly, French people don't have to apologise for. It was very much coloured by an Anglophone-American perception of France rather than anything truly French. Had it just been the in story narrator voicing such sentiments it could have been excusable in narrative terms, but - well, let's just put it this way: it annoyed me. (Trying to climb off my hobby horse.)

There were some fantastic stories in there though. I loved the downed pilot fighting her way through zombie territory, the blind gardener who survived an atomic bomb and went on to save Japan (my favourite part of the whole story: the moment when he finds his purpose gave me one of those heart surges where you want to stand up and cheer.) But overall, not as good as I had been led to believe. Also, it is interesting when you listen to a multi-narrated book and realise how few female voices there are. The author clearly made an effort to represent the genders, but the bias is quite dramatic. I didn't appreciate a developmentally disabled woman being described in terms of her body either. Yes, that was the in story narrator. But it struck me as ugly and inappropriate.

Worth a read if you are really into zombie fiction and not as easily offended as me. I had to push a bit to finish it, more because it got 'same old same old' towards the end. I am glad I did finish it though. It was actually worth it for what (to me) was the most tragic line of all: 'tell it to the whales.'

I doubt I will read the sequels though.

Fantastically funny, dark, dark humour

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

Reviewed: 15-04-18

This is dark, dramatic, psychologically twisted and inappropriately hilarious. I binge listened - given that I use Audible to motivate me to move (I only listen while walking or running) I ended up getting quite a few hours more cardio than I had planned. I mean, holy cow. I walked ten miles after work yesterday because I had to hear what happened next. I cringed, shuddered, bit my lip and laughed out loud... Then got up early to walk again so I could hear the rest. The first chapter was jaw droppingly good, and it stayed good from there. The author's quiet menace and dry drolleries are just... Wow.

I have another seven of these to listen to. I am going to need new shoes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Creepy stalker dude

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-02-18

Apart from the creepy stalker dude vibe Pimsleur has going on I enjoyed this course. The content is a product of its time, and the course's assumption that I am a straight American man intent on picking up girls is a little annoying. However, I work with Romanians who are very impressed with my accent and rapid progress, so the course is doing something right. And if I say 'Ma'am' or 'Sir' or use the formal 'ypu' a little more often than the average Romanian they just laugh and put me right.

Wow

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

Reviewed: 29-09-17

What a brilliant debut. The premise is compelling, the writing tight, and the narration - well, bloody fantastic. Definitely one that will live in my memory, and which I could see myself listening to again.

So bad I can't even!

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

Reviewed: 29-09-17

The narrator was fine, but oh good grief, the content! I didn't know whether to laugh incredulously or whether to throw my phone away in disgust at my own credulity in having bought this droch. Honestly, I was gobsmacked.

I assumed it would be like other meditative material on Audible, most of which is of a very high quality. Instead I got a well narrated ode to shallow materialism. I was heading to my meditative calm space (as I said, the narrator was good) when all of a sudden I am being told to imagine a luxurious room full of plush velvet furniture, tables with bowls full of jewels and the whole room dripping gold. By the time the narrator was describing crystal chandeliers and how all this wealth could be mine I was completely unzenned, laughing like a lunatic and shaking my head 'til I was dizzy. This is not the kind of wealth or positivity that I want to attract into my life, and is so far from my normal meditation practice that I am still in a state of cognitive dissonance just thinking about it. If I wanted to live in Trump tower I might like it. Other than that I can't think who it would appeal to.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Amazing!

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

Reviewed: 06-08-17

One of the best books I have read this year. Just, amazing. If you read just one sci-fi book this year let this be it.

Terrible

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

Reviewed: 26-06-17

Nothing but self promotion and an exercise marketing, though there is some smug self congratulation and portentous delivery of clichés to mix things up. I am very annoyed that I am unable to return this.

This is Mary. Don't be like Mary. Don't buy this guff.