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Rebecca

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great book & reader, annoying musical interludes

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-01-11

this is a really great book, and mark haddon is an excellent reader. the only problem i have with it is the grating musical interludes which are meant to signal separate parts of the text - breaks between chapters or something. my problem with these are as follows: 1) they are irritating little earworms which sound like they have been played with one finger on a very early model Casio organ, or one of those novelty electronic keyboard-kazoo instruments, set to 'Oboe' 2) as it is not possible to ascertain what exactly they are meant to be signaling, a simple brief silent pause would do just as well. audio book listeners are not idiots, if the sound goes quiet for a moment we are not going to think the download is broken
3) they jar horribly with the mood of the book and cumulatively threaten to ruin it

do not let this put you off- the book is really, really good and this is otherwise a great recording - i'm writing this in the hope that whoever makes these books will cease and desist from horrid little 'innovations' like this that are meant to guide and/or enhance- but in fact have a highly detrimental impact on- the listening experience

7 people found this helpful

Love cover art

love is not one of her best but

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-10

give her other books a chance - if you nothing else of then do read 'wise children' her last book and her masterpiece - also available as an unabridged audiobook, as extremely well read by eileen atkins

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet cover art

... and for the mind, stories.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-06-10

'a thousand autumns' is, as many reviewers have said before me, a mature work which fulfils mitchell's earlier promise. part love story, part horror story; part imperial mea culpa, part hymn to duty, faith, and honour, this book brings cloistered japan, the mercantile dutch, their slaves, the free and pressed men of the british navy - all, to perfumed, formal, chaotic, ailing, lovely, cruel, fair, life; and to death also, death, life's indivisible, irrespective of black magic and the beckoning promise of science. the language is delightful and - imperceptibly, at first, over an interspersed series of descriptive passages, gradually transmutes into verse and back out again for the action. beautifully and intelligently read by jonathan aris and paula wilcox, this audiobook is a total pleasure and comes highly recommended by me. may david mitchell live a long long life!

22 people found this helpful

The Enchantress of Florence cover art

narrators accent & intonation is distracting

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-06-10

i've only been listening for 20 minutes, and i'm finding the narrators voice extremely distracting; a voice so full of suppressed yawns, so slow and drone-like, it's as if he thinks he's talking to an idiot. it is inelegant; and it does disservice to the language - whose texture and music is half the pleasure of a rushdie book. Modern drawling american is so inappropriate to this material that it's really a shame and a waste; so much better to have chosen a narrator capable of rendering indian-english and european accents. even as i type, this narrator has just murdered a 'scots' accent into a sliding mess of hammy irish, and some sort of unidentifiable generic 'foreign' mash. i guess the american market must be lucrative for rushdie (though i find this slightly surprising - are there simply more islamophobes, buying rushdie as a patriotic point?) seriously, i think they should re-record for an English market - i really don't know how much longer i can stand his voice at this rate

10 people found this helpful

satisfying but longwinded

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-11-09

I have been waiting for this Audiobook all year, but I have to say I was a little disappointed - it is my least favourite of the trilogy. And I have to say that this comes down at least in part to the narration. I found the reader frequently over-emphasized words, and what's worse, placed what for me seemed an incorrect emphasis on things. Also, his accent was very strange, sliding towards something Afrikaans sounding in places. He decided to individualize one of the main female characters (not Salander, thankfully) by giving her an extremely breathy voice which I began to find incredibly irritating about 1/3 of the way through and as with the mis-emphasis, often obscured the meaning and emphasis of what she was saying. On the positive side, larsson's moral compass is unique and challenging in a way which amazes me that these books have become best sellers - and in this the hornet's nest is no different. Also, I have a much better idea of how the Swedish state is structured and operates than I ever did before - which is cool. Larsson's gender politics are challenging too, though he almost goes and spoils it all by spelling out, as if we hadn't had it hammered into us by now (an unfortunate choice of words), that the book is really about the violence that men perpetrate upon women. As if we could have ever failed to have notice that... On balance, I liked it, and I would still recommend the audio form. Just about. In my opinion this book could have done with a more brutal editor, and losing 100 or so pages wouldn't have done it any harm at all - and I have to wonder whether the fact that it has been left as it is has anything to do with Larsson's having passed away shortly after submitting the manuscript. As any further changes would obviously have to be made without his consent. Hmmm. A mixed effort but if you like the first two you should still get this book, if only just for a sense of completion.

3 people found this helpful

compelling short stories all set in the same town

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-08-09

This collection has grown on me - once I'd got over the irritating music which is played to indicate that excerpts of a guidebook are being read before each story i found the stories increasingly compelling, although the book does make India seem like a pretty terrible and hopeless place, as with a couple of exceptions the people in the stories almost always fall into the categories of either the thanklessly exploited poor, or the spoilt, cruel and thoughtless rich. and, thankfully, the annoying postman pat sounding music is entirely absent from the stories themselves, and seeing as the 'guidebook' excerpts are only there to provide a mildly amusing contrast with 'real life'and in no way essential to the plot or substance of the stories really, you can always forward through the music to the stories themselves.

The Body Artist cover art

urgh. stop.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-03-09

this is the worst book i've ever "read" by delillo - i'm a big fan of white noise, cosmopolis, underworld etc but i actually began to find this book so embarrassing to listen to that i eventually turned it off. i found delillo's imaginative attempt to describe female embodiment from the inside very, very weird indeed, and i would say that if you're not into breathy confessional discussions of embodiment, in a performative, "body art" context, then spare yourself this one. on the other hand, if you are into all that stuff - i know that some people are, and i'm not standing in judgement - then, great, this book is for you.

2 people found this helpful

The Tin Roof Blowdown cover art

brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-03-09

Whether you are already fan of crime novels or not - and i would recommend this to any fan of fred vargas, or even carl hiassen - this book also offers an extraordinary account of the aftermath of hurricane katrina, including the heroic actions of local public services - police, hospitals, coast guards - in the face of the murderous and contemptible neglect perpetrated by washington under the bush administration. next to dave robicheaux, new orleans is the star of this book. it is also smart, wise, cool, funny, stylish, humane - and incredibly well narrated by will patton. one of the best audio books i have ever come across. 6 stars. no, 7.

3 people found this helpful