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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-24-16

Not even Scott & Agyeman can save this

I picked this up because Andrew Scott & Freema Agyeman were part of the cast. If I had been paying attention & realized it wasn't a BBC production, I would've skipped it. I SHOULD have skipped it. The script is TERRIBLE. I couldn't even get through the first hour. The dialogue is riddled with cliches, and the "logic" is so infantile that a smart 10-year-old could poke holes in the plot. Every minute or so a character would spout a line that made NO logical sense in context. Not even Scott & Agyeman's dulcet tones could save this hackneyed story for me.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-28-16

Engaging voice, ,disappointing content

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I expected a good, thorough overview of fantasy literature. Instead, the professor spent over half the class summarizing Tolkien's stories. I'm sorry, but even if I hadn't read Tolkien, I can get plot synopses on Wikipedia. I wanted more discussion of different types of fantasy, etc. The professor also showed a surprising ignorance of children's fantasy... he claimed that 1980-1995 was a desert for children's fantasy, ignoring important works by writers such as Jane Yolen, Robin McKinley, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Dickinson, and Diana Duane.

What about the narrator’s performance did you like?

Michael Drout's manner and voice was engaging & easy to listen to. No complaints there.

What character would you cut from The Modern Scholar?

Much, MUCH less Tolkien summary, please! I love Tolkien as much as the next fantasy nerd, but... no, this class didn't need to consist mainly of retelling his stories.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-13-16


This is silly and delightful. I was slightly saddened to discover that some of the definitions fade out before they were complete, but other than that, a wholly delightful April 1 prank.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-19-15

Narrator shines, Heinlein is Heinlein

I absolutely loved the narrator's job on this book. He has to read in the voice of an actor who is often acting as someone else, plus give recognizable accents to the rest of the cast of characters. The book is worth it for the narration alone.

Heinlein, unfortunately, is his typical misogynistic self in this story. The political machinations are fun, but the "romance" with the female character is nauseating. I'd forgotten how horribly Heinlein treats his female characters. Also, the main character is totally a Gary Stu.

TL;DR Get this audiobook for the top-notch narration and the sci-fi history. Don't get it if you don't like seeing women characters treated as less than children or pets.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-15

Book is excellent, narration a bit dry

I heard this book touted as possibly the best book on evangelicalism written in the past twenty years. It was definitely enlightening & thorough, well worth the listen!

The narration was adequate for the most part. I must say I was disappointed, however, to find the work of a female scholar narrated by a male voice. Since patriarchy & the silencing of women's voices is a strong undercurrent (if not major theme) in parts of evangelicalism, I would very much have appreciated having this book read in woman's voice, instead. (Also, the narration had some rather startling mispronunciations, notably of Goshen College & Bill Gothard.)

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-22-15

Informative but a bit dry

Narrator is great. I don't think I would've been able to finish the book without the excellent reading, because the writing itself was a bit on the dull side.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-18-15

Great story, "meh" narrator

The story was great hard-boiled detective fiction. (I believe this is the first Chandler I've read, and it did not disappoint.)

I was less thrilled with the narrator. I wanted more nuance & world-weariness from Philip Marlowe's voice, and the narrator was simply too straight forward.

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-15

Not nearly as helpful as I hoped

The narration was fine, but the information in the book was spotty at best, dangerous at worst. In a book about "safe people" I expected the authors to discuss in at least some depth the dynamics of dangerously abusive relationships (domestic abuse, etc.). The book was startlingly shallow in respect to serious emotional/psychological abuse. I hoped for much better from Cloud & Townsend.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-09-15

A Different Spin on Coming-of-Age

Would you listen to Devoted again? Why?

Yes, I will listen to this story again. I grew up around families who held similar beliefs to Rachel's family, so her story resonated strongly with me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Devoted?

Many of the memorable moments for me are spoiler-y, but I loved the relationship between Rachel and her next-younger sister, Ruth. I also loved the relationships she built with people outside her family (trying to stay spoiler-free here), and also how the story shows us several very different reactions to growing up in such a strictly religiously fundamentalist lifestyle.

Have you listened to any of Jennifer Grace’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't believe I've listened to Jennifer Grace narrate another book, but she did an excellent job with this one.

Any additional comments?

I'm honestly curious to see how someone unfamiliar with the Christian fundamentalist/patriarchy/homeschool culture would react to this story. The way Rachel was raised felt very familiar to me--as I said earlier, I had a number of friends raised in similar circumstances--which made me resonate strongly with the story. Mathieu's writing and character development is so strong, however, that I think people unfamiliar with Rachel's culture would still enjoy this book.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-27-14

Why couldn't they check the pronunciations?

The book was just as good as I expected. The narration would've been fine, if the narrator hadn't continually mispronounced names of town and cities, as well as numerous words that would be absolutely common in Jesus People culture. (Words like "koinonia," "agape," "Maranatha," "Shekinah," etc.) I wish someone had checked the pronunciations before they released the final recording.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful