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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-19-16

The Robin Hood of Rabbits Read Perfectly

Heard this narrator read Richard Adams' Plague Dogs and so appreciated his skill in pacing, voices and accents.

When I realized he also read this book that I had read many years ago and seen the animation, I was eager to hear it. I have listened twice so far ....

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-14

Steady, fictionalized history of oil shenanigans

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I was expecting more of the slap of The Jungle. Oil! took a long time to get moving. That said, it opened up a historical moment that I hadn't looked at, having stopped at Texas Tea of "The Beverly Hillbillies."
Not a gripping tale, but a steady narrative to accompany a steady task like painting the house ...

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The central character, Bunny, seemed to me to be more of a narrative tool than a character. Like a Dickensian Oliver, he is held by kid gloves above the dirt and drama of the rise of the oil industry.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-14

Complex, compassionate look at a WW2 POW survivor

Where does Memories of the Storm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I am a Marcia Willett fan. I trust her to show me lives I might otherwise shrink from, and to encourage me to deepen my compassion. Her multi-chronological, multi-generational stories are carefully and illuminatingly told. This one ranks in my top three, along with The Children's Hour and The Birdcage.

What other book might you compare Memories of the Storm to and why?

Along with The Railway Man, this book could be used to open up discussion about PTSD and family life in the Post WW2.

What does June Barrie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

June Barrie's nuanced narration tunes our ear to the rhythms and subtleties of the dialogue of other times. These may otherwise have lain flat on the page or seemed cliched.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-14

Intriguing shift of folktales into Crime-Fantasy

Where does The Woodcutter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Ranks right up there due to the perfect match between the story and the narration by Sarah Coomes. We set high standards for those who tell fairytales to adults, and this narrator exceeds them.

Any additional comments?

Delaney lights up images from the folktales and fairy tales we have heard, then moves us to the viewpoints of different characters than the heroes, all the while weaving an overarching narrative that is disturbing and redemptive.

In the spirit of constant renewal of oral narrative, the author skillfully draws us into the battle between good and evil by activating connections between folktales, crime and substance abuse. While The Golden Compass places Dust at the centre of its sci-fantasy, Delaney deepens the narrative by re-appropriating pixie dust as the substance of harvesting and abuse.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-14

Best for those with a vivid visual imagination

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

To my artist friends, I know that Solomons' words will blossom into images, primed by paintings named in chapter headings.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The story moves between quite distinct visual genres; including a detailed interior and portrait focus: a kaleidoscope of British Sixties happenings: Arts and Crafts in the deep woods: and a sparse Hopper-esque America. The plot itself is secondary, and toward the perfunctory.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-20-13

Time travel back to 1935 and do it tough

Would you listen to News from Tartary again? Why?

What a slog... I felt each elbow in my back as we squeezed into the back of the lorry from Xian. I was thirsty from the dryness of the plateau and riding with the prince was another test of endurance, And then we got to the squalor and distress of the camels and horses from oasis to oasis on the way to Kashgar. I am still emptying the sand out of my ipod. Then the blood splattered on me as they pierced the noses of the horses on the pass over to India ... Peter Fleming's concern for the plight of the animals, his growing contempt for the dishonesty of the local "guides", and his generous praise of his traveling companion all brought to vivid life this moment in history.

What other book might you compare News from Tartary to and why?

Colin Thubron's Shadow of the Silk Road travels some of the same route in 2003 and is a fabulous listen, also full of back stories.

What does Richard Mitchley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Accent that anchors the point of view, and great pacing that deftly moved me from event to event.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-09-08

A work of art

Greta Scacchi reading Jane Austen is a perfect pairing. Scacchi reads with such subtelty of voice tones and timing that each nuance of Austen's word choice becomes a tapestry stitch in silk. Austen's words were so clearly written to be read aloud, but Scacchi uses them to captivate her listeners into a story that is a slower, much more autumnal love story than Emma or Pride and Prejudice, and without her art, might feel muted instead of delicate.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-09-08

Great Cow Tales

I was given this before moving to Delhi, and am so grateful that Sarah MacDonald is both a great journalist and a greatly entertaining writer. This account of her relationship with India is well crafted and full of information that takes on depth and interest the longer I am here. It is also brilliantly read by an Australian woman who performs a great variety of other accents to bring the narrative to life.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful