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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-18

Outstanding Narrator; Wonderful Book

Bronson Pinchot is the best narrator I've come across in many years of listening on Audible. He is magical with accents. And fully invested in the characters, whom he brings to life with energy and caring. I can't imagine reading this book, rather than listening to it, since experiencing it through Bronson PInchot was so wonderful.
Mark Helprin's lyrical prose and captivating depiction of Jules, the central character, is as magical as Bronson PInchot's delivery. "Magical" is a word I want to use for this book. Not because it is fantastical. But because the author transports one so fully, with such immediacy and intensity, into the very essence of Jules' being. At another level the plot line is clever, and engaging. I felt quite bereft when the book came to an end.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-01-18

Narration Detracts; Story Reminiscent of Folklore

To my ear the narrator has a little girl's voice, which, although not unpleasant, doesn't feel appropriate to the story of a family's struggle in the face of war, deprivation and racial animus. The story reminds me of folklore, a tale of family that gets handed down over the centuries, with little convincing character development. The characters feel like instruments to achieve a result -- a portrait of a time and place. I kept listening mainly because I'm interested in the time and place (this is the type of book I listen to late at night when I don't want to be kept awake by compelling prose).

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-18

Great narration, good story

The core story is engaging, the writing good, but the character development of Charlotte St. Clair is flawed. Charlotte, the child of privilege, remains immature in my eyes and not credible as a post-war sleuth. Nor is the parallel theme of post-WWII sleuthing nearly as compelling as the WWI spy narrative, which is based on a true life story. The narration, however, is skilful and pleasurable.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-17

Different and Charming

The author's relating of his bird-identification chase during the course of his Big Year has whimsy and interest (assuming one is interested in bird-watching, even just a little). He has an appealing turn of phrase, and the narrator's voice and delivery are very appropriate. The interweaving of how the chase helped him fight his inner demons adds another dimension, which felt authentic.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-13-17

Excellent Narrator; Layered Murder Mystery

The author skilfully weaves the socio-political complexities of 1919 India into the fabric of this murder mystery, an engrossing read that is masterfully narrated in a range of British, Irish, Scottish and Indian accents. I can't wait for Abir Mukherjee to author additional intrigues in what I hope will become a series. Please continue using Malk Williams, he was a big part of this delightful experience.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-17

Fabulous narrator, excellent story

This is a complex legal thriller, kept interesting through the many twists and turns by Nick Stone's artful storytelling. Some reviewers compare him to Grisham. For my taste, he is better than Grisham. The narrator is probably the best I have listened to, talented both in range of pitch and accents.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-07-16

Narration Flawed; Subject Matter Difficult

Professor Bartlett sounds like he's enduring a rather wearisome exercise. His tone is monotonous and he heaves great sighs periodically. In general, he does not appear to be engaged with, or excited by, his subject matter. (By contrast, Professor Tuck, who narrates The Mysterious Etruscans, sounds like he is having a wonderful time sharing his knowledge).
Separately, the course material is difficult to absorb. The details of the struggles in each city state at times are both tedious and overwhelming. Perhaps, because so many mini-histories comprise the history of Italy prior to the Risorgimento, it had to be this way. However, I'd like to believe that someone else could have made different choices in selecting and organising the course material.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-07-16

Excellent Course

Professor Tuck has a wonderful delivery -- he's at ease, personable, engaged with his subject matter, and uses accessible concepts and language. The course is well organised, one aspect of Etruscan life explored in each chapter. I am now enjoying it for the second time, having just returned from visiting several of the Etruscan sites. Wonderful way to learn!

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-07-16

Entertaining story; Great Narration

This is not a genre I usually buy (historical romance, possibly even chick lit), but I became engrossed in the story. The characters are well developed and the narration is excellent. It's an escapist sort of book, undemanding, gently lilting. In short, a good read.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-17-16

Treasure Hunt and Love Story, Excellent Narration

And now for something a little different, that's how I think about this book. Without the excellent narration it might have been three star. With it -- the interweaving of the Chinese phrases, the well-done Texas accent (occasional) and the fitting cadence with which the main characters speak -- it's pleasurable. The American interpreter's struggle with her identity is authentic much of the time, but her desire to escape her father's racism (and the country she associates with it) is highly over-played, and often feels implausible. The hunt for Peking Man is fun. The suspense well maintained. The love story feels like a secondary thread, but it's not clear it was intended.

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