Boston, MA
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-18-18

If you like The Keepers, You'll Like This

First, there was Serial, then Making a Murderer and The West Cork comes along and it was a genuinely a fun experience and extremely chilling. The story is not about the death of a French woman in rural Ireland but also about the man that the Irish police pointed the finger at.

It is an incredibly engrossing and intriguing story -- one that I had never heard about in the US but am very interested in. The interviews, the candid conversations, the excellent sound engineering made this feel like I was there along with Sam and Jennifer as they interviewed, scoped, and traveled throughout rural Ireland in search of the truth. While Bungey and Forde ultimately find no definitive conclusion to the unsolved murder -- they do paint a vivid portrait of how a violent crime can impact everyone in a small community and can change the course of everyone's life even 20 years later.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-17

Merrison and Sachs are sublime

Growing up and listening to these audiobooks when I was younger, I could feel myself transported back in time and seeing Holmes and Watson hash it out and solve these perplexing crimes. Merrison actually holds the distinction of having performed every story of Holmes and Sachs (who succeeded the late Michael Williams) does not disappoint as Watson.

These stories are part of the original canon. In addition, they draw upon references to stories that Conan Doyle wrote. All of these adoptions are expertly acted (not forced) with incredible sound effects -- making it feel like you are in the room with Holmes and Watson as they solve the case together. I highly recommend these for a long car drive. The stories are absorbing and pull you in. It's only a shame that this particular set of stories signifies the end of Merrison and Sachs taking on Doyle's famous detective. But they are worth the listen.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-24-17

Alright Story but Butter Alternatives

This wasn't bad but it wasn't great. Simon Cowell as Sherlock Holmes seemed to work for me. However, the voice acting was not that strong from the supporting cast. Watson's character was written more as bumbling, aloof, and not fully aware. The stories were not that bad. However, they did not seem to fit into the Sherlock Holmes canon that is so strong.

If you want to hear a wonderful dramatization of Sherlock Holmes with stellar sound effects, voice acting, and story -- I would recommend that dramatizations starring Clive Merrison as Sherlock Holmes and Michael Williams as Dr. Watson. After Williams passed away, Andrew Sachs took over as Watson and he is equally good. I would recommend those audio books over these hands down.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-13-17

Holmes and Watson Come to Life

I grew up listening to these books. I remember my mother popping the cassette into the car stereo when I was young and play these stories along with all the Sherlock Holmes stories portrayed so masterfully by Clive Merrison and the late Michael Williams.

For start, you can certainly see an improvement in quality from "A Study in Scarlet" to "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and the "Valley of Fear." The voice acting, which has been lauded by critics, and the engrossing story have brought me back to listen to these again and again.

I highly recommend these for a long car ride or trip. They are entertaining, faithful to the original books, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-26-16

Realistic, Funny, and Down-to-Earth

I will admit that I listened to this book after watching the Ridley Scott adaption starring Matt Damon. The book, however, is superior to the film (but only barely). The book, read by R.C. Bray is realistic to the point of too much detail -- realizing how close I felt we actually were to getting to Mars in the next 10 years. Furthermore, there were several "laugh out loud" moments thanks to the incredible wit and masterful narrative dictated by Andy Weir. It is great for listening on your own or for a long car ride with adults in the car. It has a lot of language so it is not good for kiddos but man was it good. I highly recommend it.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-16

Interesting but no Divinci Code

this was a really interesting read. As I studied American history especially early American history, I found the topics and the research that Brown did as incredibly and lightning and explanatory. however, I would certainly fault the fact that I feel that the incredible intelligence of the primary characters in this book did not come out fully. There were multiple times where I could see where the plot was going but these very intelligent characters with PhDs and Ivy League educations lacked complete and total common sense and the antagonist exploited this I think too much. regardless, I felt it was a very entertaining and fun listen. The narration is spot on and I am glad that Dan Brown decided to bring his stories to the United States.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-20-15

Classic and Nostalgic - Holmes at his best

I grew up listening to these stories. My mother would buy these taps and play them in the car and I would listen to them on long car rides. Today, I still listen to them again and again -- and I'm very glad that Audible has them in such great condition.

The BBC did not cut corners with these productions. Professional actors on stage, screen or radio often frequent the casts. The stories are very faithful to Doyle's work. Frankly, I feel that Merrison (despite not being able to see him) is the quintessential Holmes and Williams is the perfect Watson (wise, romantic, friendly and sharp).

Like all of these productions - they are entertaining, fun and interesting to listen to. It truly feels like you are right there with Holmes and Watson in the room -- and are along for the ride. I highly recommend these stories.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-10-14

Well Acted and Great Characters

What I like about Louise Penny's books is that you can pick up any of them and not be required to backtrack all your way to another book to find out why a character did what he or she did. The Beautiful Mystery fits into this vain. A well written and well thought out book -- it is narrated by Ralph Cosham and it does not dissapoint. The descriptions are vivid, the narration is profound and the focus and emphasis on the characters is truly magical. It is a great book that celebrates Quebec while also delves deep into characters that are flawed, broken and in need of healing. The mystery, however, is the crown jewel; unique, down to earth and truly mesmerizing. It is an excellent listen.

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-14

Great Delivery but Horrible Story

I had high hopes for this book but was greatly towards the halfway point of the book. It was very much divorced from Bram Stoker. What I would have liked was journal and letter entries from the characters as Stoker originally wrote. Furthermore, I truly did not like the story. It was unnecessarily gory, it was not in the same vain as the original and the characters were not believable. I felt that this was a sequel to the film, Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1991. None of it made any sense and the authors take on the original story was not what I expected. I forced myself to finish it. It was just not that good and I wasn't happy with my decision to download it. Just not good writing although the performance by Simon Prebble was very well done. By the way, ending...was god awful.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-24-14

Engrossing and Fun

When Jon Allen writes something like this, I certainly will pick it up and read it. Both Allen and Parnes have written an engrossing, fun and provocative look of Hillary Clinton and the very foundation of Hillaryland. The book dives into not just her incredible evolution of candidate to stateswoman but also the evolution of her operation and her views. I supported Hillary in 2008 and this book cemented my view in her ability to lead, to evolve, to be transformational and a leader not just here in America but across the globe.

In addition, this book does provide some juicy tidbits and red meat for political junkies. I came to dislike the operation that Hillary had in 2008 and appreciated the book diving into what "Hillary 2.0" would look like. It also takes an honest look at her record as Secretary of State.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well performed and gave a frank, honest and astute look at Hillary Clinton. I would recommend this book to any political junkie or informed voter.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful