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Diana M. Sandberg

  • 19
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 38
  • ratings
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley

  • Written by: Patricia Highsmith
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 65

In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal, but he grows enraged by Dickie's ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Profoundly creepy

  • By Diana M. Sandberg on 2019-03-03

Profoundly creepy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-03-03

I couldn't quite bring myself to click on 5 stars ("I love it"), just because it's such a disturbing story, but it's very, very well told, and I found the narration just about perfect. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but the basic sociopathy of Ripley's internal monologue was rendered brilliantly. As an actor myself, I applaud the reader's fortitude in so thoroughly inhabiting this character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Game of Kings

  • The Lymond Chronicles, Book 1
  • Written by: Dorothy Dunnett
  • Narrated by: David Monteath
  • Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

It is 1547 and, after five years imprisonment and exile far from his homeland, Francis Crawford of Lymond - scholar, soldier, rebel, nobleman, outlaw - has at last come back to Edinburgh. But for many in an already divided Scotland, where conspiracies swarm around the infant Queen Mary like clouds of midges, he is not welcome. Lymond is wanted for treason and murder, and he is accompanied by a band of killers and ruffians who will only bring further violence and strife. Is he back to foment rebellion? Does he seek revenge on those who banished him? Or has he returned to clear his name? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging, but...

  • By Diana M. Sandberg on 2019-01-18

Engaging, but...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-01-18

...so full of obscure references and untranslated foreign quotations, it might very well be better listened to after having read it at least once on paper.

But the Scottish accents were a delight to listen to.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Silkworm

  • Written by: Robert Galbraith
  • Narrated by: Robert Glenister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 2 times in a row!

  • By carmela on 2017-09-30

Highly entertaining

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-12-09

A certain amount of gruesome in this, but I still quite enjoyed it. I like the main character and I really enjoyed the narration. At first, I was a bit annoyed at the relationship between Robin and her fiance, because he's such a jerk, and I had trouble taking her concern for him seriously. But then I reflected that I've known a number of similar relationships in real life, so...sigh.

  • The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

  • Book of Dust, Volume 1
  • Written by: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 174
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172

Renowned storyteller Philip Pullman returns to the parallel world of Lyra Belacqua and His Dark Materials for a thrilling and epic adventure in which daemons, alethiometers, and the Magisterium all play parts.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the wait!

  • By Olivia Baudais on 2017-11-08

La Belle Sauvage

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-09-09

I read this on paper a few months ago, and enjoyed it immensely. I feel there were some references to the previous books that I missed, due to it having been several years since I read them, but that just makes me want to read them all again, ha. I did think the last of the first trilogy got a little too bogged down in diatribe, although there were also a lot of engaging events and characters. This was less polemical (NB, I didn't say "not polemical"), and more adventurous, and it carried me along splendidly.

I enjoyed the Audiobooks version, if possible, even more. Mr. Sheen's narration is a delicious extra layer to the story; his accents are splendid, each character speaking in their own voice as he moves among them seamlessly, and the excitement in his voice in the tense bits is thrilling. I was actually listening to one of those bits, by chance, at the gym one day, and did an extra quarter mile on the exercise bike in my usual amount of time - haha!

  • Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History

  • Written by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Step into the real world of the spy with this detailed and unforgettable tour of the millennia-long history and enduring legacy of espionage and covert operations. While most of us associate this top-secret subject with popular fiction and film, its true story is more fascinating, surprising, and important than you could possibly imagine. These 24 thrilling lectures survey how world powers have attempted to work in the shadows to gain secret information or subvert enemies behind the scenes.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty sketchy

  • By Diana M. Sandberg on 2018-09-09

Pretty sketchy

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-09-09

This was moderately interesting, but tried to cover way too much in the time available, especially the early lectures on espionage in the ancient world. Those in particular moved so quickly through the events that it was like trying to read billboards from a moving train. Didn't get much out of it. The rest was a bit better, but still pretty superficial. I liked the final lecture the best, when the lecturer gave some time to questions of the relationship between espionage and democracy, and encouraged the listener to consider their own position on these points. Unfortunately, I did not feel the lecture series gave me as much insight as I should have liked in order to do this.

  • Redshirts

  • A Novel with Three Codas
  • Written by: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 158

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Stars can’t do it justice

  • By Anonymous User on 2018-09-14

Fairly amusing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-07-22

This starts off as something of a spoof on Star Trek OS, then veers into a kind of meta-time-travel meditation. It's not bad, with interesting characters and snappy dialogue. I do think the audio version, narrated in an appropriately sardonic tone by Wil Wheaton, assisted my appreciation. I have a problem in general with time-travel stories and other such tales, in that it usually becomes clear that there are no reality-based constraints on what can happen; I therefore have trouble buying into whatever urgency the author tries to concoct. I didn't find Scalzi managed this problem in any new or interesting way, so it mostly just rode along on humour and snark. I did find the codas rather sweet, particularly the last one.

  • Death of Kings

  • The Last Kingdom Series, Book 6
  • Written by: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Stephen Perring
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20

As the ninth century wanes, England appears about to be plunged into chaos once more. For the Viking-raised but Saxon-born warrior, Uhtred, whose life seems to shadow the making of England, this presents him with difficult choices.King Alfred is dying and his passing threatens the island of Britain to renewed warfare. Alfred wants his son, Edward, to succeed him but there are other Saxon claimants to the throne as well as ambitious pagan Vikings to the north.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Diana M. Sandberg on 2018-07-08

Excellent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-07-08

The story rolls on, still a pleasure. I had taken a little break from this series after the 5th one, and return to instantly find it just as engaging as ever. Cornwell is a master storyteller. Still miss Keeble, though.

  • The Burning Land

  • The Last Kingdom Series, Book 5
  • Written by: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Stephen Perring
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 29

In the last years of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth. The Danes, who have failed so many times to conquer Wessex, smell opportunity.... First comes Harald Bloodhair, a savage warrior leading a Viking horde. But Alfred still has the services of Uhtred, his unwilling warlord, who leads Harald into a trap and, at Farnham in Surrey, inflicts one of the greatest defeats the Vikings were ever to suffer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bring back Jonathan Keeble

  • By Jeffrey T Beer on 2018-04-10

Still good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-07-08

Still enjoying these, although I was somewhat disappointed that the audio is no longer narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Stephen Perring is competent, but has chosen to pronounce several names differently than Keeble did, which I found annoying, and he has a lighter, less robust voice, which is rather a pity. Still far from bad, and I acknowledge it must be difficult to pick up a series someone else has begun. I am also a devotee of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey series, which has been fully narrated by at least two different readers. Most folks I know have a strong preference for one or the other, and almost invariably the preferred voice is the one the listener first encountered.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sword Song

  • The Last Kingdom Series, Book 4
  • Written by: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

The fourth in the best-selling Alfred series from number-one historical novelist, Bernard Cornwell. The year is 885, and England is at peace, divided between the Danish kingdom to the north and Alfred's kingdom of Wessex in the south. But trouble stirs, a dead man has risen and new Vikings have arrived to occupy London. It is a dangerous time, and it falls to Uhtred, half Saxon, half Dane, a man feared and respected the length and breadth of Britain, to expel the Viking raiders and take control of London for Alfred.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great performance

  • By martin Chartrand on 2019-04-04

Love it

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-07-08

Still enjoying these. I won't go into much detail here, as I think the series really deserves to be read from the beginning. I do find myself wondering if my interest will really stretch to ten (or more?) volumes; it's basically one battle after another, with some tricky spying and scamming interspersed, but somehow it just keeps pulling me along. The main character is such a great rogue. So far, so good.

  • The Lords of the North

  • The Last Kingdom Series, Book 3
  • Written by: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 41

Enter a world where bloody battles and heroic deeds combine in the historic struggle to unite Britain in the face of a common enemy. The third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's King Alfred series, follows on from the outstanding previous novels The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman. The year is 878 and the Vikings have been thrown out of Wessex. Uhtred, fresh from fighting for Alfred in the battle to free Wessex, travels north to seek revenge for his father's death, killed in a bloody raid by Uhtred's old enemy, renegade Danish lord, Kjartan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • In Love with this Series

  • By Stephanie Thomas on 2017-11-16

Most enjoyable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-07-08

Still loving listening to the virtuosic Jonathan Keeble narrate these stories.

I love it when an author can present you with a protagonist who is NOTHING like you or anyone you know, and yet make you identify with him, so that you actually feel you understand him - more, that you empathize with him completely. It's delightful. It's what fiction is *for*.