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  • 10
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • Washington Black

  • Written by: Esi Edugyan
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 23

When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring with them a darkness beyond what the slaves have already known. Washington Black - an 11-year-old field slave - is horrified to find himself chosen to live in the quarters of one of these men. But the man is not as Washington expects him to be. His new master is the eccentric Christopher Wilde - naturalist, explorer, inventor and abolitionist - whose obsession to perfect a winged flying machine disturbs all who know him. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Read!

  • By Amazon Customer on 2018-09-10

I loved this book!

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

Reviewed: 2018-10-18

Esi Edugyan writes like no one else. Her rich descriptive powers and her thrilling or terrifying or tragic scenes hold you in their urgency from beginning to end. You care deeply about Wash from the first page in what is a very complex epic. I needed a week or so to think about the book before trying to praise it. There is so much to appreciate one cannot be specific without spoiling the story.

So all I'll say is--listen to this rare and stunning book! Let it take you through an unforgettable experience of emotion, shock, love, adventure, surprise, tenderness and ambiguity of nuance that hits you slowly for days after the end.

Esi Edugyan is an author deserving of all the awards she's been short-listed to receive!

Dion Graham is fabulous in his huge palette of characters in performing this huge work. He had me on the edge of my seat, often with tears streaming down my face or breathless from what I didn't see coming.

Esi Edugyan's WASHINGTON BLACK performed by Dion Graham--does it get any better than this?! Bravo to both!

  • My Brilliant Friend

  • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1
  • Written by: Elena Ferrante
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila, who represent the story of a nation and the nature of friendship.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • weakest of the series

  • By alexandra e noga on 2018-07-23

This is only the first part of a long story...

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

Reviewed: 2018-10-18

When a publisher divides a novelist's very long work into 4 parts, one cannot adequately review the first, introductory book--as in MY BRILLIANT FRIEND. It was captivating in its way and I'll listen to the next book. Ferrante is a great story-teller, but I prefer the poetic writing of such artists as Esi Edugyan and Michael Ondaatje.

  • Wuthering Heights

  • An Audible Exclusive Performance
  • Written by: Emily Brontë, Ann Dinsdale - introduction
  • Narrated by: Joanne Froggatt, Rachel Atkins - introduction
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

The unapologetic intensity with which Emily Brontë wrote this story ensures that it will forever be considered one of the greatest works of English literature. A passionate tale of a chaotic and often violent love, Wuthering Heights transcends your average romance and, with its Gothic undertones, takes the listener on a journey through one man's lustful hunt for revenge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not my favourite gothic...

  • By Dani on 2018-06-15

6 Stars for Joanne Froggatt's Performance!

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

Reviewed: 2018-08-26

Joanne Froggatt was born to deliver WUTHERING HEIGHTS, though I'm sure she'll have countless other great performances as an artist of rare talent. She's from Yorkshire and does all the dialects and characters perfectly to my ears. As a literary person, I have WUTHERING HEIGHTS in my bones, along with JANE EYRE and so many of the sublime works of English authors. But Joanne Froggatt's performance of this strange, wild story makes it come alive in a new way. She reveals Heathcliff on a Shakesperian level, while demonstrating Emily Bronte's grasp of the psychology of darkness.

People who both love and hate this novel need to hear Froggatt's interpretation! All of Heathcliff's lines are delivered in a quiet, seething voice that is all the more chilling! He's not a tragic hero so much as a triumph of supernatural darkness.

To have such a sublime experience, just listening -- audiobooks gives us a marvellous new genre! #Audible1

  • The English Patient

  • Written by: Michael Ondaatje
  • Narrated by: Christopher Cazenove
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

With ravishing beauty and unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. Hana, the exhausted nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burned man who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal, and rescue illuminates this audiobook like flashes of heat lightening.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mesmerising

  • By Tee on 2018-08-18

Wonderful Story, Told with Poetry!

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

Reviewed: 2018-08-15

This is a book one can return to over a lifetime! So many layers, such delicate beauty of poetry, full of complexity and ambiguity. I haven't seen the film and I'm glad--may not see it. I love these characters as I imagine them.

I listened to WARLIGHT, which I loved even more, before THE ENGLISH PATIENT. Both are great works of literature, but WARLIGHT is the greater. See what you think.

Sorry, but I have to say I was often upset with the narrator's over-acting, which was distracting and confusing. He improved as the work progressed, but his character voices and accents got buried in his declamatory narrator voice. The narrator should be quiet, neutral and just there to get the story told, like an author's background presence. I think the book is too difficult--and exhausting-- to be really well performed by one actor. I'd like to hear one voice for the narrator and another male actor doing the male characters, with a female actor presenting Hana and Catherine.

I do wish Audiobooks would rectify the tech problem of splicing each new Part on top of the last word of the previous one. Ondaatje ends each Part in a lovely poetic tone, which is shattered from a lack of space around it. But I do enjoy listening to books --it's a sweet new genre of experience for an adult who had no bedtime stories. #Audible1

  • Something in the Water

  • Written by: Catherine Steadman
  • Narrated by: Catherine Steadman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 546

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hooked from the first page

  • By Anonymous User on 2018-06-29

Every minute was fascinating!

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

Reviewed: 2018-07-13

As much as I admire the whole adventure and especially the author's narration, I'm feeling very uneasy about the way the story seems to have worked out. Is Erin in touch with reality?

This is a marvellous debut novel! I loved the grave-digger opening--brilliantly compelling! Not a male shovelling, but a young woman who instantly makes us care about her. Not about the meaning of death, but a meditation on the physical stamina required of the living to dig a grave and how that marathon affects consciousness. We're in an inverted perspective from the beginning. Maybe that's the fascination. #Audible1

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Remains of the Day

  • Written by: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: Dominic West
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 17

Kazuo Ishiguro's Booker Prize-winning masterpiece became an international best seller on publication, was adapted into an award-winning film, and has since come to be regarded as a modern classic. The Remains of the Day is a spellbinding portrayal of a vanished way of life and a haunting meditation on the high cost of duty. It is also one of the most subtle, sad, and humorous love stories ever written.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Layer upon Layer of Nuance and Ambiguity!

  • By Amazon Customer on 2018-06-23

Layer upon Layer of Nuance and Ambiguity!

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

Reviewed: 2018-06-23

Despite the historical context of this work, the book is about the butler Stevens and how he represents the appalling narrowness of the old British class system. Is Stevens merely an unreliable narrator, or is he so clueless about himself that he actually believes all his excuses for hiding from life? Often I thought him an idiot, even a liar, and wondered how Miss Kenton, with all her intelligence and spark, could ever think of him!

But the character of Stevens reveals more complexity as a reflection of the rigid imperatives he espouses with obsessive loyalty and zeal. His pomposity seems ridiculous and amusing at first, but by the end of the story the very ideals he holds so tenaciously-- like an oxygen mask to his face as his world suddenly plummets-- have become strangely courageous. He is a victim of his own failure to connect with his emotions, but he is also a victim of the fated British ideals that bring down his hero, Lord Darlington.

By the end, poor Stevens knows only how to pretend (as Miss Kenton once accused him of), but he plays his butler role as a paradox that has become somehow moving, even tragic. He has missed all that is profound in being human.

Dominic West's performance of Stevens is like that of an excellent butler. He delivers with impeccability and never puts himself forward! His deep voice and inflection are perfect for the part, so that he and Stevens are one consciousness.

THE REMAINS OF THE DAY is one of those rare books that yields new depths of ambiguity with each rereading. #Audible1

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Warlight

  • Written by: Michael Ondaatje
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66

In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself - shadowed and luminous at once - we hear the story of 14-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best read in ages

  • By Amazon Customer on 2018-09-24

A Work of Moving Sensitivity and Expansive Range!

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

Reviewed: 2018-06-11

How does Michael Ondaatje know so much about war and the hidden things in governments? How does he know so much about small details-- in English villages and countryside and on the Thames-- as he does about nature, and human nature? I was instantly captivated by the way the central mystery of WARLIGHT unfolds from the viewpoint of a teenaged boy who is abandoned with his sister by their parents after WWII.

The human search for oneself and for knowledge of one's parents is made more bewildering than normal by the numbing silence around a mother who leaves voluntarily, deliberately misleading her offspring about her purpose. Where has she gone? Where is their father? Why have they been left with such dodgy characters?

The whole story shines dimly from darkness, feeling like the liquid murkiness of inner consciousness. People appear and disappear, the characters move from place to place as in a dream. There is a pervasive sense of danger, but also a deep poetic love for small ordinary things, which uplifts and gives relief. The love of nature and especially dogs touched my heart in the midst of my shock and distress at the larger story.

The fate of the children is controlled by unseen but ever-present forces, by some mysterious adult game. Indeed we're all touched, especially today, by something like the warlight context of this story. Such things do go on behind the scenes--as the recent poisoning of the Scripals, father and daughter, in plain sight on a Salisbury park bench--bizarrely attests.

Ondaatje brings us into the shadow paradox of dim light that darkens. We're in such a place today, globally, and we're like children abandoned to our fate under the apparent leadership of very dangerous characters. This is the greatness of WARLIGHT, to tell the truth about our present world through the amazing poetry and brilliance of a story of decades ago.

Steve West's nuanced performance is just right--he delivers the work in a beautiful and sensitive voice.

I feel expanded by WARLIGHT; it stays with me as a work of great literature. #Audible1

  • West Cork

  • Written by: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Narrated by: Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 814
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 812

This much we do know: Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered days before Christmas in 1996, her broken body discovered at the edge of her property near the town of Schull in West Cork, Ireland. The rest remains a mystery. Gripping, yet ever elusive, join the real-life hunt for answers in the year’s first not-to-be-missed, true-crime series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It was really good!

  • By AmyLee on 2018-02-19

He did it!

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

Reviewed: 2018-05-02

Isn't there something about killers who need to be the centre of attention? Isn't he just such a one? How can he still be getting away with it? He can't be believed any more than any of the others in West Cork, yet he seems to be. These outrageous blocks to justice are also happening elsewhere in the world, where guilty liars are not convicted. Why? They seem to share an appalling narcissism in being at the centre, in an inventiveness which somehow eludes or tricks the justice system.

There is an amazingly similar unsolved murder in the Netflix series, "The Staircase"--again, an innocent woman is brutally murdered and the accused man is a narcissist who glories in defending himself and staying at the centre of the story. Nothing is concluded with any certainty--and what is more troubling is the shockingly similar murder of another woman close to the accused, 17 years prior to the present case. I can't help feeling the accused killed both women, but the previous murder is kept out of the case by his lawyer's clever tactics.

What is at fault, glaringly, is the game-playing of our legal systems. Justice is not served. Innocence and guilt are a matter of manipulating rules, loopholes, and errors of procedure. It's not a matter of innocence or truth, it's how well and entertainingly one plays the evidence.

In 2015, I spent a month in West Cork on the Beara Peninsula beyond Castletownbere. Oh it is magical country. I felt the fairies and little mischievous spirits on my solitary walks, and the mischief of Mishkish! It really is like the end of the world there in a gorgeous way. But had I known about Sophie, I may not have walked alone so much. It's almost as if the spirits of the land--at least in West Cork-- are not allowing resolution by mortal means. #Audible1

  • Never Let Me Go

  • Written by: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes an unforgettable edge-of-your-seat mystery that is at once heartbreakingly tender and morally courageous about what it means to be human. Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Brilliant Condemnation of Science Without Soul

  • By Amazon Customer on 2018-04-19

A Brilliant Condemnation of Science Without Soul

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

Reviewed: 2018-04-19

This story breaks your heart by slow, horrifying degrees. I'll need time to recover from it, as I often do in reading the work of another Nobel Laureate, Alice Munro.

The story unfolds with devastating innocence, a retrospective viewpoint of a young schoolgirl in seemingly normal circumstances. What takes the breath away is the purity of trust in these children and the gradual shattering of their illusions, hopes and dreams. The truth unfolds so gently and quietly in shocking tension against what is actually awaiting them, yet still they retain their innocence, accepting their lot. Even the adult narrator still remains true to her experience and the completion of her life. Growing up is always a process of becoming disillusioned and adjusting to what is possible. But in this story, one wants to scream and rage against a mysterious secret in coming of age.

The quiet tender performance of Rosalyn Landor perfectly sustains the author's deliberate tension between trusting innocence and every turn of the screw. #Audible1

  • Remembrance of Things Past

  • Swann's Way
  • Written by: Marcel Proust, Scott Moncrieff - translator
  • Narrated by: John Rowe
  • Length: 19 hrs and 44 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

Swann's Way is Marcel Proust's literary masterpiece and the first part of the multivolume audiobook Remembrance of Things Past. In the opening volume, the narrator travels back in time to recall his childhood and to introduce the listener to Charles Swann, a wealthy friend of the family and celebrity in the Parisian social scene. He again travels back, this time to the youth of Charles Swann in the French town of Combray, to tell the story of the love affair that took place before his own birth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Feast of Greatness!

  • By Amazon Customer on 2018-03-22

A Feast of Greatness!

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

Reviewed: 2018-03-22

I fell in love with Proust’s Swann’s Way when I was in Graduate School, decades ago. To return to Proust and listen to the work performed with such brilliance is indeed a sublime experience! New to audiobooks, I have to let go of the wish to reread the most wonderful passages, and just let myself be swept along by the genius of Proust’s consciousness, his startling, layered depths of description, his profound wit and insight in multiple fields, and his astonishing exploration of human longing in the inner realms of imagination and memory. Proust identified time as another dimension long before science. There are many such flashes of genius that I can appreciate much more now than I did long ago in my own 'temps perdu.'

The performance of the late John Rowe is superb and does full justice to Proust. Each evening, I found myself looking forward to hearing Rowe’s gentle, elegant voice with his nuanced timing and expression. It’s no mean feat to deliver some of Proust’s seemingly interminable sentences with such witty incisiveness. But Rowe becomes Proust, which adds another layer of enjoyment. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful