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OperaQueen

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Quirky and Amusing

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

Reviewed: 2019-09-15

This is more of a picture book with a random assortment of reminiscences. I got it on sale for $2.50 and I'm happy with my purchase but I wouldn't spend a credit on it. After reading Not My Father's Son, the prose was something of a disappointment, though it was rather amusing.

Viewing the pictures while listening was annoying. Audible should make it possible to view accompanying pictures in their app. Instead, I needed to log onto Audible on my computer, download the PDF, and then transfer it to my phone. It was also not always clear which photos he was talking about at any given time. I assume this is clearer in the hard copy version.

Worthy Successor by Stellar Cast

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

Reviewed: 2019-09-13

The Testaments is a worthy successor to The Handmaid's Tale, shedding light on the lives of the Aunts as well as the wives and daughters of the Gilead elite.

I am glad to have purchased the audiobook version. Given that Ann Dowd's performances on the television series no doubt inspired her starring role in the novel, it was lovely to have the actor read Aunt Lydia's testimony.

In the earlier portion of the novel, I couldn't find Aunt Lydia's backstory quite credible (a former judge becoming the architect of the servitude of her sex) but the ending made up for it, I think. Atwood brought these seemingly disparate stories together masterfully.

Highly recommended for fans of the Fosse film

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-13

The Berlin Stories are really a series of character sketches and vignettes of life in Berlin at the rise of the Nazis. Michael York's performance brought Isherwood's characters to life in a way they have never captivated me on the page. Incidentally, York played the Isherwood character in Bob Fosse's film adaptation. I highly recommend this performance for fans of the film.

Clever introduction to philosophy

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-01

I first read this book as a teenager when it was assigned as a textbook of sorts in my highschool philosophy class. At that time, I found it an accessible and engaging way to learn about the history of philosophy. Revisiting it as a scholar who publishes on philosophy (specifically aesthetics), this book still gave me much to think about. This time, I was impressed by the way the book is able to demonstrate many of the philosophical ideas Sophie is learning about with Alberto in the form and content of its narrative. Sophie's World has much to offer readers of all ages interested in philosophy. Even though it is chiefly tailored to young people, it contains ample philosophical and artistic depth for adult readers, even those who are not entirely new to philosophy.

I have read this book in hard copy twice. This was my first time listening to an audio version. I thought the book worked well as an audio book. Given the female protagonists, a male reader initially struck me as an unusual choice. Nevertheless, Simon Vance did a good job of narrating the book. My only complaint is that the chapters on the Audible app did not correspond to the book's chapter numbering. I did not notice any gaps in the recording, as mentioned by another reviewer.

1 person found this helpful

Rosamund Pike & Austen: A Perfect Match

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-05

I've experienced Sense & Sensibility many times, both in print and in other audiobook versions. Rosamund Pike's narration is by far my favourite. The difficulty of Austen's prose for the modern reader is considerably lessened by listening to a skilled actor declaim it, and Pike is that. Her voices for the different characters are distinct enough for them to be clearly differentiated without edging too far towards caricature. I heartily recommend this version of Sense & Sensibility both to the Austen fan and to new listeners. My husband has also enjoyed listening to this recording, his first experience of an Austen novel.

A compelling, modern translation

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

Reviewed: 2019-03-13

This is Homer like you've never experienced before. I had previously read portions of The Odyssey in an introductory classics course on Greek mythology. These translations were stuffy, lofty, and often difficult to understand. This translation, by contrast, was accessible and exciting. I have no knowledge of Greek so I can't speak to its accuracy, but I can certainly speak to its effectiveness as English verse for the modern-day reader. When I was contemplating purchasing this title, I was worried that the translation would be too modern or diverge too significantly from the intent or style of the original, but Emily Wilson safely navigated the Scylla and Charybdis (as she put it in her Translator's Notes) between slang and the arcane.

This edition includes about 3 hours of prefatory material, which as an academic (though not in classics), I really enjoyed and felt enhanced my experience of the narrative. Currently, I'm relistening to that material again now that I've finished the story. These essays are written in an accessible style, like the translation itself, and helped me understand The Odyssey in its historical context and have a much richer experience than if I had listened to the story on its own.

Claire Danes, or really any woman, might seem an unusual choice for such a story, given that Homer was almost certainly a man or several men, and the narrative is mostly told from the perspectives of the men in the story. Wilson's Translator's Note will make it clear why Audible Studios made this choice. This is one of the only (if not they only) translation of The Odyssey by a woman. Wilson's prefatory materials focus on the experience of women and its representation of women is one of the biggest differences between this translation and previous ones, aside from the lack of archaic language. Claire Danes was an ideal choice as narrator of Wilson's translation.

1 person found this helpful

Great performance of a classic Forster novel

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

Reviewed: 2019-02-24

This is a classic Forster comedy of manners, satirizing the stuffiness of the upper middle classes in Edwardian Britain. Rebecca Hall vividly evoked each character and brought Forster's witty dialogue to life. I first read this novel when I was in Florence, by the Arno, in a room without a view. This performance took me back there.

3 people found this helpful

Great for Newbies and for Holmes Fans

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

Reviewed: 2019-02-22

This is really the definitive collection: all the Holmes stories in a well-organized collection, expertly narrated by a fine actor and fervent Sherlockian. Stephen Fry's introductions greatly enhanced my listening experience. This was my first exposure to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, and it got me hooked. I've now listened to the entire collection through twice and several stories many more times than that. It was this collection that convinced me to sign up for an Audible membership.

Atwood at Her Best; Ideal in This Form

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

Reviewed: 2019-02-22

This is one of Atwood's greatest stories. Once you get to the end, you'll realize why listening to it is the ideal mode of appreciation. Claire Danes's performance is superb. The production values are excellent. Audible Studios has put a lot of thought into the presentation of this title; e.g., beginning each track with bits of random music (this will make sense when you get to the end). Margaret Atwood's comments at the end were interesting. I cannot recommend this title more highly.