Audiobooks continued (Thread 2)
This is a continuation of the topic Audiobooks.
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We are halfway through the year now. Time to start a new thread and continue our discussion of our audiobooks. Welcome!
I am currently listening to Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst and read by Blair Brown. I'm not loving the reading voice but I am really enjoying the story which is a satire on reality tv shows.
>4 DeltaQueen50: Oh, I listened to that one a few years ago and really liked it. I don't remember the narrator at all, but the story was really good!
Started The Mission Song, by John le Carré, narrated by David Oyelowo. He's speaking a bit fast and breathlessly for me, but it's early days; he might slow down a bit as the book progresses.
In 2018, I listened to 71 audiobooks for a grand total of 658 hours, 35 minutes and, 24 seconds... a record year for me that all came to a screeching halt in mid-October when I took a job with a start-up company-- which translates to long hours and not much time for reading and/or listening to full-length books. It's been kind of weird, like somehow the oxygen is thinner in the air I'm breathing! I dropped out of this group for a while, not knowing when I could get listening back into my routine; but things have settled down a bit and, in the past couple of months, I've been able to listen to a couple of audiobooks :-)
🐾 Artifice (The Silver Ships Book 12); by S. H. Jucha; narrated by Grover Gardner) - 3.0 Stars
🐾 Sojourn (The Silver Ships Book 13); by S. H. Jucha; narrated by Grover Gardner) - 3.0 Stars
🐾 Space Opera (by Catherynne M. Valente; narrated by Heath Miller) - 2.0 Stars
🐾 Frankenstein (by Mary Shelley; narrated by Dan Stevens) - 4.0 Stars
🐾 Dracula (by Bram Stoker; narrated by Steven Crossley, Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Susan Duerden, Katherine Kellgren, John Lee, Graeme Malcolm and, Simon Vance) - 4.0 Stars
🐾 The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1; by Guillermo del Toro; narrated by Ron Perlman) - 3.0 Stars
🐾 Song of Solomon (written and narrated by Toni Morrison) - 4.0 Stars
🐾 The Grapes of Wrath (by John Steinbeck; narrated by Dylan Baker - 4.0 Stars
🐾 Currently Listening to A Tale of Two Cities (by Charles Dickens; narrated by Anton Lesser)
I want to listen A Scarlet Letter (by Nathanial Hawthorne) and, I've listened a lot of samples but I can't quite land on any that sound like "it."
Has anyone here listened to the book and can make a recommendation (either positive or negative)?
I finished up A Tale of Two Cities (by Charles Dickens; narrated by Anton Lesser) last night and I was not prepared for the intensity of the last chapters! This is my first experience of the Classic tale of self-sacrifice that begins with with the iconic opening phrase, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,..." Set in London and Paris during the French Revolution, it was a darker period than history books (which tend to gloss over the bloodiness of it all) or, obviously the musical, "Les Miserables" would have it. Perhaps we get too caught up in the idea of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" more than the actual slogan of the Revolution, "liberté égalité ou morte." Anyway, for others who have not read it, it is about friendship and love and fate and destiny and all the grands things of great stories. Dickens' notorious wordiness did not get in the way of enjoyment but perhaps that is because of the audiobook narrator, Anton Lesser. I wouldn't say this was his best performance (the Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman are amazing showcases for his talent) but Lesser's second-best is still leagues beyond next best! He flows into character voices seamlessly and without making it a one-man audio drama. Anyway, by the end of this 14+ hour audiobook, I was crying and sighing and basking in the afterglow of a good story.
And perhaps I should have waited a little longer before starting the next audiobook I had in my queue, Daisy Jones and the Six (by Taylor Jenkins Reid; narrated by a full cast including Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, January LaVoy, Pablo Schreiber and Julia Whelan (I know I'm missing some people in there...) This is an oral history of a fictional rock band in the late sixties/early seventies who broke up at the height of their success. There was a lot of hype around this one: It's a best seller; was chosen by Reese Witherspoon for her reading club; and it has a pretty high rating on Litsy (90%)-- but it's not as much fun as I thought it would be. I'll still stick it out though and see if I can't blast through it this weekend. I was to get to the next audiobook on my list, Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding; narrated by Bill Homewood for the LT Category Quarterly Group Read!
What are we listening to this week?
It looks like a few of us are listening to Bill Homewood narrate Tom Jones for the group read. Nice. I do love to listen to long books. I wish A Suitable Boy was available in unabridged audio. I'd be thrilled it it was available in Kindle for US market. If I'm listening to the entire Sherlock Holmes in 6 parts I'm sure they could have done something with ASB. I still have Educated by Tara Westover going. It's been a bit rough for me to listen to, but I want to see where it's going.
>10 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I loved A Tale of Two Cities, but I read it, not listened. My library has the gorgeous Penguin clothbound classics copy with Madame Defarge's knitting on the cover.
Currently listening to The Cider House Rules by John Irving, narrator Grover Gardner. Enjoying this one.
I'm listening to Far Eastern tales by Somerset Maugham, read by Robert Powell. It's a good listen, good combination of voice and text.
I am about a third of the way through Tom Jones so I am going to put it aside until next month. I need to read something fun and exciting so, of course, I am looking at zombies! I am about to start The Rise of the Govenor by Robert Kirkman as read by Fred Berman.
I'm putting aside Daisy Jones and the Six at 39% completed. I was going to power through it considering how many other listeners have loved it but I find myself avoiding it altogether. Daisy (lead singer) and Billy (another lead singer) remind me of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga (e.g. the Oscar performance they gave) and I don't find myself rooting for anyone. I dislike all the characters but especially Daisy and Billy both for being egocentric and weak. The story of the band also pulls in every cliche of 1970s rock which, while it probably would have appealed to me when I was twenty, does very little to "float my boat" these days! :-D The production values were a little iffy too: It was clear that everyone read their parts from their respective studio sessions and it was later spliced together. A couple of times, a name was pronounced differently and the pauses between lines was a beat too long. Anyway, I went to a spoiler site, read how the story ended (glad I didn't waste anymore time on it) and now I'm moving on to Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding; narrated by Bill Homewood :-)
>11 luvamystery65: Yeah, I wish A Suitable Boy was available on audio too! In my mind, I've cast Vikas Adam to narrate it... Sigh.
>11 luvamystery65: I love the Penguin Deluxe Editions! I currently only have a couple of the paperback editions though.
Also, I want the book of Penguin covers:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FRSZC6Q/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
>16 Tanya-dogearedcopy:, yes that would be cool to get hands on the Penguin Covers book. But the price on Kindle, really???? I would want the paperback I think.
I started listening to Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding; narrated by Bill Homewood) and have finished Book I out of XVIII. I admit that I had a bit of a false start: I listened to the first chapter and then re-listened to it. I needed to acclimate myself to the style of the writing and the narration. So far, I'm amused and, wonder how melodramatic this may get. The potential is certainly there! :-D
Just finished the audio of Wise Children - Angela Carter, narrated by Tracy Ullman. Such a great job of narrating.
>14 thornton37814: I loved this series but I haven't read any of the Bernie Manuelito books.
>18 majkia: I listened to the first book a few years ago and never went back to them. This would make a great commute series.
>19 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I'm slowly making my way through Tom Jones. I'v been binge watching Netflix, but I'm starting my Assessment course so I'll get back to my audiobooks.
>20 Kristelh: Love Tracey Ullman!
What are we listening to this week?
As I said above, I'm still listening to Tom Jones.
I'm currently listening to The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Less than impressed so far. Hoping things get better.
I just finished Dust and Shadow and am waiting for my next audio to come in at the library. Hopefully I don't have to wait long!
I'm currently listening to Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding; narrated by Bill Homewood) too! I've listened to about 10+ hours and am about 27% of the way in. I should get to the end of Book VI by the end of the week-- at which point I may listen to something short and sweet before heading back in for the next third of the book. I'm enjoying the satire of eighteenth-century mores though I'm finding the eponymous protagonist a bit shallow (I was hoping for someone a bit more charismatic.) Still, so much resonates even now, 270 years later!
Still listening to The Mission Song. I'll stick with it in audio, I think. Nearly laughed out loud on the train when the narrator cast shade on translators -- he's an interpreter and thinks that interpreters are way better. As a former translator, I would 100% agree that interpretation is WAY harder than translation ;)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (by Lewis Carroll; by Scarlett Johansson) - I decided to pick this one up as my "semething lighter" between my listening sessions of Tom Jones. I love the this 19th-century Classic about a girl who falls asleep on a riverbank, and falls into a dream (?) of chasing a talking, clothed, white rabbit down a hole into a nonsensical world. But this audio edition is fair from my favorite, giving credence that "you get what you pay for" (I got it as a free Audible dnload three years ago.) My first issue is with the text that was used. It included references to illustrations that are not included as a PDF with the dnload! My second and larger issue was with the audiobook narrator herself: Her flat American voice, while expressive took away from the voice of the book. The disjunct between what was expected and what was delivered was jarring. There is a section in which she affects a British accent ("The Lobtser Quadrillle") which was actually well done, except that she mispronounces "quadrille" every single time! Ms Johansson has made headlines lately with the argument that as an actor, she "should be allowed to play any person." I get it but I also think that if you make a statement like that, you should have the acting chops (and that includes performance skills like audiobook narration) to back it up. Five stars for the story but 2 stars for the audio.
I've started listening to The Strangler Vineby M. J. Carter; narrated by Alex Wyndham) - This is a mystery set in 1830s India when the British East India Company had manifested itself as the power of Britain on that Southeast Asian continent. The story starts out with a disillusioned redcoat tasked with delivering s message from the Government House to another British man who has "gone native." The audiobook narrator is new-to-me and I wasn't sure about him-- until he uttered the soldier's first lines and made the character live and breathe. Even though it's been years since I listened to an audiobook mystery (I used to be part of a Yahoo group called Sounds Like a Mystery and we covered a lot of ground in a few years-- so much so that I've felt like I've "read out" a lot of the genre) I'm looking forward to seeing how this unfolds.
I started my next audio, though it wasn't the one I was hoping for. That is, I wanted this one for one of my August challenges, and also had a 2nd one on hold. I had hoped for the other one to come in first.
In any case, I've started this one, anyway, so I'm listening to:
The Night Sister / Jennifer McMahon
I finished listening to The Strangler Vine (Blake and Avery #1; by M. J. Carter; narrated by Alex Wyndham) this morning (Yep! Stayed up 'til 1:00 AM PST to finish it!) - This is a historical fiction novel with elements of mystery and adventure. Set in 1837 when the British East India Company held sway over the Southeastern continent, a young Company officer is assigned to accompany (and spy on) another Company man as they set out on a mission of political intrigue, danger and, exotic landscapes. Alex Wyndham, the audiobook narrator has his moments and overall lends credibility to the narrative. I'd be perfectly willing to listen to the next book in the trilogy.
finished The Three-Body Problem by Chinese author Cixin Liu, narrated by Luke Daniels. This is a first book in a series so if someone is looking for book not in your country series. This one will work for that SeriesCAT.
I just finished Not Alone which was a great First Contact story. Love the characters, enjoyed the plot and loved that it wasn't about the tech or the aliens, but about the human reactions, political and social.
Over the weekend, I listened to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (by Mark Twain; narrated by Grover Gardner) - I read this story in print almost ten tears ago but when I saw it sitting in my audible queue (a free dnload years ago) and, I decided to give it a listen. I was extremely surprised that I had forgotten so much! This is the Classic American tale of a mischievous boy, written by satirist Mark Twain. Perhaps it's blasphemy to the Book Gods but I found I don't really care for this one (vs The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.) Instead of finding Tom funnily endearing, I thought of him as lying and manipulative. I know, I know, context is everything and when it was written in 1876 and firmly into the twenty-first century, it was and will remain a favorite but I really wonder at its relevancy anymore. It lacks the timelessness of Candide (by Volatire) or even Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding.)
I finished listening to We are Legion (We are Bob) (Bobiverse #1 by Dennis E. Taylor; narrated by Ray Porter) this afternoon :-)
Well this is fun! Bob in the twenty-first century is killed in Las Vegas and, per his wishes is cryogenically frozen. Fast forward three hundred years and he wakes up on a lab table-- not quite himself ;-) This is a science fiction romp through space, time and, pop culture references as Bob becomes legion. Ray Porter, the audiobook narrator, nails it :-)
What are we listening to this week?
I've put a small pause on Tom Jones this week. I'm listening to The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and I've got Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke queued up for the weekend.
>42 Tanya-dogearedcopy: Donald SUTHERLAND!? :D Suddenly I am interested in Hemingway!
I finished up The Old Man and the Sea(by Ernest Hemingway; narrated by, yes, Donald Sutherland) this afternoon and I'm pleased to say it is one of the Good Celebrity Narrations! Donald Sutherland kept his performance understated and didn't draw attention to himself. The story is about an old fisherman who has gone eighty-four days without catching anything. He heads out to sea alone and goes out a little farther than he intended...
I've just completed Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy by Mike Love - this was a ok read that was interesting in some sections and boring in others. I was surprised at how dysfunctional this group was in real life although they usually came together beautifully on stage.
Next up for me is The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, narrated by CJ Critt.
Currently listening to Northanger Abbey (by Jane Austen; narrated by Juliet Stevenson) - Juliet Stevenson's voice is so lovely and so comforting that she often puts me to sleep! This audiobook though is only about eight hours long, so I thought I'd give it a shot. This a Classic tale spoofing the genre of Gothic Romance and novels. For the Win: The Thorpe brother mentions Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding) :-D
Thank you to everyone keeping this thread warm. I've been away to my hometown. My dad was in the hospital. News from home today is that he headed back to the emergency department.
>44 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I do love a well done celebrity narration.
>45 DeltaQueen50: Beach Boys seem like a train wreck in real life.
>46 Kristelh: How was Trawl? I have an anthology of B.S. Johnson I keep meaning to get to.
>47 Tanya-dogearedcopy: Juliet Stevenson is so absolutely fantastic on audio. She doesn't put me to sleep, but she does relax me and I do find myself deeply invested in the story.
I'm still listening to The Woman in the Window. I'm not too sure about this one. How many times can merlot be used in the story? Yikes! Also listening to Bluebird, Bluebird which I am really into. I finished Storm Cursed the latest in the Mercy Thompson series. This is the first one I've listened to. I like the narrator, Lorelei King, but I do love reading them as that is the format I am used to. I have my own voices in my head for this series.
>48 luvamystery65: I hope everything goes well with your Dad, Ro.
I forgot to report back here how much I loved the audible version of The Bean Trees, I was so taken with this story that I have already purchased the sequel, Pigs in Heaven also read by the same narrator, CJ Critt.
Currently I am listening to Huck Out West by Robert Coover and read by Eric Michael Summerer.
I couldn't sleep so I finished listening to Northanger Abbey (by Jane Austen; narrated by Juliet Stevenson) sometime near dawn! This is a Classic tale that satirizes the sentiments of novels of early nineteenth century novels (Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding is mentioned FTW!) The main character is Catherine Morland, a seventeen-year old girl who loves novels but whose imagination runs away with her as she navigates the social whirl of Bath and, later at Northanger Abbey. Told from Jane Austen's POV, the narrator's voice adds meta-irony into the story. The audiobook narrator's voice is that of Juliet Stevenson, noted British actress who delivers a performance with warm tones and the appropriate level of snark.
Now I'm starting The Jungle (by Upton Sinclair; narrated by Grover Gardner) . - I've read this one in print once or twice but it's time for a re-read! I know it's a hard going in a gut-wrenching way so I plan on listening to it in small doses. Hopefully I'll have finished it by the end of the Labor Day weekend.
UPDATE: I'm putting 'The Jungle' on hold. My head space just isn't in the right place for it right now. I need light and fluffy fare for a few days.
Tilt-a-Whirl (John Ceepak Mysteries #1 by Chris Grabenstein; narrated by Jeff Woodman) - I read this one in print several years ago but it was new-tom again as I hadn't remembered the story! John Ceepak is a OIF veteran who now works as a cop in a seaside resort town. A man who lives by his code of honor and his word, he's something of an outsized boy scout! One morning, as he sits down to breakfast at the local diner, he and his partner see a young girl run down the street, her dress covered in blood... The story is told from his partner's POV, a young part-time cop who seems oddly ill-prepared for a job as a meter maid much less as a peace officer, but Jeff Woodman performs admirably. There were a couple of places where I wasn't sure who was speaking but I will continue with the series.
What ever happened to Jeff Woodman?
I've started to pick off the low-hanging fruit in my Audible library-- short-length offerings!
"A Case of Identity: A Short Story from Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Dozen" (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; performed by John Gielguld, Ralph Richardson and, Orson Welles) - Mary Sutherland makes an appearance at the Baker Street apartments, begging Sherlock to find out what happened to her fiancé. Mary suspects foul play as the intended groom had boarded a closed carriage headed to the church; but when the doors were opened at the destination he wasn't inside! This is a radio play with Gielguld as Sherlock and Richardson as Watson. Welles presents but I'm not immediately finding out who played Mary. Vintage stuff and entertaining, though not one of my favorite Sherlock cases as the resolution is a bit too absurd!
Mad Mouse (John Ceepak Mysteries #2; by Chris Grabenstein; narrated by Jeff Woodman) - Taking place a few weeks after the events in Tilt-a-Whirl and over the Labor Day weekend, this follows Danny, the junior partner to Police Officer John Ceepak as they do their duty by the citizens and tourists of the resort town of Sea Haven, NJ. Someone is sniping at Danny and his friends with paint gun pellets and real-live bullets! Though Ceepak and Danny race against a deadline to discover who and why, this isn't really a Whodunnit. Light character development: We begin to see more of Ceepak as other than a cardboard cut-out figure and, Danny starts to mature. Jeff woodman narrates as Danny with ease though there are times he can't quite make up for some of the awkward writing.
Alien: River of Pain (Alien #3 or #4 depending on which index you consult) by Christopher Golden; performed by Anna Friel, Philip Glenister, Colin Salmon; Alexander Siddig, Marc Warren, Michelle Ryan and William Hope) - This is the back story of Newt-- so there wasn't much of Ridley in this installment of the Alien series. The Alien series is a trilogy of books that serve as interstitial tales between the movies. In this one, the colony on LV-426 is caught up in the fight for survival on a hostile moon and the corporation that has undue influence with the whole operation. Now, a Pandora's Box of xenomorphs has been opened... This audio drama is not as cleanly produced as the first one Audible Studios produced: A couple of odd pauses, alien sounds that don't quite terrify, Newt's brother inexplicably having an Irish accent, not being able to distinguish characters in a couple of places and, overall the pacing seems a bit off.
The Spinning Heart (by Donal Ryan; narrated by Wayne Farrell) - This is a lit-fic story set in a small town in Ireland after the housing bust there a few years ago. Events and characters are revealed through twelve different characters and show acts and people of quiet heroism and acts of desperation. Wayne Farrell deftly handles all the roles but I have to admit that I wasn't as impressed this time as I was when I first listened to this six year ago.
Next Up: The Thing About December (by Donal Ryan; narrated by Wayne Farrell - This is the story of an event and person referred to in The Spinning Heart. Though it takes place before TSH, it's really not a prequel so much as background. Told from a single POV this time and narrated by the same reader from TSH. I'm re-listening TSH and TTAD to refresh my memory before listening to A Slanting of the Sun; Stories which is set in the same time and place as the other two audiobooks.
I'm embarking on my first ever re-read of an audiobook: Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth, by Frank Cottrell Boyce, read most delightfully by Peter Capaldi :D
Edit: and by "embarking" I mean "I read 2/3 of it on the train home on Monday and will finish it within the next month".
I finished my re-read mentioned in >54 rabbitprincess: and am now preparing to read The Collected Stories of Winnie-the-Pooh, narrated by Stephen Fry. And yes, that's the main reason I picked this collection.
Edit: turns out it's a full-cast dramatization. Stephen Fry plays Pooh, which is an interesting choice because Stephen is so erudite and Pooh is a bear of very little brain.
Thanks for keeping the thread warm everyone. I'm visiting my Dad who is now home on hospice. My brother and SIL are taking excellent care of him and he is very comfortable for now. I'm here for a week to keep him company and then I head back home.
I finished The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and while I liked the narration well enough, I found the book a bit ridiculous. I'm back to listening to Tom Jones for the group read and I'm in the mood to listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman again.
I listened to audibles adaptation/dramatization of 4 short stories by author M.R. James. The stories were Casting the Runes, Lost Hearts, The Treasure of Abbot-Thomas, and A View From a Hill. I was disappointed. I don't like dramatizations and this had such loud and indistinguishable sound effects, it mostly ruined the story. The modernization of the stores wasn't the worst part but I would have rather received the 4 stories in their original state.
I'm currently listening to Finder by Suzanne Palmer which is a lot of fun. Space Opera a la MacGuyer.
Have moved on to (thank goodness!)
A Mother's Reckoning by Sue Klebold.
My favorite dramatization is a BBC radio/audio drama of I, Claudius (by Robert Graves and performed with a full cast starring Derek Jacobi and Tom Goodman Hill.) BBC, with its tradition in radio seems to know how to nail audio drama :-)
Right now, I'm stuck on Dark Life Book 1 (by Kat Falls; narrated by Keith Nobbs) - I meant to knock it out of the way and get on with The Thing About December (by Donal Ryan; narrated by Wayne Farrell) but I've really been struggling to get some decent listening time in recently. I need to finish it this week though so I can finish off Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding; narrated by Bill Homewood) on time!
>58 Kristelh: I'm hit or miss with dramatizations.
>59 majkia: Sounds like a good one. Looks like it will be a trilogy. I listened to a sample. How is the narrator? I'm unfamiliar with him although I see he has narrated many books.
>61 LibraryCin: I really liked The Birds and I bet it was a really great dramatization.
>62 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I agree that BBC Radio does know how to do dramatizations well. I have about 10 hours left with Mr. Tom Jones.
I finally finished Dark Life (Dark Life #1; by Kat Falls; narrated by Keith Nobbs) in the early hours of this morning!
After the collapse of the Eastern seaboard into the rising oceans, people start colonizing the ocean floor. With classic pioneer spirit, they attempt to forge a future with its unique challenges inherent to underwater life. Against this backdrop, fifteen year-old Ty loves to explore but comes across more than he bargained for-- including a Top Sider named Gemma, a dangerous outlaw who is more than he appears to be and, a political conspiracy! But overall, it was just okay. Though the settings and world-building are well-done, the plot itself does not offer any surprises.
Now I can turn my attention to the rest of Tom Jones (by Henry Fielding; narrated by Bill Homewood)!
I just finished Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, very well read by a woman I've never heard before. It is interesting, full of native American gods and monsters in a nation saved from an apocalypse by a magical wall.
What are we listening to this week?
I finished Tom Jones and I enjoyed it so much. I'm back to Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke. Now that I finished Tom Jones, I'll get back to Sherlock Holmes. I also have in my near future The Witch Elm by Tana French. It's my book club choice for November and I'm hosting. Trying to find something else creepy to listen to for October.
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