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Old 08-31-2023, 04:26 PM   #3466
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I'm been listening to the Spenser novels by Robert B. Parker. They have both been keeping my interest during car rides, and putting me to sleep at bedtime. As long as those two effects don't get mixed up, I'll keep listening.
They are comfortably short, and while I've certainly liked some stories (and some narrators) better than others, the neo-noir tone has been consistently enjoyable.
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Old 08-31-2023, 04:59 PM   #3467
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I'm been listening to the Spenser novels by Robert B. Parker. They have both been keeping my interest during car rides, and putting me to sleep at bedtime. As long as those two effects don't get mixed up, I'll keep listening.
They are comfortably short, and while I've certainly liked some stories (and some narrators) better than others, the neo-noir tone has been consistently enjoyable.
Oh, gosh, I think I listened to those many years ago while I was still commuting long distances in the Bay Area. I haven't read or listened to one in years. From the looks of it, all the early ones must have been on BoT, given that the only ones I still have access to are #30 and above, and those on one of my OLD, pre-Amazon, Audible accounts with Joe Montegna as the narrator.
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Old 08-31-2023, 05:26 PM   #3468
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OTOH, I have the new Bruno, Chief of Police on Audible. And while I read this when it released this spring in the UK, I haven't listened to it, so that might be fun. Or maybe a Campion? I don't know yet, but something reliable is definitely called for! Too much drek of late.
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Old 08-31-2023, 08:06 PM   #3469
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Meanwhile, I've started and abandoned several books not worth listening to. I think I'm in a slump here.
I hear you.

My summer pool listens also have been a lot of drek. Itís been virtually all mysteries for me this summer and the Mrs. Pollifax and Ellery Queen books were terrible; the Nero Wolfe books were fine, overall, but it was a low bar. Aubrey/Maturin was missed. A lot.

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Or maybe a Campion? I don't know yet, but something reliable is definitely called for! Too much drek of late.
Where do you get your Campions? Admittedly, it would be more of the same for me and Iím not going to blow an Audible credit on a mystery.

In addition to the terrible Mrs. Pollifax Iím currently listening to in the pool, Iím also listening to The Way We Live Now, Trollopeís longest novel. Unfortunately, itís yet another in a dud summer. Iíd been keeping it in reserve; once Iíd finished his two six-novel sequences, Iíve found Trollopeís novels to be more hit or miss, but many think The Way We Live Now is his masterwork. Alas! Itís certainly good enough, but whereís the wit? And too many plot dead ends. No wonder itís his longestÖ.. Donít get me wrong; I still love him. But this is a letdown.
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Old 08-31-2023, 09:16 PM   #3470
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I read the first few Mrs Pollifax book back in my pre-audiobook days. My wife had several of them. I thought they were cute. I was considering retrying the first one in audio. Was there something particular you found terrible about them? Or just the premise?
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Old 09-01-2023, 01:46 AM   #3471
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I hear you.

My summer pool listens also have been a lot of drek. Itís been virtually all mysteries for me this summer and the Mrs. Pollifax and Ellery Queen books were terrible; the Nero Wolfe books were fine, overall, but it was a low bar. Aubrey/Maturin was missed. A lot.
Yes, I'm afraid I've read and/or listened to Aubrey/Maturin enough times it's no longer a treat. Sigh.

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Where do you get your Campions? Admittedly, it would be more of the same for me and Iím not going to blow an Audible credit on a mystery.
I got a couple of them from the library, others via Audible.

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In addition to the terrible Mrs. Pollifax Iím currently listening to in the pool, Iím also listening to The Way We Live Now, Trollopeís longest novel. Unfortunately, itís yet another in a dud summer. Iíd been keeping it in reserve; once Iíd finished his two six-novel sequences, Iíve found Trollopeís novels to be more hit or miss, but many think The Way We Live Now is his masterwork. Alas! Itís certainly good enough, but whereís the wit? And too many plot dead ends. No wonder itís his longestÖ.. Donít get me wrong; I still love him. But this is a letdown.
I tried Trollope. Just could not get far enough into it to get interested. It could well have been conjunctural. I should give him another try. But not when I'm already in a slump.
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Old 09-01-2023, 08:26 AM   #3472
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I read the first few Mrs Pollifax book back in my pre-audiobook days. My wife had several of them. I thought they were cute. I was considering retrying the first one in audio. Was there something particular you found terrible about them? Or just the premise?
Two issues, one specific to the audiobooks.

I agree that the first few Mrs. Ps were fun; the cold war environment gave them some point. But as with all series, this one tailed off and once she's in imaginary countries with imaginary issues....

As for the audiobooks, a post in another thread could not be more germane:

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The one that gets me is when they make old(er) women sound like they are feeble and on death's door. I'm talking about the strong matriarch that rule the village, can toss bales of hay all day, digs their own outhouse hole, and no one messes with them because they know better. And then they make them sound like they have a cane, barely shuffle around and a stiff wind would knock them over! Never the older men, just the women. Ugh!
When the series starts, Mrs P is in her early 60s (and doesn't age, but that's fine) and this is exactly the issue. She's got a quavery old-lady voice that puts her 90ish at a minimum, and the 90-year old women I've known haven't talked like that, either.

So, terrible but engaging enough to kill a swim with. Just barely.
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Old 09-01-2023, 08:36 AM   #3473
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Yes, I'm afraid I've read and/or listened to Aubrey/Maturin enough times it's no longer a treat. Sigh.
I'd like to think I've got one more listen in me, but not yet. I also think I'd get along better if I skipped the first three or so and settled in on the long haul where I mostly haven't dipped back into them. As swim listens they were perfect; I've not found anything else close.

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I tried Trollope. Just could not get far enough into it to get interested. It could well have been conjunctural. I should give him another try. But not when I'm already in a slump.
Eh, let him go. He's not for everyone and if you weren't charmed from the get-go, it's probably not going to happen. I know I've made false starts myself and killed books I might have enjoyed under other circumstances, but no point in beating one's head against a wall either.
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Old 09-01-2023, 09:41 AM   #3474
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I'm listening to the Kimberly Farr's EXCELLENT reading of Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge.
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Old 09-03-2023, 08:52 AM   #3475
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Finally started the Jim Dale narrated HP series. Listened to them all many times read by Stephen Fry whom remains my favourite so far (but only 5 chapters into book one).
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Old 09-03-2023, 12:19 PM   #3476
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Finally started the Jim Dale narrated HP series. Listened to them all many times read by Stephen Fry whom remains my favourite so far (but only 5 chapters into book one).
I have both, and they are both very good. But I agree, I think the Stephen Fry version is slightly better.

Perhaps it's time to listen to these again. I've been in a really drek place with my recent listens, and these might just be the ticket. A thought.
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Old 09-03-2023, 01:20 PM   #3477
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Listening to Nick Offerman's Tom Sawyer. I find I rather like being read to by Ron Swanson. I've even been able to sip some Lagavulin from time to time while listening.
An enjoyable listen. It has been quite a while since I've read this.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the elephant in the room. So to all those who espouse the "that''s just the way it was back then" defense of the rampant racism and misogyny in Tom Sawyer: I don't remember cringing nearly as often when reading other books written during the same period/culture. The shock value is significant. It would be much easier for me to recommend other, less disturbing, classics to young people than to try to explain why they should look past women and people of color being treated so casually horrible to the slightly above average literature beyond. *shrug*
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Old 09-03-2023, 02:15 PM   #3478
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Perhaps it's time to listen to these again. I've been in a really drek place with my recent listens, and these might just be the ticket. A thought.
When I'm feeling a little world weary I always find this series a tonic.
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Old 09-03-2023, 06:29 PM   #3479
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An enjoyable listen. It has been quite a while since I've read this.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the elephant in the room. So to all those who espouse the "that''s just the way it was back then" defense of the rampant racism and misogyny in Tom Sawyer: I don't remember cringing nearly as often when reading other books written during the same period/culture. The shock value is significant. It would be much easier for me to recommend other, less disturbing, classics to young people than to try to explain why they should look past women and people of color being treated so casually horrible to the slightly above average literature beyond. *shrug*
You've intrigued me; I'll give this a try in the near future. It's been decades, so to say that my memory is imperfect is to understate. I remember clearly the major events, but the nuances? Not at all. That said, it was always obvious to me that while you could "overlook" issues with Huckleberry Finn because it's great literature (which it is), Tom Sawyer is 19th century kidlit by a great author, which is a critical distinction.
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Old 09-03-2023, 06:59 PM   #3480
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Listening to All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriot and read by Christopher Timothy. Read the books, saw the series, now for the audiobook. Good so far - chapter 10. One of my favorite books.
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