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Old 12-06-2019, 08:05 AM   #2776
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Hi James and welcome.

I listen to a mix of fiction and nonfiction. I find my retention of nonfiction isn't as good as when I read it, but since it's for enjoyment and there's no test on Monday, that doesn't matter. I still finish knowing more than when I started.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:56 PM   #2777
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I finished The Shining, which I liked better than I was expecting. What can I say, I can be a sucker for stories about people being stranded, but it was the best King I've read (not that I've read many). I do know that over the years King and fans have made a big ruckus over the film version being a disappointment as an adaptation, but I'll say it- the Kubrick film version is better than the book.

I did like it well enough to, since I didn't have anything else lined up, immediately start on the sequel audiobook- Doctor Sleep narrated by Will Patton. I've just finished that one and it's a dud. Silly, and more of a supernatural YA action-thriller than a horror. Not that there's anything wrong with supernatural YA action-thrillers, I could like something from that genre, but this book was just silly. I even laughed out loud at the part where
Spoiler:
after tricking the villain Rose the Hat, the teenage female protagonist Abra with glee and vengeance in her voice tells Rose to enjoy eating the diseased soul essence of her recently dead great-grandmother Momo. "You like the taste of my Momo? Eat my Momo, you bitch, eat her!"


[edit- For those keeping track, yes I am still going to see the Doctor Sleep film version with my friend for their sake as I'd told them I would. I will suffer through it but at least there's Ewan McGregor to enjoy.]

Now I'm onto The Blue Lagoon by Henry de Vere Stacpoole, as read by Adrian Praetzellis. I bought this on Audible then found out as I started listening (as it wasn't part of the preview) that they declare they (the company "booktrack") used a Librivox recording and just added background music. Well, it's my only option as there are no other audiobooks I can find of The Blue Lagoon so I'm sticking with it, but I found that distasteful. I hope that they informed Praetzellis and are giving him some part of the revenue, but it sounds like they aren't since if they had an agreement with Praetzellis they would've left out the "from Librivox" part. I understand Librivox recording are in the public domain and as such can be used like this but it still feels distasteful for them to do that, and not have it clear to buyers on the Audible site. At least they do announce it on the actual audiobook anyway.

That said, I actually do enjoy the music they added, and it's full-audiobook music, not just at the beginning and end. This may annoy some people but I'm enjoying it very much and in the past I've wished some books with bits of music would play throughout as well. They also have taken care to change up and use appropriate music for each scene and for me it really adds to the feel of the audiobook. I wish more audiobooks would add soft scene-appropriate background music and noises all throughout.

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Old 12-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #2778
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I listen to a fair amount of nonfiction myself, James.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:38 PM   #2779
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Currently listening to Accepting the Lance, the latest Liaden Universe novel from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Narrator is Eileen Stevens, who is "good", but not a 5 star narrator, for sure. Her voice tends to fit the Theo arc better than the more general Korval arc, IMNSHO, but the story is good enough to carry it.
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Old 12-14-2019, 02:59 PM   #2780
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Finished up Winter Warriors by David Gemmell and listened to Professional Integrity, a short story of the Riyria by Michael J Sullivan (it was free, BTW). Really enjoyed both. One of the advantages of listening to series where they keep the same narrator through out the series is that you know that you are going to like the book.

I decided to go with a change of pace book and started listening to the Many-Colored Land. It's been a long time since I read Julian May's Saga of the Pliocene Exile series of which the Many-Colored Land is the first. I remember enjoying it when it first came out many years ago, but I don't remember much in the way of details at all. I've only listened to the first 10 minutes or so, so I haven't really formed an opinion on it yet.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:35 AM   #2781
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...

I decided to go with a change of pace book and started listening to the Many-Colored Land. It's been a long time since I read Julian May's Saga of the Pliocene Exile series of which the Many-Colored Land is the first. I remember enjoying it when it first came out many years ago, but I don't remember much in the way of details at all. I've only listened to the first 10 minutes or so, so I haven't really formed an opinion on it yet.
I'm having a lot of trouble getting into this one. It's an older audiobook (2010) and uses more of a straight narration style than a voice actor style. In addition, the other books in the series are not available in audiobook. It's a lot like the first Arrows of the Queen version that came out about the same time. It wasn't until last year that they released the entire series with a new voice actor. Since I will be driving about a bit today, I'll give it one more day, but I suspect I may pull the plug on this and move on to the next Ryira book, Rise of Empire. I do have the Julian May series in ebook, so I may simply go back and read it as an ebook.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:05 PM   #2782
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I finished The Blue Lagoon and it was wonderful. I didn't think the 1980s film was as salacious as everyone made out (but of course I was pre-pubescent when I saw it the first time and so watched it without any thoughts of anything like that), but the book was even less so being very naturalistic even if a sort of idyllic fantasy. I was surprised how closely the film followed the book, aside from Richard having auburn hair in the book. The narrator, Adrian Praetzellis, (apart from a few dodgy accents) did a very good job which I was happily surprised by with it having originally come from librivox. It's the first narrator I've listened to from librivox I think. I had assumed the recordings might not be as professional but Praetzellis could easily rank in with the professionals.

Now I'm onto In the Woods by Tana French narrated by Steven Crossley. Others have mentioned the book not so long ago, but it's about a girl that is murdered in the woods near Dublin, and the detective narrating had been found in the same woods as a kid while his two friends had gone missing (and he hides this so he can work on the case).

First off, I am not enjoying the narrator at all. I feel I've listened to him on something else too but I'm not sure (one reason I'm happy about the roster of narrators built in the other thread, to help with this sort of thing). It's so off that I'm considering returning it to switch to the other available narrator, John McCormack, which I probably should've got in the first place.

As to the story, I already have my suspicions.

Spoiler:
I'm about a fifth in, and I am hoping it's a giant red herring so as not to have solved it too early, but I'm suspecting the older sister of Katie. There are a few reasons. I didn't suspect her when the family was told of Katie's death. But her second scene, in the church at the funeral, I did. She runs to the detective to implore him to solve the murder, and I thought, maybe she's the type of person that needs attention, and murdered Katie because Katie was getting it all, especially about to leave for the prestigious ballet school. Then I remember that Munchausen by proxy had been mentioned a few times referring possibly to the mother as a suspect. But it could be the older sister poisoning or otherwise abusing her younger siblings slowly the past many years, leading to Katie's earlier ailments and even to Jessica's mental impairment. This could have been done because the older sister was ignored after the younger girls were born, especially being identical twins.

The she wants to meet privately with the detective, and when they meet she wants to sit outside, which I thought fits as she'd want to be seen speaking to the detective and get that attention. She doesn't give him much info of value but does succeed in getting attention from him. Then Jessica has something to tell the detective, and the older sister brings her to meet the detective in the middle of Dublin at a nice place. This again could've been a ploy to get more attention herself and she could've fed Jessica what to say, and anyway at first she herself wanted to tell what it was and not let Jessica.

Also, there are mysterious calls to the father from the centre of Dublin, and now we know that the older sister knows Dublin well and is familiar with the area the calls could come from. And then whomever murdered Katie didn't do a clean job of it and didn't seem to be experienced in it, which could fit the older sister. As for the rape/vaginal penetration, it was very shallow and inexperienced, which again the older sister could've naively done thinking it would be enough to throw the scent off it being a woman. As for the mysterious large man in the blue tracksuit, I think the boy from the dig could've made him up as the detectives had first thought, and then the older sister found out about the man somehow and latched on to it. And then there's the fact that the detective dismisses her early on as a suspect and keeps lumping her in with the ones to 'protect' along with the dead Katie and the other sister Jessica, and any time she does something suspicious we're explained how it could be to protect their abusive parents or whatever. I do hope, however, that this has all been planted by the author as a red herring to point to the older sister when in fact there's another solution.

Separately, I also think this 'Sandra' that Metallica had been with in the tree in the 1980s is going to have a bigger part later or be someone from present day.

Finally, I have no idea if the detective's missing friends from the 1980s will be solved this book, or if that will be a books-long running mystery (since this is a series). As such I haven't focused on solving it yet as I don't know if I'll have enough info.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:19 AM   #2783
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I set The Terror aside for a while and, cruising Overdrive for what was available, ended up with The Passage by Justin Cronin, which I finished tonight. My final impression is strongly ambivalent. Cronin hedges his bets, but it is in many respects a Left Behind / 28 Days Later crossover novel: noble cops and soldiers doing The Lord's will to save women and children from a world overrun with super-rapists and super-pedophiles (also The Lord's will). On the one hand, I kind of applaud going that direction with a zombie or vampire story, as "It's a virus!" is no more plausible or less superstitious, just superstitious about different things. On the other hand, the whole world and all the characters reflect a kind of evening-news paranoia, preoccupied with sex crimes and child abuse and justifiable violence. What held my attention a lot of the time, especially in the extended "present day" prologue, was more a car-wreck fascination with the mindset behind the story than the actual characters or events.

So of course, I'm starting the sequel.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:32 PM   #2784
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I've tried reading The Passage a couple of times, but never really could get into it. Just not my cup of tea, I guess.

I just noticed that the Stirling and Drake series, the General, has appeared on Audible. Apparently, the first book, The Forge, arrived in August, but I missed it. I haven't heard of the narrator, a fellow named Franklin Pierson, before but the reviews are good. I'll listen to that after I finish Rise of Empire, only 10 more hours to go. Rise of Empire is about 26 hours long, so one definitely gets one's money's worth out of it! I've really enjoyed it so far.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:10 AM   #2785
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I've just started listening to No Fixed Line, the latest Kate Shugak book from Dana Stabenow, read by Marguerite Gavin. For some reason it released a week before the eBook. IAC, I'm quite enjoying it.

Charlie.

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Old 01-10-2020, 01:06 PM   #2786
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I just finished Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield and narrated by Juliet Stevenson. I loved it. Very enchanting. Lots of stories within stories with a Dickensian cast of characters. It's a character-driven mystery and is more about the journey than the destination. One of the main characters is a fictional representation of Henry Taunt, a real-life Victorian photographer of the Thames. Not recommended for people who like fast-paced mysteries.
This sounds very interesting. I read her The Thirteenth Tale a long time ago and wasn't impressed; I love atmospheric mysteries but I just thought it tried a bit too hard without enough meat. Your review of this one though has me thinking I should give her another try.
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:31 PM   #2787
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This sounds very interesting. I read her The Thirteenth Tale a long time ago and wasn't impressed; I love atmospheric mysteries but I just thought it tried a bit too hard without enough meat. Your review of this one though has me thinking I should give her another try.
I loved The Thirteenth Tale too. However, the two books are different styles. I could see that you might like one and not the other.

I am currently listening to Olive Kitteridge. I probably should have watched the HBO series instead. The narration by Kimberly Farr is excellent, but the book is boring with a few sparks of interest. I like Olive's character but not so much the other people in town.
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