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Old 01-06-2022, 11:17 AM   #3241
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I'm currently listening to The Magpies by Mark Edwards. I inadvertently listened to the novella which was actually the last book of this series first, so spoilers, but still a good plot and enough stuff I didn't know about. Suspense. Narrator Elliot Hill is excellent.
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:34 AM   #3242
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Partway through the mystery Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert - murder at a London law firm set in postwar era.

Finishing up Shaun Byyhrll's Confessions of a Bookseller, which should have been marketed as Diary of a Bookseller, Vol. 2, as it's the same thing covering the following year.
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Old 01-10-2022, 06:00 PM   #3243
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First dud of the year: The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan, narrated by Catherine Ho.

This is about a divorced mother who leaves her toddler home alone and gets caught up in the legal system. Which could have made for a compelling story, except here the mom is offered the option to enter a special residential program to teach her to be a good mother. Which also could have made for a compelling story, except here that program features Big-Brother surveillance and lifelike robot "dolls" that are essentially learning tools for the "bad" moms. Which brought the story into a realm of unreality.

I think the author wanted to show how mothers are held to impossible standards, but the ones here really did act badly. This might have been an interesting short story, but a 12-hour novel? No.
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Old 01-10-2022, 06:19 PM   #3244
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Finishing up Dolores Claiborne. I love the movie, and the plot of the book is different. Excellent narration and highly recommended.

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Old 01-11-2022, 10:31 AM   #3245
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I’m listening to Travels with George wherein historian Nathaniel Philbrick follows Washington’s travels through the US early in his presidency. He’s got interesting things to say about Washington, but he’s no travel writer; the personal element is tedious. He’s no Steinbeck. Moreover, it’s read by the author; I usually avoid these but my library didn’t have the ebook. Typically, he does himself no favors; narration is a skill. He wouldn’t hand his research to Grover Gardner and tell him to write the book. And mispronunciations grate, especially Piscataqua which was repeated many times. Find out if you don’t know!

I finished Is He Popenjoy?, rather mediocre Trollope but held my interest. Nigel Patterson does a good job with the narration.
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Old 01-11-2022, 11:20 AM   #3246
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I haven't listened to any audio books in a while but have just started Ronja Räubertochter by Astrid Lindgren. For some unfathomable reason I have never read (or listened to) this famous children's book before.
I found an unabridged version on Spotify, read by Ulrich Noethen, a well-known German film and TV actor.
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:22 PM   #3247
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I've now read the worst book of the year, and it's only January! At least I hope it's the worst book of the year, as I'd hate to have my brain polluted by anything worse than The Secret Next Door by Rebecca Taylor.

It's not that I expected anything profound; I just wanted to be mindlessly entertained by a run-of-the-mill domestic thriller about secrets in suburbia. What I got was so, so much less. There's a dead kid, but nothing about the autopsy and cause of death, which makes the eventual reveal feel like it comes out of left field. There's practically nothing about what the police are doing to investigate, but there's plenty about Christmas shopping and a misbehaving five-year-old. The characters are all shallow and unlikable and drink a lot, sometimes conveniently getting blackout drunk. The whole thing is just ridiculous and pedestrian.

Even the narrator, Libby McKnight, is subpar, with weird, too-long pauses for punctuation.

Blech.
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Old 01-17-2022, 02:23 PM   #3248
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Sometimes a narrator's creative choices just leave me saying "WTF were you thinking?!"
I recently listened to "Fat Ollie's Book," an Ed McBain 87th precinct novel. I was happy to see it was narrated by Dick Hill, who's work I've always liked. For some reason, he did the narrator's voice with an accent somewhere between FDR and the guy from the Pepperidge Farm commercials. None of the character's had this accent, just the omniscient narrator. The book is not set in New England. It was bizzare and distracting.

Now I'm listening to Brian Daley's "Requiem for a Ruler of Worlds" narrated by Brian Holsopple, who I'd never heard of. His narration seemed perfectly fine and appropriate...until he got to the voice of the second lead character, Hobart Floyt. This is the character with whom the reader is supposed to identify, the everyman. He is a minor functionary in the Earth bureaucracy. Holsopple gives him a wholly irritating, nasal, whining, Weasley voice. A caricature of an unlikable bureaucrat. Fine if he was a bit character in one or two scenes, but for a lead, who the audience is supposed to like. OMG. I read this book on paper years ago and loved it. I may have to get it on paper again, and find a way to wash this guy's voice out of my head.

I guess it could have been some director or other exec making the narrator do these things. But if so....yikes.

ApK

Last edited by ApK; 01-17-2022 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:13 PM   #3249
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Sometimes a narrator's creative choices just leave me saying "WTF were you thinking?!"
I recently listened to "Fat Ollie's Book," an Ed McBain 87th precinct novel. I was happy to see it was narrated by Dick Hill, who's work I've always liked. For some reason, he did the narrator's voice with an accent somewhere between FDR and the guy from the Pepperidge Farm commercials. None of the character's had this accent, just the omniscient narrator. The book is not set in New England. It was bizzare and distracting.

Now I'm listening to Brian Daley's "Requiem for a Ruler of Worlds" narrated by Brian Holsopple, who I'd never heard of. His narration seemed perfectly fine and appropriate...until he got to the voice of the second lead character, Hobart Floyt. This is the character with whom the trader is supposed to identify with, the everyman. He is a minor functionary in the Earth bureaucracy. Holsopple gives him a wholly irritating, nasal, whining, Weasley voice. A caricature of an unlikable bureaucrat. Fine if he was a bit character in one or two scenes, but for a lead, who the audience is supposed to like. OMG. I read thisnboom on paper years ago and loved it. I may have to get it on paper again, and find a way to wash this guy's voice out of my head.

I guess it could have been some director or other exec making the narrator do these things. But if so....yikes.

ApK
I loved this trilogy and will not be getting this as an audiobook unless they change narrators.
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Old 01-18-2022, 12:43 AM   #3250
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Sometimes a narrator's creative choices just leave me saying "WTF were you thinking?!"
<snip>
I guess it could have been some director or other exec making the narrator do these things. But if so....yikes.
ApK
It's amazing how a bad narrator can simply ruin a book, while a great narrator can completely make it. The Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody series is a perfect example. When narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, they're wonderful. But the alternative? Susan O'Malley. Couldn't stand it. Another example, the Peter Grant/Rivers of London series from Ben Aaronovitch. Reading them in eBook format I liked them, but then I heard the audio version narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and the books just came alive.
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:35 PM   #3251
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I have almost finished Alien: Isolation - a decent book but I'll say 3/5. Narration is very good. Also almost done with The Case of the Damaged Detective: 5-Minute Sherlock, Book 1 - came highly recommended in Reddit when on sale - a fun book that's a radio play and very well narrated.
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Old 01-27-2022, 12:53 AM   #3252
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Just finished listening to 1636: The Saxon Uprising, Eric Flint's mainline novel in the 1632/Ring of Fire alternate history, narrated by George Guidall. The narration is, as always with Guidall, excellent.

I first started this series in 2012, and was completely blown away by the first, 1632. I immediately read the second, which was co-authored with David Weber, and enjoyed that too. Then I made the mistake of reading some of the other books in the series, written by authors other than Eric Flint. Some were OK, at least one was positively awful, but the result of it all was that I simply lost interest. I started a re-read last year, but this time I made a decision to ignore any of the story arcs outside of the mainline and just read those mainline stories, all of which are authored or co-authored by Eric. This has made a huge difference. I'm already well past where I fizzled out last time, and I'm really enjoying them. What a complex and thoroughly consistent* alternate history.



*A Note: There is a team of authors and contributors who rigorously maintain the lists and spreadsheets of what is 'canon', and who do extensive historical research to keep things completely consistent and possible, given the first impossible thing that is the initial premise**. If you're interested in reading these, and I highly recommend it, start with the first book - 1632, which is completely free. If you read it, and want more, I suggest reading Eric Flint's article on reading order.

**The Premise:
Spoiler:
The premise is that the town of Grantville, West Virginia in the year 2000 is suddenly moved in time and space to Northern Germany in the year 1632, right smack in the middle of the 30 Years War. Only the people in the town of Grantville at the moment of change, and only the resources of the town at the time of change are available to the the new world of 1632, and after.

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Old 01-27-2022, 07:08 AM   #3253
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Just finished listening to 1636: The Saxon Uprising, Eric Flint's mainline novel in the 1632/Ring of Fire alternate history, narrated by George Guidall. The narration is, as always with Guidall, excellent.

I first started this series in 2012, and was completely blown away by the first, 1632. I immediately read the second, which was co-authored with David Weber, and enjoyed that too. Then I made the mistake of reading some of the other books in the series, written by authors other than Eric Flint. Some were OK, at least one was positively awful, but the result of it all was that I simply lost interest. I started a re-read last year, but this time I made a decision to ignore any of the story arcs outside of the mainline and just read those mainline stories, all of which are authored or co-authored by Eric. This has made a huge difference. I'm already well past where I fizzled out last time, and I'm really enjoying them. What a complex and thoroughly consistent* alternate history.



*A Note: There is a team of authors and contributors who rigorously maintain the lists and spreadsheets of what is 'canon', and who do extensive historical research to keep things completely consistent and possible, given the first impossible thing that is the initial premise**. If you're interested in reading these, and I highly recommend it, start with the first book - 1632, which is completely free. If you read it, and want more, I suggest reading Eric Flint's article on reading order.
I have reread the mainline novels many times and recommend them too. There are a few books by other authors that are good, but most are not worth the trouble. And I know which author you are talking about and whole heartedly agree with your assessment.
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:07 AM   #3254
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If you're interested in reading these, and I highly recommend it, start with the first book - 1632, which is completely free.
That link is throwing an error for me right now. Is th e audiobook free, or just the text? If the audiobook, do you know any other source?
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:19 AM   #3255
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That link is throwing an error for me right now. Is th e audiobook free, or just the text? If the audiobook, do you know any other source?
No, the audio book isn't free just the ebook. The link s/b valid, at least I can still follow it. But you can get to it by going to the Baen ebooks site and navigating through the Baen Free Library to 1632. The audiobook is on Audible, and I assume on Kobo, but I don't use Kobo for audio books so haven't checked.
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