I’m slowly but steadily falling in love with Charles Dickens’ work. Nicholas Nickleby is a wonderful story about how poverty and hardship can make youI’m slowly but steadily falling in love with Charles Dickens’ work. Nicholas Nickleby is a wonderful story about how poverty and hardship can make you happier than a fortune. The book focuses on the Nickleby family, living in 19th century England. After the death of his father Nicholas, his sister and mother are appealing to Nicholas’ uncle Ralph Nickleby. Ralph is a made man without any recognizable conscience. In answer to this appeal Ralph sends Nicholas as assistant teacher to a boarding school under the direction of a man who is just as greedy and conscience-lacking as Ralph himself. I’m not going deeper into the plot, because this is one of the rare books I read recently that actually made me want to read on to find out what would happen next. For once I was not sitting there thinking “oh, it’ll turn out OK in the end … they might be in a fix now, but of course he’ll save the day by some heroic deed”. Charles Dickens managed to write a vivid narrative that makes it easy for the reader to imagine themselves in 19th century England. He also draws great characters, and even though Ralph and his companions might sometimes seem slightly stereotypical, I actually experienced even them as round characters with more depth than the first impression might suggest. My favourable impression of this book is strengthened by the audiobook, read by Simon Vance. He does a wonderful job of reading this book and giving every character his individual voice without overdoing it. ...more
I really feel that this review won’t (and can’t) do the book justice, because I really struggled with this audiobook. I listened to the free LibriVoxI really feel that this review won’t (and can’t) do the book justice, because I really struggled with this audiobook. I listened to the free LibriVox edition read by Mil Nicholson. She gives every character it’s separate voice, which is a good thing. But somehow her voice didn’t hold my attention. I couldn’t concentrate on listening to the audiobook; or at least I couldn’t remember long after listening what I had actually listened to. I think the main problem in this case was that Mil sometimes overdid it with the character voices, making it too slow or too strident. In-between classes I sometimes read some passages as ebook, so I got into the book around halfway through (then my listening experience also improved a bit) and by the end I had gotten enough content to know that I actually like it. I really loved the ending. I’ll probably reread it one day (really reading this time; or an audiobook with another narrator). This is certainly one of the few audiobook-editions that I can’t recommend....more
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is nothing more and nothing less than the story of a young boy’s childhood/youth. It doesn’t have a large plot (althoughThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer is nothing more and nothing less than the story of a young boy’s childhood/youth. It doesn’t have a large plot (although there are some elements in the story that span from the beginning to the end). Instead it details the everyday life of Tom Sawyer, his little woes and pleasures and what pranks he played. As with the previous Mark Twain books I read, I thoroughly enjoyed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. His way of telling a story makes even the most everyday occurrences to something special and the book repeatedly made me smile. I listened again to the narration by John Greenman (which is available for free at LibriVox.org) and found that this wonderful story was improved by such a great narrator....more
Since my first experience with Mark Twain I always look forward to read another of his books (especially listen to the Librivox narration by John GreeSince my first experience with Mark Twain I always look forward to read another of his books (especially listen to the Librivox narration by John Greenman). I can’t be entirely sure if it is the narrator of the author who makes me chuckle occasionally; I’m convinced it is a combination of the two. I wasn’t disappointed by “A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. The book tells the story of an American from Mark Twain’s time who one day woke up in 6th century England, among King Arthur’s knights. He doesn’t believe it at first, but soon has to accept that he is stranded in the far past and has to cope with it. His adventures are simply hilarious. They include a confrontation with the famous Merlin, a stroll through the country with King Arthur (disguised as a peasant) meeting his lowly subjects and taking on an army of several thousand knights with a force of … 45 men. Of course some of his future knowledge helps our hero in his adventures. This story is not to be taken too seriously. But if you enjoy a chuckle now and then I’d certainly recommend it. ...more
Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is sometimes referred to as the first How-to-Book (at least I read that somewhere, though I can’t recall now where).Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is sometimes referred to as the first How-to-Book (at least I read that somewhere, though I can’t recall now where). It’s certainly interesting to read (or hear when listening to the audiobook) of his early life and how he became a man of importance. Also, the writing style isn’t too monotone or boring (I’m listening to a novel right now that has a more boring style than this non-fiction). Usually I struggle with biographies (or autobiographies/memoirs), but this belonged to the better ones I’ve read so far.
I listened to the free LibriVox audiobook of this book. Those are of varying quality. This production was of average (tending to good) quality. ...more