Listened to the audiobook version of this bio/memoir which required a bit of tweaking to the format, but it worked reasonably well. Bonus - audiobookListened to the audiobook version of this bio/memoir which required a bit of tweaking to the format, but it worked reasonably well. Bonus - audiobook was performed by NPH himself! In terms of a memoir, it was informative without being voyeuristic (mostly) and Neil didn't seem to whitewash his past too badly, and his love for his husband and children shone through. Being a Disney (and Christmas fan) I especially enjoyed the chapter on his yearly participation in the Epcot Candlelight Processional program. I've put the Kindle version of this bio on my wish list, but may be revisiting the audiobook again in the feature.
Just finished the audiobook version of this novel, the third (and presumably last?) in the Leviathan series. While it wraps things up well; there's deJust finished the audiobook version of this novel, the third (and presumably last?) in the Leviathan series. While it wraps things up well; there's definitely room to continue with the main characters in this universe.
Prince Alek of Hohenberg and Dylan/Deryn Sharpe are still aboard the Leviathan - a massive, living airship that is part of the British Air Service. The ship is responding to a request from Russia, one of its Darwinist allies to travel to Siberia to rescue a scientist and his team. This scientist is none other than Nikola Tesla, and his latest Clanker invention may just possibly end the World War.
I LOVE the world-building in this series of YA novels! The mix of fabricated beasts created by the Darwinists and the steampunkesque contraptions built by the Clankers provides a rich visual tapestry for the story to proceed upon. Alek and Dylan/Deryn (Deryn the girl is masquerading as Dylan the boy) are very well-rounded and have both shown considerable growth of character throughout the trilogy. The secondary characters, like Volger and Dr. Barlow, and even Eddie Malone are also well-drawn and help move the plot along as well. Not only does Tesla make an appearance, so does William Randolph Hearst and Francisco "Pancho" Villa. And I really, really want a Perspicacious Loris (which I see as a cross between a mogwai and a chinchilla).
Alan Cumming does a masterful job of narrating this trilogy - although his American voices (particularly his Adela Rogers St. Johns) could use a bit of work. However, I can't imagine coming back to this trilogy (which I can definitely see myself doing) without "hearing" his portrayal of Dylan/Deryn Sharpe and her wonderful Scottish slang!...more
Started the audiobook version of this novel - It picks up right where Leviathanleft off - with Alek and Deryn onboard the the airship, bound for ConstStarted the audiobook version of this novel - It picks up right where Leviathanleft off - with Alek and Deryn onboard the the airship, bound for Constantinople on an unspecified mission.
Alan Cumming is the narrator once again and such a treat to listen to! The Austrian accents of Alek and his cohorts, Deryn's Scottish brogue (and slang - "Barking Spiders!" is my new favorite expletive!) and he's added an American to the mix. tho Eddie Malone sounds a bit 1930's film noir vs the actual timeline of the book (late 1914).
Once again, Alan Cumming is doing an amazing job as the narrator - The setting of Istanbul adds some intriguing elements to the story; both the real-life events (the theft/non-delivery of the Osman, for example) and the more fantastic, like the iron golems and mechanical war elephants. The Perspicacious Loris is a wonderful addition to the cast - can't wait till Alek and Deryn discover its potential!
I'm currently captivated by the audiobook of this novel, which I checked out from the library after seeing C.S.'s 5 star review.
Carolyn McCormick (whI'm currently captivated by the audiobook of this novel, which I checked out from the library after seeing C.S.'s 5 star review.
Carolyn McCormick (who also narrated The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset trilogy) is striking just the right tone with the protagonist, a rather unreliable narrator herself.
I'm loving the whole un-real feel of the story so far ... The protagonist is part of the 12th expedition into Area X, a no-mans-land abandoned some 30 years previously for an officially undisclosed reason; previous expeditions weren't necessarily successful.
She and her compatriots (no names, just roles- she is the Biologist) have discovered a feature not on their maps... a tunnel (no, a Tower) that leads underground. We learn the story, as well as the Biologist's background bit by bit... and the tension is building nicely. I'm glad I didn't know/remember a lot about the story before I started - most everything has been a surprise so far....more
Skip gave 3 stars & Julie gave 2: SDMB recco Lasciel "Incarceron is amazing. It's inventive, creepy, the settings are monumental and clever, and tSkip gave 3 stars & Julie gave 2: SDMB recco Lasciel "Incarceron is amazing. It's inventive, creepy, the settings are monumental and clever, and the characters act in 'natural' ways for their backgrounds and environments. Sapphique takes the concept, dials it up to 11 without structural support, shits on the settings, turns interesting characters into a copy-and-paste love triangle, and contradicts everything the reader and characters learned from the first book. "...more
Thanks to a mention in the "Top Ten Books You Read in 2013" thread over on the SDMB, I checked out the audiobook version of this novel from the localThanks to a mention in the "Top Ten Books You Read in 2013" thread over on the SDMB, I checked out the audiobook version of this novel from the local library. While I missed out on the illustrations by Randall Wright, I did quite enjoy the narration by Katharine Kellgren (she could read the phone book and I'd listen!) with Robin Sachs contributing the Charles Dickens interludes.
Skilley, a street cat living in Victorian London schemes his way into a mousing job at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese inn, despite not actually wanting to eat mice at all. He finds an ally in Pip, a mouse residing at the inn who has some unusual talents. Together, they deal with a missing "person" whose disappearance has potential foreign relation repercussions. They must also cope with a cranky cook and a an evil tomcat bent on exposing their friendship as well as the secrets of the mice of the inn. Charles Dickens makes a cameo appearance as a frequenter of the inn and an astute observer of the animals' interactions.
It is a middle grade book - aimed at 8-10 year olds, so the story isn't terribly complex, but still quite charming. Adults will get the references to Dickens and Wilkie Collins, while kids will enjoy the story of the friendship between the mouse and the cat, which develops organically with some bumps along the way. There are some moments of peril and a couple of minor characters die, but it's handled well and there's some good lessons to be learned.
Recommended to fans of animal fantasies and stories for all ages....more
Thanks to Lori's 3 star review, I picked up the audiobook of this novel from the local library & am really enjoying it.
I hesitate to consider thiThanks to Lori's 3 star review, I picked up the audiobook of this novel from the local library & am really enjoying it.
I hesitate to consider this a ghost story; as the "haunting" is more psychological than supernatural. What occult elements exist are understated, but the story is still quite atmospheric. The story builds slowly, but surely; it had me guessing a few times, while other places I could see what was coming, but still looked forward to the destination. I loved all the side chapters providing information on rooks and other members of the corvid family, especially after reading Corvus: A Life with Birds
William Bellman is a compelling protagonist, and I haven't been this engrossed by the building of an edifice since The Pillars of the Earth. The detail given to the functioning of both the mill and the emporium breathed life into the story for me; tho I admit others might find it a distraction from the plot.
Jack Davenport (who I know better as Commander James Norrington from the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise) did a bang-up job with the narration - I may have to seek out other books he has narrated! I will also be checking out The Thirteenth Tale soon, especially since the local library has it in audiobook form. ...more
I finally finished the audiobook version of of this biography - I started listening during a road trip in December, put it aside to finish another audI finally finished the audiobook version of of this biography - I started listening during a road trip in December, put it aside to finish another audiobook in progress, then the weather has cut into my normal audiobook listening time (aka dog walking). Finally, I'd put off listening to the last chapter for about a week, as I knew I'd be a sobbing mess. Jim Henson's untimely death still seems terribly unfair to me; despite the great legacy he left behind.
Jones does a masterly job of sharing Henson's life story; the level of detail is amazing, but not (IMHO) at all dry or overwhelming. He obviously interviewed many of the men and women who knew Jim well; and provides some of their biographical info along the way, when pertinent.
Kirby Heyborne narrated the biography, and did his best to emulate the voices of the directly quoted individuals. His Jim & Kermit imitations are quite good, and for me, added to the overall experience.
Highly recommended to any fan who would like to know more about the man behind the Muppetverse....more
I listened to the audiobook version of this novel last month and was hoping to re-watch the film before writing this review, but thought I'd better g I listened to the audiobook version of this novel last month and was hoping to re-watch the film before writing this review, but thought I'd better get something written down before it fades even further from memory :^)
This is, of course, the novel the first Bond movie was based on (but the 6th Bond novel), and EON Productions remained relatively true to the book, IMHO. Sure, they changed the island from a guano production site to a bauxite mine, but that's understandable. And I don't think they could have filmed the torture test that Bond goes thru, at least not in 1962 (from both a technical and moral standpoint).
However, I do wish they had kept more of the characterization of Honey(chile) Ryder - who was the most well-rounded, independent Bond girl yet. While Ms. Andress was quite lovely (no chance of showing her with a broken nose!) and competent in the role, she was a pale copy of the Honey I came to admire in the novel. She was a naif, yet self-assured and strong, and I'd love to see her portrayed more accurately on screen.
This is Bond's second mission in Jamaica, and it was nice to see him work with Quarrel again (even though it ended badly). It was supposed to be an easy case, as Bond had nearly died at the end of From Russia With Love and was sent to investigate the disappearance of the local contact as a "rest cure"; tho Bond himself found it a bit insulting.
It was interesting to see some friction between Bond and M (something we didn't really see in the films until Dench came along). I also was impressed with the backstory provided for Doctor No - his history with a Chinese Tong and his punishment leading him to seek power via secrecy. This was pretty much skimmed over in the film in favor of associating him with SPECTRE.
I'd definitely agree with some other reviewers in that Bond makes some stupid mistakes/decisions and has stupendous luck, but I found this outing quite enjoyable and will probably return to the novel again (along with the film). I'm quite looking forward to Goldfinger next! ...more
I spent about the last month with the audiobook this novel, courtesy of the local library. I wasn't sure if I liked the idea of a follow up to The ShiI spent about the last month with the audiobook this novel, courtesy of the local library. I wasn't sure if I liked the idea of a follow up to The Shining, but Stevie done good with this one. He even threw in a reference to NOS4A2!
After an interlude set a few years after the events at the Overlook hotel, we fast-forward to Dan Torrance as an adult - a poorly functioning adult at that. An alcoholic (not too surprising) drifting from job to job across the eastern US - he washes up in a small New Hampshire town after hitting bottom. We also meet a young girl - Abra - whose "shining" is stronger than Danny's - so strong, in fact, it brings her to the attention of Rose the Hat and the True Knot. And you do NOT want to be brought to their attention.
Dan's journey thru alcoholism to sobriety (via AA) certainly seems a good example of "write what you know" - King may have been exorcising some of his own demons here. Abra is well-written, and even supporting characters like Billy and Dr. John feel like real people. Rose the Hat is a worthy addition to the King stable of baddies, fitting right in with Pennywise and The Walking Man. The callbacks to The Shining are present, but not obtrusive; having read the book (or seen the film) is useful, but probably not mandatory - general pop culture knowledge would be basically sufficient, I think.
I really enjoyed this novel and will be picking up a copy for myself eventually. Will Patton did a great job with the narration - I especially liked Billy Freeman's New Hampshire accent! He handled Momo Concetta and Abra quite well, too. ...more
I quite enjoyed the audiobook of Who Could that Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket - it's the start of a new series, apparently - YA similar to A SeriI quite enjoyed the audiobook of Who Could that Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket - it's the start of a new series, apparently - YA similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events but told in first person, as it's supposedly Snicket's adventures as a young man.
Set very much "in media res", there's a lot of unanswered questions (possibly wrong ones), but the style is as amusing as ever, if you're into this sort of thing. Both the story and characters are entertaining, IMHO, and the world building is wonderfully quirky! Liam Aiken's narration is just how I expected Lemony Snicket (as a world-weary tween) would sound. ...more
An audiobook I quite enjoyed recently was Frames, the first in the Valentino mystery series by Loren D. Estleman. I read the third in the series -- AlAn audiobook I quite enjoyed recently was Frames, the first in the Valentino mystery series by Loren D. Estleman. I read the third in the series -- Alive! -- back in July and really enjoyed it, so thought I'd go back to the beginning. Valentino (named after the film star with some resemblance, apparently) is a UCLA film archivist who's not averse to going the extra mile to track down rare reels from Hollywood's early years. He buys a decrepit movie palace (against his better judgement) only to discover what could be a jackpot - the long lost reels of the original version of Erich von Stroheim's silent masterpiece Greed. Unfortunately, the discovery results in a potential homicide investigation and Valentino, along with his mentor, and a feisty co-ed law student, find themselves in a race against time to help solve the case and save the film from potential destruction. Oh - and did I mention von Stroheim himself makes a otherworldly appearance or two?
I only dabble in the mystery genre - there has to be some other hook to spark my interest - in this case it's the classic film connection. I'm a minor film buff, and would like to learn more about the Golden Age of Hollywood. Valentino is a well-written character, and the plot stays on the lighter side of the genre - no lives are on the line, and I don't think a single gun is brandished anywhere in the novel. The supporting characters have their fun quirks, and there's just a touch of romance along the way. William Dufris did a great job as the narrator - I especially liked his Broadhead performance!
I'm looking forward to reading the middle novel in the series - Alone - fairly soon. ...more