Monday, March 28, 2011

Audio Books Potpourri

Below are a few audio books I've listened to primarily while driving.  I never got around to writing full reviews but thought I'd mention them, particularly Testimony which I really liked and No Graves as Yet which you should avoid at all costs.

Firefly Summer by Maeve Binchy, BBC Dramatization, 2hrs, 49 minutes (Abridged) Read by David Soul. If you’ve read and liked Binchy in the past, you’ll recognize her work – idyllic depictions of life in small towns in Ireland, good always triumphing over evil after some initial adversity, and characters galore. I did not think it a great story but if you’re looking for less than 3 hours of diversion it might do.

Testimony by Anita Shreve (Unabridged) 9hrs. 6 min. Read by Laurence Bouvard. This is a very compelling story. The setting is a private prep school in New England. The plot centers on the consequences of actions taken in a single night of teenage sex and debauchery. The story is told through multiple narrators but primarily Mike the headmaster of the school, Silas a local boy who attends the elite school and Noelle a fellow student and girlfriend of Silas. The ethical issues that are raised and the heartbreak that occurs will occupy your thoughts long after you finished this story. The narrator is excellent and I think listening to this story was better than having read it.

No Graves as Yet by Anne Perry (Unabridged) 12 hrs and 19 min. Read by Michael Page. This is the first novel in the new Anne Perry series about WWI. There may be more novels in this series but I will not be listening to them nor reading them. The mystery was lame; the characters were cardboard stereotypes of upper class Brits whose conversation was stilted beyond belief. The narrator was way too emotional for the material. Why did I continue to listen you ask – I’ve no good answer, skip this stinker.

Shades of Grey by Jason Fforde (Unabridged) 13 hrs, 34 min. Read by John Lee. I can’t summarize this fantasy novel in a short paragraph. I started to read FForde’s Thursday Next series and really enjoyed them. This book has elements of that fantasy world but really has gone completely over the top. You’ll need to enjoy satire and fantasy to step into Fforde’s very creative mind. Check out this Goodreads summary if you are thinking about listening to this one. I did love the reader, the very talented John Lee.


Zibilee said...

Did you know that there is a new book out in the Thursday Next series? I am so excited for that one! I have Shades of Grey as well, and am hoping to read it soon. Testimony also sounds good. I will have to keep an eye out for it. I will also take your advice and skip No Graves As Yet. Thanks for sharing all these with us!

Kathy said...

Zibilee, thanks for the comments. I do know there is a new Thursday Next - I am pacing myself thru this series and stiull have one more to read before I get to the new one. Nice to have them to look forward to!