Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mini-Audio reviews

Ok, I've been crazy for the audiobook for years now, but with the long commute to and from work and the fact that we only have one television in our house, plus the long walks I've been taking with the pup, I've been listening to more and more of them in recent months. And have yet to write about most of them. Blogger fail. Therefore, here are a few super-quick, thoughts-only, reviews for you on whether or not I liked the plot/narration.

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen; narrated by Karen White

I was impressed with how the tiny bit of "magic" involved in the story was woven in and fit perfectly. Not many authors could pull that off, but Allen definitely did. I really liked each character in their own way, though I did find Willa a bit stifling at times. The Southern setting was great and the book was a nice choice for reading during the summer. 

Narration: White's voice was perfect for describing the sweet smells of peaches in the air and the manner in which she changed tones for Willa and Paxton was seamless. I really liked her reading. 

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright; narrated by Pamela Dillman

This was my first jump into an Elizabeth Enright book (I know, GASP!) and though I enjoyed it well enough, I think I'm partial to The Penderwicks for wholesome stories about siblings making their own fun. I did really like the concept of this particular story (haven't read the rest of the Melendy series yet) and the interaction between the kids was sweet, though not always believable.

Narration: I don't think I've ever experienced this narrator before, but she did a nice job distinguishing between the children. Her voice would be great for bedtime reading!
Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman; narrated by Kimberly Farr

The story is so beautifully done in so many ways, though it definitely falls on the depressing side of the emotional spectrum. This is a sad novel, a heartwrenching portrayal of a family's life after tragedy, and the sadness will creep into your bones as you listen. Definitely a character-driven story and one I won't be forgetting anytime soon. Just make sure you read it when the sun is shining!

Narration: I was not impressed with the Maine accents Farr gave to the men. I think she made them sound slightly ridiculous and as if they were unintelligent, rather than simply having a thick accent. Hard to explain, but I don't think it was done well. I, personally, didn't need an accent to know anyone was from was mentioned at least 100 times throughout the story. 
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin; narrated by Kim Mai Guest

An absolutely fascinating story. I had never known much about Tom Thumb's life, let alone his wife's and though fictionalized, I really was intrigued by the entire concept of this story. I felt it rushed along in some places and I can't say I was a great fan of Vinnie's by the end, but the overall story was enjoyable.

Narration: Guest did a beautiful job at portraying the stubborn and often frustrating Vinnie, as well as the other characters in the story. I would definitely seek out another audiobook read by her.
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner; narrated by Mark Deakins

It's taken me almost 2 years to get to the 2nd book in this series. Why, I'm not sure. I loved The Maze Runner, but feel Dashner fell into a bit of a sophomore slump with this one. It was action-packed, as the first book definitely was, but I was unable to connect with any of the characters, which could have had to do with the narrator.

Narration: Not a fan. Deakins almost reminded me of the reader of The Lightning Thief (Jesse Bernstein), which, unfortunately, is not a compliment. Bummer. 
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai; narrated by Emily Bauer

Though the plot of this wonderful little novel is completely ridiculous, unbelievable, and completely not-plausible, I loved it. The bookish quotes and references were perfect for my personality and fit into the story perfectly. I loved the characters, the slow-moving plot, and the emotional descriptions Makkai used. Fun!

Narration: I thought Bauer's voice was perfect for the book and for what I imagined Lucy to sound like. Young enough to still be naive without sounding like a little girl.

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GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I just started Garden Spells on audio! I've never read Sarah Addison Allen before, but I've heard great things!

Charlotte said...

Do keep going on with the Enright books, Amanda! The Saturdays is fun, but it's my least favorite book of the series.

Kailana said...

I love Sarah Addison Allen. When I read her for the first time I was a bit hesitant, but she has turned out to be one of my favourite authors. I also really enjoyed The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. It is one of my favourite reads of 2011.