Happily, Paul Theroux's latest masterpiece is available as an audiobook, narrated authoritatively by Charlie Anson. Eric Blair, a callow policeman in colonial Burma, will eventually become known as writer George Orwell. In a clear baritone, Anson describes the lush landscapes of Burma, its trees, foliage, dusty roads, and muddy rivers, along with its natives, who are subjugated... Read More
Narrators Karen Chilton and Caroline Hewitt combine their considerable vocal talent to portray two legendary entertainers in this audiobook set primarily in the 1950s. There are no words to express how compelling Chilton's performance is as Ella Fitzgerald, "the Queen of Jazz." Chilton mesmerizes listeners as she imbues Fitzgerald with subtle emotion, poise, and practicality.... Read More
Grover Gardner brings the Old West to life in this slow-burn tale of vengeance set against a backdrop of post-Civil War lawlessness. John Chenneville is a Union soldier who is struggling to regain his memories while recovering from a head wound on his family homestead in St. Louis. Gardner gives Chenneville a light drawl and a steady, even tone that belies his fierce... Read More
Bronson Pinchot embraces the tone and accents of the international characters in this political thriller. In 1947, military attachés gather at a party. An American and a Russian diplomat agree to a friendly ski race across the Finnish countryside. The audiobook focuses on the adventure of the race, but real intrigue builds around the international diplomacy that mounts once... Read More
Emma Love beautifully delivers the essence of this story. In 1922, Ruby, an heiress, is sent to Lothel Green to deliver a trunk of magical books to Ruan, who has a gift for healing. While there, Ruby visits her old friend, Tamsyn, who has married Sir Chenowyth of Penryth Hall. Overnight, Chenowyth is found dead in the orchard, and locals believe the cause was a curse. Tamsyn is... Read More
Gabra Zackman transports listeners to Italy amid the chaos of WWII. Massimo, a young teen scarred by both physical and emotional trauma, is taken under the wing of the enigmatic Pietro Houdini. Together, they find refuge in the Abbey of Montecassino, where they plan an audacious art heist with the help of a growing band of misfits. Zackman masterfully brings the protagonists to... Read More
Listeners will have a grand time with Lorelei King's versatile narration of this fictionalized account of the life of famed opera singer Maria Callas. Listeners will feel as though they are globe-trotting alongside Callas as she performs in the classic opera houses of Europe and the U.S. King gives Callas a slightly detached, poised tone as she rehearses and performs, and... Read More
Midnite Michael's achievement is capturing the spirit of a classic Western while at the same time giving this biographical novel a contemporary feel. Thompson tells the story of Bass Reeves. Born enslaved just before the Civil War, Reeves grew to become a celebrated U.S. marshal. Reeves, an expert marksman from a young age, was forced to endure abuse by his enslaver as he took... Read More
Listeners will be launched back to the eighteenth century by this audiobook, inspired by the diary of the American midwife and healer Martha Ballard. The story weaves Ballard's journal through Lawhon's thrilling mystery of rape and murder. Jane Oppenheimer gives life to this first-person account, which includes birth, death, rape, and family, as well as the challenges of life... Read More
The general of the audiobook title is Grant; Julia is his wife. Gibson Frazier delivers a solid performance of this historical novel. His voice is appealing and plainspoken. His pace is reasonable, with appropriate pauses and subtle character voices that are effective in dialogue. Indeed, there is little to find fault with when it comes to Frazier's narrative skill. The novel,... Read More
Helen Laser transports listeners to New York City in 1939 to hear the story of jazz club cigarette girl Giddy Brodsky, who is determined to make a success of her new life in America after a horrific pogrom forced her family to flee Russia. Laser's excellent characterization and spot-on timing build tension as Giddy has a chance encounter with one of the Cossacks who carried out... Read More
In a practiced-sounding tone, Kristin Atherton narrates this dual- timeline historical fiction revolving around Nazi-era porcelain figurines created at the Allach Porcelain Factory in a sub-camp of Dachau concentration camp. There Clara Vogel searches for her father's identity. Atherton adopts a Midwestern accent for the opening scenes, set in 1993 Cincinnati. The balance of... Read More
Kristen Sieh gives an absorbing, well-paced performance of a woman who is navigating the mysteries of love, loss, and space-time. When NASA "human computer" Annie Fisk discovers a wormhole anomaly capable of transporting items back and forth in time, she's forced to examine her New Mexico childhood anew, alongside her work with the Manned Spacecraft Center. Sieh nimbly guides... Read More
Derek Jacobi's performance is up to the high standard we expect from him. Without actually creating voices for the many characters in this novel, he makes clear who is speaking and how they are feeling, using vocal color and accents. Author Ron Destro is less adept in tracking the story, which jumps around through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It includes a fair... Read More
Petrea Burchard channels the exhilaration and terror of eighteenth-century pirate life. In Boston in 1726, 17-year-old Hannah Masury finds herself in dire straits when she witnesses the death of a young sailor at the hands of ruthless privateers. Knowing that she must flee Boston, she disguises herself as a cabin boy aboard a pirate vessel captained by the infamous Ned Lowe. In... Read More
Five remarkable narrators create an unforgettable portrait of the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. Brad Griffith provides the main narration as Adam Paskow, a language and literature teacher who lost his beloved wife, Kasia. After being relocated to the Warsaw Ghetto, he is recruited by the real-life Oneg Shabbat to document the histories of the Jews there. Jesse Vilinsky, Sharon... Read More
Even with the large number of Chinese and Russian place and character names, listeners will be rewarded by Catherine Ho's performance of this fascinating historical novel. Sun "Yomei" Weishi (1921-1968), adoptive daughter of Zhou Enlai, is selected to leave China to study acting in Moscow. Ho delivers Yomei's vivid accounts of political upheaval, harsh conditions, and her... Read More
The sure touch of Golden Voice narrator Julia Whelan transforms Kristen Hannah's absorbing novel about Vietnam War combat nurses into an addictive listen. An intimate portrait and a sprawling account of a searing time, the story focuses on 20-year-old Frances McGrath, who, in 1965, impetuously chooses the Army Nurse Corps over cotillions and marriage. Whelan brings believable... Read More
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