Plugged by Eoin Colfer – Audiobook Review

Plugged by Eoin Colfer, narrated by John Keating
Published in audio by AudioGo, published in print by Overlook Press

Synopsis:

All bouncer Daniel McEvoy wants to do is go to his appointment with his under-the-table doctor friend Zeb and get a check up for his hair transplant. That’s it. Simple. Except when he arrives, Zeb is nowhere to be found, and in his place is a member of the local mob who has a reputation for being quick with a knife. If it wasn’t enough to barely escape that encounter, when Daniel returns to work, he finds his sweetheart – a hostess at the seedy casino at which they both work – dead in the parking lot, an event which of course puts Daniel in the line of sight of the local police. Now Daniel has to figure out why people keep dying and disappearing around him, while keeping his own name clean and himself alive.

Thoughts on the story:

Plugged, is a fun and funny thriller. Daniel is really a very witty, smart-assed character (or smart-arsed, as he would say with his Irish brogue). The pacing and plotting are both quite good, and Colfer has created a colorful and interesting cast of characters. Most of the characters lean towards caricature, but only far enough to give the story a slightly silly edge in the midst of what could be a very tense situation. At the same time, Colfer never lets the silliness get away from him, keeping a good balance between intrigue and fun.

Thoughts on the audio production:

John Keating gives a strong performance in Daniel McEvoy’s first person narrative. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for a good accent, but he was absolutely a pleasure to listen to. Every once in awhile his American accents – at least those without the strong influence of New York and New Jersey – would fall flat, particularly when giving voice to a female character, but he generally handled the hodgepodge of accents and voices well, with great consistency for each individual character.

Overall:

A fun listen, one I can recommend.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
Indiebound: Audio/Print*

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: .
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Trespass by Rose Tremain – Audiobook Review

Trespass by Rose Tremain, narrated by Juliet Stevenson
Published in audio by AudioGo, published in print by W. W. Norton & Co

Synopsis:

We know the ways that our pasts, flaws, and foibles change the courses of our own lives, but perhaps we think little about the ways in which they can influence, and even devastate the lives of others, even when our paths cross only tangentially. Such is the case when two pairs of siblings, both with painful and damaging pasts happen to have their lives intersect in the south of France. Veronica and her lover, Kitty, have been living in Cévennes for years, but their simple domestic life of painting and gardening is disrupted when Veronica’s brother Anthony, who is having financial troubles in England, comes down to stay. When he decides he would like to relocate to France, tensions get even higher. Equally fraught is the relationship between Audrun and Aramon, natives of France. Their childhood was, shall we say, less than ideal after the death of their mother, and their interactions grow even more tense after Aramon declares his intention to sell their family home. With Anthony looking to buy and Aramon to sell, it is only to be expected that their paths should cross, but the results of that crossing are decidedly atypical.

Thoughts on the story:

Although not exactly a mystery, Tremain tells a suspenseful yet character-driven story in “Trespass.” We know from the opening scene that something terrible has happened, although what exactly that is will only slowly become apparent over the course of the book. It is a complex tale, but not overly so. The pacing, plotting, and prose were all extremely well handled, but the real highlight of the book was the character development. Not a single one of the characters in “Trespass” was a particularly likable human being. They were selfish, self-involved, rude, snobby, and occasionally abusive. In such a psychological, character-driven novel such as this, that can be quite a problem. However, they were so realistically and tragically flawed, that their petty incivilities failed to be a turn-off. Instead, the reader is drawn into their story to find out exactly what bad thing happened, and why.

Thoughts on the audio production:

At the beginning of “Trespass,” I had a bit of a hard time keeping all of the characters straight in audio, because Tremain included a number of relatively short scenes with each of them. I must say, I really wasn’t sure what was going on – actually, I’m not sure I would have been with print, either – but it didn’t matter one bit, because of Juliet Stevenson’s amazing narration. For more, see my review for Audiofile Magazine.

Overall:

Fascinating and suspenseful, “Trespass” is a masterful psychological novel, although not one for those easily offended by sex and dysfunction.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound: Print*

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: AudioFile Magazine.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor – Audiobook Review

 

The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor, narrated by John Telfer
Published in audio by AudioGo

Synopsis:

For reasons that will quickly become apparent in the next section, I am going to use the publisher’s description for this one:

1786, Jerusalem College, Cambridge: they say Jerusalem is haunted by Mrs. Whichcote’s ghost. Frank Oldershaw claims he saw her in the garden, where she drowned. Now he’s under the care of a physician. Desperate to salvage her son’s reputation and restore him to health, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts, an attack on the existence of ghostly phenomena. But his powers of reason have other challenges. Dreams of his dead wife and Elinor, the Master’s wife, haunt him. At the heart of it all is the mystery of what happened to Sylvia Whichcote in the claustrophobic confines of Jerusalem.

Thoughts on the story:

I had an incredibly difficult time following this story, unfortunately. There are an awful lot of threads, which do all eventually come together quite nicely, but I happened to listen to this during a time when I was sick for the better part of six weeks, foggy-brained and unable to concentrate, also unable to listen consistently. It seemed to be a very well put together story, certainly well-written, but it was more complex than my more addled brain could handle.

Thoughts on the audio production:

John Telfer was a fantastic choice to narrate The Anatomy of Ghosts. Even when my brain was fuzzy on the actual intricacies of the plot, it was quite happily enjoying Telfer’s wonderful narration. Audibly distinguishing between a large group of upper-class British men seems a difficult task, but one Telfer performed admirably. With another narrator I would have been even more totally lost than I was, but Telfer gave me a hint of what I was supposed to be following and kept me happy with his gorgeous voice even when I had no idea what was going on.

Overall:

Everyone else seemed to love this book and Telfer’s narration is fabulous, so don’t let my foggy-brained failure dissuade you, but give it a try in either print or audio. When you do, though, make sure you are able to give it adequate time and attention.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
Indiebound: Print*
Audible

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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