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BS: Best recorded books

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John Hardly 27 Aug 03 - 04:29 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Aug 03 - 11:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Aug 03 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,ClaireBear 27 Aug 03 - 12:06 PM
Nerd 27 Aug 03 - 12:40 PM
GUEST 27 Aug 03 - 01:03 PM
Wesley S 27 Aug 03 - 01:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 27 Aug 03 - 11:21 PM
Steve Parkes 28 Aug 03 - 10:12 AM
Steve Parkes 28 Aug 03 - 10:14 AM
Padre 28 Aug 03 - 11:19 PM
LadyJean 28 Aug 03 - 11:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Aug 03 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 29 Aug 03 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,John Hardly 29 Aug 03 - 05:18 AM
Janie 29 Aug 03 - 08:13 AM
Nerd 29 Aug 03 - 09:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Aug 03 - 10:44 AM
John MacKenzie 29 Aug 03 - 03:07 PM
Art Thieme 29 Aug 03 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,John Hardly 29 Aug 03 - 10:36 PM
LadyJean 29 Aug 03 - 10:42 PM
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Subject: BS: Best recorded books
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 04:29 AM

If any of you are as addicted to recorded books as I, I thought you might enjoy sharing titles that are your "Best of" --meaning both good story line AND good production (i.e. good readers etc).

Of the hundreds to which I've listened, these are the best (so far).

1. Cold Mountain -Charles Frazier (read by auther)
2. Beach Music -Pat Conroy
3. This Rock -Robert Morgan (Gap Creek is done well too)
4. Prodigal Summer -Barbara Kingsolver (the "Turtle" series is done well too)
5. Dolores Claiborne -Stephen King (Though I'm not a huge fan - this book is so well done it makes my list)
6. Harry Potter -(read by Dale)
7. Name Of The Rose - Umberto Eco
5.


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 11:36 AM

Of all the ones I've listened to, most of the best are too numerous to mention. The worst, by far, was The Great Gatsby: thoroughly spoiled by the reader, whose name I have forgotten, speaking in a dreary and monotonous style. I'd better read it myself sometime. When I think of the names of the good readers I'll get back.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 11:46 AM

I like the unabridged readings of Tony Hillerman's novels, and I absolutely adore the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird by Sally Darling. And there are some spectacular readings of Faulkner, Go Down, Moses and other novels in various recorded book offerings. You can tell that these are stories that are meant to be read out loud. Others, like Thoreau's Walden lose something in the reading, because they're more "writerly" rather than "readerly" texts. That may be a distinction that needs more explanation to make sense to folks who haven't listened to a lot of these books.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 12:06 PM

Just two memorable ones for me:

On the basis of his riveting reading of John Gardner's "Grendel," I'd give anything read by George Guidall a listen. And Gardner's Grendel itself is a masterpiece, retelling the saga of Beowulf from the monster's perspective and making us think -- hard -- about whether being human is all it's cracked up to be.

(Girl book alert!) Also, Lorna Landvik's reading of her own "Patty Jane's House of Curl" is one of the funniest things I've ever heard...although the plot is liberally spiced with tragedy as well. This book is not great literature, but it's great entertainment. Landvik is a standup comic as well as a novelist, and she uses her delivery skills to bring startling wit to her already quirky characterizations. And oh, those Minnesotan Norwegian accents!

Thanks for asking.

Claire


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Nerd
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 12:40 PM

I like the Patrick Tull readings of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin series. And as an added bonus, ClaireBear, it is George Guidall who reads the cues to turn the tape over! My wife and I noticed this because we had just finished listening to a book read by him when we started one of the O'Brians.

Guidall also reads Michael Bond's Monsieur Pamplemousse novels, and he has a wonderfully laconic way of reading the passages dealing with the thoughts of Pommes Frites, M. P.'s dog. Those are really fun books, by the way, culinary mystery stories wrapped in bedroom farce, by the author of the Paddington bear children's books.

I also loved the unabridged version of Lord of the Rings. I can't think of the reader's name at the moment but a he's a great character actor. He also did The Hobbit.

Phillip Pullman's "His Dark materials" series has a full cast, which works very well. The guy who reads Iorek Byrnison is great!

I'm curious: does anyone have an opinion on the Hary Potter novels as read by Stephen Fry? I love the Jim Dale readings, but I love Stephen Fry in other things...


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 01:03 PM

Dave Barry's books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Wesley S
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 01:52 PM

I didn't know that anyone other than Jim Dale had done the Harry Potter books.

Does anyone ever rent books on tape by mail ? The local store that we rented books from is going out of business. We'd love to find a resource so that we wouldn't have to buy everything we wanted to read. Any suggestions ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 11:21 PM

I didn't name George Guidall when I mentioned the Hillerman books, but he is a big reason why they sound so good.

Yes, books are rented as well as loaned by libraries.

The two biggest (at least, those who produce the unabridged books I listen to) are Recorded Books and Books On Tape.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 10:12 AM

On our side of the pond (the rioght-hand side), Stephen Fry has read Harry Potter; haven't heard them, but I'd expect it to be very good. Many UK actors have excellent reading voices, though some are a surprising disapointment. The late Michael Hordern did the voice-over on the BBCs Paddington Bear tv series, as well as voicing Gandalf in the marvellous 80s Lord of the Rings dramatisation, and a brilliant Jeeves to Richard Briers' equally brilliant Wooster, both on Radio 4. Shame MH never did any books; don't know about RB; Michael Frayn is v good. Who's the tall snooty woman, cut-glass accent, big hair, who works with Victoria Wood? She's the one who wasn't too brill on the Pratchett (see my other post). And Jane Asher[? -- does all those cookery books for kids] has done some wonderful children's stories, perfectly good enough for adult consumption. Some of the Patrick O'Brians have been done well by Robert Hardy. Stephen King (there -- he's an American!) reads his own works really well (the Maine accents are very convincing!)

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 10:14 AM

Not Michael Frayn -- he's the author! Martin Jarvis, I meant; he's done some of MF's, among others.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Padre
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 11:19 PM

The Mitford series, by Jan Karon, and read by her is a wonderful set to have in the car while travelling.

Padre


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: LadyJean
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 11:26 PM

CAUTION: If you get the recorded version of Patrick O'Brian's "H.M.S Surprise", it has been edited. The wonderful scene with the debauched sloth was cut out. I learned this when I bought a copy for my cousin, who is blind. I was horribly disappointed when I found out. The sloth does not advance the plot, but it's so wonderfully silly!


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 11:56 PM

I enjoyed listening to a somewhat edited version of The Antelope Wife read by the author Louise Erdrich. She is very good at reading her own work. I wasn't impressed with Toni Morrison reading her work--she's too royal. I've heard snips of Zora Neale Hurston speaking and reading (from a Smithsonian collection, played on NPR), and wish she could have recorded her own books. There's a version of Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God that is marvelous--I just looked it up at the public library after seeing at Amazon that there is a new recorded version of it (Harper Audio, 2000) but I found the earlier one (1994), from Recorded Books, to be as near to perfect for that book that I am not interested in trying a different reader.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 04:05 AM

I generally prefer the full dramatisations from the BBC but the quality of readings is generally very good. The various Bernard Cornwall books are just the right level for playing on long journeys. Vagabond got me all the way to Whitby and part of the way back, I finished the journey with the Goons. The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill on Sea was just the thing to keep me going after a late night and 100 miles on the road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 05:18 AM

Those Cornwall books ARE good. Reminds me....the Patricia Cornwell books are pretty good....up until the last two or so...

...Scarpetta's losing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Janie
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 08:13 AM

Many excellent possibilities, but I think my absolute fav is "On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon" written and read by Kay Gibbons

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Nerd
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 09:57 AM

Yes, Steve and LadyJean, Patrick O'Brian books exist in two recorded forms: the unabridged are read by Patrick Tull, the abridged versions by Robert Hardy. Until recently it has been easier to find the abridged Robert Hardy versions, but here in the US Borders has licensed the Patrick Tull versions, so if you go to a Borders shop they either will have them or can order them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:44 AM

One of the recorded book companies was running a special a couple of years ago and had a free download of Twain's Huck Finn that I put on 16 CDs. I've looked and can find that offer, so it was probably a test to see how many would take the time and trouble to download a book. I don't see download as an option at the few places I visited this morning. Here is a list from Yahoo of the purveyors of books that have been recorded.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 03:07 PM

I just bought a 4 cassette recording of Anna Massey reading Wild Swans. I've read the book, and the author was interviewed on Radio4 this week which was interesting, she's just released a book on Mao, which has taken years to write apparently. I have The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy,read by Diana Quick, and I can't recommend it enough. Don't do what I did, and listen to it in the car, it's hard to drive when your eyes are full of tears. We are so lucky in the UK to have Radio4 with all the book readings that happen on air. What with Bokk of the Week, and the Bedtime Story, not to mention the wonderful afternoon plays, we are spoilt for spoken word radio in the UK. The Woman's Hour book that finished today has been On the Banks of Plum Creek, I can't remember who wrote it, but it has been most enjoyable.
Giok...A member of the radio generation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 09:17 PM

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES read my the author, Fannie Flagg is just great.

Out Of Africa is good too. Also, Khalil Gibran's THE PROPHET.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:36 PM

Art,
I just finished (last month) listening to Flagg's "Standing In The Rainbow" -- a thoughroughly enjoyable listen. Just light enough to help me through a heavy work day! I like her unprtentious style.


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Subject: RE: BS: Best recorded books
From: LadyJean
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:42 PM

THANK YOU NERD! O


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