A Christmas Carol read by Tim Curry ★★★★✬

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: A Christmas Carol read by Tim Curry
Author: Charles Dickens
Narrator: Tim Curry
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Length: 3hrs, 31minutes
(Pages: 98)
(Words: 28K)



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

The book is divided into five chapters, which Dickens titled “staves”.

Stave one

A Christmas Carol opens on a bleak, cold Christmas Eve in London, seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge, an ageing miser, dislikes Christmas and refuses a dinner invitation from his nephew Fred—the son of Fan, Scrooge’s dead sister. He turns away two men who seek a donation from him to provide food and heating for the poor and only grudgingly allows his overworked, underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, Christmas Day off with pay to conform to the social custom.

That night Scrooge is visited at home by Marley’s ghost, who wanders the Earth entwined by heavy chains and money boxes forged during a lifetime of greed and selfishness. Marley tells Scrooge that he has a single chance to avoid the same fate: he will be visited by three spirits and must listen or be cursed to carry much heavier chains of his own.

Stave two

The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of Scrooge’s boyhood, reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. The scenes reveal Scrooge’s lonely childhood at boarding school, his relationship with his beloved sister Fan, and a Christmas party hosted by his first employer, Mr Fezziwig, who treated him like a son. Scrooge’s neglected fiancée Belle is shown ending their relationship, as she realises that he will never love her as much as he loves money. Finally, they visit a now-married Belle with her large, happy family on the Christmas Eve that Marley died. Scrooge, upset by hearing Belle’s description of the man that he has become, demands that the ghost remove him from the house.

Stave three

The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to a joyous market with people buying the makings of Christmas dinner and to celebrations of Christmas in a miner’s cottage and in a lighthouse. Scrooge and the ghost also visit Fred’s Christmas party. A major part of this stave is taken up with Bob Cratchit’s family feast and introduces his youngest son, Tiny Tim, a happy boy who is seriously ill. The spirit informs Scrooge that Tiny Tim will die unless the course of events changes. Before disappearing, the spirit shows Scrooge two hideous, emaciated children named Ignorance and Want. He tells Scrooge to beware the former above all and mocks Scrooge’s concern for their welfare.

Stave four

The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge a Christmas Day in the future. The silent ghost reveals scenes involving the death of a disliked man whose funeral is attended by local businessmen only on condition that lunch is provided. His charwoman, laundress and the local undertaker steal his possessions to sell to a fence. When he asks the spirit to show a single person who feels emotion over his death, he is only given the pleasure of a poor couple who rejoice that his death gives them more time to put their finances in order. When Scrooge asks to see tenderness connected with any death, the ghost shows him Bob Cratchit and his family mourning the death of Tiny Tim. The ghost then allows Scrooge to see a neglected grave, with a tombstone bearing Scrooge’s name. Sobbing, Scrooge pledges to change his ways.

Stave five

Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning a changed man. He makes a large donation to the charity he rejected the previous day, anonymously sends a large turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner and spends the afternoon with Fred’s family. The following day he gives Cratchit an increase in pay, and begins to become a father figure to Tiny Tim. From then on Scrooge treats everyone with kindness, generosity and compassion, embodying the spirit of Christmas.

My Thoughts:

Most people know the story of A Christmas Carol already. This review, therefore, is going to be more about the audio side of things, as I listened to this read by Tim Curry. When I did my Currently Reading post about this last month I was very excited to hear this in Curry’s voice.

So how did it turn out? Overall, pretty good.

Listening to this, instead of reading it, allowed me to focus on different aspects that what I’ve concentrated on before and brought to the fore little things. Like the fact that Bob and Tiny Tim attended church services, or that Scrooge began attending church as part of his changed nature. Descriptions of the surroundings or of secondary characters that I’d read over like a steamroller, were allowed a new lease on life due to the magic of Curry’s voice.

I liked Curry’s reading of this. Except for one thing. Scrooge’s voice. It’s a big thing and that’s why I kept this at 4.5stars instead of bumping it up to 5. Curry turns Scrooge into this whining voice that just barely avoided being annoying. While he still conveys the fear, the excitement, the remorse, that is in each of Scrooge’s talks to the various spirits, it is all done in that tone. It is a big enough thing that I suspect I won’t be listening to this version again but will try the one read by Patrick Stewart, or I’ll just read it myself.

I did find out, in the Currently Reading post’s comments section, that Curry had suffered a major stroke and was wheelchair bound. Reading his wiki page, that happened in 2012 and this was produced in 2016. I’d never have guessed it from his voice here though.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

ps,
I am taking part in Anna the Book Critter’s Linkup Party with this review. Feel free to head over to her site and check it out.

Currently Reading: A Christmas Carol read by Tim Curry

Last month, in October, I had mistakenly asked The Book Drunkard and her husband SavageDave if they had listened to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow read by Tim Curry. Neither of them had and I couldn’t find any version, so I gave it up. Turns out it was because I was being a numpty and getting my stories mixed up. Thankfully, I’ve got it right this time. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and read by Tim Curry? YES PLEASE!

Tim Curry has a great voice and I am really looking forward to this.

The Great Controversy (Non-Fiction) (Audio) ★★★☆☆

gc-white (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 
Title: The Great Controversy
Series: ——-
Author: Ellen White
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: Lots of Minutes
Format: Audio Edition

 

 

Synopsis:

A history of the True Church, the Remnant, according to Ellen White. Also goes into the details of the Tribulation and makes plain the prophecies written in Daniel and Revelation about the end of the world and Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.

 

My Thoughts:

I suspect ones’ appreciation for this book will vary according to how much weight you put on Ellen White being a prophetess. If you believe that she was, you’ll take this book in the spirit in which it was written. Much like the Book of Acts, statements of fact. If you don’t believe she was a prophetess, you’ll have to dismiss much of this book. And if, like me, you’re ambivalent or on the line, there will be lots you agree with and lots you’ll dismiss.

I go to an Adventist church and I keep Saturday, the 7th Day, as the Sabbath. I also have no problems with modern day prophets. Revelations makes it clear that there will be 2 final prophets in the end days and layered prophecy about John the Baptist makes it clear that there will be a second “Elijah” to foretell about Christ’s second coming.

With all of that being said, I am not convinced that Ellen White was a prophetess with God’s authority inspiring her writings. She was a Godly woman who was smart and I don’t automatically dismiss her teachings, but much of what she writes can only be accepted if you believe that she had the authority to say it in the first place. Her re-interpretations of the Millerite calculations about the dates in Revelations leave a LOT to be desired [ie, they’re vague as all get out. Which is contrary to her claims of having worked it all out. If you can’t say when Christ is coming back, don’t say you can]

The good side of things is the emphasis on the Sabbath as the Commandment that most of the church has thrown aside. I’m a big Saturday Sabbath keeper, always have been and its just refreshing to hear someone say so without a lot of the flummery that modern protestants use to justify Sunday as the Sabbath [as opposed to the Lord’s Day].

I listened to the audio version put out by the Ellen White Estate, which was free at http://ellenwhiteaudio.org/great-controversy/ and narrated by Dennis Berlin. I put it on my phone and listened to and from work. So I’d get little chunks here and there. I started this last September. In another month or two I’ll probably download another of White’s books and start listening to it as well.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

The Endless Knot (Song of Albion #3) (Audio)

c65bed0b1c8c6d2a0155f281ee11d90bThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Endless Knot

Series: Song of Albion

Author: Stephen Lawhead

Narrator: Robert Whitfield

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Minutes: 740

Format: Audio Book edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Lhew Silverhand reigns in Albion. But his and Cynan’s wives are abducted and against the wishes of his Bard, Lhew and Crew head to the cursed land to mount a rescue.

Lots of bad things happen in the Cursed Land and eventually Lhew comes face to face with Simon, who surprise, surprise, didn’t die. Instead, Simon is now looting the Other World and sending it all back to our world, which puts both worlds at risk of dissolution.

Simon kills Lhew, takes the Stones of Albion for himself and then the stones kill all the badguys and remake the Cursed Land back into what it was supposed to be.

Lewis wakes up in our world and with the help of Susanna, begins to record his memories.

 

My Thoughts:

I remembered the beginning of this book and the end, but absolutely NOTHING in the middle. So the whole journey/adventure in the Cursed Land was akin to reading a whole new story.

The narrator was different from the previous 2 books and I didn’t particularly care for his pronunciation of certain words. Biggest one was the henchmen Palladyr. In the previous book, and in my head, it was pronounced “Palla Deer”. This new narrator pronounced it “Pa Ladder”.  A change of emphasis on syllables, but it is still annoying.

Listening to this, Lewis comes across as a whiny, selfish man. I really want to read the books again to see if that comes through in the writing or if it just the take I get from the audio because I don’t remember him being that way at all when I read this 16 years ago.

Overall, I liked the story but I did not like the narrator having his way with the words I was listening to.  I am going to try another trilogy of audio books because I really like filling in that 20min gap to and from work, but if the next audio experiment falls flat, I’m just going to give up on the format.

The Silver Hand (Song of Albion #2) (Audio)

2ac499243d5b7a7f7c0b429af6e3c32cThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Silver Hand

Series: Song of Albion

Author/Narrator: Stephen Lawhead, Stuart Langton

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Minutes: 760

Format: Audible audio edition

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Lewis, now known as Lhew, has been proclaimed King by Tegid. However, poisoned by Simon, Meldrawn kills all the bards of Prydain, blinds Tegid and cuts off Lhew’s hand, thus making it impossible for him to be king.

Lhew and Tegid make their way to Caladon where they find a small hidden valley to rest and recover. Meanwhile, Meldrawn begins to conquer all of Prydain, using bribes, fear and intimidation. Lhew begins to create a safe haven and refugees from all over come to be safe from the predations of Meldrawn.

Eventually, Meldrawn and his host, led by Simon, find Lhew. A battle ensues and while things go bad for Lhew, roles are reversed in the end and Meldrawn dies, Lhew is magically given a silver hand and Simon is sent back to our world, supposedly with a mortal wound.

 

My Thoughts:

I had forgotten that the whole book happens before the Silver Hand actually occurs. Also, the point of view is from Tegid instead of Lewis this time around. Considering that he is blind, but magically given inner sight, it all works out. There were times however,  where the inner sight, leaving or coming, felt like the contrivance it was.

I like this story. I like this book. But this whole audio thing is just killing it for me. I’m currently listening to book 3 but after that, I think I’ll stick to books that I don’t really care about and are filler. The odd thing is, I grew up with my mother reading to me before I could. I loved it. It was a huge part of me learning to love books and the written word. But now, I don’t know. Maybe it is because when I read, I want to be in total control and a narrator takes a big part of that away?

With that being said, I’m definitely not giving up on audio books. If I can listen to an extra book a month to and from work, that is 12 extra books a year. Considering that my average rating is 3.1, and half my reads are filler anyway, using filler books for audio doesn’t seem like a waste. It is an efficient way to utilize 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon. And right now at my stage in life, consuming books like pixie dust is my goal.

The Paradise War (Song of Albion #1)

afd1451a9808161194404eaab164749eThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Paradise War

Series: Song of Albion

Author/Narrator: Stephen Lawhead, Stuart Langston

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy

Minutes: 795

Format: Audible audio edition

 

Synopsis:

Lewis and Simon, 2 graduate students at Oxford, stumble upon a portal to another world. Simon goes through and Lewis stays behind. Upon investigation, Lewis finds out that the veil between the worlds is thinning and that passage between and our presence over there, could irreparably damage both worlds.

So Lewis crosses over to rescue Simon and to save both worlds.

Only to discover that the other world is everything our world is but bigger, brighter, better. Lewis is seduced into staying and becomes a warrior. Upon his finishing Warrior School, bad things begin to happen and it appears that it is up to him to set things right.

But how does one fight against the lord of the underworld, his undead and demonic forces while your allies are filled with jealously, greed and self?

And when betrayal of the ultimate kind happens, Lewis realizes that he and Simon MUST go back to their own world.

 

My Thoughts:

Read and bought these as they came out in the 90’s. Re-read them in 2000 and then they’ve sat on my shelf, looking awesome. I thought about using these in my Project Re-read, but I have been wanting to explore the “Audio” side of books and figured that this trilogy would be a good experiment for that.

I enjoyed this just as much as I did almost 25 years ago. The story, the action, the magic were all still there. I listened to this on my drive to and from work and there were several times where, once I got home, that I just left my bluetooth connected and kept it playing from my phone until I forced myself to stop. If I had been reading this, I suspect it would have been demolished in a day or 3 at most.  I did notice how whiny Lewis was and that he was pretty much a wish-fulfillment of Lawhead’s.

As for Audio. I found that it took very little to distract me while listening and that I would then miss some of the book. I tried to go into a grocery store on my way home once and I ended up just stopping the book because I couldn’t pay attention.  It also took me quite a while to get used to the narrator. I didn’t really like him but by the end I had gotten to the point where he didn’t bother me. I think he does the next 2 books as well, so it is just as well that I’m resigned to him.

The Jedi Doth Return (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars #3)

5fd17a25cc4b7d74e6ea8ccc06138926This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Jedi Doth Return

Series: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Author: Ian Doescher

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Minutes: 215

Format: Audio book

 

 

 

Synopsis:

No summary, why bother? I know this story beyond what I care about.

 

My Thoughts:

I ended up listening to half of this while working at the office the other weekend. And that was a problem. I knew this story, so I didn’t feel it necessary to actually listen to this and hence I would simply zone out and miss huge chunks of the story.

Which was ok since I knew the story.

But if this had been another book, it would have been a complete failure and I would have missed so much that nothing would have made sense. It did make me realize that I can only listen to audiobooks while driving to and from work.

Murder on the Orient Elite (Grimnoir Chronicles #3.5)

coverThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Murder on the Orient Elite

Series: Grimnoir Chronicles

Author: Larry Correia

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Minutes: 74

Format: Audio

 

 

Synopsis:

A short story after the end of the truly awesome Grimnoir Chronicles trilogy.

Jake Sullivan must save a luxury air yacht from unknown forces. Sadly for him, that includes the Imperium, the newly strengthened Russians, a German psycho and even possibly his own employer.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I loved the Grimnoir books dearly. I think they are the best that Correia has written and so I was happy to jump into this, especially after Buyer of Gadgets glowing Review.

Thankfully, Jake Sullivan was still the same heavy with the same humor as in the trilogy.  He’s strong and capable and wicked smart. I really enjoy intelligent characters and ones that have a dry, wry sense of humor are even better. Everything that intrigued me about the original trilogy is here in this short story as well.

The narrator does a good job of switching voices so it was very easy to tell who was talking and conversations weren’t awkward because of trying to figure out which character was speaking.

I got this for free back when it was released, but it took me a long time to get around to it. There is another Grimnoir Chronicles that takes place much later in time and I’ll eventually track that down as well. I just can’t quite stomach paying $4 for 60 minutes of audio.

The Empire Striketh Back (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars #2)

f3199848fe918afd1cc4d47eed697e6eThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Empire Striketh Back

Series: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Author: Ian Doescher

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Minutes: 205

Format: Audio book

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Star Wars Saga continues, but in addition to iambec pentameter, we also get haiku (5-7-5) and prose. Prose from Boba Fett.

 

My Thoughts:

My first audio book. I listened to this going to and from work and it worked very well. Since I already knew the story, it was easy to just listen and go with the flow.

I have to say, this was a much BETTER version than just reading it. Shakespeare is meant to  be on the stage and since Doescher copies it all, this is meant to be read aloud too.

In regards to audio, I still don’t think it is for me. I find it too easy to simply relegate what I am hearing as background noise and hence simply tune it out. After the next book in this trilogy, I’ll probably look for some of Shakespeare’s plays and simply listen to them as well. My commute is only about 20min, so that is a good amount of time for little chunks of audio.