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Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Friday, April 10, 2015

Audio Review: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: Mary Poppins by P.L. TraversMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Narrator: Sophie Thompson
Series: Mary Poppins,
Published by Blackstone Audio on 1934
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Fantasy, Friendship, Middle Grade
Length: 3 hours 50 min
Format: Audiobook
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Place(s) Traveled To: London, England (early 1900s)

First Line(s): If you want to find Cherry-Tree Lane all you have to do is ask the Policeman at the cross-roads

Growing up, one of my favorite movies was Mary Poppins, I loved the music and the stories and the magic of it all. I didn’t realize it was a book until I was much older and then never really found the time to explore the original story until recently. Recently being after I watched the movie, Saving Mr Banks and I became interested in this story all over again. Overall, the story was ok but the book wasn’t really a book in that there was one cohesive story. Instead, Mary Poppins, seemed to be a series of vignettes and they didn’t really mesh well together. The whole thing seemed a little disjointed and lacked the magic and imagery that I was expecting.

I also HATED the character of Mary Poppins. She was vain and vile and one of the most dislikable characters that I’ve ever had the displeasure to meet. Listening to this story also made me realize just how much Disney changed from book to screen and while normally I am very opposed by this I think that in this case it was for the better. Disney pulled out all the very best of the book and put them on screen and left out those parts that just made no sense to the story. But most importantly they made Mary Poppins into a likable, lovable person.

The narrator, Sophie Thompson, was just so-so but she spoke very softly so when I listened to this one I had to have the volume turned up really loudly. If this audio was any longer than I probably would have ended up DNF’ing it. Just as I think I would have DNF’d the book if I had picked that up in place of the audio. Mary Poppins was not a good book and I have no plans on continuing with this series. In some ways I almost wish I could more easily forget this story so that the only version that I knew of was the Disney version.


Mary Poppins Quote


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Audio Review: Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Audiobook, Review2 Comments

Audio Review: Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew QuickSilver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Narrator: Ray Porter
Published by Blackstone Audio on 09 October 2008
Genres: Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes
Format: Audiobook
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Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland // Collingswood, New Jersey // Voorhees, New Jersey // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): I don’t have to look up to know that Mom is making another surprise visit.

I first became interested in Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick when I learned that the 2012 film of the same name was based on a book. The movie looked interesting enough and I had wanted to read the book before seeing it as that is my preference when it comes to movies based on books. But as sometimes happens life got in the way and the movie and book faded from my mind until I stumbled across it on Netflix. Needing a new audiobook around that time I decided to listen to this one and then watch the movie. The first thing that grabbed me with this audiobook was the narrator, Ray Porter. I just loved his voice and how he became Pat Peoples. I loved his energy and the humor he brought to this story as well as all the various other emotions that Pat goes through over the course of the book. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, narrators really make or break and audio and Ray Porter definitely makes this one.

That said, I will admit that if I’d read this one in print there were sections of the book that I would have skipped. Not the main story but all the football chants that filled this book. These things are easy to glance over in print but with an audio you just have to sit back and suffer through them. Hoping against hope with each one that it will be the last. And then being disappointed when it isn’t because Pat Peoples, and most of the people that he knows, are obsessed with Eagles football and they spend a lot of time watching football, talking football, and going to football games. Which for this, non-sportsing person, was akin to mild torture. But as Pat is only just reclaiming his life from being in a mental health facility I can accept that those around him want to keep things simple as he eases back into the real world.

Silver Linings Playbook Quote

Then Pat meets Tiffany, who is also dealing with mental health issues, and the two form a strange bond. Pat wants to become this ideal man to win back his ex-wife and Tiffany wants to win this upcoming dance competition. Tiffany convinces Pat that she’ll help him with Nikki if he gives up football (in all forms) and trains for the competition with her. At first, I was a bit happy with this as “yay no more sportsing talk!” but then the more I thought about it and the more this section of the book progressed I liked it less and less. Despite all of Pat’s flaws, I liked him. Deep down he was  a sweet guy who was just dealing with a lot of stuff. Tiffany, on the other hand, was such a hard personality to like. She was mean and controlling and I just could not connect with her character. I just wasn’t a fan and never felt any chemistry between Pat and Tiffany which made this part of the book harder to get through as I wasn’t engaged.

Overall, I liked Silver Linings Playbook, and I enjoyed Pat’s outlook on life. I liked that he was always searching for that silver lining though the path he took may not have always been the best one. I thought the book was realistic and well written and I am interested to see how it plays out on film. I started it while on vacation last October but the connection was bad and watching on a laptop isn’t always the most ideal so I still need to sit down with this one. Silver Linings Playbook is definitely not for everyone but it wasn’t a bad read and if you at all curious about it then you should probably give it a read.





IR - Silver Linings Playbook

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