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  • gilwilson 5:53 PM on March 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fairy tales, fairytale, ,   

    Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts By: Roald Dahl 

    Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts By: Roald Dahl17707729
    Narrated by: Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, Miriam Margolyes
    Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
    Release date: 09-26-13
    Publisher: Listening Library

    I have a collection of Roald Dahl audiobooks to get through and so I’ll continue with this one. From the man who brought you Willy Wonka, James & the Giant Peach, and so many more, this short collection is a great side from the longer writings by Dahl. Each one of these books and collections of stories seem to have something different to say and show another side of Roald Dahl.

    If you’ve ever read the books “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or “James and the Giant Peach” then you pretty well know the magical worlds Roald Dahl has created. I loved the books the movies and everything associated with the two books mentioned and when my son was learning to read I made sure to read him the books and watch the movies as he got older. I was aware of other titles by Dahl but just never took the time, that is until recently. The recent excursion into the writings of Roald Dahl is all thanks to Penguin Audio. Penguin has recently released all of Dahl’s stories in excellent audiobook form. Each book is rather short and perfect company for my commutes to work and any other trip I need to make.

    In the first section of this audiobook you have Revolting Rhymes where Dahl takes a turn at re-telling classic fairy tales. The one that seems to draw a lot of attention is the Cinderella story. This one has a section where the prince beheads Cinderella’s step-sisters and then turns to Cinderella and asks “who’s this dirty slut? off with her nut, off with her nut!” Hmmmm, slut in a kids story? Maybe more of an adult aimed story. Just be careful with it, and be aware.

    The readers all have something to contribute and make each story fun, but to be completely honest, there were times where their reading nearly put me to sleep.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Revolting Rhymes

    Did you think Cinderella married the prince and lived happily ever after, or that the three little pigs outsmarted the wolf? Think again! Master storyteller Roald Dahl adds his own darkly comic twists to six favorite tales, complete with rambunctious rhymes and hilarious surprise endings.

    Dirty Beasts

    Roald Dahl’s inimitable style and humor shine in this collection of poems about mischievous and mysterious animals. From Stingaling the scorpion to Crocky-Wock the crocodile, Dahl’s animals are nothing short of ridiculous. A clever pig with an unmentionable plan to save his own bacon and an anteater with an unusually large appetite are among the characters created by Dahl in these timeless rhymes. This new, larger edition is perfect for listening.

    ©2009 Roald Dahl (P)2009 Penguin Audio

  • gilwilson 10:23 PM on February 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , fairytale, , lesley livingston, midsummer's night dream, , , wondrous strange,   

    “Wondrous Strange” by Lesley Livingston 

    “Wondrous Strange”
    by Lesley Livingston
    read by author
    Produced by Harper Audio
    Approx 7 Hours

    Kelly Winslow, an aspiring actress in New York City, has just had her big break, when the actress portraying Titania in Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” has been injured and Kelly goes from being the understudy to the lead actress.  But not all is as good as it seems.  Kelly soon learns the world of Fairy and Fae is real, and worse yet, the Winter King, Oberon is not only real but is her real father.  This at first may sound good to suddenly find you are a Fairy Princess, but the Fairy-folk are really not a friendly bunch.   Someone in the Fairy world has decided they don’t want Kelly to realize her birthright.

    The troubles all begin when Kelly is rehearsing her lines in Central Park and Sonny Flannery, a Janus Guard for King Oberon (unbeknownst to Kelly) notices something different about Kelly.  Spying on her from the bushes he sees she is having a bad day (seems she forgot her lines during rehearsal and the director was a bit cruel).  Sonny can’t shake the feeling that she is different from most humans so curious he presents her with a rose.  Kelly asks why and Sonny says you look like you needed something nice.   When they part Kelly begins walking home through Central Park and hears the sound of someone screaming from a pond.  It turns out not to be someone but a something, a horse.  With Sonny long gone, Kelly realizes no one is around to help so she dives in to save the drowning horse.  Kelly risks her life to save the horse that seems to be tangled in the vegetation of the bottom of the pond.

    The next day Sonny discovers the area where someone was dragged on shore the mud in the grass and some mysterious black beads and copper colored horse’s hairs.   Sonny knows the hairs for what they are, Kelpie hairs.   Kelpies are fairy creatures that lure people into the water and eat them.  When Sonny finds Kelly’s script nearby he fears the worst.   Sonny shows Oberon the beads which Oberon immediately knows them as part of a spell that is set to begin the Great Hunt in which all the evils of the fairy world will be unleashed into the mortal world killing all in sight until the quarry is found.  This time the target is Oberon’s daughter.

    Sonny must save Kelly from the fairyworld by letting her know who she is.  At the same time he must find out who is trying to unleash the Hunt.  He suspects Queen Maab, but with a very interesting twist in the tale, the author, Lesley Livingston, creates a bit of a mystery into this fairy tale set in modern day New York City.  Very entertaining bit of young adult fiction that will keep you enthralled until the end.   This book is part one of a three book series but is easily a standalone novel.

    I have to note that at first I was a bit leery at the idea of the author reading her own work as the audiobook.  While the authors may have a great feel for what is in the book, the performance as a reader can sometimes lack.  Not so with Lesley Livingstone, she does a superb job of performing the many different voices and expressing all necessary emotion.  This audiobook is an excellent choice from that aspect alone.

  • gilwilson 10:44 PM on October 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alex flinn, , , beastly, beauty and the beast, , , , fairytale, modern,   

    “Beastly” by Alex Flinn 

    by Alex Flinn
    read by Chris Patton
    Produced by Brilliance Audio, 2010

    So I’m out looking for something different to hear as an audiobook, and I look through the young adult section of listings and run across this book, “Beastly.”  With young adult fiction it can be hit or miss, you can count big hits in the Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket series of books but when I tried the “Twilight” series I was let down.  This book looked like a promising telling of a classic story.  The premise of the book is based on the traditional fairytale “The Beauty and the Beast.”  The author researched various versions of the fairytale, and even makes some reference to them throughout the book.

    This is by no means the Disneyfied version, so if you are looking for that type of fun, musical story with a happy ending, it’s not this one.  This version of the story, while encapsulating the full meaning and feel of the classic, brings the story to modern times with some nice teen angst, cliques and materialistic views of life.

    In this book Kyle Kingsbury, the rich, handsome son of Rob Kingsbury, a famous news anchor, has lived all his life thinking that looks and money are all you need in life.  He seems to be living proof of that, he dates the hottest girls and is the most popular guy in school.  But when Kyle asks a not so good looking new student, Kendra, to the prom as a practical joke, Kendra, transforms Kyle into an ugly man who then turns into a beast.  It turns out Kendra is really a beautiful witch.

    Kyle’s father is ashamed of his son’s appearance and locks him in a large apartment in downtown New York so no one will see him. Kyle’s only company is his housekeeper, and, later, a blind tutor named Will and his dog. Kyle changes his name to “Adrian”, which means “dark one”. His only happiness comes from the rose garden he plants and maintains in his small backyard, encouraged by Will. Adrian has two years to break the witch’s spell by falling in love and being loved sincerely despite physical appearances.

    The Beauty in this story comes in the form of Lindy.  Lindy is a poor girl who attends Kyle’s school by scholarships.  Her only hope to get away from her poverty stricken life, taking care of her drug abusing father is to maintain her grades.  In being the bookworm sort she has gone through the school unnoticed.  She does have a crush on Kyle, and at the same prom where Kyle is turned into the beaste, Kyle gives her a white rose, only because his girlfriend wanted an orchid and wouldn’t wear a “cheap rose.”  This event is big to Lindy, but Kyle sees it as insignificant.

    A man breaks into Kyle’s/Adrian’s rose garden and when the Beast confronts him the man pleads for his life and offers his daughter to the beast to avoid the police.  Kyle learns this is Lindy’s father and finds this could be his last chance to find true love and break the curse.  Kyle takes Lindy in and he must discover the secrets to true love and find his way to her heart.

    I will warn you once again this is not a Disney version and the Happy Ending is relative.  The reader, Chris Patton delivers the story with perfect intonation of all emotions and character quirks that at times I almost thought I was listening to a multi-cast performance.

    The interesting thing I discovered is that this book has been turned into a movie, that will be released in 2011.


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