I feel as if I had always meant to read this, but for ten years just never could get around to it. Had I read it some years ago though, I think I should not have enjoyed it. It was sweet, and a good-hearted story, though at times it did break my heart. But it does preach and moralize so very often. It's as if it is a little instruction book for girls like the sisters, to teach virtue and piety - and it does present them quite plainly most of the time. And I was never one for being preached at. I am sure I could take a lesson and enjoy a story that was not so blatantly doing so, but this really does revolve around them so plainly, I'd likely have dropped off reading it before finishing more than a few chapters. But I was determined to see the story through and try not to mind it when they reflected on their burdens and sins and their pilgrim's progress.
It took me longer to finish than it should have. The story was not gripping, but I did hope to see happy ends for the girls. Though I was at times bored with tales of their poverty and homemaking, I did like Jo's poems and adventures with Laurie. I have heard many critics/reviewers say that those two should have fallen in love, but I think things turned out just as they ought. The concluding few chapters did brighten my mood after a mostly ambivalent (when not distressed by tragedy) feeling overall. It was a very pleasant scene to end on. Not at all the kind of life I live nor ever envisioned (for, even though it is set over 100 years ago, in many ways life is just the same, and some families do live as the Marches did).
Narration was well done, she had a good narrative voice, and adopted good voices for the various characters. I loved some of Jo and Laurie's little emotional outbursts and enthusiasms.
Sweet and mostly pleasing, but not my style. Good, but not good enough to return to. I'd give 3.5 stars if audible allowed fractions...
This wasn't quite the story I expected, though I might have. I think I saw the film adaptation with Jackie Chan and that guided my thoughts more than my recollection of Verne's style, having read Journey to the Center of the Earth a few years ago.
It was an adventure, and quite the travel log, but I was off-put at first by the protagonist's attitude. He was precision personified, but inaffable and emotionless. It lead to better relating to Passpartout, perhaps intentionally by Verne, while still rooting for Fogg from a more detached perspective. Each up and down, each new challenge and obstacle was better felt through the Frenchman, who was often "on tender hooks", rather than the passive and unconcerned expressions of his master. Nonetheless it was a fun ride and kept me rapt to learn how they would make each new stretch of the journey on time. The antics and sidebar excitements were entertaining. I noticed how Verne repeatedly described the new locations, listing the people and flora and fauna, cultural practices (these through his own biased cultural lens of the time, of course) and places, and everything imaginable, and at the same time discounts all of these wonders which he just took the time to list extensively, almost scientifically, commenting that none of this mattered to Fogg who hardly noticed any of his surroundings and that that was fine because he wasn't there to sight-see. I found it almost laughable at times. And at the last, I laughed and shook my head at them, because even before all that talk of Passpartout's watch and meridians, I had thought of the international date line, and they had not.
The narration was done beautifully by Dale. The many accents around the world were well affected, and dialogue never suffered voice confusions. The inclusion in this edition of music from around the world (corresponding to each present location) at the beginning of each chapter was startling and a little annoying at first, but I acclimated to it by the time they'd reached Calcutta and rather enjoyed it from Japan on homewards.
A fun diversion, well worth the listen.
Rather different tale than I expected. To say the least, the 1930s movie took some liberties. Like about what happened with the witch of the west, and the story of the winged monkeys...
An odd little story. Plenty of unique colorful characters. I was particularly struck by the extended journey taken after the wizard disappeared, like traveling through the land of china/porcelain people.
Hathaway was a decent narrator, though I wasn't wild about some of the voices she affected. I literally jumped out of my seat at the shrill voice of the mice outside the poppy field. A good performance though.