I'm not blind drunk, I'm just blind.
For those who didn't get the title, Simon Jones is probably best known by some as the voice of Arthur Dent in the BBC's TV and radio adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But he does an excellent job of narrating audiobooks from what I've heard, particularly here.
The Amulet of Samarkand opens with the spirit Bartimaeus being summoned by the apprentice magician Nathaniel and ordered to steal a powerful artifact from a ruthless magician. Unfortunately for Nathaniel, he quickly finds himself in way over his head, involved in matters of treachery and intrigue. And to make matters even more complicated the wisecracking, sarcastic Bartimaeus has his own agenda.
I particularly like how the book switches from Nathaniel's point of view over to that of Bartimaeus, and particularly how when speaking from Bartimaeus' point of view it switches to first person narration. I particularly like Simon Jones' narration during these points, as he easily and perfectly captures Bartimaeus' witty, often scathing sense of humor. I haven't finished the book yet but I can't put it down for long. And when I've enough credits saved up I intend to purchase the rest of the trilogy.
For months I'd gone back and forth with myself about whether I was going to read the Twilight novels. But being blind, my only options were to either find them in braille, a medium which I find extremely tedious to be quite frank, or to listen to them. I tried at first to listen to the Library of Congress version, also known as the Talking Book version specifically recorded for us blind folks, but the narrator's voice ruined the story for me. But as is often the case in these situations, the commercially available audiobook was done much better. The story itself was far more interesting than I was expecting, always a plus, but Ilyana Kadushin's narration added just that little bit more to the pie, so to speak. Her smooth, slightly husky voice doesn't seem out of place, particularly when the character speaking is Edward Cullen or Jacob Black. I didn't hear the flatness that another reviewer complained about. I don't think they could have picked a better narrator unless perhaps it were Stephenie Meyer herself. Needless to say I'm glad I spent the two credits on this program, although I'll say right here and now that I messed up my sleep cycle for the next several weeks reading the entire series.
Three years have passed since the events of The Golem's Eye. The young magician Nathaniel, AKA John Mandrake, is now an established member of the British government. Things have not been going well for Britain in that time, however. Faring badly in several foreign wars and plagued by unrest from within, the country is already on the verge of flying apart. Things only get worse, however, with the surfacing of a surprising threat dating even back to the events of Amulet of Samarkand. Once again Nathaniel is forced to call upon the Djinni Bartimaeus, already weakened from too much time spent on Earth and Nathaniel's generally ill treatment of him. Aided now by Kitty Jones, the young resistance member who aided Nathaniel in stopping the GOlem three years before and was believed dead since tat time, the two must work to unravel a seemingly insurmountable plot. Onthe one hand a few rogue magicians seek to topple the government and eestablish it with themselves at the top, while a few of the most powerful spirits from the Other Place seek to punish humanity for misusing their powers.
All in all an extremely rivetting book with a shocking climax. As usual, narrator Simon Jones is in perfect form and I look forward to getting my paws on the fourth volume in this series once finances permit me to renew my Audible membership.