"Well read, well done!"
Ok! I read the reviews and listened to the sample and thought OMG this guy is awful. My favourite book that i've read three times utterly trashed by this David Chase lovvie! But the thing is that once you've got over the upper class accent that the reader has ( or puts on) the sheer majesty of the book takes over. Ok, Blackthorne doesn't sound like Richard Chamberlain ( I watched the TV series as a kid) he sounds more like Long John Silver from Treasure Island ( the Walt Disney version) but that is fine once you get used to David Chase's interpretation. He also, and lets be honest, has a really good go at the japanese words and phrases that we all really couldn't be bothered with when we read the book. I also wouldn't know a spanish accent from a portugese nor would I recognise a Dutch but the reader makes a good attempt at bringing the periforal characters to life by giving them voices and accents that sets them apart from the main characters. Well read, well done!
"Great story - terrible narrator"
Can someone speak any blander? I did not know it was possible to make such a good story such a crashing bore. The tonal monotony surely could not be matched. Not even worth the cost of the monthly membership, let alone the full price if I didn't have a credit. A real shame - Clavell would be turning in his grave.
"What a shame but what a story!"
This book has been on my ?around-to-it? read again list since that first time in the late-seventies. It is tale of action, romance, and intrigue slowly unfolding against the historical background of feudal Japan at the time of the Black Ships. For some obscure reason it is read in a stereo-typical prissy English accent sounding like some bureaucrat in need of syrup of figs! Regrettably I didn?t listen to the sample before purchasing but, fortunately, found that it was possible to let the more irritating aspects of reader?s voice fade away in favour of the superb and gripping story ? but be warned! If you can get past the voice you will find a , well crafted story which shows no signs of aging and, although many would put it in the deck chair category, in my opinion should be counted as one of the modern classics. Story five stars? sound? sorry maybe one at a push.
"Great book - shame about the reader"
Shogun is a wonderful, sweeping historical novel that transports the reader to another time and place with great skill. Unfortunately, however, the lack of skill of the reader lets this novel down badly. David Chase reads the book as though he is extremely bored. He has an off-hand quality about his reading that hints that he has got better things to do than read to us. Things improve when we get to the parts of the book with plenty of dialogue, and he does manage to add flesh to the characters through his use of voices. But once we get back to more than a paragraph of prose he's back to his worst again. I would still recommend Shogun as Clavell's writing is good enough to rise above Chase's sabotage, but my recommendation comes with a warning.
The book went on for 50 hours but I was still wanting more when it finished. A glorious insight into life in Japan in days of yore and the book was so well researched that I felt I was being educated as well as entertained. The story was a tale of fear, oppression and, thank goodness, love! A rattling good yarn and I really enjoyed the style of the reader who brought the characters to life for me. Thoroughly 5 star listen, I was both chilled by descriptions of ruthless tyranny and thrilled by the gripping tale.