Sorry to be the bad guy. My son and I listened to InkHeart narrated by Lynn Redgrave, a great reader. He loved it so much that he kept asking me to get Inkspell. We only listened to the first few chapters. Brendon Frazer's monotonic reading killed the book. Ironic as the books are about a family of readers who are so wonderful that they actually bring things in the books to life. Avoid this reading of the book. (or maybe if you listen to this one first, it might be passable).
After finishing Inkheart (this book's prequel), I could hardly wait to hear more of Lynn Redgrave's magical narration of this wonderful story. I downloaded Inkspell in a hurry to listen, without realizing the narrator is not the same. While disappointed by this, the story is so good I thought it'd still be a worthwhile listen. Sadly, I was mistaken. This narrator is awful to the point of distraction. Fenoglio now sounds like Tony Danza. Seriously. Elinor's voice is shrill and hard on the ears. Mo's voice (which is supposed to be enchanting!) sounds thick and dumb. And there are some minor children characters whose words are just inaudible, due to the squeaky-fake-shrill voice the narrator gives them. I replayed these parts a few times, then gave up, figuring that since they're minor characters, what they say probably wasn't that important anyway. :\ Add in all the cheesy sound effects this narrator comes up with (apparently he envisions his audience of listeners to entirely consist of 4-year-olds), and it's just a total mess. I've stuck it out til halfway through the book, but simply can't take it anymore. It's a great story, but I'd rather just get a paper copy from the library. Such a shame, too, since Lynn Redgrave's reading of the 1st book was so utterly gorgeous. I can't believe I used not 1, but 2 credits on this waste of audio.
I really can't say anything much about the substance of this book because I was forced to stop listening after about half an hour. Brendan Fraser's awful narration makes it physically impossible to listen to it. He's a wonderful actor, but the worst audio book narrator of all time. I absolutely loved Inkheart with Lynn Redgrave's wonderful narration and was greatly looking forward to this. Sadly, it was not to be.
Please please please re-produce this with Lynn Redgrave!
Count me among those who hated the narration. I appreciate the difficulties of doing accents and some of those that he did were good. However, some were absurd. Fenoglio is Italian, not Ital-Americano. Why on earth did Fraser make him sound like a New York cabbie? And why did Orpheus have an unattractive kind of southern drawl? The Black Prince's accent was all over the place. And I agree with the other reviewer who thought that the "gratuitous...pauses...for...emphasis" were highly annoying. I loved the first narration by Redgrave and look forward to the next one.
I love the series and enjoy listening to audio books, particularly while doing housework (ugh) or while driving - it keeps my mind off the horrible Roman traffic!
As many listeners(readers) I was thrilled with the first adaptation. At first listen I was thrown off and my equillibrium took quite some time to recover. Brendan Frasier took some getting used to, but it seemed he caught his stride by the end of the story. I would be careful next time to take a listen before, I buy, but overall, if listening purely for story sake, it was good and I will purchase the next. Just not sure if it will be something I can actually turn the page of or something I can listen too.
I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
Unlike (and I know I bash Potter too much)Rowlings books, the second installation of Inkheart still held my interest. The world inside the book remains realistic and the characters, despite admitted dimensionality stay clever. If you liked the first one, this is realiably more of the same.
The story was imaginative but it was clearly geared to young adults. It did not hold my interest. The characters were simplistic - good or bad with the one exception. If anyone like the Harry Potter books, this would be another choice for them to read. Otherwise, don't bother.
This book is like none other I've ever read (or listened to)and I love it. The premise of the story is so different and captivating. Brendan Fraser is the perfect narrator for the audio book. His voice is deep, smooth and mellow...perfect for being able to put you in the story.
Just finished a 10-day driving vacation with family and this was an excellent listen for the entire group (ages 10-16 and adults). Having read/listened to the first book is helpful, but wasn't necessary as we had some who hadn't heard it yet. The story is self-contained enough to enthrall. Don't be dissuaded by the fact that it's classified as a children's book - it's a well-written and captivating tale.
The book was fun, exciting, and well-paced, as all of Cornelia Funke's works are. (BTW anyone know why she writes under a different name in Germany???) Anyway I liked Brendan Frasers reading of Dragon Rider, but found him really annoying in this book. He used horrible voices for Elenor and most little children. For me, his overacted narration bumped the book from 4 1/2 to 3 stars.