I stuck with this book and was pleased with the plot and characters. Very enjoyable story.
Two significant distractions for me: the writer was "over the top" in his descriptions of scenery and characters. For example, I've lost count of the number of characters who smoke cigarettes that emit a "whisp (or shadow, or finger) of blue (or grey or cloudy) smoke" who happen to be standing in the shadow of a doorway. The other distraction was the piano music. Typically played at the beginning (or end) of a chapter, the music made the production of the book seem very corny.
Enjoyable plot. Corny piano music.
The story is both entertaining and dramatic. The narration is superb. The characters are unique and presented in all their complexities.
I took a chance with this one. I bought it because it was a good bargain. I am so glad I did! The story is suspenseful and the reader is entertaining. I love it!
I loved everything about this book. It was intriguing, mysterious, romantic and scary. The author/composer's music was bad and really interfered with the story telling but that is my only complaint!
If Zafron hadn't tried so hard to be clever, he might have written a decent coming of age story. In his effort to make a make an intricate, atmospheric tale, he fell in love with his own words and gave the reader a dull experience that went mostly nowhere, but took a very long time to get there.
The tinkling New Age piano interludes were lame. And the narrator's meticulous R-rolling and affected Castillian lisp that characterizes Barcelona Spanish made his rendering of the names of people and places -- which were all too frequent anyway -- utterly laughable.
The was one of my least enjoyable listening experience, EVER.
A reasonably entertaining mystery story although somewhat predictable. The writing style is literary and colorful, but the characters and the situations they get themselves into are pure soap opera/telenovela (the driving element of the plot is basically infatuated (horny?) teenagers and the bad choices they make, plus some father-son relationship angst). It's set in Spain at the time of Franco, but history and politics are only a colorful backdrop, not an integral element. The reader is very good, but I found it a bit pretentious and distracting that he pronounced "Barcelona" as "Barthelona," "Mercedes" as "Merthedes," etc. (Yes, I know it's historically correct, but it is not customary in English and therefore unnecessarily distracting). I found the intrusive background piano music that popped in from time to time (not just at the ends of chapters) really annoying.
Very, very theatrical. Narrator is so over done it is comical, forcing Harlequnesque prose down your throat until you want to vomit. Piano in between chapters only reminds you this is a soap opera ad nauseum. Plays like poor radio theater from sixty years ago.
Will never understand the high marks this production has gotten. Except to say to each thier own.
To be fair I could only bear it for 3 and a half hours before concluding this was not for me.
This is a very long novel, that, in the end didn't seem worth it. Here was a novel that was supposed to be rather historical, yet had large amounts of fantasy in it. (The libarary of forgotten books, for example.) So, the story seemed in a netherland between, fantasy, ficton, historal drama, and honestly didn't succeed in any. Two days after finishing it I bet you won't remember much about it.
Narrator: This is the second book I have listened to that is narrated by Jonathan Davis. Each time I listened to him read it took me a few chapters to learn to "like" him, for I automatically dislike his narration. HOWEVER, I always end up appreciating him and his voice after a few chapters. So if you automatically dislike him, it just takes some time to get used to his voice (or, at least, it did for me).
Story: This story is quite enjoyable in the beginning and, as time progresses, becomes quite enthralling. I assume that many of you enjoy books and, if you are looking at this book, you probably enjoy a wide variety of books that stand out from the masses (romance novels, mediocre fiction books about housewives, etc...). If so, you need to listen to this book!
After numerous hours and many chapters, I still had not found a storyline that I cared about. Beautiful language and structure . . . just didn't care . . .