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.
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 . . .
It started well, but then degenerated into endless monologues by no character--it did not even seem to be a narrator. They went on and on and were completely uninteresting. I finally gave up.
The endless monologues of "background materials" and fictional history.
OK but gets monotonous, like the story
It started well. The outline of the plot is probably interesting and good. But the execution is terrible.
I thought that main characters, except protagonist, had long shadows without the complexity and depth of that characters should have.
Use way less adjectives and reduce melodramatic scenes and sentences.
He does a great job and acts gives character to each character.
The audio producer inserted music at times that made it distracting and frankly intolerable.
Did not get into itt!
Wanted to read the series, but couln't make it through the first book!
The author takes you through a mystery in a world that bends in on itself; where all roads out take you back in. where things you should have expected are unexpected. Wonderful use of language. At times, I felt that the narrator lied to me a bit... but I forgive him.
Katherine of Maryland is certainly correct that the music in the audio version is extremely distracting. I often hear audiobooks that have music at the beginning and ending. Sometime you get a bit of music at the end of chapters. None of this works well. But, in this case, the music seems to pop up all the time. It is loud and it is distracting. I would urge that this audio be re-issued with the music track removed.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. The store was unique and the reader was excellent. I highly recommend this book
I admired what the author seemed to be trying to do...create a highly dramatic, riveting work by
cleverly paralleling two generations plunging toward
the same doom. Unfortunately, the author either did
not have the skill to pull it off or something was
lost in the translation, literally.
The narrator's overly melodramatic presentation didn't help. But I did finish it, which counts
This is a good book that could have been a better, but I still enjoyed listening to it on a long trip. Very evocative of Spain after the war, and I enjoyed the reader. On the downside, it was very long and sometimes repetitive (perhaps because it's meant for young adults?). And the ending was a disappointment, not really any resolution, from my perspective. still, worth a listen when you want a quiet book to make the time pass.