This is an intriguing and well-written story but the ridiculously bad accents of the reader are a serious distraction. The reader makes or breaks an audiobook and I'm afraid in this case she almost breaks - certainly fractures - it.
I never write reviews- but this narration was beyond painful, it was egregious!
It is not just that her accents were horrible, but it really seemed like the narrator just didn't care to take the time to even check how to pronounce certain terms and words that were repeatedly said within the text. Her characters were indistinguishable because she didn't take the time to learn how natives of any of the Countries in which the book's story touches actually speak.
I am a fluent Hebrew and English speaker- I don't expect Hebrew to be pronounced with an Israeli accent, but If You name a character "Lilah", and explain in the text that the name means night, and then for the rest of the text refer to the same character as "Lola"..... Well, I can only interpret that as a total lack of respect or care for the book you are reading and for your own craft as an actor!
I will never listen to a book with this narrator reading it again, and shame on Audible and Penquin for not being even slightly more strigent about the ability of the reader to actually read the book they are presenting.
I have never written an online review before but was encouraged to do so by my anger at the narrator for (almost) ruining such a wonderful book. Many people here have mentioned the accents--but add to this her total mispronunciation of the Hebrew. Good narrators find out how to pronounce unfamiliar words; it's not that hard to do. Brooks has written a wonderful book: Do yourself a favor: read it!
The historical part of this novel is very entertaining, but the mystery part is not well resolved, which leaves the last two hours of the story rather unsatisfying, in my opinion. I did think the information was interestingly presented and the narrator was just fine.
I was very interested in listening to this book, and am now about 3 hours into it. I don't think I'll be able to continue listening because the narrator's use of accents is so awful and distracting. The accents are especially ridiculous when the characters are supposed to be speaking their own languages. I'm still interested in the book--guess I'll buy it and read it. What a disappointment!
The fake accidents are really annoying, and her dialogue is awful. She'd be better off reading rather than trying to act.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
I wasn???t sure I???d like this book and was listening to it for my book club. I did love March by this author, and it turns out I loved this book, too.
I didn???t love the book in the beginning, and I was thinking that it would be a collection of short stories about the history of the Sarajevo Haggadah that would keep me from being engaged in the overall story because of a lack of continuity. However, as the book went along, I found myself completely drawn in to the story of how the book was created so that there actually was a lot of continuity to the overall story, and I wanted to know more and keep reading.
I liked the way the 5 ???stories??? of the people and the book go backwards chronologically. I thought that was a great way to structure it, and it really created suspense about the beginning of the Haggadah and who was responsible for it. At first I felt cheated at the way each ???story??? about the book ended when certain relevant details about the Haggadah were revealed. By that time I was into the characters, and I wanted to find out what happened to them. For example, I wanted to find out more about Ristorini and Jude. However, that feeling, too, was overcome by the ending when one of the characters from the ???stories??? does come back to the present day events in 2002 and also when the very first character from the earliest period of the book is revealed in a way that does give closure to that story.
The modern day part of the story, spanning the period from 1996 ??? 2002, involved the book???s conservator, Hannah Heath. It seemed a little far-fetched, but it was still engaging and compelling.
I wish I???d known more about the history of each of the periods from the book. This book would make a great teaching tool because it gets the reader so into each time period that he/she really wants to know more.
I also was just overwhelmed by the persecution of the Jews throughout history. I am used to reading stories of the Holocaust, but this book showed me in a way that I somehow hadn???t understood before (although I suppose I DID know) that Jews have been so unfairly treated for centuries.
In the end, the book???s theme is that the world is full of wonderful diversity, and people at their best can get along and show such strength and love for each other. However, it???s been the fate of the world that there is always someone who is being persecuted so we are locked in eternal struggle. The Haggadah book and its journey through history seem to symbolize the spirit of survival and hope or love, which in the end survive beyond the evil of the world just like the Haggadah.
This is one of my favorite books in the last couple of years. I LOVED the story itself, and I think the narrator enhanced the story quite a bit. Perfect narrator for a truly outstanding story.
I loved this book. The story, which kept moving forward and backwards in time, was absorbing to me. I kept wanting to know what's gonna happen next? And next? Edwina Wren's performance was also excellent. But the real star here was the story, which was revealed in an unusual way, peeling back one layer after another and another. I also particularly liked that at the heart of the story were some very courageous women, very interesting characters.
I was hesitant to buy this book because of the negative reviews regarding the narrator, but the subject interested me enough to take a chance. I'm glad I did -- in no way did Ms. Wren's reading take away from the story. It's true that many of the characters sounded very similar, but Ms. Wren's natural voice felt 'velvety smooth' and, for me, contributed to my overall enjoyment of the book.