I confess I have not finished yet, and suspect I may go to the print book.
The audio levels and recording setup seemed to change abruptly several times throughout this recording. So much so that I was not sure it was all the same narrator. The pacing and tone was also very monotonous and made it very hard not to zone out. That said, I previewed all the available versions and this seemed the least bad.
I suspect that the story would be much more compelling if I were able to sit down and read it on my own.
I actually wish that I could get a refund on this book. I'm halfway through the second part and am very unlikely to get through the whole thing.
Mr Covell's pronunciation enabled me to either listen and follow along with a book simultaneously, or simply listen alone and still understand everything that was being said. Words were said clearly with no confusion or slurring of phrases. Very well done.
Well, Crime and Punishment comes to mind first due to the similar settings, vocabulary, and the fact that they're written by the same author. I enjoy this latter aspect because in C&P we know the killer and root for him being the main character, but in TBK we don't know him and have come to despise him by the time we figure out who the killer truly is.
If I had just read the book there would've been portions that would've been skimmed over quickly rather than meticulously studied thanks to the pace of Walter Covell's read. As I followed along with my book, I was able to read with more patience rather than storm through the book, forgetting lines only minutes after reading them.
I didn't laugh or cry, but I was amazed at the social attitudes that were prevalent in the historical times of the novel. This was shown immensely during the trial, and I was greatly amazed at the jury's judgement when all that was given by the prosecution was circumstantial evidence. But that's the way courts worked in those times, with just men hearing the story and making decisions - when judges could put forth their opinions and tell the jurors what is true and what is not.
Only a couple of times in the narration was a line or a phrase skipped over. This was no doubt due to the same phrases being in back-to-back lines (scribal phenomenon called homoeoteleuton) and the error (called periblepsis) of the omission of the end of the first line as the scribe or orator's eyes returned to the page.
Also, a little more emotion in the narrator's voice could always liven the story up a bit, but it is understood how taking on a frantic character's voice could lose verbal clarity which Mr Covell maintained very well throughout.
One of my favorite books; one of my least favorite audio books. I listen to audio books nearly every working day of my week. I know this book backwards & forwards, but about an hour into it, I found myself thinking about my grocery list or the airspeed velocity of a swallow. It was horrible. I could not handle the narration-- I would get lost in the dialogue knowing who spoke or if it was the narrator. If you want juicy (though Post-Revolutionary) Russian literature, try Bulgakov's, The Master & Margarita. Excellent narration, though British--but entertaining and allows you to keep track of the different characters during a dialogue. Or just read the hard-bound; it's one the world's best works of fiction.
Dear Audible, Please give us a new version with a better narrator! I'll be first in line...
I rated this recording over a year ago & in listening again, am sorry I gave the performance 3 stars... should be 2 at most... maybe 1.
I'm a major Dostoevsky fan & I'd put this book in his top 3. Other reviewers have gone into the story details, so I'm going to focus on recording quality. Walter Covell was a poor choice for narrator. There is little if any distinction between the characters' voices & their voices often switched as the story went along. Dialogs are a mash up. I had to follow along with the book to determine who was talking to who(m).
Then there's the technical quality, which continually alternates between bad and worse. It often sounds like a recording from a 1940's radio broadcast.
The sample for the other unabridged recording sounded even less appealing, so I went with this one. Best to read the book & wait for a new recording with a better narrator
I had seen an excellent redition of the story as a play a year ago so I had high expectations.
In contrast to the play, I found that the story had its high points but it required getting through many long dreary stretches. I have found the other major Russian works of literature as interesting but difficult to get through in the past so that should also be taken into consideration.
I thought that the narration as well below average for Audible. The narrator's different voices remind me of some cheap CDs of children's stories that I hear my kids listen too. Poor and inconsistent voice differentation made me wish that he didn't bother trying to use varied "voices" at all.
I listen to A LOT of audio books. Long ones. Like "War & Peace"..."Moby Dick"..."Bleak House". But, this one I couldn't finish, despite several tries. The reader lacks emotional nuance. And the simple pacing of words, which could bring a scene vividly to life, is dull and listless. He's got great pronunciation of words. But, still...I'm going to look for a different version and give it another try.
Despite having listened to, and loved, several dozen long 19th century English, European and Russian novels, I found this one so obnoxiously butchered by its reader as to be unlistenable.