No - audio is terrible. I've ordered the print edition from Amazon and trying to get my credit refund from Audible.
Mystery. Life. Suspense. Buildup.
Recording quality is so poor that Narrator is irrelevant.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I love this kind of book. Is there a name for this kind of genre? I don't mean the matreshka-like structure, but the idea of an old person putting the affairs of the past in order. I seem to come across more books lately that fit this pattern--from Angle of Repose to The Thirteenth Tale. But I digress. We old people do that. Some of the reviews here seem to find the pulp-fiction sections of the novel a distraction, as though Atwood was merely writing a straightup romance novel. I think that the pulp-fiction parts are the key to understanding everything about Iris. I think Atwood makes that as plain as day just from the title of the book. I think anyone who doesn't see that has really missed the whole point. I wish I could explain further but that would be giving away too much. We old people may be crotchety but we know how to keep a secret.
This is a lovely pulp-style sci-fi story within a historical narrative within a memoir. I was impressed by how fully fleshed out Atwood's characters were, and the story layering was very complex. The prose is so beautiful that I found myself stopping my multitasking to just soak in the language. I was particularly moved by her descriptions of the challenges, fears and comedies that come with age. Atwood also succeeds at fleshing out her character's surroundings as they move through a rapidly changing Canadian society.
On an unfortunate note, I really had to push through the poor production quality of the audio. It nearly caused me to give up on listening, and just find the book at the library to finish. I don't want this comment to reflect badly on the narrator, because her voice was fine and expressive. But there were times when the editing seemed choppy, and I was wondering if parts were cut out at the end of chapters, because the next chapter would start a nanosecond after the previous. There were also maddening clicks and hisses that peppered the recording during the first half of the listen. Despite knowing this from other's reviews, I decided to tough it out, because I was so blanketed with fascination by Atwood's narrative. I really hope Audible does a re-record of this story...it really deserves it.
I like intellectual fiction with ideas, knowledge, technology, art, crafts, history, politics, & mystery, not violence or insipid romance
The quality of Margaret Atwood's writing and the sound of Margot Dionne's voice made the Blind Assassin an intense, compelling experience. My curiosity was piqued by hearing what the 1929 Depression and years leading up to it must have been like around Toronto, Canada. I also enjoyed learning what life was like in a multigenerational family that was wealthy enough to travel to Europe on a ship. The only other books I have read about that part of the country were the Deptford trilogy by Robertson Davies. The Blind Assassinbook, has the same dark, secretive, you-can't-believe-this-story-is-happening quality as Davies' The Fifth Business. Afterwards I wondered how these authors do it. It must be that they get you to suspend your disbelief at the beginning, and, once you do, you're in another world that you really don't understand. You don't know what's going to happen next. You're fearful, but curious, wanting all the pieces to fit together and reveal the mystery. It's not exactly what you would call "pleasurable", but you can't stop reading.
The main character, Iris, told the story of her life in a way that sounded like a confession that kept getting to, but never reaching, the main point. You keep wondering what the "lesson" of it all is. Basically, at about age 19 Iris married a man she did not love in order to save her sister and herself from abject poverty and because her father arranged it and asked her to. The whole story and all the unhappiness that she and her sister and many others suffered stems from that decision. You could blame it on some other, "evil" people, but that doesn't really hold water. The story makes one wonder how many others went through similar things during the Depression and if others are going through it now, here and around the world. What's the relative importance of money and love?
Unfortunately there were not enough breaks in the Audible.com version for me. If I lost my place or missed an important detail in the story and needed to revisit part that I had already read, the only choices were to go back a half an hour or to go back 30 seconds. I couldn't scan for a word, like you can in the printed Kindle version. I would prefer to have the ability to go back by 5 minute intervals. I had to borrow a hard copy of the book from a friend to find out what I missed. Another Audible.com novel I am reading now has the same problem.
This book was STUNNING!! I loved the writing, the fascinating story line, the narration, and the beautiful ending!! I cannot fault this audible book in any way! Margaret Atwood, has a wonderful way of weaving thoughts, events - both historic and present day ones into a kaleidoscope of the human condition.I loved it utterly and cannot wait for her next one and hope that Margot Dionne teams up with it as well.
Tried hard but found this unlistenable. Wish I could return it. Hated the reader's voice and tone, the text being read, and certainly the cheesy music. Maybe it was over my head...
Ditto with everyone on the sound quality. I loved the story and listened to the whole thing, but had to actively ignore the bad sound quality and heavy handed addition of music at the end. It sounded to me like birds chirping in the distance throughout most of the reading. And was it really necessary to play the main character out with violins??
It's wonderful book and very well read, although terribly bad sound quality. First hour or so is specially bad, it gets a bit better later. It's very well written story with interesting structure and thought-provoking characters but it really deserves better quality copy.
I listen to Audible so that I can read and do all that Mom stuff as the same time. I do see the words as they are read.....
This book takes some patience to get into the story. It is a little confusing at first but in the end is a brillant story. I am a big Margaret Atwood fan and find her writing doesn't always go in the direction you think that it will. There are definately some surprises and makes it worth a listen. The narrator is okay but not great!
I love Margaret Atwood's work, and this is my favorite. A haunting story of deep passion, fatal passivity, and the power of writing. Expertly read. I would give it five stars but, as others have mentioned, there are technical problems. It sounds as if the digital copy comes from cassette tape, and there is often a background hiss for 30 minutes at a time. This didn't stop me from enjoying the book overall.