I chose this series by searching for books narrated by Simon Prebble, who narrates the later books in the Banks series. Prebble is one of my favorites. However, I then thought I should start at the beginning, but this narrator made me want to stop before the end of the first chapter. I will read the earlier books in the series and go to Simon Prebble for the later ones.
I fail to understand the positive ratings that this book has been receiving. There's little to no mystery involved. We learn all the facts of the case in linear fashion from the diary of one of the main characters. The narrative is buried amongst hours of pointless detail, mechanical descriptions and extraneous one-dimensional characters. To make matters worse, the reader's voice and annunciation makes the whole thing come off as if it's being read by a prissy spinster aunt. Avoid!
This is the first review I've written. This is also the first audio book I've had to stop listening to part way through. Not sure if the entire problem was the story, or perhaps more so the narrator ~ or the combination of both. I had big hopes for this book with it's good reviews and the many good things I had heard about this author. And I gave it a good try ~ but after investing SIX HOURS in listening I finally wrote this one off as a credit lost. What a shame!
I'm listening to all of the DCI Banks books by Peter Robinson, in order, of course. The abrupt change in narrators has me a bit baffled. James Langton gave commendable performances, ably adapting through accents and genders and the author's descriptions of the characters. He was perfect. Then I am shocked to hear this shrill, daft narration of this book. The characterizations are horrible. He makes the characters wholly unlikable ... caricatures of themselves and out of sync with the author's descriptions. Everything is like Stewie Griffin is reading this book to me. It's totally distracting. Horrible choice.
Mystery to the end
Ron Keith is a particular favorite of mine I and I originally chose the book on his merits. The book turned out to be a winner. I found out years ago the listening to a book being read was a far better experience than reading. While reading is a pleasure of mine, listening provides many nuances lost when reading.
I would have but I have the Ipod in my car for use while driving.
How much time should a listener contribute to a so called "mystery" novel going no where? I gave it 6 hours...what a fool. It didn't go anywhere, and that was evident in the first 20 minutes.
I have listened to 5 or 6 hours of this book, and I am not interested enough to go on with it. I agree with others who have referred to the endless side stories. I may go back and finish it later just to make sure I am right about what I think I have figured out about the conclusion.
I did not like listening to the narrator, and the story really seems to drag along without much significant action.
Not far enough into the story to have that answer
Glad I only spent $5 on this book. I hope the rest of the $5 purchases I made are going to be better!
I have read with interest the other reviews citing the effect of the narrator on this reading experience. I also struggled with it in the beginning and finally grew used to it and eventually began enjoying it. But readers/listeners should be aware that the manner in which this book is narrated will affect your perception of this novel; it can't be helped. I have read many of the Inspector Banks novels in print and often find them a bit too sedate for my tastes. Listening to the book brought the main characters to life for me. You may, however, disagree with the manner in which the narrator interprets the various characters.
The story itself is ingenuous as it moves back and forth between wartime England and the present day. I did not find it boring or transparent as other reviewers have suggested. Peter Robinson is a fine writer - a cut above the normal police procedural. His characters are subtle and human. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much, but the narrator may not fit everyone's expectations. Listen to a sample first.
I came away from this book still not understanding why the Inspector Banks series is so well-liked. The device of interspersing what's essentially a historical novel into the detective story was a good idea, but in the end the whole thing felt pedestrian -- I didn't care about Banks, his paramours, or the people in the 1940s story.
The reader was a mixed bag -- good in the historical sections, but not so much outside of that. His characters didn't sound like Yorkshire-folk.
I found this book very interesting and enjoyed the listening experience, but would have preferred to read (listen) to the series in order, but was unaware I was starting in the middle.