And oddly enough, the narrator was actor Martin Freeman who I've enjoyed on the BBC series 'Sherlock'. But I thought his accents and inflections were all wrong for delivery of Adams' humor.
Making your brain hurt since 2005.
I have to admit that while Martin Freeman's performance in this adaptation of "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" isn't as great as Stephen Fry's reading of the original "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" it's not bad. As some of you may know Martin Freeman played Arthur Dent in the most recent film adaptation of HHGTG. The biggest problem I hear from the other reviews are about Freeman's portrayal of Zaphod Beeblebrox as having a more East Coast (more appropriately Bostonian) accent, his portrayal of Zaphod Beeblebrox's Great-grandfather as an old reedy, high pitched, southern accent (which actually fits if you listen to the actual narration, which describes the character's accent as being high-pitched and sounding like "nails on a chalkboard" to Zaphod). My only issue so far has been with the portrayal of Mr. Zarneewoop. Freeman does apparently have some trouble maintaining this voice for some reason. The voice overall isn't great. However Martin Freeman is a seasoned actor and for the rest of the cast he's very good.
Honestly I wasn't turned off by this reading like a lot of people have complained about. So, really, you might as well give it a try.
Ordering a steak at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Freeman is a seasoned actor, as mentioned before. While he's not incredibly amazing as a narrator for an audiobook he does add enough inflection to give you a good read.
The story is great, but the narrators Ralph Machio sounding voice for Zaphod made me cringe every time he spoke.
The overall performance was great, and that almost makes the one awful voice that much worse. If only this one could have been narrated by Stephen Fry as well, it would be among my favorite audio books.
I'm a big HGTTG fan, and over the years I've listened to all the radio dramatizations and at least 3 or 4 different versions of the audiobooks (Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, Martin Freeman and I think Simon Jones, who played Arthur Dent in the original radio series).
Martin Freeman played Arthur Dent in the 2005 HGTTG movie, so he's familiar with the material, understands most of the characters, and a couple of his characterizations are pretty good - I thought he did a great Marvin. And he's a good actor, too - he plays Watson in the new BBC version of Sherlock Holmes that everyone loves so much.
But his Zaphod is bad, it's inconsistent with the radio series, and I found myself wanting to give him either a cup of strong coffee or a couple of anti-depressants, because he just doesn't seem to have much enthusiasm. And HGTTG is supposed to have a lot of zip.
My recommendation is: Don't buy this version. Try to track down the Douglas Adams or Simon Jones versions.
This is a great book, and if you can get past Martin Freeman's grating rendition of Zaphod Beeblebrox, you'll probably enjoy this, as it's a pretty good book. I could only get a quarter of the way through without having to stop and turn it off. Beeblebrox sounds like a love child of Rocky Balboa and Jerry Lewis, if the child had a fingernail-blackboard fetish. Annoying characters can be entertaining, but not annoying performances.
Mentioned before, but I must agree that the voice acting is terrible, specifically Zaphod. It's a shame really, because otherwise the book would have been great.
Martin freeman did a fantastic job with this book. I listen to a lot of various genres and types and it has to be my favorite narration so far.
Martin freeman is an excellent actor and a wonderful person. He was also an... interesting reader, especially since he played Arthur Dent in the movie. I liked his enthusiasm in making the various characters' voices. I have to admit, thought, that I was distracted by finding that his version of Zaphod Beeblebrox was George Costanza from Seinfeld impersonating someone with a Cuban accent. I don't know why he choose to give a New York accent to Beeblebrox. It was also weird to hear Bill Cosby as Zaphod's ancestor.
Overall a great story written by a great man, read by a great man, not so greatly.
I am a language arts coach, studying to be a high school English teacher. Reading is what I do and audible makes it easier!
Well the story itself is a classic and simply must be listened to, but beyond that, Martin Freeman's performance, while different from Stephen Fry's voice, is incredibly enjoyable. His Arthur is more believable and his Zaphod is too funny! I enjoyed the whole thing.
I think the moment Zaphod finds out that he is the most important person in the alternate reality created for him might be one of the funniest moments in the series. The disembodied voice's reaction and Zaphod's decision to eat the fairy cake is the perfect conclusion to this scene.
I thoroughly enjoy Martin's portrayal of Zaphod and of Marvin! Marvin cracks me up! Depressed robots are the best!
Well the whole book moved me to laughter...
Don't listen to these other Vogons. Martin Freeman does a great job with this book! Check it out!