It dragged out. It never became my cup of tea. The approach was unique with the different points of view. If you want to see how different characters perceive the same situation you will enjoy this book. The narrator was authentic to the characters with his tones and accent.
I only awarded 3 stars because somehow I managed to finish it. It's the same story told over and over again by different people. I really was done with Watson long before the end of the book. You'll get some sense of what Florida was like in those days, but not really in depth. The best part of it doesn't come til part 4 where EJ starts the story from his point of view. Unless you are very, very patient skip it!
If you haven't read the book(s) already, there are just too many characters to follow the story. There's a big difference between seeing (in print) who's talking in a book and just hearing the characters in an audio. In the first section, they seem to change very often. It would have been more helpful had there been a list of characters and who they are in relation to Mr. Watson. The narrator is good and I think I may have enjoyed this audio had I read the 900 page book. This audio exposes the weaknesses of audio books. A waste of money in my opinion. Buyers beware!
I am a devoted Audible listener, but I have to say, I've struggled with Shadow Country. Usually I think of any excuse to take a walk or a drive in my car so that I can listen to my latest book. But I've been working on this one for more than a month - and I'm still finding myself getting lost in the multitude of characters and relationships, and not sure that I care about any of them! I think I am about to give it up after finishing only about 16 hours of the book. Shadow Country has been more of a cure for my insomnia than an entertaining listen. Perhaps, as one reviewer said, it might be more enjoyable if you had read the book first.
I really wanted to enjoy this book. The review and synopsis were compelling. What I got was a different story. Very difficult to understand with rambling prose I found myself drifting off to other more enjoyable entertainment - which is saying lots given I am while driving to work. Better luck to you.
Somewhere in here is a good story. This book is in desperate need of an editor with the guts to cut out 2/3 of the book. Endlessly we hear the same story, told in a corn pone accent, over and over, from different points of view. Rashomon it's not. It's a shame, because it was just interesting enough to keep me going until about halfway through, when I had to say "NO MAS!"
My rating is incomplete as I said 'uncle' part way through book two. Maybe something would have changed to compel me to get through book five, but I doubt it. By this point I knew very well what had happened to Mr. Watson and was deeply versed and immersed in the inhospitable climes of the ten thousand islands. I think I would go a little nutty if I had to suffer through another 20 hours of this tale.
Matthiessen is a good writer but not good enough to command this much of my time when better listens beckon.
Sorry Audible, couldn't make it through this one. Not only did it drag on, but the audio quailty wasn't great, so I kept having to turn the volume up and down depending on who was speaking making it difficult to listen to. I would recommend skipping it.
OMG! I was looking forward to listening to this book driving back and forth to work but after the first two hours I had NO clue what was going on. I thought maybe if I started over it would be easier to understand but I got to the same spot again and decided I really couldn't listen any longer. Avoid this book like the plague!