It's a great mystic story and full of wisdom! The narrator was actually quiet remarkable with his imitation of voices but he started to get a little over exited with the character of the 16 year old Mai Kasahara. His voice was so babyish and over the top that I had to skip these parts when "she" was talking....I guess I didn't miss too much because she suppose to be a little stupid but underlining it with a loud penetrating voice was quiet painful !
I read fiction to learn something. But what can I learn from people who face without suprise things that simply cannot happen (such as strangers manipulating their dreams)? Far too much graphic violence for my taste as well. I am now almost 20 hours into this book without any idea why I should care what happens or how I will be improved by reading this book. I have learned a lot about multiple characters without learning why I am being told their stories. I just don't get it.
You know it's bad when you're trying to listen but instead find your mind drifting and all of a sudden you're composing a negative review.
The story itself is pointless, the plot is disjointed and questionable, and narrarator makes it absolutely insufferable. The way he delivers the lines seems to warp the meaning of them. Numerous times I tried to imagine reading the words on a page instead of listening to this goofball. The main voice he uses is halting, petulant, and almost snobby. His female voices are downright awful. I read some previous reviews (too late, unfortunately) and I had to laugh -- he really does make them sound like bad imitations of inbred drag queens. And that DOES matter because there are lots of female characters in this book. It's impossible to take it seriously. The author must like him though because he's used him for several books. Go figure. Clearly Murakami and I are not soul mates.
I don't know why I bothered to finish it. It was like a twitsted form of self-torture. I guess I just had to know if there was a point. There wasn't. Deep down, I think I knew this from the beginning. Why? Why?
I hate to be negative; I have a great appreciation for all that goes into writing a book and producing an audio recording, but I would only recommend this audiobook to my worst enemy. Better luck next time!
Life is too short and there are too many good books to read. I am all for magical realism, I really am, but I forgot that you have to make an investment when you go for books like that. Maybe over the summer I will pick up the actual book and thumb through it again. There are a lot of worthy parts of this book, but as a whole it just didn't come together for me. I will definitely look through it again, but for now, I have 10 wish list pages of books to listen to.
So far I've of the Haruki Murakami novels I've listened to Kafka On the Shore; Dance, Dance, Dance; and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I love them all, and I love the audible presentation of them by this narrator.
Haruki's novels all put character development in front of action, and the action builds up so artfully and surreally that it's always moving and suspenseful at all the right times.
Haruki is a master author, and Rupert is a master narrator. I honor this book and its narration.
Great writer, faithful translation, superb narrator. Rupert Degas brings this incredible work to life with sensitivity and creativity. The tale is so fantastic, yet so firmly rooted in reality and history. Degas manages to capture both the gravity and the fantasy with equal skill. Worth multiple listens!
Putting gripes about the actual story aside (being that there are hundreds of critiques here already), Rupert Degas' narration is incredible. He covers all characters, male and female, young and old. His command of voice, and its use to establish character, is very strong. While I very much enjoyed this story, the recording is also a great performance. Well done!
A professor at Dodge College, I teach Film Music. I spent 33 years in the movie business before teaching. I LOVE books and my girls. Ta-Da!
I LOVE Murakami. (have read everything he's written) I love audio books. 1Q84 (audio book) was fantastic. This narrator took me out of the story three times. When he gets to any female character, Degas sounds like a straight man unintentionally imitating a drag queen. All the while you, the audience, are so distracted by his narration you're now texting while you drive. It's a shame Degas ruined such a wonderful book.
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