I read the David Eddings Belgariad series a long time ago and thoroughly enjoyed the journey of Garion with "Mr. Wolf" and "Aunt Pol" but listening to Cameron Beierle read was fascinating! I was amazed at his skill at bringing all the characters to life for me. I would recommend these to anyone who would like to emerse themselves in a wonderful fantasy.
You'll find me chattering and chasing shiny things.
Listening to this book left me sad on a lot of levels. I *loved* this series in my teen years. I must have read it 10 times. What I didn't realize then was how sexist it is (much as the rest of the genre written in that era). Sure, one of the main characters is a strong woman, however most of the other women, when portrayed, are incredibly stereotypical.
Most horrific was a passage I didn't at all register as a young reader: a drunken rape by a main character of his wife. And while the character registered he felt sorry for his act - there was still more of an emphasis on it's justification because his wife would not give him sex willingly. And for good reason in my opinion!
I still love the story for what it is - but I found it almost impossible gloss over the telling now as I could when I was a kid. That disappointment was compounded infinitely by the narration.
Beierle is flat out awful. Even if I could get past the issues I previously mentioned, there is no way I'd make it through even one more book of the series as currently narrated (and he narrates all of the Belgariad and Mallorean) The man cannot maintain an accent for more than a few words and forgets which accent he uses from character to character - often in the same conversation! I don't know which I liked less - his attempt at a Connery-esque brogue for Belgarath or the mouthful of rocks and phlegm for Barak.
Place and people names are also inconsistent and often defy the laws of american english (or even english english) pronunciation. Admittedly, in fantasy books, we all hear our own pronunciations in our heads unless a book specifies them to be different. But the Belgariad does not (except Ce'nedra). It almost seems like Beierle made them up out of some sort of desire to make the story feel more fantastical, which is incredibly grating and not at all necessary.
I only have one positive thing to say about this narrator: the presentation of Garion. One reviewer mentioned not appreciating Garion sounding so whiny. Garion *is* a whiny little boy til the 2nd or 3rd book.
I'm sorry to pan this book so thoroughly - nothing would have given me greater pleasure than to say I had come home again in this audio edition.
Pretty good listen but it seemed shorter than when I read the book years ago. I was not well impressed with the reader. He changes accents but not voices. Also I'm not so sure the pronunciations are accurate.
Definitely worth the price though.
I absolutely love my audible account, makes its from enjoying a book to loving the stories found in the books. Do forgive my errors in the reviews i do have dyslexia but i will share my love with everyone
David Eddings is amazing in his writing. secretly he co wrote with his wife for the first part of his career and latter came out. this powerful partnership makes the story come to life in ways that are great.
This story starts with you getting to know a boy named Garion as he is growing up, showing you how he learned the values he has later on. Over the first few pages you notice things that are a little off. a man without a shadow, the story teller acting stranger. eventually the story teller comes back and needs to meet with his aunt, this causes his aunt him and a farm friend to rush out on a adventure for something that was stolen, but every time he asks about it everyone is evasive about it. At the same time he comes to a personal crisis, he finds out he is a orphan and feels left out and abandoned and alone.
This book is read by Cameron Beierle and he does a fantastic job. you can tell he read the series before hand so he knows about the right accents to use. barak has the rough voice, he also does a good job with the female voices as well. over all his performance is great.
Years ago this series was my re-introduction to the fantasy genre as such it holds a special place in my heart, so I was a little scared to do a re-read as I didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t live up to my memory. I am happy to report I was not disappointed, although I didn’t remember till the end that you really want to have all the book waiting in the queue because Eddings pretty much ends these books in the middle of a sentence.
People can say what they want about Eddings writing or storyline or whatever they want; I want to say I still love this book. I think this book/series is the perfect introduction to the epic fantasy genre. I think Eddings world building is great he tells you what each country is about, what kind of people they are, the differences from other countries ect. These characters have stayed with me all these years and I was happy to welcome them back into my life.
I decided to do my re-read on audio, with narration by Cameron Beierle his narration did take some getting used to I wasn’t a big fan of his very young Garion and was happy when he was 5 years older, what I totally loved was Silk, who is my favorite character and he sounded like George Sanders which I found perfect! I thought Belgarath sounded more and more like Sean Connery as the book went on and as such that is who I am now picturing in my head as Belgarath which isn’t a bad thing! There were times I felt like Cameron was still finding his way with so many characters but who wouldn’t there are so many different voices to do it would be hard to keep track. I will be listening to the rest of this series as I am sure that Cameron’s narration will continue to get better and better as the series progresses.
Still 5 stars just because!
Definitely one of my favorites. I read this series back in the '80's when I was a teen, and I love it now as much as I did then.
There isn't one particular moment. I enjoyed the entire book, as well as the rest of the Belgariad.
I thought his performance was fantastic. He has distinct voices for each character, and each fits the character well. He occasionally mixes them up, but it doesn't happen often, and doesn't ruin anything. Great narrator.
I guess it would be when Garion realizes that Belgarath is his "grandfather", though many generations removed. It was a nice moment, considering that Garion is an orphan.
A pretty solid modern fantasy novel, if not especially original. A bit of a Tolkien heritage style quest story with the addition of a coming-of-age story. The three most major characters are all interesting, along with one or two of their companions, but most of the others are shallow and more or less interchangeable. The irritating nonchalance that the characters deal with their quest grates, and I found myself wondering many times why they kept dawdling when they could be wrapping the story up. Eddings didn't convince me that there was anything preventing an easy finish.
I have rarely felt that an audio book suffered seriously from the choice of reader, but in this case, it is a unfortunately the case. For one thing, he has a tendency to drift around in his accents. As an example, the main character, Garion, drifts between Midwest U.S., Canada, middle-class Londoner, and cockney throughout the books, sometimes sentence to sentence. His failure to pronounce certain words (foliage comes out "foilage") is distracting and annoying. His habit of exaggerated enunciation is also wearing, especially his articles. All of this "a's" are pronounced long-A and "the" as a "thee". Imagine, "Pie is A good dessert after THE main course." Sometimes he sounds like Martha Stewart.
The Belgariad is a sentimental favorite of mine, so this was my first audible.com download. Once I got used to pronunciations different from those I had imagined, I found Beierle's reading well-paced and enjoyable. Beierle does have some issues with the main characters, though. Garion at 14 sounds like a simpering 8-year-old girl. Durnik sometimes sounds Russian, sometimes mentally challenged. The character of Aunt Pol is, unfortunately, mostly irritating (and she is one of my favorites in the books). Silk is sometimes read beautifully, but at others, Beierle degenerates into an unfathomable accent that is grating and not consistent. I am hoping that as I listen to the other four books in this series and the five of the Malloreon, I will find that Beierle worked out these early kinks and learned to read these characters consistently and engagingly. I rate this at four stars simply because there is no way to give it 3.5, and I prefer to err on the side of generosity and hope.
I have to listen to this while I drive as the narrator just DOES NOT make it. What a shame. While it does get a bit better in the Mallorean - i'm still hurt the narrator does not have the range perhaps too many characters.
I don't know if it was a waste or not, i've read the books so many times at least i'm entertained while i drive
Read this series many years and loved it -- especially the characters. When I finished the series, I felt like I was leaving my friends behind. The narrator does a very good job -- a few minor slips in accent - but i think he does an excellent job.