I think the key to getting the most out of this book as a listening experience is to not be familiar with the Scots or Irish accent. The narrator's attempts at either of these is cringingly mangled. The book itself is well worthwhile with Kate Atkinson gradually drawing the reader into an intertwining set of life stories. A good listen if you don't know accents in the UK, if you do, read the book.
I havent finished this book yet, but it is very engaging and enjoyable and I recommend atkinson fans download it asap HOWEVER that said - whilst the narrator is great when speaking in standard english, I can honestly say that she does the worst Scottish accent I have ever heard in my life - it is driving me nuts- am I the only person who has picked up on this!!!!! I'm sorry but dont people pick up on this when they interview for the narration job !
An excellent story - well worth the READ!! I'm a Brit and unfortunately Ellen Archer is hopelessly at sea with her accents. So much so that it really did spoil my enjoyment. She sounds like that really annoying (male) mid atlantic food critic who's name escapes me. Interestingly, Audible.co.uk has a brit male narrator and it sounds so much better so why on earth doesn't Audible, in all its shapes and forms get some sort of consistency in such matters
I love Kate Atkinson’s work – and this story is no exception…. But oh dear – the narrator! Surely there are a plethora of excellent British narrators who could have read this excellent book? The regional accents, as well as the Scots and Irish are painful to listen to – I’m guessing it is worse for an English person such as myself and may not be as annoying to folks from other countries - but maybe not? The reader has a delightful voice, and tries hard but misses the mark. Did it spoil the book for me? Well, a little bit, but I still enjoyed visiting with Jackson Brodie once again and peeping into his complicated and tangled relationships.
Addicted to Audible!
I read,Case Histories,first and thoroughly enjoyed it. I expected this sequel to be as good. In some ways it was, I liked the way she interconnected the characters from the first book. The bad part was that listening I got distracted quite often and felt like I had to relisten to a few secions. I was losing track of who, what and where! My advice is that its enjoyable if you pay enough attention!
In addition to the stupefying story, the reader herself is a great performer. I don't think one can get the same pleasure by just reading the book
Mixed media artist, drummer, and Audible listener - 863 titles and counting!
This is possibly the most depressing book I have ever listened to. The narrator was okay but didn't handle Irish Scottish English accents very well when changing from one to the other. There wasn't a really big deal for me because the story was so depressing that I didn't really care about the narration. If I hadn't been doing housework and gardening and going for a walk while I listen to this I probably would not of even finished. I love Kate Atkinson's other work this one give it a pass.
Save the print book from extinction!
Great story, but horrible English accent that I could barely stand
Her English accent was not good - lots of weird vowels and mispronunciations that were very irritating
She has a wonderful voice and seemed to nail each character with regional variations and tone.
I didn't expect to enjoy this audio book as much as I did. We've been watching the series "Case Histories" on PBS and enjoyed that, but the audio book is much better! Ellen Archer's reading is just delightful, she brings the characters to life. I think seeing the series actually helped; the characters were well cast and meshed with the reading but the increased depth and the changes from the books to the series kept things fresh.
Overall it is hard to say. It really makes no sense to say that it is better or not as good as say the Adrian Mckinty, Sean Duffy or Michael Forsythe books. But I can say it passes the 'am I sorry the book is finished' test.
That is tough to say as well. Ms. Atkinson draws characters as well as any author I have ever read. Jo Hunter, Reggie and of course Jackson Brodie are so well drawn. They are very interesting characters. Reggie is the most sympathetic.
No. But it was a terrific performance.
When Jo Hunter manages to free herself and her baby was a real relief.
I really hope that Ms. Atkinson keeps Jackson Brodie alive and kicking. It would be interesting to see his back story fleshed out. Should be noted that I have not finished Left Early...