The recording of this book shows signs of lax post production. nearly throughout, the last second or so of a sentence is cut off to start a new sentence. This has the effect of cutting off mid-word, and ruining any chance of dramatic pause. There are also several sections where the recording repeats itself. Thankfully this is only for a handful of words . These things combine to throw off the immersion of the story.
I've listened to the Belgariad and found the narration excellent and engaging. Dina Pearlman was aggravating not just because at times it was like Edie McClurg reading a children's book, or the fact that she reads UL like Yule, Mimbre like Mimbray, Taur Urgas as Tower Urgas, or Issa like Eye-Sa--those will make you cringe, but she turned Polgara's story/voice into someone more likely to be President of the PTA than a nearly 4K year old sorceress. All the adult male voices, when not spoken in a horrible Lucky Charms brogue, sound like various poor imitations of Donald Trump or Obama. The god's voices, like Torak, defy description beyond "auditory excrement." Typically, I tell my co-workers and girlfriend about the book I'm listening to--this one I kept to myself, embarrassed like a 14-year-old with a Hustler (satisfying a basic need but tasteless and shame-inducing). As bad as this one is, it is light-years better than the narration of Belgarath the Sorceror--I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes and got a refund from Audible. That one should be used on the folks at Guantanamo Bay.
The story is not bad and one that takes a LONG time to get going... I was a bit annoyed with the editing and the way the recorder seemed to cut off so after every word. It made the sound very sharp with a female narrator to the point where I almost stopped listening. All in all not bad but nothing great either you really not missing much if you skip.
RIght up front I'll admit to loving the saga of Belgarion. I greatly enjoyed Polgara the Soceress in book form and have been looking forward to the audio version. The prior reviews were more than a little off-putting, but I decided to complete my collection and am glad, for the greatest part, that I did.
I really enjoyed Polgara's story of her life and the exploration of what happened during her sojourn in Arendia and during the centuries protecting the RIvan line. For this, the narrator's voice as Polgara is fine. On the other hand, like many other reviewers, I was displeased by her choice of how to pronounce certain words such as Mallorea (Mall-o-re-a) and resented how such incongruous pronunciations would jerk me out of 'the moment'. Even so, this is endurable.
As cited in a prior review, the editing is poor. The breaks between chapters are all but non-existent and many transitions are so crowded as to feel like you are hearing a nonsensical run-on sentence. Thankfully, the chapters are long, and the awkward transitions infrequent.
For me, it is the voice she uses as Ce'Nedra which is utterly cringeworthy. It is truly horrible. Ce'Nedra isn't exactly a sympathetic character to begin with, and the narrator makes her sound like as a complete monster. With that voice, I cannot see how Garion would ever look at her twice, Prophecy or no Prophecy. Additionally, the voice of Poledra is unpleasant, although not cringeworthy. Silk's voice is whiny and Belgarath's voice callow with none of the richness brought by Cameron Beierle. Gratefully, Ce'Nedra and Silk are only present at the 'bookends' of the main story, not taking more than one hour of the 30. I could not have listened to the story otherwise.
Despite the negatives, my recommendation for those who love the series is to give this book a chance, but perhaps fast forward to the heart of the story. I know I will the next time I listen.
I have been reading the Belgariad/Mallorean series for almost 20 years, and after finding the audio versions, I was thrilled. I began with Belgarath the Sorcerer and thought it was rather well read. Some of his pronunciations ("Kenedra"? Really?) and voices (the female characters sounded odd, but what can you do?) had me cringing a bit, but overall I was quite pleased with what I heard.
After "Belgarath, I moved on to "Polgara the Sorceress" and I was blown away. I do not know why so many people have taken issue with Ms Perlman's narration, since to me, she read the voice of Polgara as close to prefectly as it could be done. The tones, the emotions, it was just, well, Polly! I know it's been said that pronunciation was an issue, and I do agree that her choices on a few nouns like "Ctuchik" and "Vo Mimbre" did make my ears jangle, but when I heard the voice, I saw a lovely woman with lavender eyes and raven hair with one white lock speaking her story.
I know some people also think the narrator's voice makes Polgara come across harshly. I did not hear her as high-handed or mean or snippy or anything like that. She was a 3000-something lady who had lived through the supposed abandonment of her mother and death of her sister, dealt with a reprobate father, ruled a duchy for centuries, had her first love die defending her home and spent over 1000 years protecting children who were not her own. She had a bit on her plate; a touch of attitude is allowed to come creeping into the narrative at times and I think Ms Perlman captures that wonderfully.
All in all, "Polgara" is absolutely my favorite of the audio versions of the Belgariad universe. I tried listening to "Pawn of Prophecy" and couldn't bring myself to opt for book 2; the reader just couldn't bring me back to the wonder I'd had for so many years. But at the end of "Polgara, I just wanted to start listening again and immerse myself in the world that Eddings built.
I would absolutly recommend this book. The story is very good, in fact great, but the narration is not as good as it could be.
No, the narrater killed it. Clearly not someone familiar with the Eddings series.
NO I haven't and I am too scared to. i have read the Eddings series and am too inlove with teh story to have it wrecked again.
She had a snide tone to her voice that completely misrepresented the characters. How dare she make every character sound so shallow and with no susbtance.
S H O C K I N G !!!!
Polgara is an off-shoot book so no I don't thikn it does
When pickiung your narraters you should ensure they are well versed with where the story line and characters came from. Eddings writes in such a way that you take to the characters like friends and when someone like this poorly versed narrater comes along and does what she does, it is offensive.
She should apologise to David.
I love the story, I did not like the narration. I have no idea why anyone would enjoy the narration; it was catty. The way it was narrated, Polgara sounds so very contemptuous of everyone especially Belgarath. Grating is one word I'd use for the narration. I have the book and it was an easier read than 'listen'.
Ok, I LOVE THIS BOOK. I love this book so much i ignored the other reviews and purchased it off of the preview listen.
I love Polgara
I dont know that Dina Pearlman was bad in and of herself, I dont think she was the best choice for such a long story, I probably would have gone with Karen Savage, Juliet Stevenson, or my Fav Kimberly Alexis.The main problem was the VERY VERY SUPER BAD RECORDING. In the entire first chapter, the end of every sentence was cut off. Example: She went to the wind. It was warm in the hou. she decided to open the wind. It was stinky outsi. She hoped for a wind to come alo. That would blow away the stin.
How does that even happen in a recording? The ENTIRE FIRST CHAPTER. It came back a few more times in the recordings, AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. If Audible is going to charge that much for a recording, they should make sure the recording is worth it. Just because the book was long, that doesn't excuse such a high price for such a VERY BAD recording.
You don't cut any scenes out of this book! Yes it's long, but you have to love the entire story.
DO NOT BUY THIS RECORDING. YOU WILL BE VERY MAD AT YOURSELF IF YOU WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON SUCH A BAD RECORDING.