I am sad to say that this is the most poorly narrated audiobook that I have ever heard. ALL of the characters have a strong British accent the japanese character. the Dutch characters everyone, it completely ruined the story for me. Spend your money on the book and you will be aple to cherish the words and create your own voice for these lovely characters
David Mitchell had problems during potty training...his love of describing bowel movements in this book is ridiculous. The story flip flopped all over the place and became boring during several parts. It was like the movie "Reds" with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton: Way too long and tighter editing may have resulted in an interesting story.
The writing of this book is awe inspiring. How he wove the story with all the different languages and idea's and people was a feat. I loved the story of the woman when she was sent to the "nunnery" . One of my favorite moments in the book was when the slave had his life narrated. I was glued to my headphones. The only negative thing about this book is there is nothing uplifting to cling onto and when I went to listen to it again I stopped because I felt a bit depressed.
Best narrator, best story... I only have one hour and 45 minutes to go, and I am so sad that this wonderful book is almost over. The narrator, Jonathan Aris, is the new Frank Muller. I would listen to him read the phone book!
I feel like i have just discovered one of the greatest living novelists and can't wait to read more. Not a word is wasted. A high class read that rewards. Brilliantly read.
Truly...I love good historical fiction, and I will rarely quit reading once I have started. I managed to make it to the end of "The Pillars of the Earth", which I never thought was that great of a novel...but I slogged on through to the end. Where do I begin to describe why I gave up on this book? For starters, I had trouble keeping track of the characters and trying to stay focused on the story. My mind kept wandering during the narration. The description of translation of Dutch to Japanese (and visa versa) didn't make any sense (Japanese asking about English idioms that are supposed to be Dutch), and so forth. I soldiered on to part 2, but finally gave up. In the end (I mean the middle), I still didn't care about Jacob, or the midwife, or the slimy cast of characters that populate this novel enough to keep going.
The narration for this book is great, especially considering the range of languages and accents included, however the story itself is extremely boring. There is very little character development except for long sections of characters telling their stories to other characters, but very little action to give you a sense of who they are. I tried very hard to finish it but just can't get through the final two hours because I just don't care what happens to any of the characters - they barely exist in my mind. The author includes plenty of historical detail, but it's not presented in a particularly interesting or subtle way. I couldn't tell you what the point or plot of this book is and I'm sorry I've wasted as much time as I did listening to it. It's a great example of a writer who can create a poetic turn of phrase but isn't able to create any sub plots or interesting characters. He also has an irritating habit of trying to break up boring dialogue with irrelevant goings-on "A leaf fell from the maple tree," etc. I don't usually review books but I felt so strongly about the blandness of this one that I had to comment. Spend your money elsewhere.
Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.
It would take me a thousand years to finish this dreadful book. I tried to listen to the more than three hours it took me to rip off my head phones and admit that I had made a mistake buying this book. Neither the reader nor the story held my attention.
What could have been a wonderful story was ruined by the almost obsessive concern with bodily functions. On a positive note, the writer has a wonderful ability for descriptive prose.
The book overall was excellent, the problem was they were too cheap to hire narrators to read the Japanese parts, sounded terrible especially the womens roles, thick English accent for a young Japanese girl.... crazy.