Are audio books better than print books? That's such a personal call, my opinion is really insignificant to the reader of these reviews. I am a big fan of both, but audio books give me the ability to enjoy a book in situations where reading is not possible, like on long road trips. Sitting on a beach it might be a toss up, so make your own decision.
The book is quite unique, and therefore quite difficult to compare to other books I've read. It is almost journal-like in its approach.
Ralph Cosham really captures the complexities of the main character,Signor Farfalla, which really brings the story alive and makes the personal nature of the narrative believable.
When the Signor Farfalla finally admits to himself he cares for Clara
The original title of this book, "A Very Private Gentleman", is really a much better title for this work than "The American" and once you've listened or read it you will understand this. While I greatly enjoyed the movie, especially the scenery, the plot of the book is much more enticing. It is probably good I saw the movie, "The American" first. Had I listened to the book first, the movie would have been disappointing.
I'd recommend you give Martin Booth's "A Very Private Gentleman", AKA "The American" a try, I think you'll enjoy it, I know I did.
Born and named Che Linton Palk in Andover Hospital, Hampshire, one cold January morning 1976.
Great story, great narration. Don't want to spoil it. A must listen if the shadow world is your thing!!!!!!!!!!!
I truly enjoyed this and not just the story. Mr Cosham's reading, with his melancholy and perfect understanding of the prose, lent a credibility I was not prepared for. Told almost exclusively in first person, with opinions on a great many subjects, this was a memorable listen. Do not expect the movie...
A better narration. The absolute monotone delivery, even by talented Ralph Cosham, are not what I need when driving, or at anytime really. Why, one asks, was the decision to make the story as flat as possible? Just because it is placed in Italy, and indeed many Italian novels seem to have this same affliction? Maybe that's it.
Unlikely, but who knows. Maybe he's a great near-Alan Furst type writer. I certainly don't know after listening to a couple of hours of this narration.
See first response concerning narration.
It is always disappointing to think there might be a story of value buried under a dullness that acts as moat. I was sad. I was dulled. I was disappointed.
I don't like to give negative reviews. I appreciate the efforts and talents of almost all writers and certainly skilled narrators, but this audiobook left me so dulled that eventually I couldn't care less about the story.
Although it was published in 1990, at times it feels older, hence the mediocre recommendation. But there were stretches when I was completely engrossed. The book is written in the first person and that immediacy pulls you in. On other occasions it feels like a friend going on about something less than interesting. And maybe that is what Martin Booth was going for? I enjoy the details of a book, and the author get a lot right. Senior Farfalla is most intriguing when he goes into explaining the particulars of being one of the worlds greatest gunsmiths. The other times ... well, you get the idea. Regardless of that I found myself wanting to listen on. I will likely sample this one again, and I suppose that is the sign of a good book.
It is quite possible that the mystery novel has grown beyond this book and that I would have had fewer expectations if I had read this one soon after it was originally published. I just felt that it was too understated. Maybe the book cover image threw me off. The protagonist was a likable fellow, though. Narration was good, too.
A good novel should have a balance of plot to color and background. This one is about 5% to 95%; most of the book is about descriptions of butterflies, views out of windows, clothing, etc. etc. etc. Interesting when he tells the story, but lots of dull in between
The story was a.little dry,
But the performance was quit good.
Not sure I could recommend this for its entertainment value.