There could be no better example of how the wrong narrator can ruin a book than this. While I imagine I would have had problems with Swamplandia in any case, Ms. Sitrick reads in a flat monotone, which is hardly what the book requires. She mispronounces words, she puts emphasis on the wrong syllables, she's generally a disaster, and it's extremely difficult to listen to her. Not so her co-narrator, David Ackroyd, who unfortunately reads only a small portion of the book. This was, alas, an infuriating experience.
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
I just didn't like it. My boyfriend and I read it together and we both felt a real sense of disappointment. Did we just not "get" the hype? Were we missing something? I felt disjointed most of the time like it was really two novels spliced together - one trying to work its way under the magical realism genre and the other a sort of coming of age humorous one. The result for me was muddled, and maybe I just don't like magical realism or maybe Russell was working just a little too hard at making this a quirky novel. It hit me hardest when I realized what was happening to Ava....and didn't care. Yup, I just didn't care what really happened to any of these characters and, in the end, that's not the way to endear the reader. Oh well.
The story is highly unusual and very imaginative. I wanted to hear the rest of it. But I was completely unable to continue listening to it because the reading voice of the young woman relating it was so absolutely abominable. She speaks too fast by far, and her sibilants are half way to a lisp. Overall, I missed understanding of at least 1 word out of 10; it became highly frustrating and I just had to stop at less than half way.
Yes, absolutely. A well-crafted, expertly written coming of age story.
Like all good writing, there isn't just one pivotal scene, but nuggets throughout that strike you.
If you enjoy just a great story with good writing, this is worth checking out.
It's like listening to a fourth grader read. The terrible intonations are cringe worthy. And I refuse to believe it's done to replicate the way Ava would speak. It's not. She just shouldn't have narrated this. She ruins the book.
I could not get past this narrator's voice. She sounds like a high schooler and not in a good way. Her diction is terrible. Her voice is so nasal it gave me a headache. I am so disappointed they would ever choose someone so inept to narrate.
I would be hesitant to recommend this mostly because of the performance.
This was my first book performed by Karen Russell.
I was repeatedly off put by the reader's mispronunciation of words. This kept me from being able to fully involve myself in the story. Shouldn't someone have noticed this during production?!
I don't think so.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
I found this book to be quite well-written, but the decision to use 2 narrators was a distractingly bad experience... The book is solid when Ava is narrating, but when Kiwi is narrating, it, the book sounds like it isn't even being directed by the same person. If they just would have stuck with Arielle Sitrick, it would have been a MUCH better listen.
If you want diverse, quirky characters and want exquisite descriptions of the Florida wetlands... this could be your book!
No, I thought the female reader was awful. Every few minutes, I would have to ask, "what did she just say?" Her pronunciation and enunciation were very poor. Not what you look for in an audible book.