Audible books performed by the author are often quite good. Barbara Kingsolver, for example, does an excellent job. In this case, however, the performance distracted from the novel making it difficult to follow. This one would be better to read in print.
In general, authors should resist reading their own work. A top-notch narrator would have enhanced the novel, especially since the story jumped around a lot between past and present, and a professional could have helped the listener make those leaps with him.
One reviewer compared this novel to leafing through a scrapbook. I think that's apt; it's an experience where each new remembered picture or bit of memorabilia prompted an anecdote, a memory, a small revelation about being 11 once and being 11 no longer.
As always with the poet Ondaatje, the language is beautiful, the descriptions breathtaking, the rhythm of each sentence perfectly set against the plot. I would certainly recommend it.
I really love travel books, but Michael Ondaatje has SUCH A DRY VOICE, I couldn't focus on it! I listen to audiobooks in the car and his drone was putting me to sleep! It should be an exciting book but (sorry, Michael) his voice is just not a good fit.
Dry, monotone, lackluster, blends words together. Unable to reduce the bass from his voice enough.
Just read the book. Let your inner voice bring it to life.
I absoutely loved listening to the author read his own book. This added a particularly wonderful and unique quality to this audiobook. Loved the story.
Listening to the author read his autobiographical, if perhaps somewhat novelistically enhanced, story of his boyhood adventures aboard the ship "Oronsay," is possibly the most rewarding audible experience I've had, certainly in my top five audiobooks. The pacing is perfect, and even though Ondatjee doesn't "do voices" for different characters, you practically always know who is speaking by the intonation and context. I so like this audiobook I"m going to buy the book to savor it again as a read, but I highly recommend this audiobook.
A boys sea voyage changes everyone aboard.
This is a poetic performance that deserves the slow, measured delivery that Michael Ondaatje gives the written material. The story evolves in a mesmerizing, understated evolution. I've listened to it twice and will look forward to hearing it again.
The characters are haunting and the story is very intriguing. It was interesting to hear the words and tones of the author's reading. As all book listeners know, the reader makes all the difference in the world and hearing Ondaatje's voice added to the book for me.
Credibility and a more melancholy tone than I think I would have read myself..
The story is very interesting and informative of a specific time in history. A sweet story, it's also sad; the characters have very complicated lives.
This is a three-fer: intriguing storyline, fantastic prose, and captivating narration by the author. His voice compels you to listen, and impels you into his voyeuristic world on board ship and beyond.
I've been disappointed in the last two Ondaatje novels, but this has the poetry and observation of his best work, and the power of a whirlpool to draw you in to the violence under the calm.
I've bought a half-dozen copies as presents; well worth it.
There is a good reason why this book has won accolades. Listen to it and find out for yourself. Listening to Michael Ondaatje reading this wonderful book is mesmerizing, and as deep as the ocean.