Never, never buy a book narrated by the author. I would rather they pay the price for one excellent narrator than several mediocre ones. An excellent narrator is an artist while the others just speak or overact.
Could not get through even to the fourth chapter.
Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.
The story and the narration were absolutely fabulous. It was almost like a movie with some of the sound effects, and acting. The story is about a swordsman and his friend/lover that he is constantly getting out of trouble, and political machinations of some really evil/stupid/self-serving people. OK they aren't all stupid, just one, but sneaky and conniving fits the bill. Wonderful listen, entertaining throughout. Great characters that I really had to love or dislike. I was glad there was a second book waiting.
Swords, sex, and subterfuge
Both St. Vier and Alec were interesting characters and an equally matched pair. Alec was a bit irritating at first and seemed irrational, but once you began to understand more of his psychology and the reasons for his odd, self-destructive behavior, he became quite likable. Of course, everyone in this story is ethically gray, but that works within the context of the book's world. I don't necessarily need characters to be likable, just three-dimensional and with realistic motivations.
This was the first of Kushner's books that I had experienced and the first time hearing her narration. It was fantastic. I wish that every writer was this good at reading their own work (many aren't). I definitely want to listen to more.
I didn't really have an extreme reaction, but I enjoyed slipping back into the atmosphere of the world and its various locations (taverns, mansions, theaters, and courtrooms). The setting and the recording itself were wonderfully engrossing.
Thank you, Neil Gaiman. I wish every book received this quality of production. The music, the sound effects, the background noise, the voice actors, everything greatly enhanced the listening experience and brought the whole thing to life.
Nothing! Neither story nor characters ever really captured my interest; I didn't care for the author's own narration; the actors who suddenly chimed in at seemingly random times sounded like they'd been recorded separately and dropped into the main narration (and hadn't consulted with the author/narrator on characterization! De Vere sounded like a surfer dude from LA, circa 1990); the sound effects were distracting and often just bad (I couldn't figure out why someone was typing with one finger in the background of one scene... and then realized it must be the "fire" crackling!). It sounded like nobody had done any final mastering on the recording-- strange for something that's touted as a wondrous "production" with all the glories of multiple narrators and sound effects.
I've already given up on SWORDSPOINT, and won't bother downloading the 2nd part. I'm on to an excellent Ngaio Marsh novel.
I hate to say this, as I'm a huge NPR fan and have many friends who are NPR on-air talent, but the author's public radio on-air style of reading does not serve her story well. I feel it needs a more actorly reading. The dialogue is stylized-- but her reading of her own dialogue is not. She has a beautiful voice-- just not the right delivery for her own fantasy, olden-days world. As for the actors, I think it must have been hard to get the hang of their characters when they had so little to read-- and some of them sounded strangely amateurish. An odd mix of deliveries, many of which sounded like sight-reading..
I hope this concept of partly-dramatized readings will be dropped ASAP by the Neil Gaiman series. I *adore* Gaiman, but if this is his idea of a success, HELP!!!!
Loved it. Story was engaging and paced well, characters were likeable and believable, and the 'radio play' style of the audio book was brilliant to listen to.
I'm interested in audio as art form -- always in search of the memorable literary listening experience.
The performance engages the imagination and creates a make-believe world that filled with familiar swashbucklers -- who turn out to be not as familiar as I expected. The richly detailed setting became increasingly enjoyable.
Intriguing turns of plot reminded me of stories of the courtiers in a Louix IVX novel.
I have already recommended it to several friends; it's an excellent performance by all the actors, and it is truly a pleasure to hear Ellen Kushner read her work. The characters speak like I hear them in my head, which is impressive in itself, but the exact delivery of their lines and the lovely accents made this even more fun than reading the book.
The Fall of Kings, The Privilege of the Sword, but they are by Ellen Kushner (and Delia Sherman). It's a pretty distinct style, this book. I suppose Georgette Heyer is similar, but not nearly as so gratifyingly sharp.
Clearly, the narrator knows exactly how her characters sound.
Yes. It actually was what got me into my car in the morning, however, since I listen to books when I go to and from work.
Yes - it was a really original and well done story.
I would. I was engaged in the characters and loved listening to the story.
This book is not what I was expecting. Swordspoint is all about the bisexual love polygons, and none of the characters are... entirely likeable. Self centered, irrational nitwits for the most part. The few clever characters are only there in the background. We are restricted to viewing the dunces in the foreground fighting over insults. For me the only reason I made it past the first few chapters was to satisfy my curiosity about a few certain mysteries. Sigh, that's one credit I'll never get back.
Make no mistake: We're all mammals here.
This book is not for fantasy fans. Yes, it takes place in an imaginary time and place, but that describes many novels. It's simply fiction.
The attempt at dramatization was very distracting. Thought I thought the use of sound effects and different voices would add to the listening experience, it was in reality very poorly done and incredibly distracting.