Consistent story, peaks & dips as appropriate & unexpected subtopic. Kept my interest. Couldn't wait to get back to the gym so I could listen to more.
I can't believe an actor could deliver such a bad reading. Previous readers' reviews gave ample warning but I thought it couldn't be that bad. IT IS THAT BAD! Pass this one or read the hard copy.
Choppy, hard to understand, and a total lack of rhythm. His performance really hurt the overall story.
Interesting, clever plot with a window into injustice inflicted upon a modern Native American community.
I respect and admire Erdrich's award-winning novel. But the narration was the worst I have ever experienced in at least eight years of listening to audiobooks. The point of view of a young man was spoken by someone who sounded like a 50-year-old with the reading abilities of a fifth grader. I am aware that the narrator is Native American, but that political correctness does not justify a listening experience that was not just painful, but destroyed the drama and the emotion that I'm sure the book delivers.
After all the great reviews I guess I expected more. Much more. Story to me was just ok. Narration was WOEFUL!!!!!
No. Wouldn't want someone to waste their doe.
Oh come on. Did you listen to the same performance I did? That was bad.
Seriously, I want my money back. I found the narration just impossible to listen to. Definitely try a sample before you purchase this.
Louise Erdrich is a national treasure, and The Round House is no exception to her collection of tremendously compelling novels. Patternings of light and dark, historical and present-day stories, young characters and elders, interweave to carry the reader/listener along to powerful conclusions.
And I generally love Gary Farmer. He's a tremendous actor, and here when he's reading something that's more like a film scene, he's fabulous. I love the drawl and the cadence, and I can't imagine anyone reading four skinny-dipping insult-trading Native boys any better, anywhere. But one significant joy of Erdrich's writing is what she does with prose sentences, well-crafted lines of text that wind around like a growing vine until they reveal some vivid flower at the end and leave you breathless. On too many of these, Farmer stumbles or flat out trips, reading right past really crucial commas or inserting full take-a-breath stops between subjects and verbs. It's as if he was too busy or too expensive for Harper Audio to pay for him to rehearse or re-record anything, and so he had to read the whole novel cold, and kept getting caught every time his teleprompter was too slow or his attention drifted just a little.
If that kind of narrator-error bugs you, then you have to decide whether the trade-off is worth it: the joy of being really immersed when Farmer is hitting his stride, in a way you can't be if you're trying to do the voices in your own head with a print book, vs. the frustration of being pulled out of the story-world when the errors (maybe one every 10 minutes or so?) catch at your brain. For me, it was worth it, but maybe not by a whole lot.
A 80's Brighton Beach Memoirs on the reservation. The Round House seemed as if Brighton Beach Memoirs was used as this books blueprint. The author took it across country and in an effort to advance it 50 years added drugs, guns and violence.
Such is the way of the world.
The tribal lore and the ways of life on the reservation were interesting. I even enjoyed Gary Farmer's authentic reading. It was the reoccurring unbelievable major events that haunted me throughout and took away from the story.
What I most had difficulties with is the lack of medical care the mother once she came home from the hospital. Days and days went by where I kept screaming, "Get the poor woman some medical attention PLEASE!" It was hard to listen to it go on for a month or better. You cannot tell me that an educated man would buy a new clock before taken his emaciated troubled wife to a doctor.
Once unbelievably starts in a book, then you start questioning everything and the story gets sidetracked.. So the author wants me now to believe at none of the half a dozen or so banks this floozy drags an unrelated teenager into, with tens of thousands of cash, no one investigates...make her show proof of origin, call the IRS? Then within a month all but one of the accounts is drained of over two hundred thousand and banking officials aren't investigating money laundering? In 1988 there is no way that would happen. Not to mention that the author mentions many times the lack of groceries but, wants us to believe that 12 different banks are within reach.
Yes, they are silly little things but, when the reader can't see it happening - it can't be visualized.
Nerd, cook, and avid audiobook reader
I would probably try another book from this author. I purchased the Kindle book with the Audible book (I love whispersync!) and I intend to finish the Kindle version (will probably start over), but I would not try another book read by Gary Farmer. I believe this was the most poorly narrated book I have every purchased from Audible in the 12 years I've been a member.
I haven't gotten far enough along in the story to say, but I am intrigued by the characters and premise, which makes me want to read the Kindle version (well.. also because I've already purchased it).
It seemed that the narrator had never read aloud before, or as if he was unfamiliar with the English language. He would read a line and pause, then continue with the next line, pause, etc. There was no flow at all and it was extremely difficult to listen to. I have 450 books in my audible library, some of which I've listened to multiple times. I barely made it into Chapter 4 of this book.
This is simply the worst narration I have heard in years of listening to recorded books. (To be fair there was one other with a terribly bad habit of emphasizing the completely wrong word, but she seems to have been retrained is now not so bad.) At first I kept checking to see if my iPod was on 1/2 speed. But it wasn't.
But worse than the speed are the pauses in such totally wrong places that one can only conclude that the narrator himself doesn't grasp what he is reading. Perhaps he failed to prepare in advance. These pauses result in an incoherent flow and I would have to re-speak the sentence in my mind. To me this was very irritating, though some listeners don't seem to mind.
I had been warned by earlier reviews but chose to buy the book anyway, so I listened and refused to let the narration spoil it for me. The narrator needs a lesson in reading out loud with better understanding and technique. Meanwhile the book really deserves to be rerecorded