Perhaps there was a reason this was a bestseller in its time, but the language, style and content are so incredibly dated that it was painful to listen to.
The ultimate test of an audiobook for me is how bearable it makes my daily commute into Cambridge. This one took me out of rush hour traffic every single time I turned it on. It was engrossing both from the standpoint of creating the world of medieval England and for its compelling plot and characters. Highly recommended.
I'm sure Junot Diaz doesn't need to know my opinion, but he is a fantastic writer! This story is by turns hilarious, heartbreaking and astonishing. There are moments that make you hold your breath and wish better things for the characters. The use of language is unique and always compelling. Just a great book, well performed.
If you can get past the painful use of racial slurs that were considered acceptable during Twain's lifetime, this story is well-performed by Elijah Wood, and interesting for its portrayal of life along the Mississippi at a certain point in American history.
Though the style and themes of Austen's "Emma" are locked into the period when the book was written, there is enough of the universal human character in this tale to still make it an entertaining listen. This particular narration was wonderfully done, so that the narrator's talent carries you over the parts of the book that ramble on too long. Though this wasn't my favorite Austen book, it has lots of her ironic touches and masterfully drawn characterizations. Most importantly, it has that most magic of qualities, the ability to make me tolerant of other commuters.
Colin Firth does such a compelling job of narrating this story that you don't even mind that the classic romance aspect, which is what sucks you in initially, is blurred by some very out-of-date moral dilemma-type plot twists. Worth your time.
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