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Amazon Customer

Mountain View, Ca USA | Member Since 2013

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 1 ratings
  • 115 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • A Place of Greater Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    It is 1789, and three young provincials have come to Paris to make their way. Georges-Jacques Danton, an ambitious young lawyer, is energetic, pragmatic, debt-ridden - and hugely but erotically ugly. Maximilien Robespierre, also a lawyer, is slight, diligent, and terrified of violence. His dearest friend, Camille Desmoulins, is a conspirator and pamphleteer of genius. A charming gadfly, erratic and untrustworthy, bisexual and beautiful, Camille is obsessed by one woman and engaged to marry another, her daughter.

    Amazon Customer says: "Disaster"
    "Disaster"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first Audible.com book I have experienced (out of several dozeb, possibly a hundred or more) that failed completely. The reason is the narrator's performance, in particular, his indifference to the basic 'grammar' of the author. Let me explain.

    Hilary Mantel develops her narration in the form of vignettes, switching from character to character abruptly, and also interspersing commentary and anecdote about other historicual figures. In the printed text, these are separated by a few end-stops, sufficient white space for the reader to know when one episode ends, another begins.

    For reasons best known to himself or his director, Mr. Keeble has chosen to ignore these grammatical indicators. He reads the text seamlessly without pause or break, disregarding these endstops. Evidently, empty air is so frightening it's intolerable. Thus, the listener has dialog and action from one scene melded onto the one before, without any idea of whether he is still in the same scene, or another, or hearing a larger comment. The result is that detail becomes impossible to separate or recollect. After five hours of this, I gave up, opened the text, and began reading (which I also do) a really good novel, that is quite easily approachable if you have the common sense to respect the author's intent.

    Added to that is the narrator's complete inability to give any of the three main characters (Des Moulin, Robespierre, and Danton) really individual characterization, and you have a disaster.

    I am going to be seeking a refund on this one. If you decide to buy it, you have ample warning.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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