Michael Dibdin was a cunning, funny novelist with an eye for telling detail. He would have been far better served with a straight ahead reading instead of the narrator's tin-eared attempts to create distinguishing accents for each of the characters. Pure ham, with a side order of Americans who all sound like parodies of Cagney-esque tough guys. I stopped listening about a third of the way through--I'd rather jump ship and enjoy Dibdin's writing in another format before this intepretation destroys it altogether.
I can't help but wonder how this book might have come across had I read it instead of trying to listen to it. No that I'm going to - Ms. Donoghue had her shot, and she missed. Jack's narrative delivery is grating beyond belief. A kind of fake naivete infuses the narrative that makes you feel trapped like someone's precocious self-absorbed child during a long hot drive in slow traffic while the kid never shuts up. I never once believed in the voice. After two hours, I threw in the towel, a first for me. Simply because a story is about abuse doesn't mean we automatically feel sympathy for the characters. Sympathy is earned. The narrator is nothing but irritating. Why, oh why, are we locked inside this kid's head instead of the far more interesting (presumably) intelligence of his mother? What do we gain? Nothing leaps to mind, and that's the problem.
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