I think if you are a huge fan of the Thursday Next series, you'll like this book. While there is plenty of exposition to catch you up if you hadn't read the previous books, I can't imagine caring much about Thursday or this story if I hadn't just read the previous installment. There are plenty of literary and grammatical jokes for the book nerd, but I was a bit let down by the story itself. Just not as intrigueing as previous Fforde novels.
Emily Gray reads well and is a great voice for Thursday. Unfortunately there are a lot of characters and voices to keep up with in this book, and she doesn't always pull that off.
I would say that your time would be better spent reading the book yourself, which I plan to do. I love Merge Records and the story is a great one, but the performance is unbearable.
Ray Porter's haphazard application of emphasis is incredibly distracting, and is often so simply wrong that it distorts the sense of a sentence. I think his voice itself is perfect, but he reads as if he isn't taking the trouble to understand the meaning of the words. I was already rather annoyed with the performance when Porter mispronounced Stephin Merritt's name, at which point I gave up on it completely. There must be a narrator out there who knows or cares *a little bit* about this subject. Should have hired them to read it.
I would definitely watch a documentary about Merge.
I thought Emma Thompson did a beautiful job reading this story. Her voice is a perfect fit for the narrator, which is why I chose this version over the others that are available.
If you are familiar with Forster and like his work, you will probably respond well to "Howard's End." I enjoyed the "read" but in the end, Forster is not one of my favorites.
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