The story was as good as any Donna Leon has written about our favorite Venetian detective. But why, why, why did Audible select someone with a pretentious British accent for this book when it cried out for an Italian one. Only the names are said in an Italian style but are so exaggerated that the names sound like a sarcastic joke.
I have read every book in this series but never listened to one before. I am going back to the written version for so long as this narrator -- who no doubt would be fine for other novels, say Jane Austen -- is reading them. It really detracted from my enjoyment of the story.
The facts of the story are a bit dated (still using pay phones and the computer screen savers are flying toasters) but Michael Connelly does not disappoint with plot development and characters. The narrator is a disappointment, excessive and overacting.
The story and narration are excellent. The author's detailed and realistic portrayal of the work of a criminal defense lawyer are flawless, reminding me of another great portrayal on the other side of the court room, the books by Scott Turow. The narration is pitch perfect. This was so good I looked for trips to take in my car so I could keep listening.
The story is good and I know that Audible changed narrators for this series for the later books. I wish the middle-of-the-series books were available and I refuse to listen to anything else that Mr. Gillies recorded so I will have to read the next few in this series until I can catch up to where the Audible recordings begin again.
This is for the fans who have kept up with the lives and travails of the characters in the entire series. I think it wouldn't make a lot of sense if you didn't know the back stories. The plot development and story line is one of the best of the last few in this series, with a good dramatically satisfying ending. The narrator has become Inspector Gamache, and he does a good job with the other characters as well.
If you didn't know that JK Rowling had written this book, you would never guess insofar as it is gritty realism, not fantasy. But what the book has in common with its famous half-siblings is the detailed recreation of an entire world of places and relationships, with realistically flawed but compelling characters, the most enjoyable of whom is Strike, the main protagonist. The author also reveals the back story of the characters slowly and with complexity. The resolution of the murder itself is not particularly stunning (in fact, I thought it was the weakest aspect of the book but can't say why or it would ruin the ending) -- but I really loved the characters and I was sorry when the book ended. The narration is excellent. I look forward to more in what I hope will be a long series.
I think I'd listen to this narrator reading a food shopping list. The story is told in the present and in a series of flashbacks, about romance, relationships and what gives our lives value and meaning. Taking place on the Italian coast (in the past), Hollywood (in the present) and on the Western plains of the US in the 1800s (a side story). Fun read, you can't go wrong.
I liked the story and I hated the style of the narration and half of the narrators. Every single character (and there are many) has its own narrator (although some double up). I found this extremely distracting because there would be a bit of dialog by one voice, followed by "he said" or "she said" by the main narrator. When there is a lot of dialog, it sounds like a game show. Some of the actors were good but several were not. Maybe because some had small roles, they were badly and overly dramatic and exaggerated. (I want to slap the woman who played Laurie's mother. NO ONE talks like that.) The Irish accents were inconsistent. This book would have been 10x better if Audible had just let a better narrator read the whole thing through, as is done in most books with multiple characters. The main narrator was okay, but sounded excessively excited most of the time. Overall, a disappointing and confusing experience from Audible, for what is otherwise a worthwhile read.
Luminous writing pulls you in from the beginning. I just wish there was a better narrator than the author.
She should stick to her day job as a writer and leave the narration to the professionals. I hope Audible will re-record this book with someone else. She did a poor job distinguishing between the character's voice and her accents for Ovid Byron was not convincing.
Fun but outdated in terms of the social relationships and gender expectations of the characters which I found irritating, especially the scenes between the narrator and the psychiatrist. Still -- it is a great story and a nice escape into a recent past.
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