The voices of many of the characters in this audible version are so poorly done that I found it hard to get past them and lose myself in the story. The absolutely worst is Max Darling. I know it's difficult for a female narrator to do male voices, but she made Max sound old, supercilious, and completely out of character. He's supposed to be a cool, young guy and he sounded anything but. The story itself was entertaining although I felt certain of the murderer's identity early on and I prefer a plot that keeps me guessing until the end.
Now that I'm aware of all the twists, I would probably not read it again, but I thoroughly enjoyed it this first time.
I always love surprises and The Forgotten Garden has many throughout its pages.
When Nell's parentage was revealed.
It can get a little confusing because the point of view keeps changing between time periods and characters. Sometimes I needed to take a short break and remind myself of the various relationships. Also, there were a couple of loose ends that were never resolved, and I wish they had been.
The narration by Ralph Cosham is first rate! This is one of the few audiobooks I've listened to where the narration is seamless--effective and not at all disruptive. After listening to about half of it, I was telling a friend about the audiobook and I couldn't even remember if Cosham was acting out the characters or doing a straight reading of the story! (He does act them out, but so unobtrusively, that the listener isn't distracted by strange or bizarre sounding voices, such as an older woman attempting to sound like a young man.)
There were too many to choose one--but I can't reveal more than that!
Clara is probably my favorite because she is just so genuine and likeable. However, Penny goes deeply into the mind of her main character, Chief Inspector Gamache, to share his thoughts and insights. It adds another dimension to a well-plotted narrative, and raises these books to a level above most mystery novels.
No, but just because I wanted to take my time and savor it.
All of the Louise Penny
I had read this years ago I thought it would be a fun and nostalgic listen. The book does suffer from some cringe-producing dialogue (especially with Christie's attempts at American lingo), but listening to the audio version was torturous. If the plot didn't have the usual Christie twists and suspense, I wouldn't have been able to get through it. The narrator does such a terrible job I just can't understand why she was chosen for this project. She sounds like she must be a much older woman and yet all the main characters are young twenty and thirty-somethings. An older woman attempting to sound like young men just comes off as simply ridiculous and really distracts from the story. It would be bad enough if the problem was only with the younger male characters, but she even puts on a false, high-pitched, sing-songey voice for Tuppence! Instead of making Tuppence sound young (which I assume is the intent) it makes her come off like a high strung old lady! It would have been far better if the narrator had just read the book without any attempts to "act" it out.
Saying that I hated this book would be too strong, because there were a couple of worthwhile stories. I was expecting humor, nostalgia, irony, poignancy, or something give me a reason to keep listening. Instead, too many of the stories were whiny, boring and irritating. If you're looking for an amusing, thoughtful or "feel good" holiday book, this is not it.
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