Homer Hickam is one of my favorite authors. I actually took my son to Coalwood, WV to see the town Hickam describes in his Rocket Boys book and sequels. This story is different, since it is not autobiographical. Again, I think the story line is strong and entertaining. Living in North Carolina, I wanted to read a book which links a favorite author to my home state.
The narration by Michael Kramer is horrible, however, to the point of making listening distracting and frustrating. While Kramer has an incredible reading voice, his narration is dry and without any inflection, even when exciting events are taking place. But what really bothered me the most are the accents he uses for characters in the story. Granted, there are many characters, and Hickam descibes their accents as "Outer Banks brogue." However, the characters in the narration are constantly shifting tone and accent. Most of the main characters speak a sort of British Cockney accent with a slight Southern drawl, although at times it is all Cockney and at times is is all drawl. One time a character speaks has no bearing on how they will sound later in the story, and even within sentences the accents shift back and forth. Altogether, I found this very distracting, since I was focusing more on the accents than the plot.
Overall, I would suggest reading the book if you want a good story. The 3 star rating is the average of a 5 for the book and a 1 for the narration.
I was not familiar with Eugenides work, and ordered this book based on reviews by others. I was not disappointed, and this ended up being one of my favorites. The story is very well-written, always engaging, and I was left at the end with a feeling of sadness, not wanting the book to end.
The narration was first rate. The accents and voices were consistent and realistic, and I immediately punched in the narrator's name to hear more, only to find that this is the only audiobook he has narrated to this point. I hope he reads other books, since I would listen to him read the phone book he's so good (maybe that's a LITTLE extreme!). My recommendation is an overall YES to a great book, well-narrated and extremely entertaining.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.