This is a story we need to know and history we need to remember. That said, this volume, more so than Book 1 in the series, bogs down in detailed statistics. I think it is the weakest book in the trilogy.
Yes, but with a warning about detail and narration.
I'm going to make it through all three books in this series, then probably not. The unique pronunciations of some things, and the general lack of emphasis do make me eager to hear this voice again.
See the first question.
Self-discovery fable falls.
Heavy handed, actually.
I loved the meeting with the King, and the crystal shop.
No. From reviews, I had rather expected to find another Little Prince gem of a story. This was more obvious and less charming than I was looking for.
WONDERFUL narration. Jeremy Irons could read a grocery list and I'd want to hear him.
The first book was much stronger as a period piece and a story. This one was rather too predictable.
I might read the third book to find out if the series gets back on track. I won't get it from Audible if Susan Duerdan reads it.
Ms. Duerdan's very breathy, sing song cadence was terribly distracting, especially for the third person narration. Some of the character voices were OK; most were also subject to the distracting cadence. This has not been a feature of her other narrations; one can only think that this book was very oddly directed.
Unfortunately, the characters which should probably not be there are fairly central to the story. (1) Main bad guy. (2) Sadly, very sadly, Princess Elizabeth. Luckily, she seems to have grown up MUCH smarter and all around better than portrayed here.
I really do like Hillary Mantel. I love this series, the period, her point of view.
This series works SO much better in print.
The huge downside of this series in Audio for me was that the books make it clear through use of quotation marks what is internal monologue, and what is spoken aloud. I can't think how else to make this clear in Audio than the constant " ... he said", "... he thought", but that really slowed down the story and makes it much less effective. Cromwell's portrayal as a man who thought much more than he spoke was a critical part of the tale.
Slater was a good narrator, but I got stuck on the constant verbal markers of the difference between thought and speech. That distracted me to the point at which I could not listen to this. Luckily, I had access to the books in another format.
Many other very British and very funny authors. Think PG Wodehouse, early Evelyn Waugh, Jerome K. Jerome.
The choice of a female narrator for the male POV character jarred. I think I was spoiled by hearing the Stephen Fry Reads Saki stories first. That set very high expectations. There was nothing wrong with the narration; it was thoroughly professional. It just didn't match up to my expectation. I did listen to the sample, and thought this would not be an issue for me. I was wrong.
Clovis, of course, as the archly witty POV character, and poor, supplicant Conradin in Srendi Vashtar.
I first read these stories probably 40 years ago, and go back to the Saki short stories from time to time over the years. This is literary comfort food.
I happened on this by accident when it was part of an Audible sale. Ashton Place is in the best tradition of children's stories which are even funnier for the adults: Rocky & Bullwinkle, Series of Unfortunate Events and now Ashton Place. Children will have fun with this, but may miss many of the jokes.
Lemony Snicket meets Jane Eyre by way of Charles Adams.
Ms. Kellgren is a delight as the POV governess, but even better as the Incorrigibles. And every other character. Each of the many voices make this performance a jewel.
The stories were well chosen, mostly ones I had already read but enough new-to-me gems to keep this interesting. The problem with the presentation is that it is disconcerting to have only SOME of the stories introduced with the story and author names [and better yet, narrator name, too]. How much time and money could a fast identification per story have added? A Table of Contents (and a better way to search by story) would have been a HUGE help.
The bottom line is that this could have been SO much better with simple better organization. All of the individual pieces were good; the fault was in the package.
The narrator selections were wonderful. What's not to love about the line up? Hugh Laurie, Patrick Malahide, Stephen Fry, Mamie McCoy go without saying, but Nigel Hawthorne reading Lewis Carroll could have been the highest point, even if the Carroll story wasn't the strongest literature.
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