The book offers useful and interesting context for the familiar story of the 1955 bus boycott. The reader, however, needed guidance and direction. He misreads/mispronounces a number of words (did he leave his reading glasses at home?) and tries to "do voices" for quoted material from MLK and various other figures. His MLK impersonation is so bad as to sound mocking and the women's voices (always a problem with male readers) are foolish sounding. I'm not even going to try describing his attempts to voice various cracker sheriffs and politicians . . .
The book is worth a listen in spite of the reader.
As much as I like the book, the almost amateurish quality of the reading was a huge disappointment. It's like story time with the town librarian reading aloud to us. I just finished listening to Juliet Stevenson reading The Paying Guests and the contrast in quality was almost immeasurable.
I like Susan Sarandon as an actress, but she simply isn't very good here. She reads awkwardly. Sentences tumble out as if she had never seen one before. Is this lack of preparation? Lack of direction? Compared to Cherry Jones astonishingly nuanced and vivid reading of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, this is almost a complete loss--and, sadly, there's not likely to be another audio version of this novel anytime soon.
The book is unusually well written and fresh. My only problem is that the narrator, Sean Barrett, seems miscast. He sounds too old and too self-conscious; he'd make a fine Richard III, but not Guido Guerrieri. Perhaps I'll just read the rest of the series w/o listening.
This really was a letdown after The Regeneration Trilogy. The story is not particularly compelling and, try as I could, I simply found it hard to care much about the characters.
Koonz offers an insightful and convincing overview of the subversion/perversion of values in the years of Nazi ascendancy. The reader, unfortunately, has a rough time with the German words here and there.
Jane Eyre doesn't need my recommendation, but Emma Messenger's narration is first-rate. She isn't just dramatically gifted: she actually shows real insight into the story. The result is one of those rare but wonderful instances when an actor/narrator manages to teach an old professor of literature a few new things about a work he thought he had exhausted.
Because of the inappropriate choice of narrator ( a stilted Ted Baxter type), Brian Greene's excellent, entertaining book is made almost unlistenable.
This is an amateurish reading of a fine novel. You should look for another reading.
The book gathers together most of Murakami's themes and stylistic habits, which is dandy if you love his work, but perhaps a bit too familiar if you already know his work and aren't madly in love with it.
There is a sense that most of his earlier works are just rehearsals for 1Q84.
Degas is fine as long as he isn't doing female voices. One reviewer's description of him as "sounding like a straight man imitating a drag queen" is spot on. His version of female voices is little more than fairly crude caricature which incorrectly makes all the women sound freakish and makes Murakami sound (incorrectly) misogynist. The impression of the women you get when listening is totally different from what you would have if you were reading.
I enjoyed the book because I like Murakami's world, but most people would be best off just listening to 1Q84.
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