This is a well written book, and I enjoyed listening to it in that "I'm doing something else and I just want my mind occupied" way that I listen when knitting or doing something else. But it didn't engage me at all. (But then again, I'd listen to Davina Porter read the St. Louis phone book and enjoy it!)
Perhaps it was the sketchy-to-be-almost-nonexistent back story on characters I guess I was supposed to already know, or the very tedious women-are-property-DO-YOU-GET-THIS hammer (yes, very true, but once the horse is dead you don't have to beat it over and over in the same book!) but most of all it was the slim mystery and the fact that all the men in the book were very short sighted (what, a woman DOCTOR! Why, how ABSURD - now get back to the fainting couch!)
I would have SO preferred to hear more of the fascinating life that the dead victim must have crafted for herself, a bit about surgical procedures, even a nod to the few women doctors who DID practice in Victorian times. I hadn't expected this to be so predictable - and it took a damned long time getting there!
The only - main - problem with this book was that as the book jumps from period to period (not necessarily a problem) the narrator DOES NOT read the chapter titles.
So in the first three chapters we go from late 1800's to early 1800's to the 1200's - with no audible change in the presentation of the book.
I feel that MANY of the problems other reviewers have had would have been taken care of by simply READING the chapter titles.
I had to look the book up on Amazon, copy the chapter titles and keep that on my iphone so I could easily look at what period I was supposed to be in.
I also do NOT understand why the audio book doesn't use the same chapter titles as the printed book does. So unnecessarily complex, so easy to fix.
I would appreciate a response from Audible on this. Once again, I feel I've wasted a credit on a book I had to 'research' in it's print form to enjoy.
If I had to hear ONE MORE TIME about Ayla's enchanting accent I would have screamed.
Also, please explain why the author can't use the simple word, "Bow" to describe the weapon the hero devised (she calls it a 'spear launcher' or something, even though she used this word "bow" to describe the bend in a river in Cave of the Horses) but she insists on using words like "travois" and "pannier" instead of saying 'dragging thing' and 'side basket'
So much repetition, thin plot, and yet I listened on and enjoyed it! It could (and should) have been half the length with some decent editing, but I really DID enjoy the sections where the author surmised how foods were prepared, groups traveled, etc.
I enjoyed this book immensely. I love Alison Weir's work, and the narration was TOP RATE with such pros as Davina Porter (an AMAZING reader) and Bianca Amato (another gem!)
If you're interested in Tudor history, this is a must listen!
How you feel about a narrator is a very personal thing, and I realize that some folks probably find Holter Graham very acceptable as a narrator.
Unfortunately, I found his dramatic range hard to listen to. Every sentence was pronounced as if it were the final catch phrase of an ad campaign, with an ironic lift at the end of just about every paragraph. This took me far away from the book, and I had to set it aside (something I rarely do with an audio book, I usually listen at least once to each book, often many times.)
Listen carefully to the sample to see if Mr. Graham's style is something you'd enjoy. (Actually, after listening to the sample I realize it may be too short to experience the full impact of the sing-songiness I felt throughout the portion of the book I was able to listen to...)
There's a strong, yet subtle conservative tinge to this entire book, which I found disconcerting and at times inflammatory. Ferguson hates Unions, that's clear, and in a leitmotif blames them over and over for various financial down turns.
I should have done my homework before buying this book. It's not that I don't like to hear several sides of an issue - I do - but I found his need to politicize many aspects of finance troubling. Not the most enjoyable read I've listened to.
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