I've recently discovered the Dalziel & Pascoe series, and was at first excited to find so many of the novels on Audible. Unfortunately, the older ones from the BBC (of which I've heard 2 so far) have AWFUL sound quality. Overall, the audio is muffled, but there are also bursts of background noise, and several dramatic changes of speed & pitch. In addition, while I enjoyed the narrator's accent, he inexplicably chose to use a high-pitched nasal whine for Dalziel, and his method for adding drama to a passage is to ascend into a near-shriek. I enjoyed the story nonetheless, but very much in spite of the narrator and the audio. I hope the author can get the audio rights to his earlier novels back and have them re-recorded -- preferably read by Shaun Dooley!
Worst thing: the narration. I don't understand why all the people involved with this production made the baffling choice to have the narrator read the 3rd person omniscient narration in standard American English and the dialogue in (bad?) Danish-accented English. I mean, director, producer, narrator - they ALL got together and decided this was a good idea?! No. It was weird and distracting and got terribly silly when a character of Syrian origin was introduced. His dialogue was read in something like bad Transylvanian - but of course, once you've committed to that creative choice, how are you going to render Syrian-accented Danish *in American English* via an accent?
If the Danish accent was so important to the production, they should have hired a Danish actor.
The story kept me engaged. It built and built, and there were some interesting characters. The author fell into plenty of tropes and cliches, and then tried to dig his way out again with mixed success, but the plot had enough compelling elements that I stuck with it despite the weird narration.
So I would actually give this 4 1/2 stars if I could, but rounded up as I enjoyed the story very much. Obviously, it's a humorous novel with a premise that requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. That said, I prefer that historical novels not have too many obvious anachronisms. There were definitely some moments that veered into silliness and improbability, but the characters, the story, the narrator, and the excellent pacing smoothed them over quickly. It's a lively and fairly original story with plenty of action and plot twists.
If you like humor, the old west, and Sherlock Holmes, this novel is for you.
I love mysteries. I do not love romance novels. This novel has been mis-categorized by someone, which is too bad, because by the standards of romance this probably would be one of the better ones. Hey, if you like florid, cliched writing, goopy sentimentality, and stock characters, you will love this. Like most if not all romance novels, it's a re-hash of the Jane Eyre archetype. Like most romances, it's a poor imitation of the original.
I kept hoping it would get better or at least more suspensful (I DID find it in the "Mystery" section), but so far that hasn't happened. I feel like I'm stuck with it, because I'm not sure how one goes about returning digital merchandise.
I don't feel like the summary or the publisher's blurbs adeqately conveyed the character of this novel.
I was really disappointed with this book. Most of the characters are caricatures -- I kept waiting for the author to surprise me and reveal some depth to one of them, but no. The plot was predictable until the last couple of chapters, when things go all haywire. I will give the guy points for throwing in a few things that I didn't see coming.
The author seemed to save his powers of imagination to make the villain and the crimes as grotesque and profoundly disturbing as possible. This was probably the most horrifying, graphic thing I have ever read.
I know some people are into the "sick serial killer" thing, and I have nothing against a good serial killer plot, but the nasty stuff was SO over the top, and everything else was SO flat -- I was really disappointed and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
I wish there were more Le Carre titles available on Audible. For anyone reading this review, that should give you a little context about what I DO like.
I've heard this one and Tears of the Giraffe -- first of all, the narrator is perfect. I'm so glad I got these from Audible, because the accents and pronounciations add so much to the story. They are about Botswana as much as anything, so the voices are very important. Other than that -- great stories.
Smart & hilarious. I really enjoyed this one.
I have read and loved almost all of James Lee Burke's books, so I went ahead and downloaded this one despite the poor reviews of the narration. I thought "it couldn't possibly be that bad, SOME people liked it!" Well, I was pretty horrified at first -- I was wondering if I could get my money back, even. Eventually I got used to the guy's voice, about two-thirds of the way through the first part. I'm really enjoying the story now (I've been following Dave Robicheaux for a long time), but I don't think I would ever get anything by this narrator again -- just too difficult to listen to.
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