Unsurprising, flippant, middle-road semi-satire. Worst aspect is the snarky preciousness of the narrator who oversells the material, putting every word in sarcastic vocal quotation marks. This is why I often find the best audiobook narrators are authors who read their own work. They don't try to "act" so hard, they just communicate.
A very good novel, and decently narrated, until the narrator begins with the elderly painter Effing whom he presents as a cartoon-curmudgeon, speaking the character's words with barely a variation in tone, inflection, and emphasis. The novel at this point becomes difficult to judge, seeming to slump into a dramatic middle ground - engaging to a point; predictable beyond that point.
Needed more vocal imagination and insight regarding the character of the elderly painter Effing.
Finish the Audible book, despite the growing effort needed to do so.
One of the best books I have read or listened to this year, and one of the best audiobook narrations.
Engaging and enlightening. And perfectly read by Susan Ericksen who voices the author and her other characters cleanly and expressively, with just the right blend of passion and dramatic restraint.
Agree with reviewer below who lambastes the narrators. Especially bad is the male voice doing the introduction and several subsequent sections. He doesn't know if he's Irish or South Carolinian or from Down East Maine, forget about Ohio. A mishmash of summer stock readers overall. This book deserves better.
One of the greatest American novels, and Grover Gardner's narration is among Audible.com's very best. Gardner doesn't just read Faulkner, he becomes him.
Five stars for the stories, a half-star for the narrator whose affected resonance and melodramatic thoughtfulness draw more attention to themselves than to the texts. Narrators like this make me want to say: It's not about you, it's about the book.
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