I am so very disappointed. While this book may be well written, the audio version is the most awful audio book I have heard so far. I suppose this is an example of someone reading a book on some sort of depressant. He could not read slower if he tried. There are strangely long pauses between sentences and even mid-sentence. And then all of a sudden, he will go right from a current character description right into the next paragraph about "the gardener" -- which obviously is a completely separate thought -- with barely a breath. I am not sure if these are editing mistakes or this narrator is truly that bad.
It has taken almost an hour to introduce the first character and it appears this will be done for all 4 important characters. This book is about 18 hours and probably could be about 13.
I do not even know if I want to finish this book, as it is literally putting me to sleep. I started listening on 2x speed, which actually sounds more like normal speed, with a few spots that go a little faster than would be normal. Even with what would seem like some of the more fast-paced scenes, the narrator barely gets above his regular monotonous drone. It's as if his mother told him right before he recorded "now remember to speak slowly and annunciate."
I have purchased hard copies of some of Wambaugh's other novels and I hope he is a better author than this audio book makes him appear.
Glad I only paid a few bucks for this audio book. No wonder it was only a few bucks...
... who did not love this book. I actually liked it most of the way through, even though the author's reading was a bit stale and monotone. I got over that-- I am assuming he was trying to make his words clear in spite of his accent. His narration grew on me after a while. I enjoyed the history of a childhood so different from this country. It was good. I was on board. Then came the end. Killed it for me! It was a little too clean, a little too "wrapped up", a little too pandering with the oh-what-a-perfect-tale!--oh-how-he-learned-his-lesson!-type story . But, majority rules... so I concede! (But I don't understand it!) :)
If you can get past the fact that it sounds like he is reading inside a tin can, this narrator is absolutely impossible to listen to for more than a few minutes without zoning out. He pauses at the most inoportune times, right in. ......... the middle of a sentence. I don't even know what to say about this. I laughed out loud when I first heard it. Was this done in someone's basement? Was the guy holding his nose? I got through precisely 24 minutes before I gave up. And that was listening on 1-1/2 times speed. Awful.
Scott Brick must be one of the worst narrators ever. This is the second book of his I have listened to and I have disliked both. His style is very over-the-top. He is too dramatic and his sentences too often reach an unneeded crescendo. Half the time he cannot keep his voices and accents straight and in one instance a French accent slowly turns into a badly done Irish accent. When he isn't whipping himself into a frenzy or botching the voices, he sounds just plain haughty.
The book itself is just ok. Period references are good if they are done correctly. This book just squeaks by in that department. It starts to get a little annoying with the references (yes, we know 85 miles an hour was fast in 1906), but then backs off before it gets TOO bad. The ending cannot be described as anything but cheesy.
I have always wanted to read this book, just to say I did. I thought I was in for a long haul, but the first half has flown by! The narrator is excellent. There are very many characters and it seems he has a distinctive voice for each! Don't get me wrong, there are boring parts and it IS confusing in the beginning to remember all the characters, but pay close attention at first and you will recall them as time goes on. I even took a break halfway through for another book. I actually was happy to return to this one! Very well narrated, I think it makes all the difference. (the Peace parts are more interesting than the War parts, mostly)
I see that everyone seems to like this narrator. I think he is terrible. I will admit, I love when each character has his/her own voice. When the book first starts, the narrator does not "do voices" and it is somewhat difficult to follow who is saying what with his slightly irritating inflections, usually at the ends of sentences. When a Russian character enters the scene, all of a sudden this character has a flawless Russian accent (and I mean PERFECT!). And then the narrator starts giving distinctive voices to the rest of the characters. However, these voices are sketchy and inconsistant throughout the rest of the story (except the Russian). The main character has an American southern accent. I think.
At times, he uses the same "voice" for several Chinese characters. This voice is the slow, deliberate voice of an elderly Chinese man - seems believable. But when this character has a long monologue, the narrator speeds up the reading and the effect is lost.
This is my first exposure to Steve Berry, which is unfortunate because I think I might enjoy his books. There is a lot of history, but I am not sure it is only for buffs. I am not a history buff, but I did find it interesting -- although I also did a lot of rewinding...
Its an ok audio book as far as that goes, but definitely don't pay full price for it!
I am not sure if it is the completely unnecessary use of foul language or the ridiculous voice the narrator uses to portray the father, but this audiobook couldn't be worse. I am no prude, I have used my fair share of curse words - daily - but it becomes less funny the more you use it. And really?! Who's dad sounds like that? I mean, maybe someone when they are 70, but not 30-45, which is the likely age group for most of these comments. I can't even bring myself to listen to that second half. Waste of money. The first word of this book describes it perfectly.
I bought this for the reviews and could not imagine how good it actually turned out to be. I find most audio books to be a little boring most times and am not a big reader of "women's books" but this --- THIS never caught me daydreaming! The story is engrossing, exciting, intruiging and the narrators are beyond words. I am not finished and actually don't want it to end! I have "read" a good number of audio books, as I have a long drive to work and this is by far, the BEST.
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