Buck Schirner is the worst audiobook narrator I have ever listened to. He appears to have been miscast, first of all - don't know how old he is, but his voice sounds at least 50 and tired and the main character is in his 30s. It was very difficult to envision the relationships and the romance listening to that voice. Worse though was the thoroughly wooden and mechanical reading of the script. It really did sound like he was reading and didn't sound natural at all, like enunciating ev-er-y sin-gle wor-dd was more important than the emotion or the story. I've never heard anyone speak in real life like this guy sounded on the audiobook. If I wasn't a Michael Connelly fan and had not read the book in paperback years ago, I probably would have stopped listening in the first 10 minutes. It was that bad. It's a shame, since this was a famous book and could be the first intro to Connelly for a lot of listeners. Skip this book. What's odd is that the narration of the Harry Bosch series done by Len Cariou has always seemed stiff to me (though way better than Schirner). Does Connelly think this kind of reading is what the fans want? Not this fan.
The weaving into the story of a historical connection made this book. Without it, I don't think I would have liked it as much or cared as much about the protagonist. It provided a depth of character that by itself is not unusual, but the means of doing so was very original. This is my third book from Littell, and while it's my least favorite of the three, its still a very enjoyable "read". I'm starting to think I'd like anything from Littell.
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