I am a huge Ken Follet fan and find it not just disappointing but an enormous dis-service to Follet that J. Charles narrated this book.I could barely listen to it. The pace, the lack of vocal transparency and missed characterization were glaring. I'll never buy another book read by J.Charles. Brilliance can do better than that.
This story was predictable and never engaged me. I was just waiting for the end so I could get on to another book. The primary trouble was the lack of character development and sufficient dramatic tension. I kept waiting for the contradictions, the unknown to appear. Everything was just so expected. Narration also lack characterization skill and a sense of real presence with the character. Overall, quite dull. I am not anxious to listen to another of Sandford's tales.
From the begining I was hooked with a smooth blend of curiosity, tension and character development. Although, I thought the narration was good, I would prefer a little more distinct characterization. However, the dramatic tension was sustained and developmental all the way through.I was guessing up to the last moment.
I am a fan of Dallas Willard and have read or listened to most of what he has written. That's why this book was so disappointing. His content, as usual, was erudite and enriching, but I could hardly finish the book. I had to fight continually to concentrate on the content since, my brain was continually wandering from lack of auditory stimulation. Willard chose to narrate this book himself...a bad choice. His voice is slow, dull and completely lacking in vocal dynamics which are so important in keeping a listener's attention. Just because you can make good sense out of the text, does not mean you can engage a listener's ear and hold it. To achieve that is an art which too many authors of audio books refuse to recognize. I will never buy another of his books if he is the narrator.
I was so interested in this story and really wanted to understand the whole picture, but it took an act of supreme persistence to persevere to the end due to the narration. It was narrated by more than one reader (one almost, as bad as the other) for no apparent reason. The changing of narrators was so annoying. The pace of the narration was so fast, I had to set my ipod to slower settings. The sound quality of the recording studio also changed when the narrators changed...yet, another irritant. None of the narrators did the story justice and I am appalled that a writer like Ken Follet would allow this audio performance to represent his quality work. Shame on him for not doing quality control on this.
I was excited to read this book. I am impressed with Gary Thomas's insight into the institution of marriage. I have been waiting for someone to say these important things and put marriage in the correct spiritual framework .Although, he does concentrate his advice from the male perspective and does not deal with the contributing female dysfunctional element in marriage to the same degree as he develops the male counterpart.
However, I wonder why good writers often opt to read their own books. Its almost always a mistake. I understand that they feel passionate about what they wrote and want to make sure that passion is communicated through the reading. What they don't get, is that narrators are trained and skilled artists with gifts different from a writer. I was so annoyed by the poor recording conditions (way too much hall in the sound) and by the swallowing and saliva management mannerisms of Gary Thomas. The content demands an intimate voice with authority and compassion. Mr. Thomas's voice is strident and it feels as if he is shouting across a canyon at us.
I am writing a review because I admire him so much as a writer with meaningful spiritual insight. His material is great, but his delivery of it in this recording is certainly not up to the quality of its substanative content....a pity.
I so appreciated the content of this book and the way in which O'Reilly strung together the narrative of fact with the element of drama. It was fascinating and informative - a great contribution to our nation's uninformed public,concerning their nation's history. However, I feel it was a big mistake for Mr. O'Reilly to read it himself. His delivery is exactly the same delivery he uses on the' The Factor.' It works for the news media, it does not work here. He missed the opportunity to involve his listening public on several other levels, other than just facts, by not having a skillful narrator reading it. I like listening to O'Reilly on 'The Factor', I did not enjoy listening to "Killing Lincoln" a la 'The Factor'.
Rarely have I listened to such an unfortunate sabotage of a good story by an inferior narrator. I am an avid fan of Vince Flynn and have listened to almost everything he has on audio book. I have not listened to them in order of publication and so was surprised and disturbed when I began "Separation of Power" and was immediately exposed to Ken Kilban as a narrator. G. Guidall and N. Sullivan and A. Schultz had all built in my mind the characters of Mitch ,Irene and Anna and others that was completely shattered by Kilban's amateurish and over-the-top caricatures (especially the interactions between Mitch and Anna). I see that Kilban didn't narrate another of Flynn's books, so maybe Flynn got the message early on. As always, Flynn is masterful story teller and this story is no different. However, the book was ruined for me by Kilban's distortion of these great serial characters.
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