I enjoyed this version of the story, but I have a hard time listening to the narrator. It took quite a while for me to filter out the weird cadences and rediculously over drawling volcal performance to get in to the story.
I really enjoy the way Elizabeth Kostova writes. The way she describes the observations of the characters and their motivations is really easy for me to relate to. We probably process our environments in a similar way.
After hearing about all of the artists and their experiences and histories, I actually considered taking an art course to learn more about techniques and styles. I always enjoy a book that inspires my curiosity and has me researching on the internet.
I found a couple of the narrators harder to pay attention to that the others, but that was because of my own preference in narration styles. The main male narrator reminded me of going to a book reading by an author...it was just a reading and not a performance (I haven't yet found an author that was also a voice actor). One of the women had an abrasive, hard enunciation that sounded like her voice was on the verge of crossing over into "quavering with emotion." Neither was horrible, but I definitely preferred listening to the other three narrators.
The conceptual development seemed adolescent or maybe just sketchy. If the character’s special gifts had included a supernatural ability to make intuitive leaps 10-15 years beyond his chronological maturity, I would not have been so distracted by the insightful observations he kept coming up with. I found myself perpetually wondering “and how would he know anything about that?” A likable character, but not believable as a thirteen/fourteen year old boy who’s entire life experience was virtual enslavement on a single-family mine.
I really enjoyed the voices that the narrator gave to each character, but his “narrative” voice was awful...like he was called on to read aloud in class. The difference between the performance when he was speaking as a character and when he was just reading the text was strange; almost like two different performers and one of them had not rehearsed his lines. I did notice that it improved in the second and the third books, though.
If you are an audiobook addict as I am, you will probably agree that a mediocre narrator can make a fantastic book awful and a mediocre book un-“readable.” I did not find Charlton Griffin’s performance at all mediocre! I love all of the Sherlock Holmes stories and enjoyed every hour of this narration.
I have “read” all of the Sookie Stackhouse books available from Charlaine Harris. Though I'm occasionally disappointed with a choice the author makes for a character in the books, the series is extremely entertaining. I particularly enjoy that there is usually more than one thing going on in each story.
The narrator, Johanna Parker, is EXCELLENT; definitely one of my favorites. I have picked other books because she narrated them.
The authors delivered the expected level of entertainment, but the narrator made this book difficult to listen to. For me, his over-dramatized oration rendered the characters as beyond pompous to ridiculous and irritating. Just not my style.
I read these books when I was a teenager (back when I actually had time to read printed books for fun), and I was excited to "re-read" them now. Unfortunately, the narrator's delivery is patchy. I really enjoy the way he portrays the characters, giving each a distinctive tenor, but his narration style for the descriptive parts of the text drones. It is very reminiscent of Paul Harvey. I find myself zoning out for long sections of the book unless one of the characters is talking...even during battle scenes. When I tune back in, I keep expecting to hear him say "and now you know...the REST of the story."
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