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Phillipa Somerville

ratings
6
REVIEWS
1
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HELPFUL VOTES
19

  • The Janissary Tree: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jason Goodwin
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (83)

    It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Togalu, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world. You see, Yashim is a eunuch.

    Judith A. Weller says: "A Real Page Turner"
    "Interesting premise, annoying narrator"
    Overall

    As a lifeling voracious reader, I am fairly new to audiobooks. The narration is a new element for me, and adds a whole new dimension to the experience. A great fit, such as the novels by Chris Knopf combined with the downright perfect narration by Stefan Rudnicki, makes for an unforgettable experience. But, when the narration is annoying, it can render the book unlistenable.
    Stephen Hoye reads almost every line in the Janissary Tree with the same cadence. Every line ends with downward note. DA-DA, DA-DA, DA-DAaaaa. DA-DA, DA-DA, DA-DAaaaa. I find myself distracted, trying to imagine at least five different ways the line could be said, other than Hoye's falling tone. It's my fault--I should have listened to the sample. (Note: I just listened to the sample, which does not give an indication of how limited this narrator is. I would have still selected the book, based on the sample. Sigh.) As the book seems fascinating, I will read it the old-fashioned way--in print.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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