I'm a fan of Hanna Rosin's work, and this is a very thoughtful, well-reported book. It's a little sensationalist in places, but overall feels exceptionally well-researched and evenly written.
I don't care for Ms. Merlington's reading, though. I suspected something might go amiss because in the opening credits, she's credited as 'performing' the book, not reading it.
I don't think it's appropriate in a non-fiction book for the reader to adopt voices and accents for the character. That's an act of interpretation that can be very effective in fiction, but shouldn't be applied to actual people. The way Ms. Merlington reads a quotation--the tone, the pacing, the inflection--all add a significant layer of subjective meaning to it.
I haven't heard this style in audio non-fiction books, and I hope it's not a growing trend. I much prefer a 'straight' reading for non-fiction works.
Good story. I didn't care for the production of this book. There were multiple narrators, which seemed unnecessarily complicated. The book didn't seem to demand more than one narrator the way, say, "Gone Girl" did. Also, every accent a narrator attempted was terrible.
I'm slightly puzzled, because this book is listed as narrated by Bill Irwin, but there are in fact three narrators. There's another version of this book listed, but I definitely have this one (I clicked through from My Library).
In any case, it's a very readable, pacey book with many of the usual Hornby themes--the banality of relationships, fame and its temptations, music fandom and so forth.
The production is very enjoyable, save for one issue. The way the audio work has been directed requires that each of the narrators do both American and British accents. One of the male American narrators really struggles with the British accent, and to me at least, it's a distraction. I'm no expert on accents, but I've lived in the British Isles and North America, so I'm at least familiar with both.
In any case, it's a relatively minor issue, and perhaps just a personal foible.
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