This production is so badly done for so many reasons that I hardly know where to start with this review. I'll try using highlights:
1. Hercule Poirot speaks with an English accent. The performer makes a poor attempt to mimic a French accent but fails utterly.
2. One performer does produce a believable French accent. The only problem is that the character speaking that accent is from Spain!
3. The abridgment is careless and sloppy. Audio fades are used during critical conversations and events, disrupting the continuity. The arrivals and departures of key characters have been removed in several places, making it impossible to know who is and isn't present at the start of any scene.
4. Hercule Poirot is a minor player. He does nothing but say things like "Yes, curious" and "No, curious" for most of the production. His presence in England is never explained satisfactorily. No time at all is given to his thoughts, emotions, and ideas. Even at the end, when he manufactures his solution, he states facts and evidence he's never discussed or seen in this butchered production.
If you are a fan of Agatha Christie and/or Hercule Poirot, avoid this half-baked BBC attempt to milk the Christie cash cow. The milk is sour.
I would certainly buy another book by Ralph Compton and Dusty Richards. I would not buy any book narrated by Scott Sowers.
Because of the poor narration, I couldn't listen to more than the first 2 or 3 chapters of the novel. What I did hear sounded like a fairly generic tale about an itinerant war veteran, struggling to find a place to live and encountering the usual problems - hostile townsfolk, random gunslingers, war widows, etc.
Scott Sower's characterizations were adequate as far as the sounds of the voices went. The problem with his narration was that he paused a few seconds between EVERY sentence. These pauses completely wrecked the story's continuity and frustrated me to the point where I put the book aside after listening to no more than 3 chapters.
I would not have cut any scenes. After listening to the first audio "draft", I would have instructed Scott Sowers to eliminate the pauses. If he could not do so, I would have assigned a different narrator to the project.
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