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Upright Ape


  • Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 20 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Peter Sallis

    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation starring Peter Sallis as the great Belgian detective. Tyrannical millionaire Simeon Lee has been estranged from most of his family for years. But now, on Christmas Eve, the old man calls them all together once more. Unable to disobey, the children gather uneasily and wonder what their father’s intentions are. Does he want to clear up past misunderstandings or cause fresh mischief? Before they can find out, a deafening crash is heard overhead.

    Upright Ape says: "Amateurish, uneven production"
    "Amateurish, uneven production"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters

    When an unknown someone shoots him and leaves him to die, Harry Dresden hopes he might be heading to a better place. Unfortunately being dead doesn't make Harry's life any easier. Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on - a feat that would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death.

    Sylvia C. says: "James Marsters IS THE BEST!"
    "Like the series, like Marsters but like Glover too"
    What about James Marsters’s performance did you like?

    It's consistent with the rest of the series and excellent.

    Any additional comments?

    While I appreciate Audible's going the extra mile to deliver a free copy of the narration by James Marsters, I'm also a huge fan of John Glover. I'm happy to keep both versions, and I applaud both narrators.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • North to the Salt Fork: A Ralph Compton Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Ralph Compton, Dusty Richards
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Captain Jack Starr served the Confederate cause with honor for four years. The town of Lost Dog Creek promised an opportunity for the war veteran to rebuild his life-and a woman to share it with. But not everyone is willing to roll out the welcome wagon....

    Elliot says: "Scott Sowers...Scott Sowers...Scott Sowers..."
    "Extremely annoying narration"
    Would you try another book from Ralph Compton and Dusty Richards and/or Scott Sowers?

    I would certainly buy another book by Ralph Compton and Dusty Richards. I would not buy any book narrated by Scott Sowers.

    What was most disappointing about Ralph Compton and Dusty Richards ’s story?

    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.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from North to the Salt Fork?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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