While my husband and I are enjoying the story and writing in Inkspell even more than the original Inkheart, the switch in readers from the very talented Lynn Redgrave to the very.... um... good-looking.... Brendan Fraser has made listening to this series a chore. We have several times been tempted to go purchase the actual book so we can finish the story without Fraser's horribly jarring narration, but having spent so much money on the audiobook here at Audible, we feel like we might as well try to finish it.
Our chief complaint is his decision to voice almost all young or female characters as shrill and screeching. We dread the chapters featuring Elenor, though Redgrave's portrayal of her in the first book made her one of our favorite characters. Also irritating is how almost every character is given a strong foreign accent based apparently on cultural stereotypes. Even though almost all of these characters are supposed to live in the same general region and speak the same language, romantic women have thick Tuscan accents, evil women have a strong Russian accent heavily reminiscent of Bullwinkle cartoons, uppity characters have French accents so thick you can barely make them out, criminals are Cockney, heroes are Irish, the only character actually described in the story as Italian sounds like a Jersey mob boss, and the only Black character, of course, sounds like he could have starred in Forrest Gump. Finally, Fraser's constant. over. enunci. ation. of. words. for. em. pha. sis is driving us nuts. This isn't Star Trek!
This is a very entertaining and well-written story, but if the quality of the narration is at all important to you, I recommend purchasing the actual book and reading it yourself.
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