Eoin Colfer has done a splendid job of keeping the goofiness alive, and Simon Jones should be congratulated for a superb narration.
Listening to this book brought back fond memories of listening to the previous Douglas Adams H2G2 books, and I enjoyed the wacky stories and the sense of deja vu created by the plot. I enjoyed the humour but felt that the god-bashing was a little overdone, but not gratuitous. I guess it was required by the plot, and raised some interesting philosophical questions, which I enjoyed.
This book doesn't feel like a sequel or a "keep the successful formula going" effort. It has plenty of original ideas and feels fresh and froody. I think it brings the series to an elegant close, and it will take a brave man to write part 7.
Why is it necessary to repeat 12 minutes of the final part of the book? Did the audio engineer fall asleep?
I found the climax of the battle exciting and unpredictable, as it should be, and then enjoyed the long gentle wind down towards the end, even if it was marred by the 12 minute repeat.
The cynic in me says there will be a book 5, which will of course ruin the author's credibility but make him some more money. After all, I had to pay for this book twice when US listeners did not. Times are tough, even for teenage writers.
The story is great, but the editing is awful. Since when does a *professional editor* overlook the use of the non-word "incredulousness" when the real word "incredulity" is simpler, well known and a lot less clumsy. The mind boggles!
The narration is, as always, very good, and in many ways covers up the blunders made by the author and his publishing company. The story is pretty exciting, and I can't wait for the conclusion in part 2.
The opening sentence of the book description is misleading and wrong: "A beautifully written modern-day love story set in Sri Lanka and London." The Amazon.com editorial review from Publisher's Weekly correctly identifies the location as South Africa's Kruger National Park and surrounds.
Also, I really don't think its primary focus is a modern day love story. Its a thriller, like Meyer's other novels.
This book came in the nick of time for me. In order to fix my cholesterol I was put on the wrong diet, and started gaining weight, increasing my risk of heart disease. Hopefully I can now control it correctly.
One irritating problem with this book: the narrator replaces "causal" with "casual" and "causality" with "casualty". It would be amusing if it wasn't so obviously wrong. -1 star for these repeated errors. Apart from that I think this book is great.
This book is thoroughly enjoyable, with plot twists to make Sherlock Holmes scratch his head. I hope Eoin Colfer writes a few more Half Moon stories.
Hugh Lee does a brilliant job creating believable characters and keeping the wit and pace of the story alive. Five stars for a great performance and excellent entertainment.
When you buy this book, be sure to download the accompanying reference guide and then seek out the 5 extra stories not included in the album. I have no idea why all the stories weren't bundled in together.
The folk tales make you think, and provide some interesting explanations for why certain things are the way they are.
The music by Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela adds a great multimedia touch, and the songs can be played separately from their stories as well. The reference guide has a translation of the words of the Zulu songs.
The extra tracks are:
Spider and the Crows
The Lion, the Hare, and the Hyena
The Cloud Princess
The Cat Who Came Indoors
Thanks to Audible for making this collection available worldwide.
This production is an audio massacre. I'm sure Danny Glover was delighted to read the autobiography of such an admired man, but this production did Mr Mandela no favours. I can't vouch for the Xhosa pronunciations, but Glover butchers common SA English words such as "veld" (pronounced felt) and even Mandela's own name. It's man-DEH-lah.
This audiobook is a perfect example of how British and American disregard for accent and pronunciation leads to accusations of cultural imperialism. If Tom Sawyer was read by a Pakistani narrator, how many Americans would complain? There would be an outcry. So why not get a South African narrator to do a proper job? There are a number of SA voices with the deep vocal quality of Glover, without the glaring inability to pronounce names correctly.
I'm sure I will eventually get used to the butchering of names and words, but it is all so unnecessary. The author deserves better respect than this disaster. The producer owes him an apology, but this is unlikely to happen.
This is one of the best summaries of a half century of complex history I have heard. It's well worth the purchase price just to hear some of those historic recordings.
My only complaint is that very few of the voices are identified. I have lived in South Africa my entire life, and had no problem identifying the voices of F W de Klerk, Helen Suzman, Desmond Tutu, Pik Botha, Dr Motlana, Winnie, Zinzi and Nelson Mandela and a few news anchors. But I would love to be able to put names to the other two dozen voices, especially the ANC voices. Perhaps these could be added to the program notes somehow.
I guess this complaint says a lot about the program: it draws you in and makes the history interesting. So much so that you want to know more. That's the sign of a great documentary.
How do you rate a classic novel of all time, that is well read, but the narrator gets the names wrong?
"Sophiatown" is NOT promounced SOfiah-town, but so-FIRE-town.
"Veld" is pronounced felt (as in heartfelt).
These words occur often throughout the novel, and every time they are used I wince. Do these audiobook publishers do NO RESEARCH at all? Is it really OK to mangle the Afrikaans quotes so badly that one has to burst out laughing? Is it OK to have a phony accent that makes a South African cringe? I have lived in Johannesburg all my life and I never heard anyone speaking like the white man from the reformatory.
So, Michael York's narration skill gets 5, but subtract 2 for bad research. The story gets 5+, and is worth listening to. It's a great novel. Unfortunately a lot of what Alan Paton wrote in 1948 is still applicable 60 years later. SA is now a democracy, and Apartheid is no longer law, but the crime in Johannesburg is still just as bad, and there are still squatter settlements and poor people being exploited.
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