I find this book fascinating, because it is detailed and complete. I am an American and a friend of the late Helen Snow, have lived in China off and on for many years, and am knowledgeable of China's recent history,culture and some of the players. This book answers many questions I have had. The only problem - and it is disturbing - is the narrator. His pronunciation of the Chinese names is so far off the mark that I had to stop now and then to ask myself, "who is he talking about?" Or I would find myself thinking, "Oh, he means ___" This is disturbing. Even though many non-Chinese liseners might not know the difference, it is such a fine presentation, backed by years of painstaking research, the narration is irritating, and falls short in this one area. It seems important to me that the narrator know how to pronounce the names of the recognized leaders of modern China. But this is the only limitation I find- I am listening slowly to get every word! Thanks!
The story's good, suitably intertwined plot stories, but the narrator, Scott Brick, made staying with the story stressful He tells the whole story, speaking for men, women, a child, and his voice was always the same. Once in awhile he tried to sound like a woman, but he lost it in the middle of the sentence. Plus it is tiring so many nasty people speaking at the same tone of anger... Scott Brick's tone? And the friendly discussions, same tone of discussing. Tiring, and seriously interrupting the feeling of being in the book.
The author claims she doesn't let the reader get lost, that she brings along the story, the history, from one book to the other. I missed a book, which one I don't know, so I am lost when she talks about her husband (where did he come from) and her rape by detective Marino, not to mention other characters of whom I can't recall. I am her fan, but I wonder how I can find the books I missed, read them first, then come back to this one.
This is the worst I have tried to stay with. The narrator is terrible, I will judge buying future books by his name, when I see it I won't buy the book. Too many repititions of lists of evidence, and too much confusion as to who is talking. Female narration? Awful. The book finished in the middle at the end of part two??? So I give up. The idea for the story is good, but so long and drawn out - I wanted to know how it ended, but couldn't get there.
Overall, this would make a good movie! Colorful paintings, colorful characters and a slick plot. I could see what they were doing in my mind. bit hard to follow but I am a listener who gets interrupted a lot, and has to rewind. Or I fall asleep getting my toenails done, but that's my problem. A bit hard on the ears with the constant "f" word. Didn't like that. Tempted to "read" the new book by same author,at least not yet, not up to the same narrator? "f words? and similar sounding plot... maybe.
I stayed to the end in order to see how it would end and if it would end. It was a bit hard to follow. I found the husband rather irritating and wishy washy.
This would have been a so much better listen with a different narrator. She is trying to give a feeling of suspense, I guess. But it is very aggravating that she tends to try to give this impression by a certain breathiness in her voice delivery in the narration. And why does she end every sentence on an up note. I find myself longing to hear a definitive sentence. This is an aggravation I have to mentally block in order to stay with the story.
Actually I live most of the year in China, and rely on Audible. Books in English are not easily available here. Audible is truly a blessing!! Thanks!
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