Get the unabridged version: this attempt to condense about 16 hours of text into less than 5 hours totally guts this fine story.
A 'Cliff Notes' version would include more of the plot and character development than this over truncated attempt.
Mixing humor with science fiction and fantasy is tough but it is well handled here.
It reminds me a bit of early (pre 1960) Heinlein in some of its tone and also a touch of the whimsy of Douglas Adams as seen in his Dirk Gently books.
Wheaton's voice and accent selection for this story were well chosen and nuanced I enjoyed the 'youngster' voice given to Joshua in particular.
Wil Wheaton has really improved as a performer of audio books and with this production he moves into the first rank of audio book stars... right up there with the readers of Pratchett's Discworld books, Nigel Plainer and Stephen Briggs.he is now in the class of Stefan Rudnicki, Fredrick Davidson, and Bronson Pichot. The mega star audible performers such as Stephen Fry and Derek Jacobi may need to look in the rear view mirror soon if he keeps improving at this rate.
I have enjoyed the books of Harry Harrison for more than 40 years and this first in his Deathworld trilogy is one of his best and I understand that Mr Roberts is a popular reader with more than 70 books read by him here on Audible and I have in fact enjoyed his work several times in the past but I feel he was miscast for this book. A better choice I think would have been one of the readers used for the Prattchet books or the stainless steel rat tales of Harrison with their wide command of accents and vocal color at their command. Of course the problem may be more the director and choices he made as to the personalities assigned to the characters in the book. in this book the reader sounds to me as if he has been told to give a reading suitable to the books read for the visually impaired where the standard direction was I recall from when I volunteered my services to them was to " read rapidly and clearly with little or no attempt to interpret or dramatize the work" this makes a lot of sense when one is reading a textbook or similar for use by the blind but it is not what I want from a book that I buy here.
The Narration was finely nuanced and the accents chosen were well done; amazingly so for an American as I normally do not expect them to do accents as well as classically trained british actors The choice of voice for Oberon was just perfect.
The Story was well written and the World the author created was well drawn I look forward to listening to more of his work as so few mingle well plotted fantasy with deft touches of humor ( his feisty old Irish widow is a classic!)
the choice of a woman for the narration here was a poor one.
Go with the newer release the male narration fits the story and characters far better
5 stars for the story but docked 2 for the reading
A good story mixing the genre of hard boiled detective yarn with solid Science fiction with a deft touch of humor this was the first by this author I have listened too it will not be the last.
But major kudos for the performance by the narrator. I have listened to Mr. Vietor before and found him to be one of the better artists here on Audible but this performance moves him up to the top rank. his work catches all the best notes of a classic Dragnet and has just the right deadpan "just the Facts, ma m" tone and is to be praised.
I have bought over 230 books here and other than the works of the masters of classic Science fiction (you know who they are) and Terry Pratchett's works this is the first 5 star I have given to a 'new' author
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