It was delightful to listen to Suchet's relaxed, deep bass/baritone for the regular narration and then flick seamlessly into Poirot's finicky, nasal tones. I know the voice so well from the PBS/BBC series that it made me giggle with delight the first few times I heard it.
I wanted to like this book - the premise was interesting and I like well-done historical pastiche. But Powers doesn't seem to think that having vampires are interesting enough. They have to also be snakes. Winged snakes. Oh, and also stones. And maybe something else. And maybe they have powers in certain instances or maybe they don't. I couldn't latch on to the mythology or make any sense of it, and as a result, after 8 hours of listening and seeing that I had another 8 hours (the book sort of re-sets in the middle and it almost seemed like it was going to be the same 8 hours, but with minor variations), I was done.
It almost seemed as if the narrator didn't think the book was exciting enough, and as a result made all of the scenes with any action BREATHLESS AND URGENT and RIDICULOUSLY MELODRAMATIC. Keep it simple, Mr. Hill. Your performance was distracting, mannered, and disappointing.
So many things disappointed me about this book. The way everyone seems to think Maisie Dobbs is just the best thing ever - even if they've never met her - unless it's convenient for the plot. The intelligence-insulting coincidences that smooth Maisie's way even more than the inexplicably well-disposed strangers. The purple prose that spirals upward in an ever-shifting cascade of metaphor and hyperbole until ALL COMES COLLAPSING IN - HERE IS YOUR HELL (I kid, and attempt to imitate, but really. It gets pretty seriously over the top).
I had high hopes for this series, as many seem to like it. But I won't be listening to another one, as it's just not for me.
Makes Odd Choices.
Really - the boyfriend sounds rather like a drag queen (Ms. Cassidy reverts to an aristocratic drawl for many characters when she doesn't seem to be able to picture them better), and there is one point where he describes some great catastrophe involving grave injury and loss of life where he sounds positively gleeful. Truly weird.
It was a story about people I not only couldn't care about, but actively disliked and wanted nothing to do with.
All of them.
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