This may be the best audio book I've ever listened to--in 30 years, first as a commuter, now as a walker. "Historical fiction," but really--intrigue in the highest places, brilliant dialogue, a revisionist's admiring portrait of a powerful man usually viewed as cruel and manipulative. The reader is unparalleled: if you are going to paint a dark portrait of a revered man, Thomas More, what a brilliant stroke to give him a piercing, slightly nasal voice for his cruel repartee.
The narrator, new to me, is masterful. The book, which I didn't know, is good, bolstered by Waugh's brilliant prose. It is, though, the third book of a linked trilogy, the other two volumes of which aren't available on Audible. I was interested enough to want to read this book--published in the US as "Men at War"--and the first two volumes.
The reader is skilled and pleasing, although some of her pronunciations are very odd. The book, though. . . The first half is all plot and no character, much heavy-handed foreshadowing, pedestrian language. Somewhere just pass the middle I got more caught up in the story and began to enjoy it more. As is the case with many Victorian novels, it is overlong and quite repetitious. Mrs. Braddon is no Dickens, not even a Wilkie Collins, but the book occupies a niche that is not heavily populated with competitors, at least on audio.
Barely interesting. It's a long recitation of incidents with no story arc. (I realize it's nonfiction, but it's pretty much just one thing after another.) The narrator has a nice voice but just reads; different characters don't have different voices. I was lured to read the book because I really enjoyed the movie of a few years ago, but it is very different.
The only reason I'm not rating it 2's overall is that a 2 for me means that I really dislike the book and my response to this was milder than that.
I listened to this after having reread the book, which I first read when it was published (and disliked). This time I found it far more palatable. I can't imagine, though, what it would be like for someone who hadn't already read the book to listen to it. My opinionated opinion: The reading is wonderful. As for the book, the poem is a craftsmanlike and interesting one; the commentary, which occupies the largest part of the book, is immensely clever in the expected Nabokovian way, attributes many of Nabokov's prejudices to the ostensible narrator, Charles Kinbote, but fails for this reader because the story that narrator alludes to in the commentary, that of the birth, upbringing and exile of Charles Xavier, King of the Zemblans, is just not interesting.
Slow, repetitive, the least interesting Trollope I've ever read (or listened to). As others have commented, the audio quality is abysmal; it seems to be a copy of an old Books on Tape analog recording, with that telltale faint back dialogue those of us who have been with audio books since the old days of worn library cassettes will recognize.
This was my first Harlan Coben. In the beginning I found it almost too exciting. As the reading continued, though, my interest waned and doubts about the story began to creep in. They grew. As I neared the two-thirds mark, I was impatient for the story to wrap up, irritated at the needless complexity of the plot, the introduction of new characters, the gaping holes, the implausibility of everything--story, characters, and their motivation. I finished by concluding that there will be no second chance for Harlan Coben.
This is my second Virgil Flowers book. As before, Sandford paints a pleasing picture of the life of small town Minnesota, its people and scenery and its ways. The mystery, too, is satisfying, and the narrator most pleasing. A real treat to listen to.
The first few are amusing and provocative. The book quickly becomes tedious. I would have abandoned it but for its being relatively short, only an hour longer than my daily walk.
Terrific book, well written, with a great narrator. My first Kate Atkinson, but only the first; there will be more.
As always, Michael Jayston is superb. The book, though, is disappointing. The plot creaks, and developments and background often seem rather implausible. There is also a pervasive tone of creepiness I don't associate with PD James; it reminded me of Ruth Rendell's Judgment in Stone, amazingly creepy but far more successfully so (made into a terrific French movie called La Ceremonie).
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