I wanted to like this, I really did. But the reader's monotone killed it. I've been listening to a lot of audio books and have often admired the many different intonations and even dialects that one reader can use to transform the characters. This book, not so much. I can't even get past that to understand what this book is even about. Sorry!
I was totally consumed by this book from the first minute, at least half due to John Lee's amazing ability to go from one character to the next -- from an German accent, to a Cockney accent, to a Welsh accent, without an audible blink of an eye. I adore historical fiction, since as a student, I couldn't deal with the dry manner in which most of my teachers insisted on teaching it. When there are such LIVE characters inhabiting that history, however, it makes it so much more real. Thank you, Ken Follett, for teaching me so much about how World War I began, and then, leading up to the horror that would become Hitler. I'm waiting eagerly for the sequel!
I loved the characters in this book. They were so richly described and watching their progress through the hardships presented was a the real story here. I found it intriguing that very little attention was paid to the captor's character, but very fitting. He was left as much a mystery to us as he was to the little boy, who hid in the wardrobe during his captor's visits with his mother. The actors portraying the characters were right on. I don't know if that was actually a little boy reading the part, but his intonation was perfect. The only one I didn't go along with was the grandmother. She was only supposed to be in her late 50s but the reader made her sound much older (I'm 55 and I don't talk anything like that!) I was happy that there was no graphic violence in this book. It would've been so easy to include it but leaving it out made it seem even more sinister.
I should've read the reviews of this because I am just 10 minutes into it and I already don't care for the narrator's voice or any of the characters presented so far. Of course, I am just off of listening to The Help, which was amazingly beautifully done so I'm kind of on the rebound. But still. Can I get my money back?!
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