Scott Brick's narrations are all over the place--some just awful, some really great. This is one of the great ones, along with Plum Island. Fun listen. Oh, and the story is good too.
I enjoy McCammon's style of writing immensely. But this is an arduous saga without relief. I had a hard time finishing it because of the relentless downward spiral.
Mr. Ballerini has a plaintive quality to his voice that made the story even more depressing.
I remember the heartache we felt when the communists rolled their tanks back into Budapest in 1956 and crushed the rebellion. Later I met a Hungarian freedom fighter and listened to many stories. But this book gave me a deeper understanding of the things he couldn't bear to tell me.
The book as a whole has shaken me...the forces and counterforces that depend so much on chance and timing and brilliant maneuvering...all shaping the world we live in...there's a lot of food for thought. Chance and timing resulted in 30 more years of repression in Hungary. This is much more than a book about the CIA. I'm focused on Hungary here, but the book covers many more plots within plots.
Yes, it's long and lags in places, but I put it in one of the top 10 must-listens for a taste of our history.
Scott Brick: WOW! This was some performance, and I say "performance" rather than "narration." I've criticized him in the past for being overly dramatic, but he has become a masterful reader. The research he must have done to pull this off is admirable. There were so many accents and attitudes that gave me clues throughout the 40 hours. Occasionally I would get lost trying to figure out who was who, but that was fairly rare. I'd love to know how many sessions and takes were involved in producing this epic.
The percussive consonants, especially the "t's" and "d's" makes listening a bit tiring to the ears. A good start would be to move the mic away from his mouth.
All sentences are delivered with maximum impact, rather than with subtlety based on the rhythm of the story. This reader would be perfect for commercials. I felt like I was being "sold" through the entire book.
Good story, tiring narrator.
Question: Do narrators have control over the pacing, or is it the editors?
The silences between each and every sentence left so much room it was easy to get distracted and lose the thread of the story. I think if the editing had been better the narrator might have been ok, but as presented this story loses a lot of its punch. Even with those caveats this isn't one of Connelly's better stories. But I love Harry Bosch and will put up with almost anything to get more of him. Get Dick Hill back!
First, the reader...she does male voices well, but makes all the women sound perky, lightweight, trite. Just awful.
The story has a lot of cut-and-paste descriptions from previous books. Can authors really get away with this? No current-time authenticity. It's really too bad, because there's a great cast of characters here. One more "Bailey glowered" and I'll scream.
Barbara can't find her way with this case, and neither can I. A story about endless frustration and dead ends...well, I think it describes how the author felt writing this.
Then there's the faux romance. Tacky and tiring, and doesn't belong to a character who began with such an edge.
I have downloaded all the Barbara Holloway novels and enjoyed the twists and turns.
Kate Wilhelm, I hope you find your way again...you have avid fans.
Does anyone else find Scott Brick overly dramatic? Every sentence is laden and breathless, whether needed or not. Works well when the action ramps up, but otherwise is silly. He reminds me of the 1950's over-actor, Jeff Chandler.
The story's OK, not the best, but a good diversion and the amusement park's rides sound wonderful.
Hearing this book prompted me to order and listen to the rest of the Three Pines mysteries--from the first book "Still Life" to this, "The Brutal Telling", the 5th in the series. I didn't want to miss a thing about these characters. More importantly, I didn't want to miss a word of this author's work--she's that good.
I also bought the paperback versions because my husband prefers to read rather than listen. Louise Penny is a keeper in our library!
I began with "The Brutal Telling"--the 5th novel in the series, and was so enriched by it I am now listening to all the books in the series. In fact, I bought some of the paperbacks so I could read them again more slowly, because this is work to be savored. I really don't care whether I'm at the beginning or end of the story...each page has that much life in it!
I love the artist characters and their creative processes and dilemmas. And the poet, and the gay characters. In fact, the whole village, not to mention the great soul Gamache. The writing shows deep kindness and respect for individuality. I read and loved all of Dorothy Sayers' novels years ago, and feel that Louise Penny has surpassed her--brought her up to date, really.
The narrator took some getting used to. He gives every sentence so much weight that the humor gets a little lost. But his voice is very listenable and now that I'm used to it I enjoy it. And it's good to hear French spoken. My one year of French finally kicked in and I began to understand what I was hearing.
If you want a mystery that will enrich your soul, read these novels!
The male voice is slimy, the female voice is utterly without nuance. I imagine her reading the story for the first time and trying to fake tones of concern, love, fear, etc., without ever having experienced those emotions. Where did they dig these narrators up? The story suffers immeasurably from the poor reading, but isn't that good to begin with, and the ending is just too pat. Save your money.
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