This is one of the very few aduiobooks I haven't enjoyed. I nearly stopped partway through, because the story is so tedious. I'm surprised it's so highly regarded. I found it indulgent and pompous. The reader, as I recall -- it's been some time now since I read it -- was neither great nor terrible, just sort of okay. One recognizes the erudition of the author, but wishes he had reined it in some to develop characters we could care more about.
This is a gripping story with an excellent reader. His slow understated diction is perfect for this scorched earth story. It's a far from cheery vision -- totally bleak, in fact -- but with real moments of tenderness. It's a rich evocation something that is usually only addressed by melodrama and exaggeration. This is the opposite -- precise, human, intelligent, and therefore even more frightening and memorable.
This is one of the greatest 20th-century novels read by one of the best living actors. I loved it. The story is engrossing and Nabokov's play with language delicious. Of course, it's a totally depraved story, basically of statutory rape and child abduction. But getting inside the perpetrator's head like we do is fascinating, especially as one can sympathize, or at least empathize, with him.
I felt like I learned an immense amount about ancient classical figures whose names I had known but couldn't have told you much else about them. In addition, I was entertained, engrossed, and even horrified (by the how violent their world was). I'd recommend it if you like history and/or historical fiction (this isn't fiction, but it reads like it). The reader was very good.
Wonderfully entertaining stories and excellent reading by Martin Jarvis, who creates convincingly different characters. These stories are a great way to pass some time.
I hesitated buying this audiobook because of its length and the one negative comment someone made about the reader. I'm so glad I did buy it. It's a profound, subtle, and beautiful novel, and the reader is brilliant. She held my attention through the entire book, was confident in all her pronunciations, and was nearly flawless in her creation of different characters based on varying her tone of voice, accent, and other vocal qualities. I wholeheartedly agree with those who didn't want the book to end.
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