Oh yes. As noted in my headline, Conrad can be perfectly readable. _Youth_ , for-instance, is an easy enough read. So is, _The Duel_, and _The Brute_. Even _Heart of Darkness_, while challenging, is ultimately work the effort. But then there's _Lord Jim_. Saying it stinks on ice is entirely too kind.
The first four chapters are told in conventional third person narration. They're perfectly fine. The last part of the book, involving Mr Brown, are very nearly a conventional third person narration, even thought Marlow makes a point of citing his sources. The last part of the book is also just fine and well realized. The middle of the book, however, is unreadable and is difficult going even on an audio book.
Now, the middle of the book is not worthless. The bit about the Captain who committed suicide is quite memorable. The signal to noise ration is just to low. It's not worth slogging thru the endless bits of people telling Marlow who's telling Conrad who's telling us. It's a gimmick and it works poorly.
Crossley was perfectly adequate. Not great, not bad, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another book narrated by him.
My principle reaction to the middle of the book was "OMG, will somebody smack Marlow upside the head until he gets to the point."
In the first third of the book, Ché kills the dog of one of his benefactors, gets drunk and assaults the wife of another, tries (and fails) to steal five bottles of wine from his employer, and he & his buddy manage to wreck the motorcycle nine time one day. Nothing of any intelligence gets said until they visit a copper mine in Chile about one third of the way thru.
With a few exceptions, the book returns to stupidity until about half way thru, which is when I gave up on it. Seriously, Ché was an inept coward and murderer and none too bright. He took a good picture, but his travelogue just isn't that interesting. Mind, I was rooting for him & his friend to freeze to death one night & make the world a better place, but that just wasn't in the cards.
Concerning the production, the narrator grows on you. I'd look forward to hearing him narrate something more worthy of his talents.
I have long been a fan of Joan Didion and it was _Slouching Toward Bethlehem_ and _The White Album_ that won me over. It had been some time since I read these books, though, so I was looking forward hearing them. I found the experience quite disappointing.
Though I certainly was not impressed by the narrator, I can't actually blame her. It's just that some things are far more suited to reading than listening to, and this is one of them. You just don't focus on an audio book the same way you focus on a "printed" (electronic or dead tree format) page.
It's also true that some of the essays have aged very badly, most especially the title essay. Or maybe my perspective has changed. Perhaps society isn't less atomized in 2013 then it was in 1979 when I first encountered these books; perhaps I'm just used to it and unimpressed, thought it certainly seems less atomized.
What's aged well? "Goodbye to All That" (AKA: Farewell to the Enchanted City) is worth the price of admission for its poignant tale of staying to long at the fair. "Los Angelas Notebook" still holds up. "Comrade Laski, P.P.U.S.A. (M.-L.)" seems quite a familiar charactor, anymore. "On Morality" is still worth listening to. In general, the second half of the book retains it's interest far better than the first.
I'm sorry to have to give this audiobook a low rating. I would still buy a Kindle (printed) version.
No, it was not. There was a lot about this book that worked. When Verity is talking about her work, her interest in dance, her goofy family, or cryptid stuff, that works. Even Verity as over-the-top fighter didn't throw me out of the lightweight fantasy. What didn't work was 1) the plot and 2) the romantic subplot. A shame, because there were a lot of fun background details, but the story and the romantic subplot bored me.
I thought she was the ideal narrator for this book and was able to exactly capture the goofy, over-the-top heroine.
No, but since it was described as "book 1", you knew darn well it was going to get one, and it already has gotten one.
I'm not always a fan of Conrad's storytelling; I wrote a one star review of a _Lord Jim_ audiobook based on Conrad's obtuse refusal to get on with the story, but _Heart of Darkness_ is worth the effort, even in book form. As an audiobook, it grabs (and requires) your attention, but is a surprisingly easy listen.
I first read this book in high school in the 1970s. It was a difficult read, but, even then, I thought it was worth the effort. When I reread it a few years ago, I was surprised by how short it was, and picked up on some things I had missed the first time. Coming back to it on audiobook was great pleasure and, once again, I picked up on things missed the last time. In this book, Marlow's narration works. The story is interesting, and you'll always pick up on new things.
This is a short book (at 4 1/2 hours, less than a third of the length of _Lord Jim_) but it is memorable. Like _Animal Farm_ and _1984_, this is great, must read novel. Like Captain America in _The Avengers_, it pretty much lives up to it's legend. You will *not* regret getting this audiobook.
A different narrator. I read these books years ago & was looking forward to the audio version, but was only able to make about 20 minutes into the audiobook before bagging it. I found the narration unlistenable.
Inappropriate and omnipresent emphasis, like every single phrase has a secret meaning. It's annoying as hell. This is the second worst performance I've heard on an audiobook. (The worst was Victor Bevine's performance on _This Immortal_.)
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