Although I really miss the bookjumps into fiction, and meeting all the crazy characters from well-loved classical literature, Fforde still manages to entertain me with Thursday's adventures. If you're a fan, you'll enjoy this. NOT recommended if you haven't read the previous books. You simply won't understand what's going on. The good news is that this book sets us up for Fforde's next Next adventure - a jump into the dark reading material at the center of the universe. Can't wait!
I love 19th century literature and purchased this because the description called a the "greatest narrative novel of the early 1800s.." But holy cow! This was incredibly boring. It just describes a rag to riches life of an angelically perfect man. There is no depth to the characters, no plot tension in the story, no real drama. I had to go read what the critics say about this novel and have learned that it is important because it describes the social and economic shift from agrarian landed gentry as the economic power base, to the middle class manufacturer. So I get why the readers of the time found this an important reflection f their society. But it is simply bad literature by our modern standards. Also, to make it worse - much worse - the reader is awful He has a gruff old man voice and cannot capture the necessary youthful voices. Everyone sounds 60 years old. Bad. Just bad.
I can't think of one good reason to put this subpar work into audiobook form. I love Willkie Collins but this was really boring. Not even close to the masterfully suspenseful style we learned to love through Woman in White and The Moonstones. I think Collins was paying homage to Ann Radcliffe - the creator of gothic suspense - because it emulated many of the elements in her works - renaissance Italy setting, an evil priest, a mysterious presence, thwarted lovers, etc. etc. But this does not work. Moreover the performance was terrible. The narrator used American accents for French and Italian people, and could not create differentiation between young females. Made the heroine sound about six years old. Very bad.
Dylan Baker is so good that he actually sounds like Henry Fonda. This performance is outstanding.
The hilarious and idiotic professor of philology, Professor Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld, is McCall Smith's best character and the least known. I find much of Smith's writing very dull. But this series about his ridiculously pompous and clueless professor is laugh-out-loud fun! I highly recommend the first couple books in the series. Portuguese Irregular Verbs, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, and The Villa of Reduced Circumstances. Sausage Dogs is one of the funniest things I have EVER read. Sadly, this book does not live up to the others and I waited sooooo long for it! Perfectly narrated by Paul Hecht but the story just wasn't as good as in the other books.
This is old-fashioned, simple, good natured fun. Absolutely perfect listening for the morning commute. An Edwardian-era solicitor's clerk goes from rags to riches by taking wacky risks, applying his innate cleverness, and enjoying an endless stream of happy accidents. This author was very popular in his day and I am glad to add him to my library.
It is an excruciatingly slow story in which absolutely nothing happens for long stretches of time. It's really too bad because the author has some great characters and draws an interesting world. Unfortunately, over 8 long hours of listening, we were introduced to a handful of people, a baby got baptized, two men fought, and there was a fire. That's it! I'm not kidding. I honestly don't know if I will be able to even finish this book.
No - in fact I am truly surprised that this classic is so boring. I generally like this type of novel.
The narrator is superb. I would definitely listen to him again. The problem is the writing, not the narrator.
Good lord! What a question. I would have cut 8 hours down to no more than 4. So where do I begin? Let me be clear. I NEVER listen to abridged books. There is absolutely nothing for Audible to do here. This book should have been edited down when it was published. It's too late. I would not have bought this if it had been an abridged version.
Great production of a bad book. No one's fault but the original editors at the original publishing house. They should have taken this talented author in hand and cut cut cut.
I was elated to discover there was more to the Forsyte Saga. This, my first foray into the sequel trilogy, did not disappoint. We follow the story of Fleur as she navigates a marriage and the London "modern set" with her true love far away and lost forever. Can she make for herself a place in society that will satisfy, now that passion is irretrievable? And her father, Soames, stands at risk to lose his fortune in a business scandal. I liked this well enough to go on to the second book of the trilogy, The Silver Spoon, which I also recommend. For Forsyte fans this is a definite thumbs up!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.