When I read a book, I visualize the locations and the characters and... their voices. When I'm lucky, the person narrating the book will let me hear and imagine the story without imposing their own personality.
Sadly, this presenter's voice didn't match my expectations. While he has an impressive, "big", deep voice, his tendency to prolong the final word of every other sentence was at first distracting, then just an annoying drawl.
Or, as he might have said it, "...then just an annoying drawwwlll..."
The focus should be on the storytelling, not the storytellerrr.
While this is the first audiobook of his that I've read, I'm a fan of Steve Hamilton, and have enjoyed his other books. I still have two to read yet.
I was distracted and annoyed by the narrator's strange dialects for Canadian and Indian characters; even stranger-sounding attempts at female voices.
I would have preferred a straight reading, without the voice "acting". In one instance, dramatic whispers were very difficult to understand, even when I replayed that section with increased volume.
There are a couple more Hamilton books I've been looking forward to, but I have serious doubts of buying audio books of they're narrated by the same person.
I'm only a couple hours into the audiobook, and I'm thinking, "why didn't I listen to a sample before buying it?".
The story so far is quite well-written... but the narrator has a strong English accent and uses frequent English pronunciations. This isn't a problem -- aside from the oddity of much of the story being about the FBI and set in the USA -- until he attempts American accents; the results are distracting to say the least -- often becoming cartoonish. I keep visualizing Yosemite Sam when he voices one of the characters.
More straight reading and less acting would be appreciated.
I should add that there's a spoiler at the beginning of the audiobook; for some reason the outline of the story is read first -- needlessly revealing several plot points. I don't appreciate this in movie 'trailers'; I don't appreciate it here.
Although the audio book is copyright 2004, the dialog, the characters, and the situations all scream "The 60s!".
Elmore Leonard IS a good writer... but this is not an example of his best work.
I found the reader's voice a distraction as well; weird accents abounded, and the female character's "voice" (breathy and high-pitched) was not believable.
It took me several months to get through this audio book. It was a struggle to stay interested in a supposedly smart character who seemed to always make the foolish choices.
Add to that, numerous cliched plot twists and "surprises", and I was glad to finally be done with the book.
It seems to have been written with "Movie Deal" in mind, rather than telling a coherent and believable story.
A disappointment from one of my favorite storytellers.
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