This is a sequel to The Last Werewolf, which was a great book with a great narrator. Tallula Rising is a pretty good book with a terrible narrator, which ruined the book for me. I assume Penelope Rawlins is a good narrator for particular roles, but this was NOT one of them. The third book is due out in 2014 and I'm begging Glen Duncan: PLEASE do not use this voice actor again!
Let me elaborate. The main character of this book is a 30-something cynical woman from Brooklyn who becomes a werewolf. The narrator of the audiobook sounds like a 20-year-old girl and has a neutral, middle-East Coast patois, but randomly slips into a Bostonian/Bronx accent with words like "orchard" (awwchud) and "pattern" (pat'n). If the whole narration was done as a New Yorker, she might have pulled it off, but it's so arbitrary that it sounds like an amateur mistake and gets really annoying by the halfway mark.
More annoying is the frequent and bizarre mispronunciation of common words. How can a professional voice actor repeatedly mispronounce "capillary" and "Haitian"? This happened so often that I found myself correcting her out loud, in my car, my house and on the street. By Chapter 20, I was shouting. People stared.
Even so, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the storyline. A warning: the author is rather obsessed with the word "c*nt", and there's a lot of gore (it IS about werewolves), but as long as that doesn't bother you, it's a great storyline. If I had read the traditional, paper book, it would have gotten 4.5 stars.
I was happy to learn that Gualtieri had written a Tome of Bill book from the female perspective, and it was good to finally have some clarity on Sally's backstory. Unfortunately, the narrator for this audiobook nearly ruined it for me.
How can I put this? She sounds like she learned English entirely from watching cheesy TV news anchors. Her cadence is frequently awkward, with random pauses ... in between words for no ... apparent reason. Worse, however, is the cheesy, staged, fake tone of her voice (like a cheesy anchorwoman). It's not appropriate to the character, and it's tremendously distracting.
I can honestly say I will never buy another audiobook that this woman narrates.
I'm on the 5th book of the Tome of Bill series, and it's a great story. Funny, relatively believable, and full of action. The narrator (Fetherolf), however, could really use some help. Specifically, he has no idea how to pronounce 10% of the words in any of these books. Not particularly obscure words, either: "caste" and "penchant", for instance. It's not like these books are recorded alone in a basement . . . where was the rest of the crew?
Also, I noticed a few editing gaps in this book; the narrator would do a second take on a sentence, but they never edited the first take out. Not a big deal, but a little unprofessional.
Overall, the narration is decent, and the mispronunciation is annoying, but not enough to ruin the story for me. Just be forewarned.
This is a great idea for a book series. Even though the audience is clearly meant to be children, I really enjoyed the plot of each book. A huge added bonus is the fact that the female characters are often the real heroes of the story, both in unexpected, subtle ways, and in flat-out, pants-wearing, sword-wielding, kick-ass adventuring.
Bronson Pinchot did a remarkable job voicing the characters, especially considering how many there were. There were, however, 2 exceptions which nearly ruined the series for me. Snow White and Prince Duncan's voices were the most annoying thing I've ever experienced in an audiobook! It was such an over-the-top choice, and it nearly convinced me to quit the books several times. I understand they're supposed to be simple-minded and stupid to the point of idiocy, but Pinchot makes them sound like a caricature of burnt-out, spacey stoners, and it got really annoying really fast.
Other than that, however, I loved the series. I'd really like to see the idea spun into a more adult-level series, someday.
Adulting is a book of great, concise, useful information delivered in a realistic, approachable, and funny manner. Seriously, everyone in America should read this as a high school senior. It would have saved me A LOT of headaches (and embarrassment) if I had this book in high school or college. Even if you're a grown woman like me (I'm 37) you should read it for the laughs and nostalgia . . . and who knows, you might even learn a thing or two!
Like all Terry Pratchett books, the characters in Wee Free Men are fabulous. This book explains a lot about the Nac Mac Feegle, a Scottish-ish race of tiny blue warriors that pop up elsewhere in the Discworld books. They're hilarious, and the narrator does a great job navigating the different accents and names. As funny as the Feegle are, however, they don't outshine Tiffany Aching, the 9 yr old main character. To give you some perspective: If the Harry Potter universe ever bumped into the Discworld, Hermione Granger and Tiffany Aching would be friends. Tiffany is a fantastic role model: she's strong, smart, and honest with herself, and most of all, she's a realist.
Wee Free Men is full of puns, adventure, life lessons and clever writing, and ranks right up there with Terry Pratchett's books for adults. The book is a great read for anyone of any age, but I'd particularly recommend it for girls and young women.
Let me say right off the bat, I am not a fan of mysteries or "whodunnits". Even so, I loved this book, and I sincerely hope the author writes a few sequels. The premise of the story was intriguing, the setting was vivid the plot kept the intrigue up right until the end. The main characters were well-written but still left some questions open, and that's a good thing, since the ending leaves room for this to become a series. The narration was great and I had no trouble keeping track of the different characters. Also, it was really nice to read a book with a female main character that does NOT involve a love story anywhere along the line.
Overall, a great read. I'd highly recommend this one, especially to women.
It's clear that the author truly loves dogs, and that comes through in every chapter. She's probably a great trainer and I'm sure dogs adore her. This book is full of heartwarming stories and good advice on working with dogs. My only criticisms are
a) the author's southern drawl can get a little cloying after a while.
b) she often delivers personal (and obviously subjective) opinion as if it's scientific fact, sometimes contradicting other 'facts' that she's previously established.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and it's helped me be a better 'parent' to my dog. If you've never had a dog and are thinking of adopting one, you should read this book first.
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