...Most annoying narrator ever. Her scratchy voice, her intonation, the way she reads dialog, the way she reads narrative... In other words, everything. She's like nails on a chalkboard to me. She doesn't do different voices, ie. she's not an actor. She's a reader and not a good one. Everything and everybody sounds the same: horrible. I tried. I actually am interested in the story, but I only managed 30 minutes. I'll have to buy the book, which I'll probably never do, so that's unfortunate.
Bradbury has found himself a new fan. If I had picked this book up and simply read it myself, or if it had been narrated by somebody else, I might not have been so quickly drawn in. The fact that Bradbury himself narrates the book makes it particularly charming. I feel as though he were reading to me, one on one, and because of this, I've come to like the old guy quite a lot. His personality really comes through in the brief discourses he gives between each story. You come to see what he thinks is important in life and what he disapproves of. He has his own unique style of intonation and pronunciation, reminescent of movies and TV shows from the 50s, which I find wonderfully charming. To hear the lines read, and to hear the characters expressing themselves, as Bradbury intended them is really a rare privilege.
Besides all that, the stories themselves are interesting and well-written. I've found myself laughing out loud while speeding down the freeway, frowning with displeasure at the actions of unsavory characters, marvelling at the silver pages of a Martian book, shivering with loneliness at the edges of the dead Martian sea... There are some incongruities to be found from one story to another, but that simply adds to the attraction. I can see Bradbury himself, spotting the inconsistencies and disregarding them for the love of the story. I'm actually glad that the story of Mars has not been laid down in concrete from beginning to end, with a strict history to remember and follow. It leaves so much more open to the imagination. I am able to fill in the holes myself, which makes the world created by Bradbury that much more personal and alive for me.
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