The reader overplayed it. I think he was trying to add to the humor in the story and in so doing, killed the funny. Subtlety is a key in these performances. I wish they would have had Simon Vance do it, or Simon Prebble or .... well anyway.
The story itself is funny and touching and provocatve. Historical fiction at its best, telling the story of the times with a wide vision, and at the same time not loosing the thred of a human, personal story. And of course, there's a bit of magic, a bit of destiny... good stuff. I would download it again if they released another performance. Maybe they will get Grimus out soon? I hope.
I love historical fiction when its done well. Done well to me means the social and political period is layed out and experienced through the life stories of actual people. There are several points of view in this third person narration and their stories are engaging and thoughtful.
The performance is one of the best I have heard yet. This art of performing books is a fine and subtle one. Too much and the story is cartoonish and painful, not enough and its a droning bore. This one is perfect.
Imagine my surprise when I was clicking around for something new in the epic fantasy section and my eye just happened to see Roy's name on the splash page that shows the new releases. Like so many others I bought the John Lee recording of this story some years ago and found it to be a terrible listen. Many, many, many of us begged for Roy Dotrice to record this story, and now here it is.
I have accepted after listening to Dance that I will not hear the same powerful performance that we were so lucky to have on the first three books, and I am ok with that. Time marches on mercilessly for all of us and those recordings were many and more years ago.
This performance is much, much better than the last recording of Feast and for me its like I get to hear the story for the first time . THANK YOU for doing this.
Let me start by saying that I would pay money to listen to Avery Brooks read a phone book. I have seen the mini series and I even have it on ITunes. But I couldn't listen to all of this. I tried.
The very start of the story - herding goats in Africa was very dull. Too dull.
Then there was the torturous boat. Too much graphic detail about all the putrid details of every kind of nasty fluid a sick and tortured body can produce and it went on forever. I couldnt. I just couldnt.
I think I might have named my dog after the Medicus. His name is Gaius. He is so very likeable and at the same time seems totally real. At this point I have all 4 of Ruth Downie's books in this series. They are very entertaining murder mysteries peppered with the historically interesting.
This one is the funniest, though it has a very serious story too. There are parts of it that made me laugh out loud. I am more of a chuckler in most cases. The characterizations and the writing are great so these are stories you can listen to more than once. There's a lot more about them to enjoy even after you know who done it .
Simon Vance, as always, is perfect
I got this largely because audible doesn't have any recordings of the Mahabahrata. ( I am never sure if I have the H in the right spot, please forgive.) Last time I looked audible was not lacking in "classics" how is it possible they fail on this? Seems rather a crime to me really.
2 days after I went searching for a recording of the Maha and this came up in the search, I saw this story recommended on a fantasy read list on the Tor website. So I came back for it
Its a good story, plenty of intrigue, plenty of magic. First person narrative ALWAYS puts me off. Every wicked thought is worse and every kind thought sounds self- serving. For me, that means there cannot be love for a story, because I don't trust it.
The central idea is to tell the story from the woman's point of view... but I am not sure that she comes off as a genuine- to - period woman. If you enjoy considering issues like that, and I am just the sort of nerd who does, then this is worth your time. I did listen through, and that's not something that I can say for many first person audiobooks. Wish they would get a copy of the Mahabarhata- yeah I think that's right- then I would listen to this again.
The performance is terrific, couldn't be better
I was so pleased to see this book on audible. This was a favorite book of mine I almost bought the audio on CD and went to the bother of ripping it.
This is good historical fiction. To me that means that the story brings the audience into another time and place, gives you the history/politics through the story of human lives. You get different perspectives. There is a solid balance between what is personal and what is more broadly political.
The performance was excellent. Generally, I tend not to enjoy listening as much to audiobooks read by female performers - I know, I know... but there are several that I do enjoy - I think its a tonal thing? I love Jill Tanner and Rosalyn Landor, for example. And I also enjoyed this. Have listened twice already.
I read the reviews on Amazon for this after I listened...I just couldnt wrap my head around what I thought about it. If I made a list of all the bits of this book that I enjoyed, u would say well then u mustve enjoyed the book, except that I kinda didn't.
One of the reviews on amazon identified the problem for me - its like a collection of short stories about Kvothe rather than a book with a beginning middle and end that advances the overall story. I have never in my life before complained that any book I finished was too long or needed editing ( and I am old now) but I get the sense that the book may have been revised too much and lost its way - I skipped over a whole chunk of the FAE realm bit just to keep it moving- the reviews made me feel better about that.
I love the writing itself, the characterizations are great and I loved the little stories they told around the campfire ( BTW - not cool to stop in the middle of the story of Jax? - not at all cool- and I skipped forward to hear it and went back - that really was a good story) as an installment in a series it was frustrating.
On the problem with first person - telling the story this way forces the reader to accept what the speaker says about how they feel and makes the "narrator" talk about their feelings unnaturally alot - I would rather have the story show me Kvoth's attachement to music rather than listen to his own internal rhapsodising about the flippin lute.
On the performance of the book - really good with one thing that bugs me whenever the text indicates someone "snapped" something they said - the line in question sounds like a parody of a snap rather than how people actually talk when they are being snappish, its a small thing but I actually pictured a character in my head with their eyes all big and popping like on looney tunes,,, killed the moment
I can't believe I let this sit in my library for so long! Sadly, when I downloaded this it was pretty much the same time as midnight's children and I did not care for that performance..was a different actor.. this art of recording books is a fine fine art - the space between uninspired and overdone is razor thin and now I have a new artist to love! The reading is perfect Thank u Sam Dastor u are now on the list of artists I download stuff I have never heard of just cuz u read it - think Lenny Henry reading Anansi Boys- it makes me sad that Rushdie chose not to embrace "fantasy writing" - because tis an excellent fantasy story - to me anyway- I can't see why anyone who likes Neil Gaiman wouldnt love this. Dont let the lables and the fuss get in the way and let this story use magic to let you see the world u live in anew
a classic tale, enjoyable for kids and adults. This is one of those books that u read as a kid and then go back to every 10 years or so because it such a good story. All I really wanted to comment on is the performance. Frith in a pond! It was great.
its always a risk to do a high fantasy hero- story in first person. It usually makes your hero come off as an arrogant bore. After having tried a number of historical fictions in first person that were unbareable, that I turned off and never went back to after 5 hours of I, I, I, filled, self agrandizing, false humility ridden crapola; I swore I would never again listen to absolutely anything in first person ever.
But a new high fanasty, well- loved by many and written by an author not conent to churn out chapter after chapter of trite nonsense as fast as possible? Tempting. I visited the author's blog and was charmed by his writing there .... so I tried this book, and it wasn't bad.
It may sound like faint praise... but I think I would have really really liked it in third person. There are a number of really interesting characters and it sounds like there is an excellent history coming ... I think most of us that enjoy medieval fantasy like a story that has its own history. Also, I like the rules, the magic bit, its engaging and plausible (no piglatin magic) and without the sometimes tiresome step by step "weaves" No disrespect to the referenced works there, its just the magic here is more elegant.
One of these reviews was complaining that there is no sense of place,,, interesting criticism but not true in my view. Alot of the story is told by a child and the oldest the main character is at the end is what 16? And a very lonely childhood. The sense of place is small and restricted but there are glimmerings of a larger world. The next one is the make or break for me, the intro was worth while, I want to know what happens next... almost as much as I want to know what happened before
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