Imagine sitting around a campfire and Pendergast tells a story...
Rene Auberjonois has it down
If I see the word "ghost" in a book summary, I stop there & move on. Don't know why I got this one-- maybe just because I like Stephen King. Anyway, it turns out, it's not about ghosts & poltergeists. but about how the past lives on in families & communities until somebody faces up to it. Also that it can't be done alone. But there is so much more there, getting deeper as the story moves on. There are thoughts and truths that don't immediately impact the story but King interweaves them in a way that strengthens it -- they aren't just appendages used to propound some idea... he makes them part of the whole.
Lol, there are so many reviews that I doubt anybody will see this one at the bottom of the pile, but I just had to talk about it a little :)
Dear Audible, Please give us a new version with a better narrator! I'll be first in line...
I rated this recording over a year ago & in listening again, am sorry I gave the performance 3 stars... should be 2 at most... maybe 1.
I'm a major Dostoevsky fan & I'd put this book in his top 3. Other reviewers have gone into the story details, so I'm going to focus on recording quality. Walter Covell was a poor choice for narrator. There is little if any distinction between the characters' voices & their voices often switched as the story went along. Dialogs are a mash up. I had to follow along with the book to determine who was talking to who(m).
Then there's the technical quality, which continually alternates between bad and worse. It often sounds like a recording from a 1940's radio broadcast.
The sample for the other unabridged recording sounded even less appealing, so I went with this one. Best to read the book & wait for a new recording with a better narrator
A challenging student adventure gone wrong... Several reviewers commented that they were disappointed by the author's final explanation. I found it fascinating-- a scenario developed by looking beyond existing theories with fresh eyes
If you like the audio sample, you'll probably like this book, as it continues in much the same vein. There are plenty of LOL moments... even non-cat people may break a smile. While I listened to it in one sitting, I recommend breaking it into a couple of sessions to keep the effect of the humor fresh.
The author isn't the best all-time reader, but her dry, dead-pan delivery is perfectly suited to her book.
(The price is too low to use up a credit... just charge it)
...because then it would be over. I bought White Fire about 3 weeks ago & couldn't get myself to turn it on-- I knew I'd listen straight through & then would have to endure Pendergast withdrawals (again). I love how Preston/Child have developed Cory over several books, growing her without taming her. Pendergast grows a bit himself. And the ending... well, as Bill Smithback once quoted, "God bless us every one"
The lecturer does an excellent job of describing the context of the works in several ways that enrich the readers' understanding of literature by the featured authors. She describes the lives of the authors and the historical events occurring in the lives of each. In discussing their works, she shows how various sections are influenced or determined by the time written, the culture, religion, and by other literature, both Russian and European. It has left me wanting to read or reread the literature in light of what she has taught.
The lecturer appears to be reading the talks rather than giving live lectures but it doesn't detract from the presentation. As I have seen in other audio books, she occasionally repeats a sentence she just said. I've always thought readers do these repetitions because they are in some way dissatisfied with how they read certain sentences & they think the first attempt will be edited out... (just MHO- I don't really know the reason.)
My reaction to this book is mixed. The author spends an inordinate amount of space stating & restating that a major part of Christian history has been ignored... the history of the eastern church and its theology. I began to wonder if he ever was going to get around to that history and those beliefs. IMHO, much of the first & second chapters could be omitted. For me, the meat of the book begins at chapter 3 (approx 2 hr 45 min on the timer).
I did learn a great deal of fascinating information-- I'd often wondered about Coptic and Syriac Christianity, both of which get cursory treatment in most church histories. They tend to be dismissed as heresy, apparently unworthy of further discussion for that reason. I had read that eastern Christian missionaries had gone as far as India & China long before the West began to visit Asia; however, I didn't realize that sizable eastern Christian communities had developed in the East.
Up front, what you should know is that the author doesn't write as a historian, ie there is a great deal of commentary and interpretation interspersed with the facts. If you are expecting an "objective" history, look elsewhere (objective in quotes because true objectivity is impossible in the real world). The author's judgments change depending on the time & circumstances discussed-- the bias isn't consistent one way or the other. He is generally negative about the later Muslim treatment of eastern Christians but less so about the earlier years.
The narrator is OK but not riveting. On the other hand, I'm not sure how one could render the text less prosaically.
Twenty Years After is a worthy successor to The Three Musketeers, unusual for a sequel. Dumas is excellent in aging and maturing the characters for the better or the worse based on the trajectory of the personality of each. The caliber of the books in the series varies. but the first 2 are great adventure stories.
However, the narrator is not up to the material. His monotone detracts both in the narrative & the personification of characters. In dialog, monotone is not the only problem. Almost all lines are delivered as if the character was condescending, bored or domineering. There is virtually no distinction between characters. I would recommend this rendition of Twenty Years After only to those who are willing to endure the narrator in order to hear the story.
Odd that The Cabinet of Curiosities, the 3rd book in the Pendergast series, wasn't released in audio until after #11... now the only missing audio is Still Life with Crows (#4). The Cabinet of Curiosities is my favorite of the series. I read it a while back but, to me, the Pendergast books are more gripping in audio. Also hearing the visuals makes them more vivid. The Cabinet of Curiosities is not lacking in descriptions of the cubbyholes of the imagination.
For a while I was put off by Jonathan Marosz's narration because of his Pendergast. I prefer the more refined & aristocratic Louisiana accent of Rene Auberjonois, my favorite Pendergast narrator. Jonathan Marosz also has a deeper voice. However the story is enthralling, and at some point I stopped noticing the things that bothered me at first. Anyway, it's just a matter of taste.
I definitely recommend this book, even if you read it in the past.
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