Please bring back Bianca Amato to finish the work she began on this series. Her voice is well moderated, mature and does not interfere with the story. Amato has developed Phillippa Gregory's characters with subtlety and precision and allows the book to speak for itself, rather than imposing a bombastic pretentiousness on the work. It was jarring to hear the over-done, sloppy cadence of Davina Porter being applied to this narrative. Porter's interpretation of the characters, as she has done on the Outlander series, swings between overwrought and flippant, creating a two-dimensional listen out of a complex read.
Kept with the original reader: Bianca Amato.
The story is good, I think. It's hard to tell since the narration utterly interferes with the storytelling. What's suspicious is how 90% of the written comments on Audible justifiably expose the poor quality of the reading and yet somehow the performance has 4 stars. How can that possibly be? Audible?
Jennifer Ehle, who played Elizabeth Bennett to Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy, is a fine actress. Whoever advised her to deliver this stilted and contrived performance did a disservice to her as well as to Geraldine Brooks.
No, wish I had read this one.
Audible how can such a poor narration, as noted by the listenership in the written comments earn four stars? Something's fishy here.
This book is actually better than the first story, which I enjoyed, but wasn't as fine tuned as this one. The story moves along with tongue-in-cheek humor and an uncharacteristically honest approach to character development.
Minnie's birthing experience.
A good listen if you're looking for something entertaining and well-told. Narrator does an incredible job with creating distinct voices for the characters.
Deeper and more inventive writing, including thorough character development, suspense and a plausible storyline that makes you feel something.
And then, parts of the research were rather alarming for an historical novel. To avoid spoilers, they can't all be listed. But the silliest is a junior college grad, who couldn't pick up Spanish conversation in the modern day, being able to translate a miraculously well-preserved medieval Spanish text and, with the aid of a dictionary, vulgar Latin too!
Probably not. The unabashed Catholic bashing coupled with the good girl focus of this book was off-putting - though I am neither a Catholic or a bad girl. It struck me as a book appealing to christian evangelicals, who mistake dabbling for rigorous study.
The nasal quality and repetitive lilt of the Spanish voices grew increasingly irritating. Made every female Hispanic character succumb to the Speedy Gonzales drawl from Looney Tunes. The frequent slips into American English and inconsistent application of Castilan were notable as well.
The trite situations, stereotyped characters and neat endings that drive this book make the positive reviews from Amazon baffling. Good girls get their rewards after a struggle or two; bad girls see the error of their ways, etc. Epiphanies abound, yet never scratch the surface of social norms. "Just awful" things are placed where they belong: out of reach of the storyline. Convenient plot devices implode reality. Coincidences. Visions. Miracles too. Rather nauseating overall.
Yes, it's definitely worth listening to this book, though if I could do it over, I'd read it because the narrator was so overbearing. I had to continually imagine how the book would read instead of how it sounded in order to get through it. A wonderful topic and eye-opening details about the process of medical discovery and the history of science.
The biography of Madame Curie. The struggles, painstaking attention to detail and miniscule advances that in the end lead to huge advances in human understanding is very inspiring.
Where do I begin? He was pompous and trite, imparting an astounding insensitivity to the well-researched and well-written material of the book.
Yes, be more selective about poor narration.
Introduce the history of science to my homeschooling curriculum.
I hope Audible doesn't let narrators like Stephen Hoye, Scott Brick and Davinia Porter be the final voices for many of the books they have demolished for listening audiences. Like Thomas Hager, Michael Pollan and Diana Galbaldon deserve another shot having their work read aloud.
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