I had seen the Roots miniseries many times growing up and I have to say I enjoyed the audio version ten times more. I have always loved James Earl Jones voice and thought it would be nice to have him as a narrator but I was unprepared for the excellent way he devoted his talents to telling this story. His voice acting is unparalleled.
He creates and maintains a different voice for over a dozen characters and sometimes as many as 6 are talking in the same conversation and you know exactly who is saying what because of his efforts. His female characters are just as authentic sounding as the male ones. The only downside is that after listening to this all subsequent fiction narration has fallen very flat for me, and I have been purchasing more non-fiction titles.
The narrator's Scottish accent is extremely clear and understandable and he has a boyish charm that brings young Jamie to life in such a wonderfully believable and honest way. He tells the story with such inflection and feeling that you really feel every comic and heartrending note.
The story itself was very good and has enough truth and surprises in it to feel very real and yet remain entertaining. Some of the villains were a bit one dimensional but since it is told from the point of view of a boy that is 10 I thought that made sense. When you are that age things are often seen in a simpler way.
I had started this story in book format but just couldn't find time and my friend kept insisting so I started the audio and for the first time I enjoyed the audio better than a book. Literally could not turn it off!
Now the writing is great, the characters so rich and different, and you never know where the story is going even though it is content to let you think you do...
but the voice acting in this is p h e n o m e n a l!
The first person narrative is shared between Nick and his wife Amy, and to me its seems these actors really knew the story inside and out and truly though about what their characters personality and emotional state before they recorded this. I have downloaded alot of audio books in the last year and many books have been pleasantly read to me but this was like an audio play and it made the whole book flow like a movie in my mind.
Now let me just say this. Keep going with the story until you get to the second part. You will know you are at the second part because they will literally say Part 2. There were a few times I got frustrated with the story because I though I knew were it was going. I Didn't...
If its not your cup of tea even after you get to part 2, then feel free to stop listening but I would give it at least that long.
I encourage you to get this version even though it is a crime to try and abridge this work. It is still pleasant to listen to and though the jumping around can be a bit jarring it will give you a good overview of the very large work it represents. If you find yourself interested then I encourage you to get the real book for a thorough read. It is engaging and well footnoted and can be found very cheaply since it is an older work. If you can I would try to find the most recent version from around 2001. The authors text remains the same but he has changed many appendixes and footnotes to better represent current research and info.
I found them both equal
If you liked Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country then you would probably enjoy this as well. Or even Portrait of a Lady. Because it involves the same time period and the same look at wealthier social customs.
I think she voiced the main character Lily's voice in an inviting and charming way, which is perfect for her character. She makes people love her while she is with them, and her voice draws people in.
Yes, while I did enjoy the tale as a whole I found the main characters motivations for self sabotage ill explained aside from absolute stupidity, and yet the author goes to great lengths to show her as very intelligent so it just baffled
I share the authors views that established archeology will go to great lengths to ignore anything that challenges established dates and theories. However with this book I was disappointed that rather than give voice and analysis to these ignored theories he spends almost the entire first 5 chapters constantly whining about all the archeologists who have ignored or debunked alternate theories. I have to admit I stopped listening after the 5th chapter. It makes no sense to me to give these "bad guys" more of your attention than the supposed theories they attacked. I was looking for solid analysis and facts and never found any that were thoroughly pursued. Any factual line always lead to more recriminations. For readers like me who are interested in facts I would suggest Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods. They only have the abridged version in audible but its nicely narrated and you will definitely get some solid information out of it.
If you like documentaries or enjoy talks on historical topics then all of the Modern Scholar series is for you. This particular series is excellent coverage of such a wide topic. Not getting lost or sidetracked, but also not so wide an overview that you feel you missed out.
Professor Madden is well versed and an interesting speaker, who occasionally searches for a word or loses a thought, but who wouldn't if you were talking for hours. I think other reviewers have been way too harsh on him.
I especially love his unbiased approach to history. A lot of this, and other lectures of his has to do with early Christianity, and its many schisms. I cannot tell you if he is a Protestant, Catholic, or Atheist, and I cannot tell you how rare this is with history professors. Their attempts at an unbiased presentation are usually so blatantly an "attempt" and their talks are very colored one way or another. After 4 lectures I haven't been able to pin any view point on him and while this may not matter to other listeners, this has really made me trust his information a great deal.
Since this is an Autobiography being narrated to you by the actual king himself it is the perfect setting for the audiobook format. However even though David Chase is an excellent reader, he was a miscast for this particular story.
His voice is perfect for inserted comments of the aged Will Sommers, and other characters. However due to the raspy, 10 cigarettes a day quality his particular voice does not sound as if the King is reading his own biography, and thus dampens the experience somewhat, but not enough to make it unenjoyable.
The story is superb and engaging, and raspy voice aside David Chase is a good narrator and so I would definitely recommend this as an audio book that will bring you many entertaining hours.
I love listening to these episode of Biography more than actually watching them. While the story of Moses definitely merits 2 parts, I was disappointed to find they didn't make good use of it and repeated a bunch of information in the second part. So much so I checked to make sure I wasn't re-listening to the end of part 1.
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