Fidelity is reasonably good; just a little muddy. I was surprised to find that this recording dates back to 1999.
Lloyd James is a competent enough reader, but his interpretation of the primary character (Mannie) was a bit jarring at times. I could handle the Russian accent; but he paused at times he should have kept reading and vice versa.
His Russian accent for Mannie put a new spin on the character for me; along with the French accent for Stu LaJoie. Never really heard those accents in my head while reading the novel, even though I knew that Heinlein had intended it that way.
Prof's manner of speaking was a bit too drawn out. Wyoh was fine, but I would have liked a bit more femininity in the voice. Mike's voice was done as expected.
Was surprised (and pleased) to hear the English accent for the Authority chairman; made a nice touch and really differentiated him from the other characters. James also does Oriental accents well.
Chapter divisions on my iPod were not marked according to the chapters in the book.
As this was my first Audible audiobook, I was pleased to find that there were some stops built into the book; and even more pleased that the iPod remembered where I had left off when I switched to music.
A lot of emphasis is spent on check fraud in this book. As most people do not write checks anymore (I prefer electronic banking and my debit card), this does not have as much impact. However, I read "Stealing Your Life" by Frank Abagnale and it is a good update for more modern times.
Mr. Whitener's narration is very pleasing to the ear. I might have to check out other titles he has narrated.
One of the things I like best about audiobooks is that it makes me hear character dialogue in different ways. I've read this novel numerous times, and I never heard the accents in my head that Peter Ganim brings to the book. Now that I think about them, they make sense.
The Gerd van Riebeek and other characters with Afrikaner-type names have Afrikaner-type accents. Judge Pendarvis has a French accent, as does his wife, Claudette. And the American (can't call them English, as there are no English accents) are also done well.
The only disagreement I have is the cornpone accent of "Pappy Jack" Holloway. He may be a 70-year-old coot, but he never came across as a hick. But that's the impression I get from Ganin's interpretation.
I would like to see the other two books in this series posted ("Fuzzy Sapiens" and "Fuzzies and Other People.")
I was listening to this book in the car and I heard this strange sound. At first, I thought there was a problem with car and turned down the sound, then realized it was coming from the recording. It didn't really add any ambience to the story.
The book does make use of other actors to portray different characters. Yet the main narrator also reads entire chapters himself, without using the other actors. This gets a bit disconcerting after awhile. I would have preferred one or the other. The narrator is adequate, when he is reading solo.
The narrator's recording is clear enough, but the recorded actors sounds a bit tinny and metallic. Could have used a bit more filtering.
Be forewarned: The audiobook claims that it is "unabridged," but does not include any of the appendixes at the end of the novel (the dictionary, the religion history, etc.) If you've read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Weiner is a little weak on the female voices, but his baritone for Richard is spot on, so I didn't mind it much. His Russian accents tend to sound too much the same, and they were attached to characters that I never envisioned as Russian. His French accent was a little off-putting as well (Rev. Schultz). However, I enjoyed his narration much more than Lloyd James' interpretations of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and "Time Enough for Love." Highly recommended.
As I wrote in my review for "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," Lloyd James has a tendency to pause in strange places. I almost wanted to shake the iPod to get him to "read right" sometimes, even though I knew it wouldn't do any good. That said, this is an acceptable reading of a very long book, with reasonable voice inflections. It will be a while before I listen to it again, though.
J. Charles is an adequate narrator, but he reads a bit fast. And some of his accents are a bit forced. Sometimes his Russian characters run together. But overall, a pleasant audiobook.
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