My kids loved this, of all the many books we;ve listend to-- Irwin has a real talent for knowing when to pause, when to sound scared, and not to overplay it for the kids-- just right. I wish Audible carried all the Hardy Boys title as we'd snap them up. For now, rest assured that the Tower Treasure won't disappoint!
This book for me comprises the finest qualities of the Aubrey-Maturin series, and manages to convey so much adventure in a relatively short space, it boggles the imagination: (SPOILER ALERT) fine sailing detail, chases, maneuvers by the crew, carefully-drawn and humorous character studies of various crew members, a capture, love for both men, but Stephen especially, a picture of home life for Jack, imprisonment, and above all a level of exciting adventure, tinged with humorous detail - laughing in the teeth of danger as it were - that this seems to me the completest thing, as Jack would say. At the risk of seeming a total geek, this is the one of the series that I go to again and again for the thrill of O'Brien - this and Far Side of the World, but mostly this. Enjoy!!
This was so much better as it went on - the narrator matches what seem at first to be the overly-elite and stuffy manner of the first character, but he also matches that of the second major character, Albert Crosetti, sometime bookbinder and aspiring fil-maker, who with his whole family are so engaging! Most of the characters are really well-drawn and complex, and if Jake Mishkin, with his indulgent ways and troubles he alone causes, is infuriating, the rest of the cast is superb. I was thrilled, and I am an easily-bored reader. Get past the first chapter or so, and you'll be glad you did.
I've read the entire series, re-read several, and read again the really choice ones (Master and Commander, Post Captain, Far Side of the World, etc). I enjoyed -- but not loved -- the abridged versions from Audible but felt that unlike other fairly long books, those in this series didn't suffer from poor editing, etc., and abidgement left off choice passages and subtle details. I want to praise Patrick Tull, however-- his phrasing, timing, delivery are perfect. He knows when to pause, when to hurry over a sentence, when to express disgust, happiness, etc. O'Brian fans will know the subtlety of Tull's reading and love it, and newcomers to the series will have their best possible introduction. This is a great place to start!
I am a big fan of Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, etc, and this is my first try at Marsh, and I was very impressed with the delicate, spot-on characterizations of provincial Dorset life, the gossip, the politics, and above all the people. If you like the English mystery-- very little blood spilled, but looks that could kill --Overture to Death will fit the bill. Marsh is terrific.
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