I bought this for my grandkids and thought I better preview it first. I was immediately hooked by the story, the Jane Austen style and tone, and the amazing reader, who does children who don't speak exactly right, howling wolves, imperious aristocrats, an upright governess, and the rest of the cast with just the right theatricality. Wonderful for both grandmothers and their grandkids, who will get not only a great story but a humorous look at what used to be expected of children.
In quality of narration it's #1. Dan Stevens was born to read.
The plot did keep me moving and wondering, though sometimes it was a bit too Gothic. I might not have finished it, but I couldn't give up Stevens' voice.
The voice of a god, the diction of the Englishman (he played Matthew in Downton Abbey), the ability to inhabit and voice many roles, and a perfect sense of timing.
I immediately looked for Stevens' other books and listened to his read of Roal Dahl's memoir "Boy," also wonderful. I hope he continues narrating even though he's now famous and in demand as an actor.
I'm so disappointed in the Wasson's reading that I can't go on and I'm going to ask for my money back. In twenty years of listening to audiobooks, I've never done that. I do plan to get the book in another format. I'm not a big King fan, but this isn't his usual gross stuff.
Graphic descriptions of Jake throwing up. If his stomach lurched and roiled one more time....What's the point? Clearly no one edits King.
Fuller's white British-born parents loved their life in colonial Africa until the war for independence forced them to leave Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, but not Africa. Their story reads like a pioneer saga, full of reckless courage and passionate relationships set against a backdrop of natural beauty and political turmoil. In this second story of her childhood, Fuller, who now lives in America, paints a vivid picture of her inimitable mother, who was as devoted to her Scottish heritage as to the African land she farmed with her husband. If only Katherine Hepburn were alive to play her on screen! We see the mother's British-colonial sensibilities and experiences viewed through her daughter's more critical but loving eyes. I kept wanting to take a break to learn more about the Rhodesian civil war, but I couldn't leave the book. Both Amato, the reader (her some-kind-of-British accent charmed my American ears), and Fuller bring the story and characters alive, balancing tragedy with humor. After listening to this, I began reading Fuller's earlier memoir, "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" on my Kindle, and then picked up "Scribbling the Cat," about a white African soldier, in old-fashioned book form. Reading in print helped me appreciate Fuller's lyrical style and colorful slang ("Cat" has a glossary in the back), but I plan to listen to them all. In any format they're all terrific--you learn, you laugh, you are moved. What more can a reader ask?
"West with the Night" (the first audiobook I ever listened to--I was hooked) and Jeannette Walls' "Half-Broke Horses"
Her skill with reading dialogue, her light touch with humor, and her ability to shift tone subtly, without melodrama, during heavier parts.
Top-notch, versatile narration of a lyrical coming-of-age story. Both Mitchell and Heyborne nail the voice of the awkward, angst-ridden boy who struggles with both inner and outer demons--a plague of stuttering, harrassment by village bullies and crazy old ladies, the mysteries of girls, a family that disintegrates even while he finds his strengths. British teenspeak and early 80s pop-music and political references add to the delight.
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