Flat, unethusiastic, droning
The content and commentary of this book are not would I would like to comment on. What I want to caution potential purchasers of this audiobook about is the narrator. She is flat and unenthusiastic, does not use inflection well, doesn't appear to have read the book prior to reading it aloud, and her voice is virtually duotonous. Many times she paused in the wrong placed and didn't pause where she could have for emphasis, nor did use inflection on words or phrases or clauses where she could have to better hold the listener's attention and keep him engaged.
Thankfully, the author of this book has a fluid and clear writing style, so the droning narration did not ruin the book too badly. The narration is not so bad that this audiobook is not worth purchasing, but I found myself buying a Kindle version of the book to follow along with on my iPad when I found myself unintentionally tuning out due to the "Charlie Brown's teacher"-style narration. With non-fiction subjects such as this one that are essentially just long essays, they can be read in a professorial or enthusiastic way that will hold the listener's attention, much as any public speaker worth his salt would do when delivering a long speech. The narration could be worse, but could be much more lively and enthusiastic, too. Based on the numerous errors made when narrating (stopping at commas, e.g.), I don't think the narrator actually read and familiarized herself with the book before reading it--which is inexcusable seeing as how the book is only 235pps or so.
I would say that I highly recommend this audiobook based on its intelligent content and commentary, and the clear, straighforward, fluid way the book is written, but I would urge caution (and highly recommend trying the sample) due to the narration.
No because of the narration. I would recommend they buy the book and just read it.
Here's the thing: I bought the book and the audiobook. I knew I would like the book because I watched and downloaded the Strange Fire Conference, hosted at Grace Community Church where John MacArthur (the author of the book) is pastor-teacher, and I both enjoyed the conference messages delivered by all of the speakers (including those two by MacArthur), and because I'm in the camp of Reformed Christian Theology and Calvinism. I also believe in cessationism. So, I was predisposed to liking the book, since I enjoyed the conference, agreed with the speakers at it, and am in the same theological "camp." I love the book.
I hate the narration. It's so bad that it's distracting, and I find myself going to the book to read sections of it that I just listened to via audio. I've had to do this so often, I've turned an 11+ hour book into one that is almost 14, and I'm just over halfway through with the audio. I don't know how else to say it, but this guy is not a good narrator: he doesn't read well, he confused several words that dramatically altered the meaning of the sentence ("compromised" in place of "comprised", e.g.), gives accentuation to words in strange places, and at other times is just dry. His narration does not engage me at all, and I think that is telling, because I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
I really wish John MacArthur, who narrated the unabridged version of his own book "Slave," would have read this book. If I wasn't on-the-go so often, I would have given up on the audio version and just read the rest of the book. But I don't have the time, so I'm slugging through the audio version. And this is really too bad, because I love the organized, very thorough, logical way MacArthur presents his arguments.
"Charismatic Chaos," also by John MacArthur.
See above paragraph for "Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend?".
Great book, horrible narration. Skip the narration and buy the Kindle or hardcopy of this book and read it. You'll be glad you saved yourself an Audible credit, and you'll get 100% more out of the book/e-book than the narration.
The narrator, Dylan Baker, uses a bunch of voices and accents for both the male and female characters. He's a very talented narrator, and he reads the story as if he's talking to you, or narrating your--or someone else's--thoughts. Which is to say that he's very real, down-to-earth, and has no annoying aristocratic or British accent as so many audiobooks narrators seem to have. 5-star narration. He's an excellent reader.
Beware of the abridged version of this book! I mistakenly purchased the abridged version, but didn't really realize it was abridged until about two hours into the narration when the book seemed to become a bit too fast-paced and too shallow, the characters seemed too under-developed (after all, I thought the book was, at that point, about 1/4 the way through), and the scenes in the plot began to seem disjointed. So I bought the Kindle version of the book to follow along and that's when I realized I had purchased the abridged version (I thought I had purchased an unabridged version).
As you can tell, I definitely do not recommend the abridged version of this book. This narrator reads at a good rate-of-speed and is, above all, interesting to listen to. The book is good anyway, but a bad narrator can make even the best book a chore, and a good narrator can make a good book better.
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