I have heard some fantastic audiobook narrators -- Patrick Tull (Aubrey-Maturin series), Mirron E. Willis (Last King of Scotland), and Dion Graham (What is the What) come first to mind as examples. Unfortunately, Raul Esparza's delivery manages to keep pulling me out of the story. He's perfectly fine when speaking as the narrator; his standard enunciation is clear, his pacing is appropriate, and his emphases make sense almost always. But woe to the hearer when he ventures at regional dialect! At the risk of unkindness, he doesn't know Down East from Down South. He can't sound like Maine for more than a few words in a row, and the same character keeps sliding like pedal steel, if not all the way to Hattie McDaniel, then at least to somewhere near Foghorn Leghorn, and then back, sometimes with a quick flyover past Long Gisland. He also sounds, unfortunately, like everybody's kid nephew.
This is not a reflection on King's book, at all; I'm only two hours into it so far.
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