Insufferably smug narrator. Intolerably pretentious writing style - like going to a minor hell where you're forced to hear the inner thoughts of someone who isn't very interesting. Telling, telling, and not showing. God. Somebody just shoot me now. Why did I download this thing?
William Dufris is the perfect narrator for the main character of Erasmus. He is absolutely wonderful in this role, and shows a lot of scope. All the other characters are voiced convincingly and well, too.
The book is fascinating, a vision of an alternate universe and a compelling train of events that leads to unexpected places! So worth it. One of my most highly recommended audio books.
In this book, O'Brian feels like he's losing steam and enthusiasm for the series. The plot really seems to go nowhere fast. At the end, I wondered why he, and I, bothered! I'm not sure now whether I'll go on to read subsequent books in this series.
For one thing, I am not sure how entertaining it will be to watch the characters age out - at the rate that O'Brian is aging them between books, they'll be true geezers by the end of the series, if they can even make it that long!
This series is entertaining and enjoyable. The characters are well developed and the nautical and military details are interesting. Simon Vance does a fantastic job as reader. The books in this series are a bit 'fluffy', there are no great philosophical issues being explored here...perfect for a beach listen or a tedious flight.
The narrator, Timothy West, did a good job; he has a very distinguished voice and did not detract from this little period romance. However, I think a female voice would probably have fit the tale better. An editorial choice. This was an enjoyable listen, a bit less involved than other works by this author.
Rene Auberjonois does a good job with very little; that said, this is possibly the least-gripping, least-engaging audio book I've downloaded. I feel that the writing is just not that good. The premise is novel, but that's not really enough to make this work. Overall: Meh.
I found the addition of Katherine Kellgren as Eliza in the third book a little jarring, after having gotten used to Simon Prebble doing Eliza's voice in the two previous books (and doing a seamless job of it, too.)
Kellgren's Eliza is a touch too arch, too insufferably prissy; not how I imagined Eliza to be. It makes the numerous readings of Eliza's correspondence in this book three of the cycle seem interminable. This stands out because, though this is a ridiculously long work, I rarely lose patience with its length - and I remember reading through the correspondence sections of the third book without any impatience or sense of 'slogging through'.
I think her voice is just a bit too much, like trying to make an entire meal of lemon bars. Makes you long for plain bread. I'm hoping this effect lessens as the books go on.
I love this book and have read the print version 4-5 times. This isn't bad, but the narrator is jarringly glib, and doesn't change emotional gears all that well between the humorous parts and the more serious parts. Nor does he have enough mastery of accents or acting chops to clearly delineate the various characters from all over the world.
Granted, it's very challenging that way due to the scope of the book, but I wish Audible had looked a little further for a narrator that had more depth. Sorry, William Dufris. Haven't heard your other work, which may be great for all I know. But as someone who knows this book like the back of their hand, I don't think justice was done. I don't, in retrospect, feel this audio book was worth two credits. Probably would have been worth one. I should have popped for Anathem instead, maybe! Live and learn.
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