I would recommend both books in this series. They are fairy tales with adult themes, a vividly drawn world and the absolute best audio production ever. Neil Gaiman has put together the most outstanding team to produce this book which is actually read by the author and former radio host, Ellen Kushner.
The audio production uses multiple voices and sound effects. The various voices slide into the narration without interrupting the flow of the story adding a rich, vibrant texture to the story. The sound effects are not as seamless but that is as it should be since they are used to show the transitions in the narrative. This production is the gold standard by which I will judge all future multi-voice narrations. I am afraid most will fall far short.
Ellen Kushner knows her archetypes and plays with them beautifully. Although set in a time of swords, carriages and masked balls, her heroine meets challenges and grows in very modern ways. Her guide through this process is her uncle, the Mad Duke. With benign neglect, he offers her an unorthodox upbringing in his chaotic world.
Her themes are too adult for kids or I would have shared this with my granddaughter on a recent road trip. I would have loved to introduce her to the heroine. I will recommend this to my friends who love an off beat fairy tale and an outstanding audio experience.
It was done in voices that you will swear are the original characters. If you loved Monty Python, Life of Brian and anything else done by the Python crew (and why else would you be reading this?), you will find this a wonderful listen. Madcap, funny and moving.
Graham Chapman, since he was the lead character, was my favorite but they were all fun. You have to listen to understand.
Listen for yourself and then try to make a decision. It's impossible.
It was too short. I listened to it on a long drive and I did not want it to end. My husband in the car ahead was concerned to see me laughing out loud so often.
I grew up watching Monty Python every Thursday night while babysitting for the neighbors. I have also enjoyed the movies and post-Monty Python projects that the fellows have done. But I was rather unaware of the behind-the-scenes lives of the crew. This book filled in some of the gaps. This has to be the most unusual performance I have ever listened to in the four years of my Audible membership. To say more would take away the fun of discovery for the next listener. If you loved Monty Python, listen.
I have been waiting for Audible to find Dorothy Dunnett. I have not been disappointed. Her books are so wonderfully layered and plotted so intricately that listening to them, after already have read them, just increases the enjoyment.
Dunnett completely immerses you in her world with complex, well-drawn characters, laugh-out-loud humor and a story that guarantees to keep you entranced long after you pull into the driveway.
This is why we listen to audio books.
This is one of those books that you find authors referring to in the oddest places. After reading... or rather listen to...Connie Willis' "to Say nothing of the Dog" I was excited to see this in Audible. Now I will have to go back and re-listen to Willis's book.
The humor is so dry and so very British. You can see the the influence of this book on so many of the great British humorists of the modern day.
The author occasionally drifts in his descriptions but you will still want to reserve a seat on a boat on the Thames. A delightful listen to escape the commute.
As a collector of Charles De Lint books, I was so excited to see an audio version. I was not disappointed. The book is set in his Newford setting that he uses for his urban realism stories. De Lint explores the role of the arts in our lives. A common theme in many of his books. Of course, he wraps it all in a lively set of stories that are interwoven and come together with a very satisfying end.
De Lint fans will be glad to listen to one of his stories and newcomers are in for a treat.
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