Audible, thanks for this Christmas present. I have not much to say. Perfect narration, good choice of the story and pleasure from listening.
This book is a well organised biography of a German scientist exploring Africa. But in my view author concentrates too much on the question of Barth's personality along with difficulties he had endured but there are almost no details of Barth's impressions of the countries he was in, mosly generalisations. This makes this book not an interesting one to people who would like to know more on the Africa of those times.
It is definitely not the best example of Simon Vance's performance. The accent which the narrator has chosen for Frankenstein fluctuates and seldom is forgotten at all. Kind of a hastily made narration by a professional.
Personally I do not like Dan Brown so may be my review of this audiobook will be prejudiced.
Some people presume that DB is an author who can be related to intellectual literature. Well, they are misled. DB is not a genius or even talanted author, he is a seller who knows what kind of fake questions need to be raised in order to have a comlete sellout, even though it is far from any truth or supported facts (example - The Da Vinci Code).
This time the main topic is overpopulation and its importance for humankind. Sounds interesting and modern... But Inferno is just another bare sensation created by DB. Plot, characters, twists are almost identically similar to his previous novels. The ending is unconvinsing and dubious. In my opinion Brown's main mistake is that he prefers to give his conclusions too openly and these conclusions as for me are often very primitive and irrelevant. I do not need to know somebody's views but want to listen/read a book with at least some meaning. Another important issue is stupidity of the characters - their lifelong problems, that accoding to DB ruined their lives, are farfetched (esp for Siena). Last but not least - by completing that book I had an impression that the author forgot what he was writing in the beginning, the plot is unfolded very poorly. No respect to the listener/reader at all.
The only advantage of this book is the setting - Florence, Venice, Istanbul - it transfers this empty and simple story into a marvelous adventure (although an imaginary one). Only due to this locations the book is worth listening/reading.
As to the performance - Paul Michael is an experienced DB narrator and surely Inrefno did not give him a hard time. His voice is not fluctuating and accent immitation along with necessary stresses are also in the right place. So in my view he has done his job pretty well.
Overall impession of this audiobook is good, I will not listen to it again but in the process of listening I definitely was not bored (sometimes irritated by the author but not bored), the performance was entertaining.
It is always a pleasure to hear such a real story. For a person who knows almost nothing about Africa, as mass media seldom report on this truly desperate and unfortunate continent, it was a kind of revelation that the situation in Africa is much worse than it seems here in Europe. The book is full of facts, people's accounts and historic data. Special thanks to Howard French - a reporter who spent so much energy in order to show how the things in Africa, or at least in part of it, run nowadays. The choice of the performer is also a bull's eye shot - Afro-American voice for a book about Africa. Besides, the narrator is not a monotonous one but full of emotions and emphasis where necessary. Well done. All fives from me.
The story is awful. The mark two (not one) only because the author describes the social world as it is nowadays in the USA. The rest, well, it is ridiculous, nothing in common with real life, the product of sheer imagination and poor basic topic, the symbol of irrelevancy of modern popular literature in the World and the USA in particular. Twists throughout the plot are so predictable that even a three-year-old child can foresee the outcome. Besides, the details are so poorly arranged that the author herself forgets to unfold some of them in the end. In addition to this the unfolded facts are dedicated to supernatural wit of the heroine which is absolutely unconvincing.
As to the narration. Audible has done its job. The four because I did not like Julia Whelan as an imitator of man's voice(my personal opinion only), seems a bit funny and inappropriate. But otherwise no comments from my side. Well done performance.
As it is the first-fly review of this audiobook I will try to be consistent and precise.
First: the story. Comparing this creation to the rest of Mitchell's I would like to point out that in my opinion "Cloud Atlas" is in the lead. But "Number9Dream" can also be placed on my audiobookshelf. The plot is more simple, as well as the general idea, however, there are certainly some points which for me at least were thought-provoking. The story is full of unexpected twists so characteristic to Mitchell. What I did not like is the setting which is Japan; Japan is close to the author' heart and probably he has lived there for a long time, but his understanding and description of the country's life is totally different from Japanese authors (Murakami as an example) and I tend to trust locals more. For me Japan was too English, but it is just my personal opinion. Another deficiency in my view is action which sometimes, unfortunately, is created for entertainment only and without sense.
Second: performance. All in all the narration is good except some minor deficiencies. Sometimes while reading William Rycroft is too fast skipping from one piece of narration to the next and, bearing in mind that the story has quite a lot of sudden twists, it is confusing to understand what's happening. There is no change of voice in some dialogues which also slows down the general understanding of such parts of the book. But eventhough these inconsistencies the narrator felt the main topic of the story and gives no false impression of the book to listener. Thus derives the mark.
Summing up: although there are some drawbacks in general performance my marks are fives for the performance and the story and four overall for the setbacks.
Hope that this review will be of some help to future choosers. Enjoy the audiobook.
Not many words can be written about the book and the story as it is immortal classics and was acknowledged long long long ago and everybody knows it; but so much can be said about the narration cast. They did a great job. Sometimes I am catching myself thinking that this book seems to me even better than it is after such a well performed narration. Thanks to all cast and Audible in paticular for such a chance of listening. Looking forward to hearing new Audible Editions of similar kind.
Altought horrible the story is grippig as it raises and ponders over some of eternal philosophical questions. I don't want to make any comments. It's surely worth reading and I advise everybody to do so.
Narration is performed by legendary Kenneth Branagh and he has done a good job.
What else can be said...
It is for sure that Stephen King is a renowned author and inventor of a rare kind. Although this is an example of a book which is very simple and repeats most of the story elements of his previous books. But most obvious question would be: why is it so long? With so many words Tolstoy and other writer of past days could create marvels, here all we can see is just another story with vague, banal and unconvincing main fabula. However I like author's optimism, writing style, some of the literary devices he uses, and bearing in mind his previous achievements, that's why four. Proper ending, by the way. As to the narrator - everything was in place besides some minor changes of voice tone. Craig Wasson did his job as well as endured such a long reading.
P.S. Some comments from me personally (as I am of Russian origin) - such a rich author as S.King could have at least hire a professional Russian translator for the episodes with dialogues in Russian. It was awful to hear so many mistakes...
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