Robin Sachs is one of those few who can read the phone book and be captivating. And when he reads Banville's rich and graceful prose it's just the best. The story flows seamlessly from past to present to past again. Each character is developed just fully enough to make the book sing; nothing extra. The physical descriptions of places and persons are vivid and convey the sight, sound and smell of them. I will surely come back to this book.
I'm only 2 hours in, and not sure if I'll finish this book. The reader couldn't be more wrong: American at its worst. Sort of casual, no sense of Scandinavia, no differentiation of characters, no differentiation of anything! I will return to this review if I do finish the book, as this probably isn't fair to the book.
Sound is fine when I start listening, but audio freezes and freezes my iPod. Tried a second download. No luck. I've been listening to this series with no problem. Went to the next in the series and it works fine.
After John Lee's masterful narration of the first two books in this series, with his subtle but clear differentiation of the characters' voices and personalities, I couldn't finish this. What a disappointment! I found this performance confusing and hard to follow -- and not worth the effort.
I fully agree with other reviewers about sub-standard narration for this and several other Gabriel Alon books. The faulty pronunciation of French, Russian, Hebrew, and British English detracts from Silva's lovely settings. Makes the whole thing seem kind of mundane. From here on out I'll skip this narrator's renditions.
.... because the narration was so inane. Probably not fair to Turow, who has a great track record of publishing good legal procedurals.
I found the plot development somewhat forced -- hard to believe -- but enjoyed it nonetheless. Fascinating look behind the scenes of the Salvation Army. Harry seemed somehow less vested in the problems he was solving.
As for the narrator. The loss of Robin Sachs is huge. I especially missed his distinguishing voices for each character. Much as I like John Lee -- his nicely dark voice and his delivery -- his reading here made the book more difficult to follow, and more difficult to keep the characters straight. It's probably because the names are unfamiliar, but also may be because the voice of each character was less than distinctive. But what are you going to do?
This is a very irritating experience: to just get going with what you know will be a great listen, then have it freeze over and over.
It froze my iPod right at the beginning -- over and over again. Too bad -- I love this series.
I actually bought this book for the narrator. Robin Sachs is, for my money, the best, now that David Case/Frederick Davidson is no longer with us. Found Sachs reading the Jo Nesbo books. Definitely value-added.
But the book!. The villain is one of the creepiest since Hannibal. And the good guys are complicated, beautifully developed characters. Talk about driveway moments. I actually did absolutely nothing the whole day that it took to listen. Zoos, insects, martial arts, police procedurals. It's all there.
I googled Richard La Plante, and see that he has two more books in this series. Hard to decide whether to just buy the books, or wait for them to appear on Audible. I HOPE the publisher will bring back Robin Sachs.
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