I can't imagine a better reader--with the possible exception of Richard Brown, who narrated many of the O'Brian novels (Master and Commander, etc). The sound effects (trains, subways, old-time fiddle music) transform the reading--brilliant in itself; Griffin does an immense range of voice and accents--into something even greater. One reviewer complained that the stories are dark. Well, sure, most of them are dark. What else is new?
This novel has a bewildering number of characters.
Robert Whitfield manages to give each of them a different voice.
Frederick Davidson's voice is perfect for this book. I think the accent is something close to Oxford English, but as an American could easily understand everything he said.
And Orwell's memoir, of course, is brilliant.
As the first priority of a physician is to do no harm, so the priority of an audiobook is that the listener must be able to understand every word. With this audiobook, the recording itself appears to have been done poorly. But also, Flo Gibson emphasizes accent and a kind of singsong mannerism over clarity. I have read The Golden Bowl twice (the printed version) and I kept the text nearby while I tried to listen to the audiobook. Flo Gibson pronounced "Florence" as "Florin," "flight" as "flot," "seemed to us" as "seemed to all," "great" as "grift," "the Prince" as "the trip," "migrate" as "my room," and her pronunciation of "galantuomo" was utterly incomprehensible. When a reader pronounces a foreign word, she must pause to indicate that a foreign word is coming and use the proper accent so that the listener knows, in this case, that she's speaking Italian. I returned this book and am listening to Wings of the Dove instead, read by Nadia May, whom I find much easier to understand.
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