The Moonstone is a classic, and if you like mysteries it is a must-read (or must-listen). What is truly special about this rendition is the reading. The reading is superb, done by several actors to match the voices of several narrators.
Although it is VERY long, I never once got bored - in fact I couldn't wait for my drive to/from work so that I could listen some more. This is my favorite audio book to date (I've been doing this about a year now).
Jeremy Irons is one of my favorite actors, and he delivers a stunning reading of this classic. Nothing short of amazing - I can't imagine reading this book silently or hearing anybody else read it. The musical use of language is what makes this book, and it just rolls of Irons' tongue like honey. I didn't so much listen as observed this performance in amazement.
Wonderful. If I could give more stars, I would.
I loved every minute of this book. It was transporting. What else could you hope for - dashing hunters, desert adventures, a fortune in gems, a tyrranical king, a noble battle for justice, an evil ancient sorceress, and tragic true love.
Patrick Tull is one of my favorite narrators and I would listen to almost anything he does. His rendition of the sorceress Gagool is nothing short of fabulous. I will never, ever forget the wicked "ha ha! hee hee!" as done by Tull. Delightfully evil.
Do not expect 21st century values from this book, as they are not there. It has the capability to offend on many levels due to racism, sexism, and shocking environmental attitudes. But if you can get past that and accept it on its own terms, you are in for a treat.
I am a great fan of Atwood, but not her speculative fiction. This book, like "The Handmaid's Tale", screams "Author's Message" in every sentence. It is overwrought, obvious. The characters are at best two-dimensional, and seem to be symbols standing in for traits, rather than real people possessing those traits. I found Oryx to be particularly irritating, a Western stereotype of an Asian female. This is especially annoying coming from a writer who is supposedly one of the greats in feminist fiction.
Crake is similarly a stick-figure genius, and for such a smart guy his choices are pretty dumb. His naive, new-agey Crakers would last about a day in a wilderness filled with rampaging pigoons, wolvogs, and bobkittens. Atwood's attempts to shroud him in mystery seem an inelegant attempt to deflect closer examination of his motives, which don't hold together. Jimmy / Snowman is only slightly more compelling. A great deal is made out of how he is not a genius like Crake, but at times he seems closer to mentally retarded. I can't believe anybody would be so clueless about survival, even if they had been brought up in a cocoon.
Despite these flaws, at times I found the audiobook hard to put down. I wanted to find out what had happened. But by the end of the book I felt cheated and manipulated by the same kinds of tricks that writers of cheap suspense novels use. The backstory was not that interesting, and has been done better before. Comparisons to other popular works are obvious.
The ending is hollow and unsatisfying. It has neither the happy ending of a cheap suspense novel, nor the bleak ending it seemed headed for. I think that this is because the story had no logical place to land - Atwood's point was in the build-up, so why waste time crafting a reasonable ending?
I give it three stars because the world is well-visualized, and because Campbell Scott's reading is superb. Atwood should stick with complex character situations, as in "Cat's Eye."
I enjoyed the novel tremendously but had a very hard time understanding what was being said due to the poor sound quality of this recording. I'd skip this one and read it rather than get the audiobook. The narrator's fake (and often insulting, Sambo-esque)Indian accent gets in the way, as well. The narrator also uses a lispy falsetto to represent female voices, which is like fingernails on a blackboard to me.
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