Fuzzy Nation has a great story and in general I'd say that Wheaton is a good narrator - the only drawback, compared to other audiobooks, is that he doesn't shift tone when reproducing character dialog. There's a great example of this early in the book where a character's voice is described as being adnoidal but isn't anything of the sort when reproduced by the narrator. I'm not sure why Wheaton decided not to provide different voices for the characters (he's certainly a very capable narator otherwise), but this lack detracts from what is otherwise a great audiobook.
The narration is terrible. It's like Fran Drescher is being tortured by a duck that's hopped up on PCP. The performance passes beyond the event horizon of terrible into being sublimely vindictive. After listening to the narrator for an hour, you'll long for the gentle tones of a dentist's drill or fingernails shattering as they are dragged down a chalkboard.
Couldn't get through it.
Forget waterboarding or playing Lady Gaga to torture suspected terrorists, instead put this performance on continuous play. You know how Douglas Adams talked about a listener to Vogon Poetry having their intestines leap out of their stomach to choke the listener as an act of mercy? The performance is like that, but without the redeeming bits.
No. Buy the book. Save yourself. If you listen, that narration will stay in your mind forever, slowly boring away at your sanity like termites boring away at the frame of a house.
Hope that they redo this using a different narrator.
Have not read the print version, though was tempted after finding it hard to differentiate which character was speaking during this performance.
The linguist, perhaps because we got to know him first.
No. Wheaton does not give characters different voices. Can lose track of who is speaking. Other audiobook narrators do this well, Wheaton chooses to have all characters speak with one voice.
Scalzi is his own delectable flavor. Like Awesome mixed with cantaloupe.
In the 4th high quality download, a few of the bits seem to be out of order - noticeably that Daniel sails Meteor back to Eliza and meets her illegitimate son and it is known she has the Pox, but then there is a jump back to Eliza prior to her getting the pox and meeting up with her illegitimate son. There is a similar problem where Minerva is christened but then we wind back to a few years earlier where there is a big reveal that Jack is building a boat. Which we already know about. Unlike Quicksilver where the novel deliberately shifts between Daniel as young man and Daniel as old, there is only this small part of the final bit of the Confusion where this odd jumping about in the what is otherwise linear narrative occurs, which makes me guess that this is an error rather than something deliberate in the text.
Also - an easter egg of sorts - listen carefully at 4 hours and about 12 minutes into the fourth part of the high quality recording. Either the narrator has a special leather chair or he's had too many beans.
Wil Wheaton and Kate Reading are both great narrators. In this case their styles and approach to the text give their interspersed chapters more of a clashing than complimentary feel. This made the presentation feel disjointed and the unique voice and approach of each narrator to the text made it feel like there were two separate but related texts.
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