The good: the narrator works his rear end off to make this sorry endeavor succeed and does it well. He was a joy to listen to. The bad: nearly everything else. How a book can begin so well and end so badly is the real mystery here. If Ms. Maitland had stuck to using her premise to create a humane story calculated to show us just how far we have come as a species, and remind us why we must continue to oppose ignorance, bigotry, supersitition, and mass violence she would have done well, and did so in the beginning. However she continued on to superimpose modern issues and morays onto a medieval story (gay hot-tubbing during the Great Plague foresooth!). This is self-indulgence of the worst sort. Futhermore she seems to have felt compelled to top each new "secret" with an even more outrageous or absurd one until, at the end, she becomes merely laughable. Well, no, in truth I held my head and cringed in embarassment for her. I listened to the end in the same way that one might watch a moving car hit a pedestrian: horrified but unable to look away.
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