This is a classic sci-fi novel, and possibly the best first contact novel ever. The narration is superb, with distinctive voicing. I listen to exclusively non-fiction on Audible, and this novel opened my eyes to the potential of fiction in audio.
This is an exquisitely detailed, meticulously researched account of the life of an important scientist. I cannot say enough about the material. The authors are obviously sympathetic to Oppenheimer, but that is probably an unavoidable consequence of the research necessary to do a good job, and when they come across something unpleasant they don't make excuses for him. It's clear why this book won the Pulitzer.
That said, the narration and production of the book are considerably sub-par. Significant and frequent changes in volume and recording quality make you think that this was done over a weekend with no time for re-takes. Much of the time the narrator is fine, but he struggles with foreign names and is extremely inconsistent in his pronunciation of more technical words.
The work is so fascinating to me that I was able to make it through, but I can understand that not everyone might be able to do the same. Think about your capacity to deal with poor production before buying.
First, this book is fascinating and engrossing, neatly following the birth of the New York City Medical Examiner's office and the creation of forensic medicine as a science in America. The book is organized into chapters covering both a short span of time (usually a year or two) and a particular poison that figures prominently into cases from that time.
The audio production itself, however, suffers from frequent mispronunciations of words and occasional changes of meaning from inopportune pauses by the narrator. It's as though the narrator did the book in a single take and no one bothered to listen to it with an appropriately critical ear. If it weren't for this the book would rate five stars from me.
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