Like the previous reviewer, I say stick with the George Guidall recording of the original release. Mr. Guidall did such a fabulous, iconic job that even now, years after first listening to American Gods, I still have trouble accepting his narration of any other novel: I just hear Shadow.
But this version of American Gods has bigger problems than just not living up to the original. Mainly, I just don't feel like the actors breathe any life into their roles, so that the transition between speakers is jarring rather than natural. (Caveat: I almost always have this complaint with full cast recordings.) Most of the actors don't have a lot of inflection in their voices. The only exception is Laura, who is described as speaking in a monotone. Laura is brimming with expression! (Go figure, right?) Many of the gods speak in bad and inconsistent accents--while mispronouncing words in "their" native languages.
Here I take issue with the producers, who didn't do enough research to make sure their actors were pronouncing those foreign words correctly. I'm nowhere near fluent in Russian, but I know that it should be "Zorya PoluNOCHnaya" not "Zorya PolunochNAYa." It's DEDushka, not dedUSHka.Every time I hear a mispronounced word, it throws me out of the story.
The story itself is great--I'm a big fan of American Gods, and I was really looking forward to this expanded edition. But after this one listen, I'm going back to the original.
You know, I bet Mr. Guidall mispronounced some of those same Russian words. But I don't remember them.
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