I own a nice leather-bound edition of this book. It's been collecting dust on my bookshelf for almost two decades. I've attempted to read it a few times; however, never made it beyond chapter three.
Thanks to Audible and their $2.95 pricing for this book, I was finally able to experience the brilliance of this story for myself. Sometimes it's nice to have someone else do the reading on these meaty classics.
True, the narration is not the best. The pacing is a bit fast, but still a good listen. Mark Nelson, with this title at least, is more of a reader than a voice actor.
To be clear, this review relates to the Frederick Davidson narration of War and Peace, with an Audible release date of 01-21-05. What a horrible recording, mastering, and narration! I sincerely regret that I didn’t purchase the Neville Jason narration, instead (Audile release date: 04-27-07).
Do not be encouraged by the favorable reviews given this Davidson narration. I was. That and I was too cheap to pay two credits for volumes 1 & 2 of the Neville Jason narration.
Criticisms of narration and production:
1.This is a poor quality recording. During pauses in narration, there is a low hissing background noise – almost like the always-present noise made by my old cassette recorder as it captured the friction of tape being pulled over the recording head. This becomes extremely pronounced (and annoying) when listening with noise-cancelling headphones.
2.The digital mastering of this rendition only heightens the annoying affect of background noise. At the discretion of the editor mastering this recording, the narration is frequently augmented with post-capture extensions of narrative pause. The stark silence of these edited-in pauses contrast, sharply, against the noise-filled pauses captured during narration.
3.Points 1 & 2 would be tolerable, if only Davidson’s narration wasn’t so bad. My chief complaint with Davidson’s narration is this: he reads War and Peace as though it were Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. Not appropriate and even laughable at some parts. Also, Davidson’s character voices for women are grating and shrill. As he narrated certain women’s dialog, I had to pull the headphones from my ears to escape the pain his increased pitch and volume caused to my eardrums (seriously!). After one such insanely pitched, loud narration of a women character’s line, he then read: [character x] said, mildly. He then paused, awkwardly, as though thinking: guess I shouldn’t have hit that line so hard.
Criticisms of the story:
To be fair to the story, please understand I have aborted listening to this book after only fourteen hours (I’ve listened to 2 of 10 parts). Although I love long books, I couldn’t tolerate another 46+ hours of Davidson’s narration. So, my criticisms of content relate specifically to the first 14 hours.
1.Too many characters to get a clear idea of who is who or why the reader should care about any of them.
2.Most (as in 90%) of battle/action scenes are described in hindsight, through various characters’ point of view. Not a lot of showing, mostly telling.
In short, I regret buying the Davidson narration of this book. I wish I’d spent 2 credits on the 2 volume narration by Neville Jason, instead of wasting 1 credit and fourteen hours on this Davidson narration.
I would urge any reader interesting in tackling this classic Tolstoy novel to avoid the Davidson narration. Listen, carefully, to the Jason samples before taking the miserly path I took. Spend the 2 credits on the Jason narration and avoid the frustration of spending time with this Davidson narration.
The best, so far, of all the Alastair Reynolds books I’ve experienced. Specific to the writing, this is truly epic Sci-Fi: best in breed. Couple Reynolds’ writing with John Lee’s outstanding narration and this book really delivers.
Pushing Ice takes place outside Reynolds’ Revelation-Space universe, in which so many of his stories are based. There are no tie-ins to the Rev-Space series. That fact caused me to delay this book until I’d finished all his Rev-Space books – thinking this book wouldn’t be as good as those. My mistake.
If you enjoy depth to a story, this book will not disappoint. Reynolds delivers both intrigue of plot and inter-character drama as he explores the tapestry of this multi-millennia-spanning voyage of hardship and discovery.
My only complaint is this: it ended too soon . . .
This is a good pairing of narrator to story. Kenneth Branagh does a great job with this Conrad classic. His pacing is comfortable while his characterizations come to life with appropriate drama without being over-done.
This book is an easy (although sometimes horrifying) listen.
I wish Elijah Wood would narrate more Mark Twain books. After listening to Wood's narration of Huckleberry Finn, other narrators of Twain's books simply don't measure up.
Of the more than two hundred Audible titles I've purchased, this narration rates (easily) in the top ten. A truly masterful performance.
If ever Elijah Wood narrates more Twain books, I will buy them without hesitation.
Originally gave this book a read back in my early teens. Although I lost my copy, the huanting tale remained with me. When I found this title on Audible, I took a nice listen and found the story still works.
Of the three story-segments, I found the 1st to be my favorite. It is about discovery. The 3rd segment may prove the most memorible, though, as the reader experiences history repeating itself.
A great story. Fair narration.
I enjoyed a lot of Arthur C. Clarke's books when I was young. Childhood's End is one of my favorite.
When I saw it available on Audible (and on sale!), I snagged it.
As an audio-book, the production did not disappoint. It was great fun to become reacquainted with this classic tale. The story is timeless. It has aged well.
Written in the 1st person, from the perspective of a stock speculator in the early twentieth century. Follows his career from his early entry as a clerk to his domination of the action.
Although a fictional account, there are many lessons to be learned. Many contemporary stock market investors suggest this book should be required reading.
Even for one whose interest may not be in things financial, this is still an engaging, fun story.
But, a great narrator can make a terrific story unforgettable.
That is what Lou Diamond Phillips does for Locked On. Phillips is fabulous!
It would be my greatest wish fulfilled to have Phillips re-narrate all of the Tom Clancy classics. I would buy (or re-buy) every one.
Locked On is one of my top-three favorite Clancy novels. It sets up a smooth transition from the old-Clancy characters to the 2nd-generation characters. Within this story, ALL the old characters are present and involved with the new characters. Nicely done.
The story is first-rate. The depth of plot, full-bodied characters, and pacing are all what you'd expect from Clancy. This is tight, high-action, intrigue at its best.
Clancy's hallmark is intelligent plotting and writing. It's difficult, even painful, to read many of the other authors in this genre after having read so much Clancy.
I've enjoyed Garrison Keillor from way back in his days of Prairie Home Companion. His dry wit and ability to weave a wandering tale used to thrill me every Saturday night as I'd dial in PBS to catch his show.
Oddly enough, I'd never bought one of his books. So, I anticipated this one would be a treat for me.
The opening chapters were about what I'd expect from Garrison. He laid down a firm foundation upon which to weave. I began to eagerly anticipate where the story may go.
By the middle of the book, I was thinking: Okay, maybe the passing years have left an over-romanticized memory of Keilllor's melancholy Lake Wobegon yarns.
The ending of this book left me laughing out loud. It was so funny, I had to listen to the end a second time.
In short, it's a great little story with a brief snooze in the middle. If you buy it, don't give up. The ending is worth the price (and the time).
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