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Andrew

ratings
16
REVIEWS
3
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Khaled Hosseini
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5042)
    Performance
    (1275)
    Story
    (1275)

    Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

    David says: "Somber but gripping"
    "Great book, mediocre narrator"
    Overall

    I'm not going to comment on the tragic beauty of Hosseini's story, which everyone else has remarked on in their reviews. I'm commenting on the production of the audiobook. The narrator is Atossa Leoni, the actress who played the female lead in the film version of the Kite Runner. She is clearly multilingual, and comfortably makes both English and Farsi sound natural. The performance, however, is very flat. Leoni reads choppily, taking a breath every few words, sounding passionless and killing the rhythm of the author's voice. If this book had been produced ten years ago, I would say this is fine. But today's audiobooks are performances, with the likes of John Lee and Jim Dale bringing life to the page and adding incredible value to the production. I found this book very hard to listen to. I kept telling myself that the oppressive listening experience was in keeping with the story, but really, the producers should have either coached Leoni to perform differently or found someone who could do the delivery justice. Still, for those who "read" on the go and don't have time otherwise, it will do.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8678)
    Performance
    (3125)
    Story
    (3155)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Very worthwhile"
    Overall

    I found the characters and story of World Without End just a little less engrossing than Pillars of the Earth. It took some effort to get into, but was still a very enjoyable experience. John Lee plus Ken Follett equals a must-buy, as far as I'm concerned. I'd say start with Pillars, then once you've fallen in love with Kingsbridge, World Without End becomes more attractive. Both books are also great educations in the realities of medieval life and architecture and timeless political scheming.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12515)
    Performance
    (4897)
    Story
    (4936)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    Joseph says: "Good historical setting, but loose story."
    "Wonderful book"
    Overall

    Great story, and John Lee does an amazing job reading/acting/breathing life into it, as he always does. Even though it's long, I didn't want it to end. The sequel, World Without End, is also worth listening to.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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