Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2008
Absolutely! The Chronicles of Narnia were my favourite books as a kid, and even now as an adult with a BA and MA in English Literature, I return to this series frequently. Each time, I discover something new and rewarding, be it another dimension of allegory I'd previously missed, or else some clever joke that went over my head as a younger reader.
Derek Jacobi is really one of the better Harper Audio "Narnian" narrators, my only qualm is his voicing of Reepicheep the Mouse, which can be a little bit grating for long-term listening! Just a bit melodramatic for my taste, although other listeners, particularly younger ones, might really enjoy his interpretation of the character.
This is the first recording I have heard by Mr. Jennings and I will absolutely listen to more if I have the chance! He was absolutely perfect for this role. I really appreciated how his voicing of Hwin and Bree was very humanized, which is how I believe Lewis intended the characters to be. He didn't give them ridiculous "horsey sounding" voices which would have been especially tiresome to listen to for 4 or 5 hours! Really just a perfect voicing of all the characters and a soothing and enjoyable listen overall.
I can see why there is a tendency to get male narrators to read the Chronicles of Narnia, the most obvious reason being that Lewis is a male and the Chronicles are written in a kind of combined third person objective and first person narration style. readers identify the narrator with C.S. Lewis, which I think he very much encourages them to do. That said, this is a world of fiction and literature and magic and I really appreciate the diversity of narrators that harper Audio got to do this series. Lynn Redgrave really does a fabulous job!
Northam is the perfect "Narnian" narrator for me. He's able to give each character voice, without being too melodramatic in invasive. For me, it is curtail that narration isn't too dramatic - I want to feel like I'm being read to, not like I'm at the theatre. At the same time, you don't want someone so monotonous they put you to sleep (unless you do!). Northam is the perfect balance for me. I particularly loved his use of different English accents and dialects to voice the different characters.
The Horse and His Boy
This is first and I hope it won't be the last!
Branagh is wonderful! He really brings this classic to life. Second best only to my father.
Michael York can be a bit melodramatic and some of his character voices are a little irritating and distracting. When reading as narrator, he's quite good and very pleasant to listen to.
I love how this tale is a rollicking, good hearty adventure novel, in addition to being an exquisitely crafted piece of classic literature.
Lee is an excellent narrator and his style especially well-suited to a novel of this length. I think I speak for most avid, non-abridged audiobook listeners in saying that melodramatic narration is irritating. Conversely a completely monotone narrator is equally insufferable. Lee strikes a great balance between the two. I especially appreciated how he was able to do a distinctly different voice for each character. There are often characters who tell in-depth tales within this overarching story and the carefully voiced characters make it easier to distinguish who's speaking. In this especially long novel full of very verbose characters, this is an invaluable quality!
Absolutely not! Hope Davis wasn't half bad, however Patchett's novel is easily one of the worst I have read in the last 5 years. I cannot believe it has received so many glowing reviews! I would certainly give Davis another chance were she narrating a different book I was interested in.
This novel is full of horrible, self-absorbed characters who do awful things to one another. In and of itself, this isn't a bad thing; great literature revolves around just this kind of character. However, a good author is able to make us understand why the characters do what they do. We are supposed to feel torn between judgement, sympathy, empathy and even self-loathing for feeling this way about a character. These characters were awful and I couldn't stand any of them enough to care how they treated one another or what they did. Furthermore, the plot was so ridiculous, far-fetched and patchily strung together, I found it difficult to believe any of the characters would have been in such a situation in the first place.
I have to say David Pittu was incredible. His accents were executed perfectly and he was neither too dramatic, nor too boring nor too forced. He was just perfect.
Absolutely Boris. Theo gets a bit tedious and irritating at times, but how can you know love the self-destructive, Artful Dodger-esque Boris who of all the characters sees the most clearly despite his drug and booze induced haze most of the time.
I listened to him read The Marriage Plot and thought he was okay but nothing out of this world, but the Goldfinch was definitely his time to shine. I absolutely loved his rendition.
This book evokes a lot of thought about the different kinds of people in the world. the characters were so well drawn, I felt like they all might be people I went to high school with at one time. Boris alone was the only character to make me laugh out loud though. His self abasing, easy going personality and random sense of humour even in the most extreme of situations was infectious and much appreciated amid so much dark content.
I loved how each character (even Popper the dog) was carfully and intentionally drawn up and inserted into the book. Unlike many expansive epics, there are no characters in Tartt's novel that are randomly inserted and forgot about. You can be certain they all serve a very specific purpose and will be returned to and revisited at some point in the novel.
Initially, I hated the narration and was on the verge of either returning the book or just quitting and not bothering. I've read Lonesome Dove before (in the traditional sense of the verb) and loved it, but the experience of listening to it was very different. The accents irked me and initially I thought Lee Horsley was irritatingly melodramatic. But somewhere in the first hour or two, I got hooked and just couldn't stop listening. I still feel like Horsley's a little too melodramatic for my taste, but somehow, it suited this book. The accents were still there, but after a while, I adjusted and they stopped bothering me. Suddenly, I was just enchanted by the story and the voices didn't matter anymore - they were even perhaps charming. It was a similar sensation to what I felt when I was a kid, and had trouble listening to my old Scottish grandfather's heavy brogue accent. Somewhere along the line, I started understanding perfectly what he said and the accent didn't seem so obvious anymore.
I found a Gus a little annoying at first (especially the way Horsley voiced him), but as with Lorena, it didn't take me long to be completely charmed by his personality, spirit and his genuine goodness of character. He seemed so real. Deets also, I utterly feel in love with. A true Jean Valjean-esque character. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to love Deets, and not to find some of his scenes the most moving in the entire book.
I sincerely hope no one thinks they have a better name for this masterpiece!
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