Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2015
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.
My biggest issue with this audio version of the KJV Bible is not with the actual narration itself; I enjoyed the multiple narrators, each of whom brought something unique and interesting to the table. I was mostly annoyed by the fact that I never knew who was reading what book in the Bible! As far as I can see, the PDF only tells you what books are being read in what parts (which IS helpful, by the way, although it doesn't include a reference to the exact chapter/minute each book can be found at). Unless I've missed something, we know the narrators' various identities, but we have to guess who is reading what. A minor issue overall, but still irritating.
I listen to the audio version of this classic Dicken's tale every year. Usually I listen to Simon Prebble's version but I had a copy of Grifin's version I hadn't listened to in years and thought I'd switch things up. Griffin's voice is generally quite good, BUT he unfortunately does the most horrendous, artificial little girl's voice for Scrooge's little sister Fran that I had to stop listening. I've listened to this version several years ago and somehow had forgotten how terrifying Griffin's children's voices are. Simon Prebble's version is significantly better.
Is Kim Basinger hadn't read it. She has a soothing voice, but she's so fridges and bland and timeless I felt like I was instantly going to fall asleep whenever she spoke. Also, I never read this as a young woman in my teens or early twenties and I really think that's when this book would be most relevant. For a book hailed as a classic and a key piece of feminist literature, I felt the characters were boring and underdeveloped. It was difficult for me to relate to or care about any of them.
Listening to A Christmas Carol now.
Anyone but. It seems terribly ironic that a book that's called the Awakening and is about female passion, sexuality and desire could be narrated in such a dreary, monotone fashion.
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.
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.
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!
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