This time era has always held a fascination for me since I discovered Sherlock Holmes when I 10 years old. The story sounding intriguing, so I thought I'd give it a go. It is VERY evident that Mr. Morrell did extensive research into the time & location in which he set his story. Characters are fleshed out well & both intellectually & emotionally distinct, plot is tight & the descriptions are so detailed you can't help but feel you're right along beside the characters on the spooky, fog-laden streets of London. I should add the details aren't done in a laborious way. He walks the tightrope of giving you what the reader/listener needs, to create the visual without being bogged down. No synopsis...you can get that above; but his blending of historical fact & fiction is seamless. I almost forgot at times it was a fictional portrayal of a few factual characters. It was engrossing & kept my attention throughout.
The main protagonist....De Qunicy. Morrell's writing of the character & Wolf's performance made him jump out in 3-D fashion. Brilliant, flawed, frustrating & courageous....that only begins to describe the complexity of this character.
One of my biggest praises is Matthew's Wolf's narration of this great book. I have the Kindle version as well; but often I chose to actually 'read' very little of it. Why? Because the job he did on the narration was that WELL DONE! Surprisingly I found myself just 'following along' with the highlighted Kindle passages as I listened. I don't think a man can ever do a true-sounding woman's voice justice, so the voice of Emily wasn't the best. However, the slight change in syllable emphasis, pitch & tone of his voice with the other characters gave the feel of a multi-person cast. It truly captured the essence of the time & place.
Whether you read or listen, I can't recommend this book more highly. It certainly is one of the most enjoyable reads I've experienced & definitely one of the finest narrations I've heard for a work of fiction ever.
I enjoyed the approach taken when writing this book. It wasn't just another dry, biographical depiction of saints with a new person covered with each chapter. Father Martin gives a solid 'cliff notes' biography of each person with several anecdotes added for flavor; but the book was enhanced with his stories how he came to know about each of these saints & what role they played in his life.
A favorite character doesn't apply for me in this case; but Father Martin's presentation has prompted me to further explore the lives of a couple of these men & women I wasn't that familiar with.
I haven't listened to James Martin before; but his narration was very engaging.
The key word would be 'relational'. I often forget that even though these people are saints (yes some he talks about are not cannonized), they had faults & vices just like all of us. There are many more saints out there to explore & ask for intercession when we need it. I think we have a lot more in common with these people than what we realize.
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