Joe Barrett. The different characters were immediately recognizable by the way he portrayed them, and oh boy, did the voices match the personalities! I've listened to dozens of audiobooks and the only person who gave me a similar experience was Jim Dale with the Harry Potter series. Mr. Barrett brought out everything that's great about listening to books.
Slight spoiler alert! Although it's his earliest novel, it's the last one I've encountered and I had the same reaction to the ending of the book as I have to the previous three - I'm left wanting more (where's the real ending?). I guess that's probably what he's going for, but it prevents me from granting that fifth star (as if Mr. Wolfe cares).
I had a hard time with this book. I found some of the stories very interesting, but they never really lasted very long before Mr. Miller was on to something else, often only tangentially related to the previous story. Personally, that kind of writing is always a struggle for me when listening to audiobooks - I get caught up in a story line and have no trouble concentrating, but authors who flit from place to place frequently are hard for me to follow.
I also struggled keeping track of the names and dates, especially since the book is only loosely in chronological order. If I had to do it over again, I would buy the written book - I don't think audio is the right format. My "overall" rating is lower than either my story or performance ratings for this reason.
The narrator was pleasing to listen to, but I cringed at his occasional attempts to mimic an English accent.
I purchased this audiobook because of the movie adaptation. It was very difficult to listen to at times, and I was glad I didn't have to watch some of the scenes (I will not be watching the movie). Normally my imagination is more creative than any film director could replicate (why I love books), but thankfully I was fairly successful at suppressing it in this case.
The facts of slavery were not a surprise. Hearing them narrated was certainly more harrowing than reading about them, and for that reason I consider the audiobook a far better way to encounter this piece of our American history than the printed book. Lou Gossett Jr. did a fine job.
What really struck me throughout the book was the charity of the author. His ability to understand and forgive those who have wronged him filled me with admiration, but also shame, because it was very obvious that my own ability to forgive is sorely lacking in comparison.
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