Saunders has a unique writing style that is perfectly expressed by his own narration. It's not always a good idea for an author to read his/her own works---narration is usually better left to the professionals---but in this case it works. I can't imagine these stories in anyone else's voice. This is a mind-blowing work worthy of the praise he's getting, such as the New York Times already naming this the best book of the year.
This book has everything that family life itself has: imperfect people, comedy, tragedy, loss, stupidity, heroic acts, inept but well-meaning relationships, and a lot of sex. The narrator is excellent, particularly in his small comments, the way he says "yeah," or "nah" can carry a scene and sound perfectly authentic. This book is being made into a movie, but it's hard to imagine it can be as good as this version. That's what's great about audiobooks---they are a unique and compelling art form of their very own.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to because it's such a fascinating, well-written literary achievement. Although exploring the mind and character of Thomas Cromwell, it has much to say to us today about the uses of political power and the clash of government and religion. The book's great strength is giving readers/listeners the view from inside Cromwell's mind---a very intelligent place to be. Hilary Mantel certainly deserved the Booker Prize for this book.
Simon Slater captures a vast number of characters with his powerful and nuanced narration and he rendered perfectly the humanity and fierce intelligence of Thomas Cromwell, making me realize once again that audiobook narration is a high art that should be honored as such. I like Simon Vance too, but I wonder why Slater is not the narrator on the follow-up book to Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies. In any case, I'll look for Slater's work in the future and I'm grateful to have this one.
I'd recommend this book to those who had read or listened to the earlier title, Only Time Will Tell. It would be extremely confusing to start the Clifton Chronicles with Sins of the Father as so little backstory is given. Having finished that title, most listeners will be eager for the next installment as I am for the third one.
Harry Clifton is the center of the tale and maintains our interest throughout.
Both narrators are good, although it was startling at first to realize that the male narrator wasn't the same in Sins of the Father as in the earlier Only Time Will Tell.
Several, but to describe them would make me a spoiler.
This is an interesting story, an involving family chronicle which reminded me of Ken Follett's Fall of Giants---the two books cover the somewhat the same time period and both series intend to give a picture of the 20th century through the lives of various families. Archer didn't dwell on the realities of war to the extent that Follett does, but they both have longer tales to tell and it's all right that we don't stay on the battlefield too long in either one.
Yes. The story being told through journal entries brings an intimacy to the main character that wouldn't have been possible in another format. He lives his fascinating life to the fullest, even though his decisions weren't always the best ones. He's not a perfect human being, but he is an intelligent one, one who experiences great love and inevitable loss. He meets some of the great artists of the 20th century while living in England, the US, Nigeria and France, and his World War II experience reminds us of some of the myriad ways in which that conflict inflicted its great losses.
The breadth of the story and the close-up view of the main character's life.
Simon Vance is a masterful narrator here---as he is in everything I've heard him read. I heartily recommend his participation in Stone's Fall by Iain Pears.
I missed Logan Mountstuart so much when the book was finished; I wanted it to go on and on.
Thank you for including such literary fiction on Audible!
This was a wonderful story---a modern day love affair (no angels there), 17th century pirates, women's changing place in the world, clashes of cultures, and embroidery. The narrators are perfect (thank you again, John Lee), and besides, any story that gets me up out of bed and walking in 90 degree heat has got to be engrossing.
I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks over the past 15 years and I would put this one near the very top. I liked it so much I went out and bought the book, but reading it isn't nearly the artistic experience that listening to it affords. The various characters really come to life and their interwoven stories are compelling. I found it by searching for my favorite narrator, John Lee, and I am once again grateful for his skills because, although he narrates only a part of this title, my devotion to his work is what brought me to it. Thanks to all who made this performance a reality.
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