I don't know what others were thinking when saying how wonderful this audiobook is. BEN HUR IS AN AWESOME BOOK! Don't get me wrong there, but James' narration is one of the worst I have ever sat through. I almost wrecked the car as it lulled me toward sleep. The 'characters' are non-distinct and boring, the narration is DEATHLY boring, without change of cadence or intonation ... It's just lousy. James has a nice quality of voice so I won't dismiss him as a non talent --- but this book was not for him. NUMEROUS mispronunciations and clips in the editing (did he record this at home?). Anyway, I would suggest that some publisher take this terrific book and re-record it in a manner worthy of it. It's so ploddingly boring and overly slow and reverent that it makes even the Good News of the New Testament seem trivial and sleepy. Maybe it's just me but this audiobook is like a concious 15 hour sleepwalking (or sleepdriving) pill.
Some of the reviews here have been unfair to Dick Hill as if he somehow is an awful narrator, old and tired. My opinion has just always been --- he is the wrong voice for Jack Reacher. The publisher and perhaps Lee Child disagree. And in the Reacher books NOT written in the "first person" I think Dick is fine. But in books like this, narrated "BY Reacher" --- it is just never going to ring true for me.
And the editor and engineer (did Dick record and edit this on his own?) did not do the audiobook a service as the "old and tired" comments may be more aimed at the CONSTANT dry mouth lip smacks and pop sounds than the actual narration. Incredibly annoying and grating to listen to --- perpetually in this book. At times it made it seem like Dick was missing his back teeth. Yeah. That bad. And probably why there are so many "old voice" comments. A glass of water or a lemon for Mr. Hill would have helped this entire book out immensely.
That said, whenever I have listened to Mr. Hill when it is NOT a Reacher book I have enjoyed his work. He is a talented narrator so nothing against him personally or his work. He will just never be Reacher for me and that probably goes to Lee Child's fantastic characterization. Reacher is a character SPECIFIC to EVERY reader's imagination. That is why in the movie (even though there is never reference to his size --- a crucial character plot point) Tom Cruise, as entertaining as it was, could NEVER be Reacher because that character needs to be someone more in the tall studly vein like, say, a Hugh Jackman. But, for narration, almost anyone would be better --- perhaps a Michael McConnohie type.
Anyway, as a Reacher fan I will always enjoy these books and will recommend them. But I cannot recommend, ever, Dick Hill as the "voice of Reacher." Just not for me.
I want to start this off by saying I am a fan, USUALLY, of Will Patton's narration. And if he ever reads this review I buffer it by saying that this is MY OPINION of THIS BOOK only. He is usually consistent with a narrator voice ... but he was killing me in this one.
The story is interesting. The characters are interesting. He captures each.
But my problem with this audiobook is the narration BETWEEN all the characters and maybe this is just me but it grated on me throughout this book and drove me crazy. Most of the reviews here give 5 stars on performance and I'm tempted to give one but ...
Mr. Patton CHANGES the narrative voice throughout. When he is our main hero he is dull and old and lethargic and hard to listen to. When he is our BAD GUY --- this is the voice that I THINK he should have used throughout to "narrate" and then use his terrific characterizations for dialogue. OR just his "normal" voice.
But each half chapter the "narrator voice" became our old retired detective, then our young bad guy, then the hot female character ... AND IT DROVE ME NUTS!
It did not destroy the story for me but, especially early, it made me want to go to sleep and stop and give up on the book. I am glad I did not (it helped to play it at 1.5 speed) but the doldrums of the old, tired, scratchy, suicidal detective was enough to make me shove my player through my own brains.
Hoping he never makes a choice like this again. When it is not first person narration there is NO NEED to muddy up the works with a different character voice --- OR IF YOU DO remain consistent throughout. This was as annoying as it could possibly get for me. And, again, Will, I'm a fan. But your editor should have told you (again, just my opinion) this was a bad choice for this book.
Daryl of Cedar Rapids wrote a very negative review regarding this short burst of a book. While part of his review is valid --- the book is short and includes relatively simple ideas --- Daryl got some basic concepts completely wrong. It does not say to be "stingy with $" (quite the contrary, to see yourself in a place where you are content with what you have envisioned for your future) and is about changing your personal score (how you currently see yourself) to perform (in the future) at a higher level. Daryl's well thought out review missed completely the concept on your job as well. The idea is not to be positive and see yourself enjoying your "current" job but to push forward a DIFFERENT picture of a future in which you want to, choose to, like and love working at either what you currently do or ... another work environment that makes for a better you.
The book was written as a "quick burst" sort of publication with an idea or two on each page. The audio version attaches it all together in what amounts to a one hour crash course on changing your outlook about yourself to change the way you currently are. Again, no amazing new concepts but in this quick hour, listening on a commute, it could give you that one cup of coffee for your brain to stimulate the way that you think about yourself. It works for many. For some, like Daryl, it will not. For Daryl, if he would contact me I would be happy to give him a gift code for another book on audible.
In a short audio burst, it is difficult to include all of the meat and potatoes needed in a full course meal, course or seminar --- but in MIND BOGGLING you get a very delicious appetizer and hopefully it will ignite your creativity and desire to change the way you see yourself for a more rewarding future.
I really enjoyed narrating this short scary story by Jeff Bennington. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I had fun performing. It's a good hour of solid entertainment with twists and chills.
Please continue to support Jeff by reading and listening to more of his tales. He's a fun storyteller. :)
Yes. The audio version brings life to the words.
The old salty detective.
I really liked them all. But the old investigator with the cough is a hoot.
Not really ... but great for the commute.
This narrator is top rate. The book ends abruptly, but I like these characters and am looking forward to finding out what happens in the next installment.
Now, all that is true --- but this review is playing just a bit. I was the narrator and really enjoyed bringing Andy's characters to life. I hope you will listen and enjoy this book as much as I did recording it and I hope you will search for other titles I have performed so that I can spend some more time with you!
The narration was top shelf.
Ike Solomon --- the narration captured such a distinct character that I was compelled to care about this person who was so flawed. But I really feel as if I know him.
His ability to capture the author's language and to distinctly provide EACH character with his or her own persona (and never faltering from it) made his reading absolutely wonderful. I had never listened to a Humphrey Bower read before but I have got to say --- he is a storyteller with immense talent.
Mary. I just want her to have one perfect day in her life.
I am looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy.
People who are able to swallow rediculous scenarios are the only folks who can possibly enjoy this.
I am guessing that Patterson didn't write a word of this and is cashing in on his name. So stupid --- every angle in this story is stupid. If THE GHOST was the best at his business there is NO WAY he would make so many lame turns to imperil himself and others. Absolutely not believable on any level. A complete waste of a credit. I could have made up a better story. Marshall Karp would never have been ale to more than self publish this drvel without Patterson attached to it. I don't think I will ever get a "Patterson with" title again. I want my credit back. AND, while the narrators were okay, their voices were too similar in register ...
I would have rather had the "bad guy" narrator read the entire book. The only reason to have two narrators was clearly to try and deceive the listener from being able to predict the lame twist of the story. Saw it coming from 100 miles away - AND I WEAR GLASSES! :-)
Write your own books James Patterson. You have enough money.
I sure don't get some of these reviews. I'm not saying this is the greatest book ever written but it was entertaining and Mr. Coben's banter and characterization is always fun. What I find recommendable (and again, I disagree with another review that thinks the opposite of this) is Carrington MacDuffie's narration is just terrific. Her characters are NOT over the top but very distinguishable and her line readings of the dialogue written is really natural and sounds, to me, just like real people talking rather than someone reading words. I think she's done a terrific job. For her narration alone I would recommend this book. I don't understand why some listener's gave up so early on this book. It's an engaging story --- but I hope Mr. Coben goes back to his Myron Bolitar books with his next few.
As with most of the online reviews, I concur that this is a tale of two tales ... either one of which stands on its own --- and COULD be published separately. The story of murder surrounded by the world's fair ... utterly fascinating. I want to find out more about HH Holmes AND the fair ... and after reading this complete account on both ... that is saying something. Highly recommended! And the narration is just right. Scott Brick sounds very much like Edward Hermann and has the same enjoyable tones and inflections in his reading.
Report Inappropriate Content