The reading would have been much better with a lot less 'acting'. Less would have been more.
This is one of my favorite books of all times, but I found the reading so distractingly bad that I had to stop listening about half way through. The first time I read the book, I literally laughed so hard it hurt on several occassions. No such moments occurred as I listened to this rendition.
The best way I can explain it is that the narrator read the story in a way that parents read bedtime stories to very young children. Overexagerated and condescending in a way that assumes the listener will miss 'the funny' unless the reader goes out of his way to point to it. It would be and, in fact, is exponentially funnier when it's played straight as Bryson himself reads it in the abridged version.
I love the book. Absolutely brilliant. I absolutely HATED this reading of it.
If you're a fan of the book, avoid this reading at all costs and buy the version where Bill Bryson reads it himself. The two readings are night and day.
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