The story of Logan Mountstuart's life is told through his diary entries, taking him, and us, through the 20th century, bumping into major and minor writers, artists and historical personalities and touching on events like the spanish revolution, WW2, the Biafra War and a Baader-Meinhof plot. We get insider descriptions of milieus such as the Bloomsbury group, the Paris literati of the 20's and 30's, the music and arts scene in New York in 50's and 60's New York, and an assortment of spies, tax-refugees and expat royals in the Caribbean. Critics have pointed out that the plot is just a bi too contrived - routinely landing Mountstuart at the centre (or at least the fringes) of all this historical action, but it never seemed that way to me while listening. I found this beautifully written. Mountstuart's style does go through subtle changes, reflecting his age and the style of whatever present he is describing and, as always, Simon Vance's narration takes the prose up a notch. Logan Mountstuart is multi-faceted, a selfish, serial adulterer - longing for love and human connection, always moving on, but seeking a sense of home and belonging, part of big picture, but still obsessed with daily minutiae. I don't need to admire a literary character in every aspect to find his life a fascinating subject, or to feel a mild sense of loss as the narrative gently winds down, just before the next big turning point of the 20th century - the fall of the Berlin wall.
This is just the kind of book I'd usually love, a family saga in a historical setting, and a classic to boot, and so I bought it without even listening to the sample (silly, I know, but this was early in my audible membership.) The ratings are so good, I'm surprised so few people seem to truly hate the narration here as much as I did. I've tried listening again and again, but the droning monotone literally puts me to sleep every time. It's one of maybe 3 books I've never been able to finish - out of hundreds of audiobooks I've purchased over the past few years. I can't comment on the story, since I couldn't focus on it at all and never got past the first hour or so.
I very much want to read this book, but none of the unabridged versions available now appeal to me. There's an abridged version by Martin Jarvis who is one of my favourite narrarors. I wish he would record an unabridged version. Simon Vance would be great too. Maybe I'll download an ebook version instead.
As another reviewer mentions, this narrator sounds like a robot. A little more life and emotion would be welcome.
annoyance that I wasted a credit, when it didn't simply put me to sleep.
I'm not usually a reader of spy novels, but took the chance on this since I've loved everything else I've read by William Boyd so far. This story has all the elements of a traditional spy story, but there's depth and richness here as well as action and thrills. There's more emotion here, too. Of course there's a love story, and the two narrators of the story are a British spy during the second world war and her daughter, who slowly discovers that the mother she thought she knew has a secret, tragic and still dangerous history. As usual Boyd adds in plenty of historical detail. Rosamunde Pike's narration is beautiful. Perfect for the characters, the period and the tone of the book.
The part of the story where Eva begins to suspect she has been betrayed is nerve-wracking. And so are many others.
This version of Restless seems to be exactly the same as the more popular one selling at twice the price.
I can't come up with anything new to say about this book - it's a classic. I enjoy Austen and have both read and listened to all her novels. However, I didn't have an audio version of P&P in my library, and a couple of weeks ago when I was suffering from a nasty cold, and with -15C outside, I felt in need of a "comfort" listen. I have a few favourite narrators on audible, and especially for a classic I'd usually go with a tried and trusted one, but I wasn't very familiar with any of the narrators reading the unabridged version. I was initially a little sceptical of this bargain-priced version, but with no credits to spare and being on a "January" budget, I took the chance after listening to the audio sample. I was not disappointed. This is very well read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Other reviewers have pointed out that the narration is fast-paced - there's not much of a pause after sentences and between paragraphs. It seem almost as if all pauses have been edited out. I also agree with the reviewers who mention especially Mr Bennett sounding a little strange early in the book, but the voices do improve as the narrator gets further along. These issues didn't detract from the story for me, maybe that's because I knew the book well enough already that I could easily follow the story despite any slight distractions.
If you're using a credit anyway, listen to all the versions offerred to find the one you like best, otherwise this is a very good option, whether you already know and love Pride and Prejudice or you never got around to reading Austen and wonder what all the fuss is about. It is a classic, but this really is not a hard read. It's entertaining, light and often very funny, with plenty of human interest and recognizable situations despite having been written 200 years ago.
I haven't read all that many Austen homages, and most have been disappointing so I was hesitant about this but I'm glad I decided to give it a chance. The plot and characters may not be the most substantial or original, but the writing and narration combine to make this perfectly suitable as light, holiday entertainment.
Just read something else. This makes Barbara Taylor Bradford's books look like candidates for the Booker Prize.
I didn't expect very much from this book except light entertainment - but it's some of the worst drivel I've ever read. Drippingly sentimental yet full of gratuitous violence and unmotivated evil which really adds nothing to the story. Characters are stereotypic in the worst possible way and the writing is really just one cliché after the other.
The narration wasn't bad at all - but it couldn't save this book.
No. The setting and plot (far-fetched as it is) could have made for an interesting story. England during the depression, trials and tribulations of a working class family. Other authors have done a much better job with these elements, though.
I came over this book because it was on a special 4.95 offer at checkout. I thought it might be nice mindless entertainment for the holidays and didn't bother to check reviews here or elsewhere. I only finished it because I was bored and hate giving up on a book.
This story still haunts me a week after I finished the book. I'm not able to focus on the book I'm trying to listen to now, I still have Roseannes voice in my head. Beautifully written, beautifully narrated. I haven't quite made up my mind about the ending though...
Report Inappropriate Content