NO! I was so impressed by the initial narration of the first chapter, but it quickly disintegrated as dialogue and characters were introduced, both in narration quality and in editing, as to become a >complete< flop! Gyllenhaal did not distinguish well between characters, his pace was clunky, and there seemed to be a lot of obvious piecing-together of the editing job. I was very disappointed, almost to the point of distraction. I expected so much more. He has a fantastic voice, but if this performance is any indication, narration is not for his resume.
Scott Brick's narration was solid but the production was very uneven with changes in speed and quality, particularly noted at about the halfway point when he suddenly sounded like he had a slight dose of helium. I deducted a star for that issue, not for Mr. Brick's work on the story.
The Devil in the Marshalsea had some very strong points and some very weak points, and some points that are very difficult for any author of his genre to escape with me. The strength is in the character building and the duality that Hodgson manages to create in almost every character, while still staying true to their individual natures. We really don't know who to suspect, who to like or dislike, or what the outcome and motive is going to be until the mystery is solved. Unfortunately, the solution to the mystery is a head-scratcher on a number of levels, and ultimately a letdown. The resolution of the mystery isn't the end of the story. Hodgson decided to spend the end of the story resolving some relationship lines, and that drags it out a bit, but it provided a couple more twists that weren't bad. The point that she couldn't escape with me is the "Scooby-Doo" feeling of murder mysteries, and hers having a Dickensian flare made it maybe a bit more pronounced for me.
Overall, I loved the characters, and missed them after I finished the book, but the story architecture had some serious issues. It was still an enjoyable read that I would probably recommend to someone who likes a mystery that has sufficient twists and very well-written dualities of character to keep it interesting enough to the end, with a warning that the ending can (but didn't for me) make the story feel like a waste of time in the "no way, really? I just read this whole story for >that<?!?" sense. It just doesn't add up. I just didn't care, since I liked the characters and their relationships enough to give her a pass on the "Scooby Don't".
John Lee is one of my favorite narrators but I would rank this title towards the bottom of his list. It just wasn't as well done as some others I have listened to. His characterizations and differentiations were excellent, and he is one of the few male narrators who can narrate female parts without destroying them, but the first person story narration was a bit stilted with a strange affect I didn't care for.
Simon Slater was an unknown narrator to me, but he did a good job. My only issue was with some of his European accents, which weren't great, but his rhythm and narration were solid.
Wolf Hall exceeded my expectations. Hilary Mantel has truly set herself apart from the typical historical fiction genre to create a story that is unique and compelling despite being filled with familiar characters and well known outcomes. It is not an easy read/listen, but the rhythm and weave of the story is excellent if you are familiar with the history.
It is the last one I read.
Read the book.
Outstanding narration by Edward Herrmann. This is a local story for me, and Brown's depression-era Seattle and surrounding rural Washington State was as much a character in the book as the Boys. Some of the sappiness at the ending (in the Epilogue, actually) had me cringing, but overall a powerful story that kept me on the edge of my seat, even though we all know how it turns out.
No. The audio edition is a perfect companion to the print version - this is excellent emersion material. The narration is too good to pass up, but so worthwhile to also sight-read to really pull out all of Melville's twists and turns.
Also, on a technical note, I only started sight reading in the last 3rd of the book, so I can't speak to the chapters prior to that, but there are consistently large chunks of chapters missing from my audio (consistent with multiple downloads - so it seems to be the file and not a download or device problem). There is probably an hour or so of content missing, based on the difference between the listed audio length and the length showing up on my devices.
Ishmael! But only because the whale doesn't have a narrated voice. Heald's narration was solid brilliance throughout.
Read the Book.
I would consider the narration to be excellent, but I can't say it is better than the print version due exclusively to the very VERY annoying harmonica music that blasts the eardrums out between chapters.
The layers of the story are masterfully crafted, from the characters to the setting, the sounds and flavors of the people and the land are poetically tragic and beautiful.
...ruined by harmonica.
Read the Book.
Dear Audiobook Producers, Enough with the music, already. We listen to audiobooks for the story - music is just an annoying distraction and in the case of this book, a painful one. Your sound editor needs a spanking.
Where to begin? It is an utter failure. The plot is a mess, the characters are cardboard cutouts, stereotypes and cliches abound.
If it is a good book, but this was my first experience with him and he didn't have good material to work with.
How does a young boy escape the bombing of a museum out a "side door" with a priceless famous painting, through crowded New York City streets in the middle of the afternoon, past police and aid workers, across town and into a apartment building, with no one noticing? And what happens to this painting that the story is named for? Well, by about "100 pages" in, I don't know, and as for the rest of the story, I really don't care. And why is there nothing in the story, more than a paragraph about 6 hours in, mentioning his mother's funeral?? And how does a little girl have 5 orthopedic surgeries on one leg in the course of a week? That just doesn't happen. This book is ridiculously sloppy for having taken, supposedly, 10 years to write. Long....drawn....out.....conversations....that consist of little more than "I don't want you to go.... But why do you have to go? I want you to stay. Why can't you stay?" Good grief!!! And does anyone really believe that a 13-year-old boy notices the upholstery on an antique chair?
The perfect match of Nabokov's sparkling prose and Iron's lyrical narration - it was the best book I read this year. It is perfect for "emersion" reading/listening. Cannot recommend more highly, this is a -must listen-
Humbert, of course. Why? Some things cannot be explained.
Yes. And it is a book to listen to again and again.
This book is a masterpiece.
Whelan was not good with other character voices. She was good as Amy though. Heyborne was adequate for this type of simple genre fiction, but probably wouldn't hold up to literature or anything too complex.
I don't think there was a single worthwhile character in the whole story. I am capable of enjoying horrible characters....Dracula - monster, Ripley - psychopathic multi-murderer, Humbert Humbert - sexual "deviant", and I love those characters and their stories. There is a way to write the horrible reality of humanity, even gut-wrenching suspense, and well-crafted twistedness doesn't have to be completely unredeeming so that you lose your readers' desire to continue. The story was clever in its concept, but the delivery was a complete failure. It felt like the author was playing both sides of a checkers game (not complex enough to use chess as an example), so that every time Nick did "this," she would flip to decide what Amy would do, and vice versa.
SPOILER ---> She was clever to make the diary a fiction, and not reveal that until it was time to bring Amy back into the story, but it was otherwise just a story filled with incredibly unlikable people doing shitty things to each other. A murder mystery without a murder, and not very mysterious... <-- END SPOILER.
I shudder to think that this has been optioned as a movie because the producer thinks the story has strong female characters. If this is an example of strong female character, I'll take the 1940s any day of the week. A woman in the role of a murdering manipulative psychopath is just a murdering manipulative psychopath, not a strong woman. The female detective still depended on the man to play "bad cop," and never did anything remotely remarkable in investigation; the sister was a blubbering whiny baby; the mother was an enabling, codependent, airhead; the girlfriend was a clingy twit...and then she assaulted him...but she got the "atta girl" from him when she didn't answer his telephone call - wow - No...these are not strong women. The strongest woman in the story, was Nick.
In the suspense/mystery genre, there are much much better writers out there; this is NOT a 5-star book. It's at 3 at a stretch, but for me it's a 2.
The narration was superb but the technical/sound editing was so sloppy that I deducted 2 stars!! Shame on the sound crew of this production because I thought the narrator did an excellent job with the story and the characters. One of the few who can pull of solid male and female characters without sounding overdone. But I shouldn't be able to hear his mouth noises and the background stuff. I've seen other complaints along these lines, and it is NOT the narrators fault or problem that we can hear all of this, it's crummy production. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from listening because of this, but it is unfortunate. So, 3 stars for the "performance."
In terms of the writing, I appreciated the plot and character development, but by 2/3 into the book I was ready for it to be over for a number of reasons that knocked it from a solid 4-star (good) book up to that point, down to a 3-star (average) book. It went from being a crispy and chewy oatmeal cookie, yum!, to a stale old half an oatmeal biscuit that was left in the back of the cupboard, yuck! I hate hate hate that the story, and such enjoyable characters, were utterly destroyed by a stupid plot twist in the relationship that felt so unnecessary and cliche, I went from really liking Ryan and admiring Cassie, to absolutely hating him and rolling my eyes at them both (and a few select "Irish phrases" for the author). And since I was past ready to know "who dunnit already!!!" by then, it is agony to get through the last 1/3.
No. The relationship twist destroyed the book for me.
Absolutely, and I would hope he had a better sound team.
The first 2/3 were fantastic, loved it. The last 1/3 is such a tedious disappointment, I'm not sure I would say it's worth it.
Get someone in to clean up the hot mess of this production.
Report Inappropriate Content