"Roots" is not a perfect book and the controversy about some of those imperfections are well-publicized. Added to those, I was disappointed that Haley did not really give the members of the later generations of Kunta Kinte's descendants as much attention or depth as he did Kinte and his immediate family.
But even given the above, it's a wonderful story and is incredibly enhanced by the performance of Avery Brooks as narrator. Brooks' rich baritone and well-modulated emotion add further dignity to Kinte and his story. I enjoyed this audiobook very much.
This is a very long book - THANK GOODNESS! It is the perfect merging of author and narrator. It's an historical novel with the slightest touch of romance novel.
The author has drawn characters that are three-dimensional and interesting and varied. Her plot is action-filled and her ear for Scots dialogue is very sound. Davina Porter's pleasant narration and excellent Scots accent is whipped cream on the cake.
I'm moving on to the second novel in the series and I hope it's as good as this one.
This is an average to good story. I'm not with those who would call this Trollope's best. Most of the characters I found extremely unlikable, in large part because even the "good" ones were annoying in that they certainly could have used a little more spine.
But the real difficulty for me was the narrator's voice and reading cadence, which was VERY annoying and unenjoyable.
This is a terrific book, at least the story is. Sadly, I feel that this particular reader took away from the enjoyment of the story.
Her voice has good tone, of medium to low range, but her expression was hard, harsh and gloomy even at its lightest.
Her command and pronunciation of the several French and German phrases sprinkled throughout the book was excellent, but as a performance it really was a distraction.
I believe Dickens to be one of the best writers in human history and Bleak House is one of his greatest works. The earlier reviewer who said that 30 hours is too short is completely correct. The way Dickens weaves such a broad cast of unrelated characters into a perfectly believable final tapestry is endlessly captivating.
Special applause must go to the voice performer, because he is so much more than a 'narrator'. He manages such distinct vocal personalities for each character and is so consistent with them throughout the 30-hour length that you'll swear it's more than a single performer.
I can't recommend this version of a great book highly enough and I, too, will be looking for more titles performed by Mr. Whitfield.
The Dark Tower Series is a remarkable work in that it is individual books that were written over two decades, but the larger narrative holds together as almost a single, enormous book with five very long chapters. Some of those chapters would not work as well standing alone as Wolves of the Calla does, but it still should be read in its order for best appreciation.
I love how King allows his characters in the series to be consistent to themselves without being one-dimensional. Just like "real" people, they stay who they are, essentially, while yet evolving from the impact of their experiences and challenges.
Veterans readers of the Dark Tower series will probably be able to figure out some of the plot revelations well in advance, but it doesn't make getting to them any less enjoyable.
In an afterword, King himself explains the circumstances that kept Muller from continuing to read the series and it would be worth listening to for fans of Muller, and for them to reach out to aid him in his rehabilitation. His characterizations of Eddie and Susanna are not equalled by Guidall, but it's still a worthy substitution.
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