Very high. This is a great story, beautifully researched, written, and then the choice of readers is also excellent.
Plot, writing, characterization, and performance. In short, the whole enchalada.
No, but I would follow his readings anywhere! I am disappointed that he's not performing BRING UP THE BODIES, but I also love Simon Vance's reading.
Hessler's book is full of fascinating information about China today and its history. I would give the audiobook five stars if I liked Peter Berkrot's reading, but I don't. He has a strange inflection that is a sort of throwback to radio announcers' voices before 1960, and his interpretation of a Chinese person speaking English is downright embarrassing. Hessler's writing of dialogue is, of course, translation of conversations he had that were carried out in Chinese, for the most part. Why Berkrot feels he has to read those parts in an ersatz Chinese accent is beyond me. I listened to the whole thing and really enjoyed the text, but the reading had me gritting my teeth far too much of the time.
Like Joshua, who has a review written in this section, I am horrified by the terrible reading that Renee Raudman gives this otherwise excellent book. Who is the sound editor or producer who allowed the massacre of Chayes' fine language to escape the studio? And who chose her to read when the voice of the book, as well as Chayes' actual voice, is intense, sharp, and always insistent? Raudman reads as though she is trying to calm a young child. That is certainly not the intent of the book!
I suggest that people buy a hardcopy of The Punishment of Virtue rather than endure its dreadful performance.
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