After reading several of the previous reviews about the narrator's rendition of this audio book, I almost didn't download it...but, since it was one of my favorite reads from high school I decided to chance it. After fighting through the first 2 1/2 hours of the narrator's straining, guttural monologue, the whole dynamic of the reading changed, began to flow more smoothly, and actually became quite enjoyable. The narrator's pronunciations of Japanese words were about the same as mine when I read the book 20 years ago...phonetically incorrect (something the producer should have researched before the production). If you can get past the incorrect pronunciations (i.e., the 'u' at the end of most Japanese words is silent) the presentation was much like a book you can't put down--I constantly looked forward to the commute to and from work to get back to it, and even sat listening in the driveway until pried away by necessity. If you are the least bit interested in Japanese history/culture, I would recommend this great work of historical fiction. If you've never read the book and have any doubts, I'd recommend checking it out at the library and reading a few chapters before you drop 2 credits for the audio. Happy "reading".
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