I read The Lord of the Rings twice as a teenager, and watched the movies more than once. When I found this dramatization I thought it would be nice to experience the story again, but in a new way. I was a bit sceptical as I read the reviews, but decided to buy it anyway. And I'm glad I did! I spent most of yesterday with my headphones on, and the story made my Saturday cleaning and laundry quite enjoyable this week.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks and wasn't sure if I'd enjoy a dramatization, but I really did. My boyfriend listened to the beginning of the story with me and was annoyed with how the story wasn't exactly as it is in the book, but I didn't mind. It's a very short version of the story, and they do skip a lot of things that are hard to fit in the "story-told-by-dialogue-and-sounds" style of a dramatization, and for the same reason you miss a lot of details because you can't see anything and no one is explaining what's going on in the action-sequences (but the result of the action is mentioned after by the characters). I still enjoyed it as I could imagine everything based on my memory of the story from the book. I think they did a great job making this, and the narrators/cast are really good.
DON'T buy this if you want the whole book and the whole detailed story, because then you will be disappointed (there are audiobooks available...). Buy this book if you love the story and want to experience it again, but don't mind if it's a short version or that Tom Bombadil is still missing. I loved it, and have already bought Two Towers:-)
This is the fifth book in the Matthew Corbett-series by Robert McCammon. If you haven’t listened or read the other books in the series, I recommend you do that before listening to this one. The story itself can be understood and enjoyed without having read the previous ones, but a lot of characters from the other books show up in this one and I think you would enjoy the story more if you knew them better. They are all introduced to the reader, but in these introductions (and as Matthew thinks back on his past experiences) you might learn more than you want to, and have the experience of reading the other books spoiled. And that would be too bad, because all four books published before The River of Souls are very good, and if you like this one, you will probably want to listen to the others. I recommend you start at the beginning, with Speaks the Nightbird.
I have found that the Matthew Corbett books are very different, despite being parts of the same series. Speaks the Nighbird had a strange mysterious atmosphere in it which I really liked. Queen of Bedlam was a complex story with more than one mystery, and introduced us to a lot of interesting characters. Mister Slaughter was more of a thriller than a mystery, and I disappeared from the world for most of a weekend because I couldn’t stop listening. The fourth book, The Providence Rider, was also mostly a thriller in my opinion. I liked all four of them.
This audiobook is much shorter than the previous ones. I wish it wasn’t, but that’s just because I know it will probably be a while before the next book is published and I wanted more. I don’t think it too short for the story told. The problem is (I think) that we know the author is able to write books of 600+ pages where we enjoy every page. I can think of many books as short as this one that I’ve loved without even considering their lack of pages to be a problem. I think it’s mostly by comparison to the other, longer books that I find this one short…
Without giving away too much, Matthew finds himself in another situation where he has to do what’s right, and goes through a lot in the process. He has to solve a mystery, and when that’s done he has to solve the problem. The story of the problem solving is well told in the almost nine hours this book lasts, but the story of the problem solver goes on in the next book. This is not the first Matthew Corbett book to leave the reader waiting impatiently for the next book to be published… It’s a good story; it’s well written and had me practically holding my breath on occasions. As with the other books in the series, I found it difficult to stop listening. A lot of people do get killed, usually in a gory way. If you found the slaughtering parts of Mister Slaughter to be intolerable, you probably won’t like this book either. The beginning might be a bit slow, as the first chapters are about the reason he comes to Charles Town, and this reason has very little to do with the main story. I enjoyed it, but I can understand how some might be impatient for the real story to begin.
The narration is great, as always. There is really not much more to say about that.
I bought this book right after finishing Speaks the Nightbird, fully intending to start listening to it as soon as I had the time. Then time disappeared into a busy life and a few months went by; I listened to other books and forgot about this one. ...Until last week, when I remembered it again. Five minutes into the book I remembered how good the last book was, and couldn't believe I had waited so long to find out what happened to Matthew Corbett after the events in the Carolinas.
Matthew is three years older, but nothing has really happened in his life since we left him in 1699. He is obsessed with finding evidence against the head of his old orphanage, and still works as a magistrate's clerk. The town of New York has recently been the scene of the grotesque murder of a doctor, and as another murder victim is found killed in the same way, the serial killer the local newspaper names the Masker must be found. Matthew can't help it, he has to ask the questions he knows the local High Constable will not think to ask, and starts his own investigation. At the same time he's approached by the Herrald Agency, to join them as a problem solver.
I won't try to outline the plot of the whole book, since that would take a long time. The wonderful thing about this book is that it's not just one story; there are several mysteries for Matthew to solve. And despite the complex mysteries, the book is not slow at all. There is so much more happening in this book compared to Speaks the Nightbird, and it works really well. I loved Speaks the Nightbird, but I think part of my reluctance to start reading the sequel was that two similar books of that length would be a bit too much. Fortunately for me then, The Queen of Bedlam is very different than the first book in the series (much lighter!), but just as good.
The narrator is one of the best I've ever listened to. I have the Kindle version of the book as well as the audiobook, but unlike most books I read/listen to I chose to listen to the entire book this time, only reading a few chapters. Edoardo Ballerini puts a lot of emotion and personality into the characters' voices, and his narration of the story and Matthew's thoughts makes the book even better than it already is. I have no idea what he does differently than other narrators I've listened to, but I have listened to this book for a whole day while cleaning the house (10 hours) and wouldn't have been able to do that unless the narration was very good.
I finished the book in just three days and kept finding excuses to do "audiobook-friendly" activities (the house is now very clean...). The last part of the book was almost impossible to stop listening to, and after finishing the book I just had to get the next one. The mystery is solved, but Matthew's story is clearly not finished and continues in Mister Slaughter.
I have to admit I started reading this book a few years ago, but lost interest before David even set foot on the Covenant. This time, listening to the audiobook while running, I finished the whole book and even ended up really liking it. Where the dialog was incomprehensible at worst and distractingly old fashioned at best (for me at least) in the book, the narrator really helped making the characters seem alive and interesting. English is not my native language, and I've never been to Scotland, so I can't really tell how good or bad the accents were. I personally thought the narrator did a good job with the characters' voices, even if I was surprised at how young he made David sound.
The story is an adventure story about the young David Balfour who finds himself first kidnapped, later in the company of a man named Alan Breck as the two travel through the Scottish highlands trying to hide from the British Army. The simple story of a kidnapping and then a flight from the army is made a lot more interesting by the two main characters personalities and their unlikely friendship. The history behind it all was unknown to me, and I spent a few hours searching the Internet to find out what a Jacobite was, what happened in "forty-five" and what Scotland was like in the middle of the eighteenth century. I enjoyed the book before learning the history behind it too, but would recommend other readers (especially if they know as little about the period as I did) to look things up while they read. A map of Scotland is also recommended, in order to follow this flight across the country.
Oh, and after listening to the book I tried to read it again, successful this time. It turns out there was nothing wrong with mr Stevenson's writing, but something must have been wrong with the young reader... Who is now encouraged to try other books written long ago!
The narrator was great. And the pace of the book made it ideal for an audiobook. I sometimes loose focus when listening to long descriptions and complicated text, which is why I tend to choose young adult novels and other "light reads" for listening while commuting despite being an adult. This book was clearly aimed at a different audience than 25 year old women, and I felt like I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I been younger and ... more like my boyfriend perhaps?
When my boyfriend decided he needed to start running every morning to get fit, he needed some company. There was no way I would get up at six every day, but I let him borrow my iPod. He had never listened to audiobooks before, but he loved Steelheart. He started listening everywhere and finished the book quickly. In fact, I got to listen to a lot of it twice, since he put it on the speakers in the car during an eight hour road trip last weekend.
All the funny comments and bad metaphors that I found a bit stupid but my boyfriend thought were awesome (brick made of porridge...). Or to be more precise; The laughter in the car that these comments/metaphors caused.
Everything. I bought the Kindle book too, since I usually enjoy being able to switch between the two. But reading the book was a lot less fun than listening to it. While reading, I kept getting annoyed with David, wishing he would be a little less... David. But listening to the audiobook, the character was completely different. It actually worked. I think it's because my inner reading voice couldn't capture David's character, but Macleod Andrews did that very well.
My boyfriend is now disappointed with all other audiobooks I've suggested, because none of the narrators are as good as Andrews. And none of the books as entertaining as Steelheart.
Not the first time I listened to it. The second time, in the car, we both laughed a lot.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.