An interesting premise, and a book that ought to have appealed. But, why does the main character have an American voice? At first, I thought there would be some explanation -- the hero is some sort of Rick figure who got stranded in Germany in the war, or maybe he had an American parent from whom he learned English -- but no, the story makes clear he spent his life in Germany with German parents. Not sure which is more insulting: the idea that a good person wouldn't have a German accent, or that a presumably mostly American audience can't listen to an accent for the entire length of an audio book. Recommend one read the book, not listen to it. Let your inner voice provide the appropriate voices.
After listening to the compelling stories and narration of Connie Willis' time traveling historians, I couldn't get into this flippant imitation.
At their best, audiobooks are not just the convenience of listening while doing other things. Or even the enjoyment having a story told. Rather, the narration takes one so much deeper into the experience than if one read the book oneself. That is the case with this recording of The Orchardist. Had I read this book, I would have raced through parts to see what happens next. Instead, I experienced it as the events unfolded, paying attention to every detail. Sometimes, I had to stop listening for a while, because it felt so real. Had I read it myself, the voiice in my head would have been too thin and superficial. The narrator's voice is ideal for the characters, and somehow evoked the era in which the events occurred. A powerful story about pain and commitment, good people doing their best.
Just enough worrisome twists and turns to keep one engaged with the story. Some details and character actions a bit implausible, but mostly the overall story is internally consistent and one can see, with some foreboding, why the characters are behaving as they do. Not to paint too dark a picture: the main characters are warm and likeable. Excellent narration.
Each character is well developed, and develops more through the course of the novel. The alternating narrators are effective in helping the story move along from each character's point of view. I genuinely cared about these people and what happened to them, individually and as a group.
What a remarkable narration of a remarkable book. Sometimes, I had to stop listening, I felt so strongly the need to tell the main character, "no, don't do it!" And yet, when I got to the end, I started over again. The story is suspenseful and gripping, with an inevitability to the characters' actions that becomes clear at the end. So accomplished a narration, I had trouble shaking the idea that I know the characters personally.
Was there ever a better match between character and narrator than Flavia de Luce and Jayne Entwistle? These books are funny, touching, and sometimes nail-bitingly suspenseful. I had trouble seeing with the logic of some parts of this installment, but all was wrapped up in the end in a way that made sense. I do hope there will be more in the series. Hint: don't listen to this one if you haven't listened to the previous installments. And, I do mean listen: truly a case where the narration is superior to anything one can conjure in one's head.
Katherine Kellgren is one of the great narrators: every character has a distinct voice, and the pacing is spot-on with the plot. Her range of accents is impressive. This is a light-weight mystery but Ms. Kellgren's narration makes it quite enjoyable.
Strong and yet realistically flawed women characters in vivid locations and situations. My favorite character was not one of the two main characters, but rather Magic Gourd, possessor of a dry wit and good soul. Beautifully narrated except for one inexplicable section in which a different and not especially convincing narrator takes over Magic Gourd's voice. I suspect it is Amy Tan. Really, it's a rare author who should read his or her works. Leave the writing to the writers and the reading to the actors, please!
This tightly novel leaves one off-guard: is the main character developing or deteriorating? The characters are so true to life, they could be one's own family. At first, I was put off by Mary Beth Hurt's narration, with sometimes odd and inappropriate inflection. Turns out, that was part of the character development (or deterioration). By the end, it's hard to imagine Hildy's voice as anyone's but Ms. Hurt's. She excels with the other characters' voices, too.I ran extra errands today in order to have the excuse to find out how this unpredictable plot wrapped up. An involving and often quite amusing listen.
I found myself quite caught up in the story of the not-entirely-sympathetic main character: a woman in an observant Jewish community in post-WWII London who becomes an art dealer -- and therefore is friends with artists from backgrounds very different from hers -- but is still part of her own community. I thought the author does an excellent job of maintaining and developing that tension, even as times change. Along the way, I learned about an aspect of English life I knew nothing about. Super narration: I could identify every character separately.
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