I was having trouble parsing the play to begin with which is one of the reasons I decided to listen to an audio version. From experience with Shakespeare, I know that sometimes you just have to listen to "catch" the rhythm and meaning.
But listening to the narration by Tim Habeger, I got the sense that he didn't understand it either. While he wasn't quite monotone, his inflection wasn't matching up with the what the text was trying to say. It seemed to me like he was reading the play like he would read any other poem, without regard for the actual story.
On top of that, he mis-read multiple words in the prologue. For instance, he read "ever" as "over" and "through" as "though". In my mind, it really sounded like he was reading Faust for the very first time while narrating - and this just ISN'T the type of story you can read cold like that and have it make any sense at all.
I'm going to revisit this at some point and when I do I'll come back and adjust my star rating for the story but I didn't even make it out of the prologues in this audible version.
The male narrator is decent, but the female narrator is terrible! She speaks with such careful and exact enunciation that there’s a discernable pause between each word and a lesser one between each syllable. Everything seems so carefully metered – a syllable seems to take her the same length of time to say, no matter what syllable it is. It just doesn’t flow together like it should and thus seems laborious rather than natural.
Also, she severely understates emotion. One line, in particular, I recall, was read with a trace of exasperation. Not a lot – just a trace. And it was read in the same quiet tone as the rest of the script. The descriptor that followed it was “ she demanded irritably.” Um. Right. That really sounded like a irritable demand.
I’m only a couple of hours into the book now, but I give up. I actually started cheering when Takeo’s section started up again. If I’m that happy to not hear the narrator’s voice, there’s something wrong. Somewhere along the way, I’ve picked up a paperback copy, so I’ll be finishing this one in print.
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