My review is to commend Patrick Tull as the narrator of choice in the Aubrey series. I listened to Tull on book #1 and Vance on book #2. I have returned to Tull for the remainder in the series. While Vance is excellent with the various accents (French, Italian, Spanish, etc) I find his Maturin lacking any touch of the Irish and his Aubrey forced in its tone. In contrast, Tull gives his two main characters all the character they deserve. The key to Tull's reading is that while Vance narrates Tull tells the tale. It's as if he is sitting in the room with you and telling you a story. And if you don't mind him taking more time in telling the story--he is in no rush--it's worth every minute you listen.
I don't know. It is a matter of personal taste,
No, but only because of the narration.
I am not going to finish the book. The writing isn't top notch but since I won't get beyond the third chapter I will, in fairness, give the text 3 stars. The problem is the reader, Andy Caploe. Listen to him doing something other than the Cuddy series and he's not bad. And by his other credits he appears to be a very successful professional. But it is painful to hear his caricatures in the story. And unfortunately it starts with the lead character/narrator in the story. His broad BostonMA accent for Cuddy might be tolerable if it weren't mixed with the occasional Long Island nasel, which is to say the voice isn't a solidly consistent portrayal. It is a distraction. The female voices are almost cartoonish. And that's really the problem. His reading has a simple, unappealing quality between cartoon and private-eye-cliche. I had wanted to give Jeremiah Healy stories a try, starting with the first in the series. But since Caploe had recorded all of the Healy volumes it ends here.
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