Scott Brick can be brilliant, but sometimes he becomes the William Shatner of audio--over-emoting all over the place. I'm afraid this is one is a Shatner. The story is compelling, and maybe the repartee between the two PIs is enjoyable, but Brick does not make it so. In addition, everyone in the story speaks in Brick's idosyncratic cadence, which gets old. The story gets a four, but the reading gets a two.
Usually I reserve 5-star reviews for SERIOUS stuff, but any work (performance + writing) that makes me laugh out loud this many times these days gets a 5+!
I didn't like the narrator at first either. I bought 3 for 2 Nora Roberts and this was the third I listened to. I initially thought, ok, not so good, but it was free. Then I was captured. Honestly, I think this is Nora Robert's contribution to Great Southern Literature (I have been taking drugs for bronchitis, but I'm standing firm on this). The language, characterizations, and settings are Faulknerian, or at least Eudora Welty-an. And, once you get used to her, the narrator contributes to that.
I was a little disappointed in the ending. It seemed to come out of nowhere. But I say, really, if you like (modern) southern Gothic (if this isn't mixing too many genres, maybe a little Steel Magnolias), try this. You might like it.
It's my third listening that has prompted me to write this review.
The plot, yes, but also Sandford's taut writing style and the interplay of the characters. Few of Sandford's Prey series novels are relentlessly grim, but Stolen Prey has a lot of the little things--the jokes, the good-natured ribbing between characters--that enliven the story. Sandford seems to be in a really good mood.
In the earlier audiobooks, Richard Ferrone took a little getting used to. He's not one of those narrators who really "inhabit" different characters. But his pacing, his ability to produce the narrative drive that characterizes Sandford's work, really move the novel forward.
When will Audible make all of the Prey series available unabridged?
I liked the first two books in this series. But they changed narrators--I suppose it is something of a coup to get Barbara Rosenblat to narrate instead of the earlier, quite good, but less well-known reader. Rosenblat may have more range, but she completely changed the character of Chrissy, from a naif to a more hard-bitten women (who is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the title character). In addition, the torture of wife abusers in the story line, which was initially amusing, just isn't anymore, nor is the creaky romance device of the elusive lover (the sheriff) and "the other man."
I think the book is great--the set peice with the Star Trek theme is hilarious (you've got to make it to the 3rd part); a worthy addition to the series. As some other reviewers have noted, Marsters wasn't always that great (what was the director thinking with that first book?)--Marsters and Butcher's series sort of grew up together. If you simply take Glover's reading at face value, without the comparisons, you may find, like I did, that he did a great job.
I like this series. I am not a Nora Roberts fan, or a fan of romance novels in general, but the repartee between the characters in this J.D. Robb series has hooked me somehow. That kind of interplay is, well, not absent, but too rare in this novel; there is some redundancy in the discovery of clues (where was the editor?); and the whole is just lackluster. OK for $10, but I'm glad I didn't pay fulll price.
I agree with Edward J. The book lacks any trace of the lyric writing in "The Poet." The writing is pedestrian at best, and is often downright clunky. James Patterson without the second author. It's hard to tell about the reader; he hasn't been given much to work with. He is earnest enough--though he doesn't convince me as a grizzled, hard core reporter. And, though in the beginning he did attempt at least some vocal differences between the two main characters (one male and one female), this disappears in later chapters.
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