I have to say that I am pretty disappointed in this story. It started out great, with lots of potential. The main character is an intriguing woman, who's had a few embarrassments in the past, but with her mentor/friend, continues to try and forge ahead. She's built up as this independent woman who, although has had some setbacks, is a solid investigative reporter.
Then she meets with a man and the independent woman seems to just vanish in a flurry of unrestrained lust. That doesn't bother me, as long as it remains in the moment. But after that scene, her character becomes increasingly more cliche and irritating to deal with. I stopped listening because I honestly didn't care about her story anymore. This may sound harsh, but I was upset with what happened to the character. Perhaps its gets better after I stopped listening, and maybe I'll try it again, but for now, it simply doesn't grab my interest.
I don't know what to say about this book. After listening to it for a 1/2 hour, I had to stop, simply because I couldn't stand listening anymore. The narrator seems to think that reading an audiobook is a competition sport or something. It's the only possible reason I could come up with for why they spoke so fast. It really detracts from the story.
I've been a fan of this story since I was in middle school. To this day, I still believe it's one of the greatest stories ever written. However, I do have to insist that for the average listener, the abridged version might be better. In this unabridged version, Victor Hugo goes off on tangents that, to really understand, you have to have a great deal of European history knowledge. To someone who can't remember their days of world history class, it can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming at times. But it's not all bad, as Hugo's inner-story commentaries are insightful and interesting. The narrator does an excellent job, switching to french when necessary for a given effect.
I haven't been an audible customer for long but most of what I've purchased I've been happy with. I'm a large fan of Vince Flynn's works, and I was looking forward to listening to the Mitch Rapp series. While this would be a good listen to someone who hasn't read the book before, Audible hurts the book by not labeling it as abridged. Huge portions of character development, plot points and major scenes are completely left out. This would have been an easy 5 stars if Simon & Schuster Audio had done this book in its unabridged glory.
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