This is a good novel but not a super-terrific great one for listening. This limitation is not due to problems with the reader, in my view. Instead, I think that some literary novels are better read than heard. Their attractions are subtle-- fine tuning of character development, etc--and are not best appreciated through the ear alone. I am not generalizing about all literary novels (Jennifer Egan's _A Visit From the Goon Squad_ for instance, is a riveting listen), but I think _The Daughters of Mars_ can seem a bit slow. At times I was fully engaged, and at other times my attention wavered. It was not a audiobook that I looked forward to switching on every chance I could.
Simon Vance does an OK job overall reading this great novel, but why don't the audiobook producers edit out glaring misreadings and mispronunciations? In the case of this reading, within the first few minutes, Vance ruins the mood with unintentional humor by having the menacing convict snarl at Pip, " Hold your NOSE!" [sic!]--instead of the real exclamation "Hold your NOISE!" (that is, Be quiet!, Shut up!). Did the producers never read Dickens's novel? Did they not care about Vance's gaffe or hope the listeners would not notice? Cannot modern sound recordings be edited? Did the publishers release the audiobook without first listening to it? It is always a bit disconcerting to be slapped in the face by the fact that actors interpreting works of genius (or even just characters who are supposed to be well-educated) really don't understand the words they are speaking.
To those who enjoy run-of-the-mill romance novels, this book will be a winner. I find the romance chick lit formula to be dull, however, and so am finding it very difficult to summon up much interest. By the description, I hoped that the mystery plot would be more engaging than it is; the supernatural mystery really just serves to throw pretty witch and sexy vampire into each other's arms.The characters are also two-dimensional and predictable.Generally, the reader is fine, though I always find it disconcerting when a reader mispronounces words, especially when acting the part of a supposedly super-smart first person narrator. This reader makes such flubs occasionally; don't audiobooks have editors to handle such gaffes?
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