How I wanted so badly, being a fan of Simon Callow's acting, for this to be a real memoir, a tale of his life. Which it is, to an extent... interspersed every few minutes by reviews and articles he has written for various publications over the last couple of decades. This made me feel a little cheated. Even his grand style, good writing and lovely accent can't make it better.
The articles completely take away from the story, adding far too many superficial references to various (sometimes obscure) people and plays of whom Callow reviews... and tends to hack the story to "pieces," instead of contributing any real value.
This book would have been so much better and worth reading without these added articles, which made the story feel cheapened, having relied on already-written content, often well over 10 or 15 years old, to lengthen the book. I found myself skipping most of them, desperate to hear the short snippets of actual story between them.
I used to watch Carol's show back in the 70s when I was just a kid. It was a highlight of the week for our family... I also loved her in several film roles, including Miss Hannigan from Annie. I have always admired her and her timeless sense of humor.
I enjoyed her reading very much... I laughed a lot, and got a little misty when she spoke about her daughter... I was touched that she so honestly read this part with so much obvious emotion.
I'm so glad I bought this book. Thanks, Carol.
A great audio book, and probably an equally good conventional read. Doughty tells his fascinating story passionately and honestly. He has talent as a writer--the whole book is well written. If he writes a second, I'll read that one too.
I am not a fan of Scott Brick's narration at all. He goes from monotone to weird emphases on words and sentences that feels odd. He reads it like the narrator for "Unsolved Mysteries" would read it... but the book isn't written like a crime report. It is a book with feeling characters and deaths and backstories. He reads characters' teary comments at the funeral scene in the same way he reads about how the police find clues. It just doesn't work.
In general, it's boring and I'm not sure if it's the story or the way it's being told. I am struggling to get through the last half. May just ditch this one and move on.
It's funny, good, interesting and easy to listen to, though Fey's recording itself sounded much lower quality than many other audiobooks I have purchased. Her voice was recorded very flat and trebly, with a strong echo. Too bad... but the story itself, the pdf that goes with it, and Fey's narration are all still worth the purchase price.
Good pace and good actors, though by the end, Othello sounded like he was extremely constipated instead of suffering from a broken heart.
I thought having the commentary and explanations was a great idea, but I soon realized why it's optional: it is irritating. Too many close-together interruptions, it all sounded like she was telling the most inCREDible, asTOUNding, aMAZing (insert photo of astonished, eyes-popping-out narrator here) story to a four-year-old in order to keep his attention. Not nearly as effective as a more subdued, serious tone would have been. We bought the book, so we're already listening.
I enjoyed this very much, thought I wasn't too fond of Dick Hill... by the end I found his voice irritating. This story is a showcase for Clarke's mathematical and physics expertise, and he pushes it all out there. The story almost has a popular-science (astrophysics) feel to it--a scientific story written for the everyday person, a la Michio Kaku or Brian Greene. Oh yeah, it's fiction.
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