Mary Wells really gives the story a unique character. If you've seen Upstairs Downstairs or Downtown Abbey, you'll be able to detect bits of those characters in Margaret Powell's own experiences. Powell's story, while sometimes grim, is not embittered: she manages to tell the good and the bad all while maintaining a light and warmhearted tone.
In general, I love listening to author's read their work, and William Golding's personal introduction to this audiobook was very interesting, but he was a poor narrator. He doesn't read at an even tempo, and sometimes swallows words, and overall doesn't seem that into reading his book. The story was a disappointment as a long time fan of this genre - doesn't bring much new to the genre fifty years later.
I would absolutely recommend this to anyone I know who likes audiobooks. It's not a great way to start listening to audiobooks since it is so long (it took me about a month of listening to hear it all). The Count of Monte Cristo is a book I had always wanted to read and always been a bit intimidated by the length. The performance of this book in this recording makes it almost episodic - John Lee's voice carries you through even the action-less parts. It makes it easy to pick up and put down and remember exactly where you were. It definitely takes longer than actually reading the book yourself, but it feels a breeze. And the story is amazing, one of my favorite reads ever.
No, as I would have to be either an insomniac or Mr. Smith of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to manage that.
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