I had high hopes this would be an enjoying listen. The subject matter is of great interest to me. And since this is the author of Women Who Run With Wolves which seems to receive great acclaim, I had high hopes. Unfortunately the message is greatly overshadowed by the entirely unprofessional audio production. You can hear the author breathe, gasp, laugh and it is entirely distracting and takes the listener out of the material. I expected more for my money, at least some degree of professional production value. While some may enjoy the intimate, conversational tone of the audio, I was sorely disappointed cause I found it annoying and a difficult listen.
I was first introduced to Watership Down as a young teen. I loved it at first reading and loved it every reading after that. Much can be read elsewhere about the plot and story line and I see no need to rehash what others can state much more eloquently. Suffice it to say, this will always be one of my favorite books. It is timeless and ageless, a beautiful and compelling allegorical novel with surprising depth and drama.
As for the narration, Mr Cosham really delivers in this reading and it is a stellar performance. His characters are perfect and easily distinguished one from the other. In addition, he gives this story the respect and seriousness that is deserves. It may be a story about bunnies, but he treats it like the masterpiece it is.
I cant imagine an audiobook getting any better than this. It has everything: wonderful story and superb narration.
I guess since this is Audible review most will want to hear more about the narration than the story itself. The narration is quite solid. Mr. Podehl has a fine voice and does a good job with character distinction and the story as it is written. I would not call it a stand out performance but one must take into consideration the material he had to work with.
The story is quite poor. The plot suffers from a unhealthy dose of contrivance, predictability and bland non-events. The lead character Kvothe is arrogant and apparently indestructible; therefore he is quite unlikeable. I see no reason for a reader (or listener as the case may be) to care one bit about him. The dialogue seems forced and unnatural. I am so glad I bought this on sale. If I had paid normal price for it or wasted a valuable credit, I would have been upset. After two hours of listening, waiting for something, anything to happen, I turned it off. The writing and plot style are certainly not the work of a mature, exerienced author. I do not know if this was the author's first offering, if so, he may (or perhaps already has) improved over time.
Which brings us back to the narrator who had to suffer through this story. Bless him. I dont know how much these narrators get paid, but he didn't get paid enough.
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