'Bag of Bones' has always been the Stephen King book that I give to people who think Stephen King's a hack horror writer: it's a great ghost story, probably my favourite King book. The characters are engaging, and the depiction of a small town - those invisible cables, unseen but felt, that run under the surface - is solid.
It's a great surprise to discover that King does a pretty good turn as a reader as well as a writer. I've really enjoyed the reading, not just the story.
First (and this is my own stupid fault for not noticing before buying), it's an abridged version. At under three hours, there's less than half the novel here.
Second, the audio quality is truly terrible. It sounds like the reader has their head stuffed in a cotton-lined bucket. Muffled, dull and damned near unlistenable.
The way half or more of it has been edited out.
The reader might, in other projects, be quite good--but in this one, the terrible quality of the recording overrides anything she might bring to the story.
The audio is bad enough that I haven't been able to finish it, and I'd like a refund so...no.
Don't waste your money or credits.
The performance - it's more than just a narration - is exceptional. There's a review up the top of the page on Audible that makes a note of the narration's similarity to a 'pre-parody Shatner', and there's some truth in that; at least, I'm glad I'm not the only one who heard a similarity. Juliani does a remarkable job in shifting from character to character, even though there are only five characters with speaking roles: they're all distinct, nobody is a parody or stereotype. Diction is clear and precise.
No. It's not that kind of book, to me. I find it one of ideas best digested slowly; if I could get this version in print, I'd be reading it slowly as well, not gulping it down.
I loved this book the first time I read it, but Joe Barrett's narration is giving me a whole new reason to fall in love with it again. His voicing is fantastic - especially his rendition of Owen's voice.
Dune itself is an essential in a complete spec-fic library. It's been a classic for years, and with good reason.
However, the switches the between narration (the majority of the audiobook) and the acted sections are quite distracting - more so because the depiction of the characters differs so wildly between narrator and actor. Case in point: the narrator "plays" Baron Harkonnen in an old English gaffer's accent so broad you expect him to be out planting potatoes in the next scene, while the actor's portrayal is full of quiet menace. When you get down to it, the narrator seems to rely more on accents than on characterisation to differentiate 'voices' - hence Stilgar and all the Fremen sound vaguely Transylvanian, like bad Draculas.
I really enjoyed this; it's one of my favourites of King's, in both print and audiobook format. It took me a little bit to get into the swing of John Slattery's reading but, when I did, it was great. My one quibble is some dodgy audio quality at times during the recording - some extraneous noise. A little annoying, but nowhere near enough to make me quit listening.
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