I started listening to this audiobook having forgotten that Sam Waterson was the narrator, if I ever knew. Fifteen minutes into it I wondered who was the terminally-ill emphysemic Audible had recruited to ruin this download for me. I was shocked to read it was an actor, a well-known one at that.
Waterson is constantly running out of breath at the end of sentences. His tone lacks all nuance, let alone any emotion. It is dry, dull, gasping, wheezing, colorless and hard to hear.
Otherwise, Waterson is a fine choice.
Don't quit your day job, Sam.
St. Aubyn's caustic view of today's narcissistic literary scene is uproariously funny. The fictional Elysian Prize (substitute the Mann Booker) serves as his vehicle for collecting a dozen contemporary grotesques. He brings them together - the scheming judges, an aging relic of the Empire, and an assortment of glib, self-deluding writers and literary hangers-on - and lets them writhe and rationalize about their work and their lives for our amusement/edification. It's blather of a high order as St. Aubyn gives us the obsessive navel-gazing that passes for thought among the literati. Only the "Sonny" character clanged a false, forced tone.
Although I saw the ending coming a mile away, I was having too much fun laughing to mind.
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