OMG I never want to listen to another audio book unless it is read by Colin Firth! Just amazing. He makes each character distinctive without resorting to phony accents or odd intonations. It is a wonderful book, but I would listen to Colin Firth read the phone book!
After recently listening to a couple of excellent new novels (And the Mountains Echoed and The Orphan Master's Son) that were ruined, or nearly so, by heavy, inappropriate (the Greek characters in And the Mountains Echoed were read by a man with what sounded like a Slavic accent) or even made up (I'm convinced none of the readers of The Orphan Master's Son can possibly talk like that in real life) accents, listening to The End of the Affair is a stunning experience.
It is a great story. In places I just had to skip ahead a bit because it was so relentlessly comprehensive, and I just couldn't take any more detailed descriptions of horror and suffering. It ended a bit abruptly. The redemption and recovery must have had more to it. (Maybe I fell asleep during the last chapter?) It was epiphany - altar call - pour out the booze - and we're done. But a great story about a great man and well worth listening to. The narration never got into the way; I'm sorry that we have lost Mr. Herrmann, a terrific reader.
Lacks the wonderful imagery of The Night Circus and the Harry Potter books. The characters just aren't very likeable.
The story is OK until the cast graduates from magic college, then the protagonist turns into a total ass, and they all just sit around getting drunk and doing nothing useful or interesting for a long period of time, so that by the time they got to the magic land I hated them all!
The best thing about this book is the narrator, who never gets in the way of the story. Too bad the story is so bad.
I didn't understand it all, but the book really grabbed me, kept me awake three nights in a row until I finished it! (I usually listen for 30 minutes while I fall asleep, but I kept resetting the timer!)
Like others, I found the phony accents distracting. And the narrator couldn't even consistently pronounce the protagonist's name, pronouncing it "Turuku" instead of "Tsuruku" 2/3 of the time. Also, if the Finnish husband was speaking "fluent Japanese," then why was he read with a goofy fake Scandanavian lilt?
This makes me want to read / listen to more books by Murakami, just with a different narrator.
I can't believe this novel won the Man Booker Prize, it has to be one of the most tiresome, depressive books I've tried to read in a long time. The descriptions of Dorrigo's feelings and relationships are endless, pointless, and incomprehensible! I found myself skipping ahead chapters just looking for more about the railway, but every chapter started with another endless, pointless, incoherent description! The monotonic reading didn't help.
I couldn't even get halfway through before I deleted it.
Everyone should read this book, it is really excellent and balanced. Read it, whichever side of the argument you are on.
I am getting so sick of narrations with fake foreign accents and overly dramatic reading. I love great performances - for example Gerald Dickens narrating Charles Dickens. Just not guys adopting heavy fake accents. In this case it is really distracting.
I can't imagine anyone could do all these accents! The reader did the African voices well, but the Americans - especially the men - sounded like Munchkins. And no American would say "Mary Land" for Maryland. I found that distracting.
Absolutely the wrong reader - Marco and Celia are young adults, yet he makes Marco sound like an elderly man throughout the book. Celia no better. He isn't a bad reader, just not for these characters.
Gerald Dickens is a wonderful narrator! I am sorry that Audible / Amazon do not seem to have chosen his readings for the Whispersynch versions. It is still easy to follow along on the Kindle version by using the table of contents. But frankly, reading it to myself is much less engaging than listening to Mr. Dickens.
I read a lot of history, especially American history, but I was barely aware of Nellie Bly and her story until I read this book. I really enjoyed reading it. An easy and engaging listen.
John Grisham manages to give us the best of both worlds. Over the years my consumption of trashy mystery novels and thrillers has fallen off a lot, but sometimes I just want a page-turner. But this was a page-turner with a great story and a great message. Really enjoyed it.
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