This is the first audiobook (out of over 150) that I couldn't finish. I almost made it through the first third, but realized that I had sufficiently experienced the mid-life crisis about which the narrator is perpetually expounding. I found myself repeatedly telling him, almost out loud, to get over it. At the point that I stopped no plot had been established. I don't give up easily, having managed to complete Proust's "Swann's Way", which was no easy feat. "The Lay of the Land" is comparable to "Portnoy's Complaint", it is difficult to maintain any empathy with the narrator. Don't waste your time on this one!
I really enjoyed Rowling's character development. It takes a little while to be able to keep the characters straight, but they all have their individual foibles, which is part of the point of the story. Despite dealing with some rather serious and depressing subjects, the tone of the book is overall lightly humorous, in an appropriate way. The plot is believable; no magic or too fortuitous happy endings occur. The book was easy to listen to, especially with some understanding of British slang. Highly recommend.
Well done by both the author and narrator. The predominantly Italian community in which the story takes place and the often idiosyncratic characters are so well developed that you can really picture the setting as a real place, in a real time. Highly recommend.
The story and characters are unreachable through this narrator. I felt like I was being read to by a sunday school teacher. Several words were mispronounced, which distracted from the story. Occasional lines of dialogue read by other actor/narrators are stilted and unbelievable. I finally had to quit this one after several chapters and will try a different production.
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