Voice actor Jim Killavey gives a melodious performance of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau’s first published book. His rich voice complements the expansive nature of the text, which is rife with symbolism and surprising in its structure. Thoreau’s narrative is an account of an excursion he took with his elder brother John in 1839. The pair travelled by boat and on foot, journeying from Concord, Massachusetts, to New Hampshire. The book is a moving memorial tribute to John, who died in 1842.
Very similar in style to Walden, and in fact written while he stayed at Walden Pond, this account chronicles Throeau's 1830 boat trip. In it, he weaves together travel writing, essays on religion, history, and lyrical poetry, as well as his own unique philosophy.
Public Domain (P)1990 Jimcin Recordings
This is very much like WALDEN. If you want a fast paced advice book...forget it. This meanders, much like WALDEN, and switches from mundane to profound again and again. A book to savor, not to rush through. Unlike another reader, I had no problem with the reader..he was laid back but that's the kind of book it is. Sound quality was fine at 4.
I have trouble understanding why people download a long book and then blast ( often unfairly as in this case ) the narrator. Samples are provided so you know what you are getting. I like to judge for myself so listened to the sample in spite of a review that had such a "blast."
I liked the sound and got the book. Moral of the story...You would not buy a car without taking a test drive. Don't get a book without listening to the sample and trust your own ears.
I would advise listening to the sample a couple time so you can decide where or not you can listen to this recording. I listened to the sample once, and I thought, 'Well, maybe it will grow on me. Give the guy a chance." Well, it didn't grow on me. The narrator of this recording seems to be clueless to the patterns, cadences of Thoreau's gorgeous prose.To my ear this reading is so bad that I'm not sure if I will ever finish this book. He pauses within sentences where he shouldn't, and rushes though phrases where he needs to slow down. He emphasizes unimportant words, and over emphasizes others, all very arbitrarily. The voice subordinates where it should coordinate, and vice versa. It seems, at times, that he is reading one...word...at...a...time. Many of Thoreau's sentences are long and flowing, but the reader seems to not be able to go with the natural flow of human speech. He can't make it though these kinds of sentences in a manner in which the listener can have any sense that he is at the beginning, middle or end of the sentence. You're listening along, and you might be ten words into the next sentence before you realize the last sentence has already ended. Or there's a weird pause and you're trying to figure out if it's the end, and then it just picks up and chugs along like rail cars rolling down a grade, unhitched from the locomotive. It's maddening.
I only decided that the reader of "Concord & Merrimack" was not a robot when I listened to his reading of Walden, which is slightly better. Every syllable the same pitch, same tone, same volume, same tempo -- except when a word is apparently unfamiliar when it's sounded out with long pauses between syllables. If indeed the reader is a flesh and blood human it's obvious he has less than no interest in what he's reading.
In addition, the sound quality of the supposedly high-quality file format I chose is execrable. Obviously exported from the lowest possible quality Mp3 or other lossy format.
A horrible experience and one I hope not to repeat!
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