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"Collins wrote the first full-length detective story in English, and set a mould for the genre that has lasted for well over a century. He excelled at constructing ingenious and meticulous plots, and made interesting experiments in narrative technique." (The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature)
I was looking forward to reading this book. I love Wilie Collins. I really feel that the audio quality is so poor, I should get a refund on this book.
I rarely write a review of a book, and then only because I find it outstanding. This one is outstandingly poorly narrated. I have to agree with those who said they had to give up on it because of the monotonous drone of the reader, and the poor sound quality. I was very much looking forward to the story, because I love Wilkie Collins, and had just finished 'Moonstone' and 'The Woman in White', both very enjoyable reads. This is a singularly poor narrator and I will be sure never to get a book read by Flo Gibson. After listening to one chapter, I had no idea who was who or what was going on, because the narrator reads without commas or periods on and on and on and on and on-------
I enjoyed this book on many levels - first, it was written by a friend and peer of Charles Dickens; second, it is pure period so you learn a lot about the culture and mores of the times - including the status of women, third, it is a pretty good read.
My only negative is that it seems to last a long time and was a bit drawn out - I credit this to the fact that it was written for a periodical and was a series. So dragging it out kept the suspense.
I recommend this book and enjoyed it...it was a bit hard to get used to the older reader, but after finishing the book, I totally enjoyed her characterizations and her impressive command of the English language, the foreign words interjected throughout and her ability to make me forget her voice as it became the book's various characters.
The audio quality is so poor that it is very difficult to understand even with the volume up. After a just a short while I decided it was too much hard work to continue. It sounds like it was recorded off an old record with a lot of hiss in the background.
It's unfortunate since Wilkie Collins is an excellent writer.
I'm used to Flo Gibson's voice, but others might find her cadence rather tough going; I had a problem with the sound quality, which varied from poor to good (charitable at that).
As for the story itself, the ending seemed rushed (tacked-on), but I found the characters engaging.
Interesting characters -- especially the heroine -- makes it an interesting read/listen. The resolution of the mystery is thoroughly surprising.
In contrast to most of the publications form Audible, this is simply inaudible. The use of an American accent is just about discernable (and regrettable), but the words themselves are too poorly recorded to be made out.
I listen to all my Audible downloads whilst driving, I drive a lot and listen a lot, this is simply the worst recording that I have had the displeasure of not being able to hear, avoid this recording like the plauge.
"Most anoying reader in the world!"
I really love Wilkie Collins and have enjoyed other titles but the person narrating this book must have the most irritating voice ever! It was like listening to a 10 year old struggle with a class novel! Would really like to listen to this again with a decent reader.
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