"In mid-July of 1879, John Muir sailed for the first time through the sheer-walled fjords of Alaska's Inside Passage. 'Never before this,' he wrote, 'had I been embosomed in scenery so hopelessly beyond description.' During the previous 15 years, Muir had vanished into the north woods of Canada, walked a thousand miles from Kentucky to the Gulf of Mexico, and nested himself in the granite heart of California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Wild nature burned with volcanic intensity in the core of John Muir's soul. And here - amid the mountains, glaciers, and islands of Alaska - he found a wildness to match his own." (Richard Nelson)
Public Domain (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks
This is a wonderful book of Muir's trip to Alaska in the late 1800's, full of delightful detail about geography, views, native culture and great stories ab out both Alaska and his travels.
However, the narration is appalling and destroys the beauty of the book. The narrator speaks VERY quickly, in a sing-song sort of style with no regard for the text and no attempt to interpret what he is reading as most of the good narrators do. The same style, inflection and speed apply even when he is reading stories iwth different characters or describing Muir's first view of Glacier Bay and Muir's corresponding awe. The style is frustrating at best and I found it infuriating after a very short while. As a result, the book is very difficult to listen to (and I am a native Eastener used to fast speech). I had to resort to running the book on a slower rate on my I-Pod to get anything which allowed me to enjoy even a little of the beauty of the book - however this creates an echo. The echo, though, is better than the breakneck narration as taped.
What a pity. This is a book that deserves a wonderful narrator with some acting ability to interpret the text. Think how great it could be, for instance, with a James Earl Jones sort of voice. As it is, a wonderful book is destroyed.
Listen to the book for the text which is a wonderful narrative of Alaska. Just be prepared to have to deal with a very poor narration.
I can't say much for the content of the book yet, but the narrator seems to be engaged in an attempt to set a new record to read the book the fastest. It's so hurried as to make it tense to listen to.
I found the narrator difficult to follow. He speaks quickly and this has constant very detailed descriptions.Americans may not have a problem (I'm English).
I am halfway through this listen and find the story fascinating, the descriptives of Alaska and its inhabitants a century ago incredible. However, the reader Noah Waterman reads so fast, like he can't wait to get it over with, so that the grandeur of the descriptives are lost in speed, the flavor and ambience I had expected are washed away in hurry hurry hurry. I do plan to stay with this to the end but I was sorely disappointed. Being a long-time user of audiobooks, this is the first one I wish I had passed up. I am planning to read the book so I can savor John Muir's adventures, allowing the time to process and experience the mental imagery of a place still so beautiful, in words it is indescribable.
The images Muir paints are poignant. Some of his stories are entertaining. The narration is horrid. I had to play it back at half speed to understand it. Then it had an echo!
His speech is incredibly fast! I have never complained about narration, or anything, before.
very good book if you have lots of time. he describes everything very well almost as if hes painting a picture. this book has a lot of detail and can get a little boring when it comes to him describing the trees or plants or even the icebergs. this book will defenestrate a time in our history where things were much different than they are now.
Read/listen only if your an student of the outdoors or you intrigued by a great philosopher named John Muir.
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