Juan Gabriel Vsquez has been hailed not only as one of South America’s greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vsquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.
In the city of Bogot, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar’s Medelln cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia’s streets and in the skies above. Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend’s murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend’s family have been shaped by his country’s recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare.
Vsquez is “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature” according to Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing - and will take his literary star - even higher.
©2012 Juan Gabriel Vasquez (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I have never not finished a book. I generally go through 2 audible books a month, but this one is really tough to complete due to the narrator. I am sorry to insult him but he is horrible! He is supposed to be in his early 40s looking back on his life and he sounds like he is an 80 year old robot. I cannot understand this choice as it is really ruining the book for me. Please please re-release this with a new narrator, I will try and finish if I can stand it, but it is a struggle. Glad to hear I am not alone after reading other reviews. Disappointing for sure.
I was so very excited about hearing this novel after glowing reviews on BBC radio.
The narrator Mike Vendetti sounds like he is a Policeman from a Philip Marlowe novel. He as much animation as if he were reading a phone book. Worse he so mangles the Spanish names. Who was in charge of producing this?
I will opt to read this book!!
A narrator who could pronounce the most rudimentary Spanish names (including one of the protagonists). And even the English wasn't great.
The story itself was compelling.
GET SOMEONE WHO CAN NARRATE DECENTLY AND PRONOUNCE SPANISH CORRECTLY.
The writing was good.
This narrator is such a detriment. I almost didn't finish it and will now check reviews carefully before I buy my next Audible book. The author of the book should be furious with this performance.
Slow paced, I think deliberately like the country of Colombia. Even though nothing much happens, you get carried along by the thoughts of the main character
He sounded like a robot, couldn't pronounce English words correctly, let alone Spanish.
Audible should pull this book from it's catalog until it can be re-recorded by a competent reader.
I did not finish this book, in fact I could only listen in total for less than an hour. The narrator 's voice put me to sleep. It is a deep, melodic voice with not enough passion /inflection / engagement in the story. The voice and the story put me to sleep. Not good since I listen while I drive.
Couldn't get into it.
It had an announcer qaulity to the voice rather than engaged with the story and its nuances.
Didn't listen to enough of it.
Poetic and perceptive observation, poetic exploration of relationships, and confirmation that random happenstance can provoke relentless patterns of cause and effect. Some mysteries are pursued and solved; the most important questions, perhaps, remain appropriately elusive.
I loved the book-- but loathed the narration. Would have much preferred reading it to listening to this poor rendering.
This is a beautifully written book about my native Colombia. I had to grit my teeth and endure the reader's abominable mispronunciation of all Spanish words and names. Why would there be no effort made to learn proper pronunciation in order to better render the main character? I particularly enjoy listening to books set in foreign locations in order to gain a better understanding of a culture by hearing the music of it's names. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about Colombia beyond what is portrayed in the news. Read the book and skip this audio version.
Sorry but I expected more details about the birth of drug trafficking. I hate to complain but this book was so much worse for me because of the narration. First of all, it was taped at a volume lower than my next book. Worse was the laid back voice of the narrator. He had a nice deep voice but inappropriate for this text. My mind would wonder off because the reading showed no enthusiasm, just monotone. I expected a Spanish accented voice. I found that I had to change the speaking speed to 1.5 on my iPhone to listen and stay awake. Sorry but I did not enjoy this and could not wait to get finished to have it behind me.
A deeply felt, human story winding its way through the period of Colombia'a drug war, without taking the route of assassins, bloody violence or druglord sagas.
Where do I start? The narrator had no pacing, sense of timing, pauses between chapters, paragraphs, or subjects. His pronunciation in ENGLISH was horrendous (couldn't seem to handle "th" sounds, or any words of three syllables or more.) Let alone his mangling of Spanish place names and words. Honestly, the worst reading I've ever encountered -- almost laughable, except it was so excruciating.
Yes, which shows how good the book was, even while handicapped by the reading.
A new, quality production is needed -- the book deserves it. In the meantime, read it in print.
This is awful. I can't finish it because the narration is so bad. He can't even be bothered to learn the Spanish pronunciation of Colombian places. When the city of Cali changes from CAH-lee to Cah-LEE you know what follows isn't going to be good. No doubt the author is going to lose readers because of the poor narration. Sorry about that Mr. Garcia.
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