©2009 Jerome Tuccille; (P)2009 Zondervan
The book feels very disjointed for the first 1/3 or so of the story, making it difficult to keep up with who the characters are because you haven't spent enough time with any one before the discussion turns to another.
The narration was pretty poor. Mispronunciations all over the place were the biggest issue.
If you enjoy stories about wine families, as I do, the story itself warrants a listen. You simply need to be prepared to be a little lost at the beginning and ignore all of the wine-related mispronunciations provided by the narrator.
I knew going in, based on other reviewers, that narration was a problem with this audio book. In listening to the sample, I didn't think the narrator's voice would grate, so off a-listening I went, knowing that most narrator's of wine books frequently mispronounce wine terms. Sadly, the reviews were all too right, only it wasn't merely mispronunciation of wine terms, it was both wine terminology and plain old english usage that he could not get straight. Or off cadence, and even substituting words on several occasions ('substantial winemaking' instead of 'sustainable winemaking' as one of too many examples). I even thought at several points that he sounded 'under the influence' while performing the reading. Unfortunately, the many mistakes made by the narrator got old towards the end of the book. Maybe he got tired of reading it.
On a positive note, the story to me is interesting within an historical context - other reviewers have suggested the author is at times factually inaccurate, but this audiobook is so long, and the history of the Gallos subject to so much revisionist history of their own making, that who knows on that end! After 12+ hours I have a basic enough picture and am not going to go back to fact check.
I agree with the other reviewer that the mispronounciations which become more frequent towards the end of the book are extremely jarring. They almost make me want to find a hardcopy to see if there were misprints in the book.I actually liked the timbre of the narration, the voice sounds similar to Hal Linden in his "Barney Miller" era, whch made it worse somehow. Salami, is not pronounced Salome'
I was very keeen on learning the story and it doesn't disappoint there, I found it to be an exciting and dramatic saga. Maybe they should do a better job of prooflistening.
I have no idea if this book is awful or if it's just badly read.
Mispronunciations abound, the voice is irritating, and the pace is uneven.
I will search out who this reader is and NEVER buy another audio book read by him.
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