©2004 Michael Dibdin (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I've listened to this book 5 or 6 times over the past decade, and the intricacies of the plot, the variety of characters, and the descriptions of Sicily and Malta fascinate me each time. Michael Kitchen's reading is superb, his voice creating wildly differing personalities with an achingly intimate understanding of each character. Yes, it is a police detective story, but Dibdin and Kitchen transcend the genre. I highly recommend this audiobook.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
This story seems to leave Zen and follow other characters. You get the feeling that Zen is a support character. Little stories are threaded into this story and are fascinating in themselves. Then everything turns on a dime. Zen is back in the centre of the story, and what is happening can only happen to him with his luck. This story ties up nicely with a great cliff hanger. Not my favourite of his books but close to the top of the list.
Pity the next three books are not on Audible:
1. And Then You Die
3. Back to Bologna
I'll have to go 'old school' and turn pages to find out what happens to our intrepid hero.
Michael Dibdin has really developed a great story line and his writing has really become a dream to listen to. Michael Kitchen is superb in his narration and I can't wait to get on with the next instalment of an Aurelia Zen Myster 'And Then You Die'.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
Forget the promises and deals made to Zen in 'A long Finish', Zen is in Sicily.
As the old families are being broken up, new groups are emerging. Far from being a promoted member of the elite, Zen finds himself caught up with both the police and Mafia all too ready to want him very dead.
Yet again I found the internet a great resource to pull up maps of Sicily and existing railway tracks and find images of towns and cities. And yet again I had 'itchy feet'.
Well read by Michael Kitchen, Dibdin's novel has mant a story within a story. A great listen.
Sadly the complete series is not available to Australians on Audible, due no doubt to strangely odd and unusual thinking of publishers and, out of date (19th Century) views on copyright.
It was too gruesome and gory. There were images which are, sadly, seared into my memory that I would sooner forget.
I've read several others in the series, and have loved Zen. Here he seems flat. Though to be honest, I stopped listening after the description of particularly brutal Mafia hit.
revulsion and anguish
"Comedy, tragedy and acute observation"
This Michael Dibdin masterpiece is beautifully rendered by Michael Kitchen's precise and understated performance. The vicious thuggery of the of the Mafia clans and the interested parties of the Italian state, are interwoven with the Wodehouse world of Zen's inner life and Michael Dibdin's painfully believable picture of; ineptitude, misogyny and corruption that sap the best efforts of the very few good people. Please let the, now sadly terminated, Aurelio Zen canon be completed in spoken word as a matter of urgency. In the meantime many thanks for this most diverting of recordings.
"Cold, tense and gripping"
I absolutely loved this recording. Michael Kitchen's reading is perfectly matched to the detached style of the book and the ending had me completely gripped. We need more readings please, three of the books is not enough.
I have enjoyed all the Aurelio Zen books, although I'm not sure about Michael Kitchen as a reader - may be because of the tv series.
Interesting to hear something about the way the Mafia has been changing in Sicily
"A reasonably good tale spoiled by uneven reading."
I had to miss out whole chunks of the recording as they were intolerably badly read. Kitchen's voice may be good for television acting, but is annoying as a narrator since its tendentious pauses are so ridiculously placed as to make one feel as though he has no understanding what he is reading.
Dibdin's writing is trying to give more than a thriller, but its grasp of Italian history is cursory and punctuates the story rather than illuminates it. The irrelevant passages of plot filler do not add to the depth of the story, only to the length of the book.
Kitchen ought not to narrate books. He is a reasonable television actor but listening to his idiosyncratic pacing for more than ten minutes make my toes curl.
Not really. And I would not read anything else narrated by Kitchen. He's nearly as bad as Scott Brick.
"Great story, great reader."
The excellent Michael Kitchen in his singular way brings this intelligent and exciting book to life. We absolutely loved it, it sustained us on long motorway journeys through France, and made us look forward to them! I hope there will be more of him reading these books (and others) he is terrific.
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