©1999 Ian Rankin; (P)2001 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Using vocal nuances, Geoffrey Howard conveys the atmosphere of Rebus's Edinburgh, its slums and pubs, and their inhabitants. He also conveys the fine points of character in a well-paced and involving performance." (AudioFile)
"Not everyone will want to follow the crime novel where Rankin dares to take it, but for those who do, the journey will be unforgettable." (Booklist)
I had to stop listening to this book because the reader sounded like a news anchor rather than a storyteller. Clipped and monotonous in tone.
The narrator has the worst, most phoney Scots accent I have ever heard. He murdered the Scots language, mispronounced dozens of well-known placenames, and even tried a phoney US accent... ouch ! He pronounced Kirkcaldy as Kirk-cal-dee... painful to the ears. In no way does he do justice to Ian Rankin's writing.
Although an earlier book, this is a fantastic story with a lot going on. I was surprised not only that it was so good, but that it was even better than a lot of the more recent stories - especially compared to the reviews. Yes it is dark, but it has so much human reality and learning.
I love books!
An interesting listen, a different kind of listen. A Scottish author, a Scottish narrator, set in Scotland, it took some getting used to. But it's no different than a USA period or geographic piece. It was interesting listening to the Scottish accent, hear the differences in English accents, the pronunciations, vocabulary, etc. On top of it all, it was interesting story. By the end of it I wasn't even noticing the accents. John Rebus has his own character, dark and brooding, like a lot of other crime fighters. I'd like to go to the Oxford Bar sometime, in fact, I'd like to go to Scotland sometime. Living in the desert, listening to this book in the summer, makes Scotland seem like a nice place to visit. Maybe someday. And, I'll give Ian Rankin another shot at some point.
At first I didn’t know if I would care for Geoffrey Howard’s workmanlike, slightly flat narration but after a bit it fit right in with this bleak crime novel of pedophiles, class privileges and mid-life/career questions. If you find discussions of pedophiles distasteful you may want to skip this one—I used the fast forward quite a bit but finished the listen. The abridged might be a little better.
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