©1993 Clare Francis; (P)1994 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"Plenty of action, and more than enough murderous surprises." (The Independent)
"The plot has as many twists as a nautical knot." (The Daily Mail)
No question, the book is a masterpiece. When Ellen's wealthy, wheeling-dealing husband disappears and his yacht is found submerged, the trouble begins. Then her husband's body is found in the boat ..... I'll quit there, because to say much more would spoil some elements of the story. This is a tale that unfolds like a rose, petal by petal, and as each drops off, something new is revealed underneath, a new and different account of what actually happened -- it's a totally amazing, really well written book, with classical elements of Poe and Kafka melded in.
That being the case, under normal circumstances, I'd say this is a book that's impossible to stop listening to -- except that's not what happens. In fact, depending on how you listen, you'll find yourself stopping listening roughly every second minute. Why? Well, to start with, this is a first person narrative, and while there's no question in my mind that narrator Frances Tomelty deserves a heaping big A # One Academy Award for her astonishingly emotional performance, her narration is just not suitable for an audiobook. To dramatize the story, at times she speaks in a normal voice, then she speaks very loudly, then drops to the merest whisper, sometimes for minutes on end. So low is the whisper, that even turning the volume on my iPad up to the top, there were dramatic, inner-dialogue sequences I still couldn't hear. As a dramatic, theatrical production, it can't be beat. As an audiobook, it's impossible.
I learned very quickly that this wasn't a book I could listen to when I was out and about -- way too much noise. So I saved it for when I had a completely silent house -- and even that wasn't enough. You can play around with the volume control if you want, but you'll be fiddling with it several times a minute. Wasn't there a production editor on this thing? Didn't someone figure out that it wasn't going to be possible to actually hear the key parts of this book?
It's too bad, because this is a magnificent book. For all the grizzly ins and outs, there are some parts of this tale that every woman on earth will identify with. No one can remain untouched by some elements. If you can, find yourself a sound-proof booth and settle in for what will be a book you'll never forget -- just keep your finger on the volume control.
i enjoy clare francis' stories and i liked this one. lots of twists and turns. even though the "truth" was obvious halfway through, the character interaction was still interesting -- or would have been had the sound been better directed. the narrator was fine, but her voice kept alternating between normal and a whisper -- for dramatic effect and to differentiate between her speech to others & her internal dialog. but it left me blasting my ears or missing important comments & having to back up & replay. also, i felt the reading was a bit over emotional. i prefer when the reader lets the narrative speak for itself.
I tried, I rreeaalllyy tried, several times. Unfortunately, I had no success with this book. The author includes lots of superfluous information. The narrator would excel at bedtime stories or subliminal learning. I would catagorize this as fictional drama rather than mystery/suspense.
critic at large
Ellen's husband, Harry, goes for a sail in his yacht and never returns, presumed lost at sea. When the boat and body are recovered, more questions are raised than answered. You, as the reader, know Ellen is lying. But about what? What is already a great story is only enhanced by the superb reading of Frances Tomelty.
"Will this ever end?"
This would have to be one of the most tedious books I have ever listerned to. The story line was good - if a little preditable- but it just took so so so long to get there. The "heroine" was not believable and I felt like wringing her neck by the end of the story, the same could be said for the narrator but this could just have been because the book was so tedious.
"Poor. Did not enjoy this author"
I really couldn't get in to this story. Not my usual type of book, but I gave it go. Had to give up.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content