©1983 by Ellis Peters; (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"Each addition to the series is a joy. Long may the Chronicles continue." (USA Today)
This recording of the story is very old fashioned. The reader is a woman, an odd selection for a story about a monastery i.e. all men, she puts on funny woman doing man voices for each character. I didn't get to the story, the reading was too distracting. Not worth the credit.
I love the Brother Cadfael series, and the story here is wonderful. The problem here is the narration. The sound quality is awfully muffled, and why did they have a woman narrate a tale about monks, for heaven's sake! 95% of the characters are men! The narrator is constantly trying to emulate the sound of men's voices (far too much) rather than just reading the story. I hope other Brother Cadfael tales are different.
Much of the enjoyment of listening to The Devil's Novice is compromised because of poor narration. Technically, it often sounds like the narrator has a blanket over her mouth. Artistically, she sounds like a little kid trying to sound like Daddy when she attempts to portray a male character. And why use a female voice to read a novel that is primarily a cast of Benedictine monks, anyway?
The story, though, is pure Cadfael and well worth listening to.
I bought this book despite other poor reviews of the narration because I enjoy the stories of Brother Cadfael and this was the only version available on Audible. I nearly returned it because the narration was so annoying. Why use a female for a book largely about male characters? In order to make the characters sound masculine the raises her voice, which leads to very uneven volume throughout the book between the narrative and the spoken sections. This was particularly annoying when listening in the car as it was hard to hear some parts. It was a pity she couldn't use a Welsh accent for Brother Cadfael. Please Audible, make versions of these books available in Australia with a male narrator. Those that are available by Stephen Thorne are excellent.
"The Devil's Novice"
The prospect of listening to another of this series was eagerly anticipated. However after enjoying the previous books narrated by a differnt reader I found this a dissapointment the narator was unable to convey for me the period, tension and excitement that makes these book come alive
I will be more careful in future when selecting narators
"Poor obvious story"
Story plot was evident very early on and it was also obvious that the family dynamics would change (I'm trying not to reveal anything)
Reader was dreadful, kept changing pronunciations and into nations so that it jerked along. The readings by Derek Jacobi are In comparison superb and I think him lazy.
Bought all available Cadfaels for a long journey, as they are reliably entertaining, but found the ones by this narrator unlistenable. She emphasises and pronounces crazily...eg. she says it "sonORous"... and gives all male characters ridiculous Winnie the Pooh voices... I had to return all three by her...
"The world of Britain long ago comes alive."
Loved this story! People from the past are revealed as folk we can care about and identify with. The characters were so real that I could not wait for the story to unfold. Beautifully read!
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