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(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1995; Copyright © Terry Pratchett, 1987; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby
Ms. Imrie's reading of this excellent novel is more in the way of a bedtime story..for children of all ages. Listen cuddled up in the dark at night. Then Ms. Imrie's voice will carry you to the never, never.
Celia Imrie is a fine narrator, but she was never suited to Discworld material and I'm surprised they let her try it on twice.
This was the novel that made me quit reading Discworld books for years. Literal years, about five or six of them. I read the first two novels as fast as anything and then ran into this. Having now finished every other Discworld novel, this is the worst. It really seems that this was apparent to Pratchett too. Pretty much everything in this novel is sort of non-canon.
Other than the later appearance of a rather different Granny Weatherwax almost nothing in this novel is connected to any later works. If Esk hadn't made a little appearance in I Shall Wear Midnight, I'd swear this novel had been blotted from the history of the disc.
I didn't like this book the first time. I still don't like it. If there is any other discworld book you haven't already listened to, listen to it instead.
I'll be honest here - I didn't care for Celia Imrie's narration of Wyrd Sisters. However, she did a creditable job here. I agree with several other reviewers: this story NEEDS a female voice to tell it.
Dying, Wizard Drum Billet goes to the village of Bad Ass in search of a newborn eighth son of an eighth son. He intends to give his staff (and thus his power) to the infant. He doesn't realize until after he has placed his staff into the tiny hand that he has accidentally given Discworld it's first female wizard.
Granny Weatherwax tries to train young Eskarina as a witch, which doesn't work terribly well. So the two leave Bad Ass to find the Unseen University so that Esk can be trained as a wizard.
And, yes, the wizard's staff not only has a knob on the end, it has a mind of it's own...
In his usual masterly fashion, Sir Terry Pratchett skewers the concept of gender roles. Two thumbs up!
The characters were very 2 dimensional. I didn't connect with anyone unlike book 2.
Book 4. I liked book 2 so much I bought the next few in the series. I thought it would continue the story but this one fell flat.
She has a very nice voice, but not for this book. The subtle tongue in cheek moments are lost with her. It was very hard to get past the first 15 minutes as I felt like she was patting me on the head as she spoke.
There were times where I thought the story was about to get interesting, like when Granny is in the hole with the bear and the dwarfs show up, but that got tossed to the side by the writer to fast track a 'lead you by the nose' story.
A very anticlimactic ending to a very linear story line. I like the author and I'm buying all the stories in the series, but I would advise readers to put this one the very back of the listening list (you won't miss any key plot lines in the rest by doing so).
This is a classic Discworld tale, a fine example of Pratchett's excellent work, and a wonderful introduction to Granny Weatherwax.
Celia Imrie does a wonderful job in her narration, although her efforts and skills are hampered by the technical quality of the recording. Perhaps I needed to download the "enhanced" level of quality to avoid this, but the narration made abrupt transitions from loud with an audible background hiss to distant and hollow, to strangely booming and echoing, as if the narrator had suddenly entered a tunnel.
I loved reading all of the Discworld volumes, especially the witch books, and I look forward to listening to the others in the series. I have strong feelings about the quality of this recording, but on the whole I consider it a worthwhile purchase.
Both the author and the reader have cause to be proud. The producers of this recording should be ashamed of themselves, they have done these two highly skilled entertainers a great disservice by making apparently no effort to control recording quality. Pratchett's writing is so amusing and engaging and Imrie's vocal talents are so diverse that it's hard to imagine being distracted by mere technical hiccups... and yet it happened repeatedly. if Celia Imrie made this recording in her garage (and occasionally in a moving car, it would seem) with no other funding or technical assistance, then I could see the quality as forgivable. If any kind of production team existed, they failed to do their jobs. I hope to discover that this is not endemic to the Discworld Audible series.
I'm a geek with people skills. Strange, I know, but true!
I've discovered my tendency to get attached to specific readers, so I was only partly surprised when my initial reaction to Celia Imrie's reading of Equal Rites was irritation. I had become accustomed to Nigel Planer's voice when immersing myself in the Discworld, but as the aural pages turned I realized the propriety of having a woman read this volume. The protagonists are women, after all, and somehow I don't think that Nigel would have personified Granny Weatherwax as well as he manages Rincewind, et al.
As always, Terry Pratchett has me laughing out loud so often that people around me look at me strangely (or is it only that they think I'm strange enough to warrant more attention than a deranged ant..? Whatever...). And it seems that after a bit, Celia warmed up to the material and got a better grasp of the characters.
By the time I was done with the book I felt the all-too-familiar sadness of moving on and leaving behind a narrator who had become a pleasant part of my routine.
I am familiar with Ms. Imrie's work as an actor and thought her voice would be a great fit for this book. Unfortunately, I was incorrect.
I'm not sure if Ms. Imrie was misled as to the audience for the work or she always reads aloud as if telling a story to a group of slightly concussed four-year-old children who may have been in their parents' liquor cabinet. I was unable to bear it for more than ten minutes and will never listen to it again.
If you want to hear a bombastic, plummy, condescending rendition of this book I can heartily recommend this recording. If, however, you wanted to enjoy the book for itself then this is not the audiobook for you.
It's a pity, because this is one of my favorite Pratchett books.
Granny weatherwax wonderful
Getting to meet Granny Weatherwax was a treat.
Quite often I wanted to tear off my headphones and forget this book altogether. Her too sweet tone and slow fairy tale take on this book drove me crazy at times. Speaking for the protagonist she was great, but she couldn't meet the standard tone of a Pratchett novel and I would not want to hear her again for his books. She is talented but this is not her genre.
I was determined after reading negative reviews of this narrator that I would not have such a blind one-sided take on her work, but after being patient for the first hour of reading I found I had the same opinion of many other readers. Her angle of entry on Pratchett just doesn't work well. Her sometimes dreamy voiced reading doesn't suit the sarcastic, and edgy discworld.
good story and good narration. Something technical was wrong as the volume kept changing. Will get the next book.
This story is great,however, the white noise in the background is distracting and very annoying. Read the books if you can get them in the States rather than waste a credit on terrible audio quality!
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