Anne McCaffrey suggests The White Dragon should be heard before Dragonquest.
©1993 Anne McCaffrey; (P)1993 Dove Audio, Inc.
I've been a member for a very short time, and thusfar, I've generally been very impressed with both the selection (esp. sci-fi/fan!) and the quality of the recordings. Unfortunately, I've also been remiss in giving feedback - until some member reviews gave me some very useful info about something I was considering purchasing: I appreciated the help so I thought I'd return the favor. To that end:
I'm a huge McCaffrey fan, and I love the traditional book, 'The White Dragon'. Unfortunately, this audio version was a disaster with a capital 'D'. Firstly, it was abridged, truncated, whatever: chunks were missing, and any McCaffrey fan won't appreciate that. Secondly, the narrator was pretty lousy - a female narrator was used for a story that is largely told in the first person point of view of a young male protagonist, and hadn't the gift for such a feat. (Yes, I've heard some very able readers who do extremely well in representing both genders.) She made the character of Jaxom (who matures from being a rather young child to being a young man during the course of the book) sound whiny, which is about as far removed from his character and personality as one can get. Thirdly, and worst: the production value was *HORRIBLE*!!! It just sounded scratchy, and amateurish - sibilants were harsh and drawn-out - I regret to say the whole thing was just a mess. I don't believe this audio recording was in any way reflective of the usual high standard that Audible maintains. I certainly plan to keep acquiring audio stuff here - but in conscience, I can't say anything to anyone considering this recording but, 'don't waste your time'!
**Note: Anyone looking for a well-done McCaffrey audiobook should seek out the dramatization of, 'Nerilka's Story'. Like most dramatizations, it is abridged, but the 'characters' do an excellent job, and the production value is good.
I've loved these books since I was a kid (30 years ago) and have read them all at least 20 times over the years but the audio versions of all the Pern books are probably the most lackluster things I've ever heard... If I only heard the audio version I would never pick up the actual books and would have missed out on some of the most enjoyable reading of my life. Perhaps if the readings were complete or the narrator read with some enthusiasm they would have been better accepted but as it stands I wouldn't recommend them as some of your better material.
I believe that Dragonquest and Dragonflight go before the White Dragon. In fact, if you want to get the best chronology, it is best to read Dragonquest, Dragonflight, Dragonsong, Dragonsinger then The White Dragon. I highly recommend all of the Pern books. If you haven't read them they will provide many hours of enjoyment. I haven't heard the audibles, but have read all of the series over and over.
I loved the story, but would like it to be in a better format (IE. Format: 4). The sound quality is so much crisper and easier to hear. I have noticed they have the unabrided version of this book which I will get because it is the whole book and not edited like this one is. I like the unabridged versions better, but at the time they did not have it when I got it. I like the narrator Adrienne Barbeau who is not on the unabridged version. What a shame it is a good book to listen too.
I would not recommend this audio book. I love the Pern series and have enjoyed this book in the past. Even though I've read it, I had difficulty following the story because there were big gaps in it. It says it's abridged but it's more like large portions are missing and many are quite important to the story. The sound quality is poor but it is advertised. The reader is not great as she doesn't portray Jaxom well. He sounds like a small child at times even though he's a young man. It was not the worst audio book I've heard but it wasn't worth the six or so dollars I spent on it.
Please do not buy this audio book - you will be very disappointed.
1. The audio quality is very, very poor. The worst I have ever heard from this site and I got the best that is available and played it on an iPhone.
2. The production is rushed - the speaker flies through the text such that you might miss much of the content. Pauses between scenes? Non-existant. You'll wonder want is going on because the dialog suddenly seems completely out of context when all that was required was a simple 2-3 second pause.
3. Ms. Barbeau should never read another book aloud. Her performance is geared towards 1st graders, is condescending, and does no justice to this series. Her characterizations are appalling. The rendering of Jaxom and all young characters, is infantile and does not communicate the maturity of the culture. Litol sounds like a witch-hag from a Disney cartoon or the wicked witch of the west. Just dreadful.
The customer reviews are obviously based on the value of the written work as this performance has no value whatsoever.
When I downloaded this version of The White Dragon, I didn't realize it was abridged. Still I wanted to listen to it since the unabridged version seemed to be unavailable. The experience was disappointing. In addition to sounding muffled, Barbeau reads way to fast and she sounds like she has a frog in her throat in some passages. There are snapping sounds here and there that are obvious recording equipment glitches. This recording was utterly botched.
The Pern books are great, but I would prefer to have them in unabridged. You miss a great deal with abridged books in a series like this.
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