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(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1996; Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett, 1988; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby
I've now read or listened to six Terry Pratchett novels, which makes me quite a novice I know! I found Wyrd Sisters to be an amusing story but not one of the best. The most important thing to know about this audio book recording is that Celia Imrie's narration is very flat and uninteresting. I was excited to see that she was the narrator for this book because I love her as an actress in Kingdom, Doctor Who, Marple, Poirot, and so on, but there's something about the way she reads that makes it very difficult to listen to the book and almost puts you to sleep. Her reading isn't very expressive and feels monotonous; it also sounds a little too "soft" and muffled on every device I used to play it, as though the sound weren't engineered quite right. I would recommend that people buy and listen to Hogfather instead, which I thought was a much more interesting story and a better-read and better-produced audio recording.
I love Terry Pratchett, (though I will confess to having gotten spoiled by starting with "The Wee Free Men" and nothing I have heard since, has been as funny as the feegles are.) Still, I am working my way through all the Disc World books and trying to listen to them in some sort of order. I recently finished the Death books and started on the Witch books. I enjoyed "Equal Rites" very much - including the way Celia Imrie read it.
I also enjoyed "Wyrd Sisters", so I would recommend it, but, I do have to say, while I generally like the way Ms. Imrie reads, I really, and I mean really, hated some of the voices in this book. I never quite accepted Nanny Ogg as being such a shakey old woman voice and one of the characters talked with a stuffed up nose - very annoying. I imagine it is hard to come up with distintive voices for each character and I like the way Ms. Imrie reads men's voices better than many women readers, but I am thinking of moving on to the Wizard books for awhile rather than continue with the witches.
Other negative reviews of Celia Imrie's unperceptive and trite performance of 'Wyrd Sisters' have covered the ground pretty well. I completely agree that this is a wretched performance, and ache and pine for a version by either Nigel Planer or Steven Briggs (or anyone of comparable perception and talent).
A gross disservice to one of the seminal and best of the DiscWorld series. I beg and plead for a performance of this book which approaches the standard of, for instance, Hogfather.
And if one is forthcoming, I submit that Audible owes us a quick download, as I am going to delete Celia Imrie's effort as a waste of time and money.
Anyone familiar with Nigel Planar's enchanting reading of this series will howl in agony as soon as this book starts to play. Listen to a sample before purchasing. I wish I had!
I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. However, after meeting Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg in the Tiffany Aching novels, it's difficult to hear someone read them as weak, whining, old women.
Steven Briggs knows these women are strong and vibrant (if old), and reads them that way. I wish Celia Imrie had done the same.
I have 8 other Disc World books and I am A big fan. This being said I am VERY DISAPOINTED! The Narator butchered this book beyond my point of listening. She will speak real softly forcing you to turn the volume up then do a messed up voice at 2-3 times the volume blowing up your speakers. Her charecter voices are pittiful at best. This is the first and hopefully the last time I have not finished a book.
As with "Equal Rites," Isis Audio made the tragic mistake of having someone other than Nigel Planer read this book. Celia Imrie's reading style is twee and she cannot even pronounce the character's names correctly. Read this one on your own and then listen to "Witches Abroad" (read by Mr. Planer, thank gods).
The narration of this audio book is more appropriate to a serious novel like Angela's Ashes than quirky humor of a Pratchett book. It's the only Pratchett audio book I have ever turned off, even though I've read the book itself 3 times. She has a pleasant and clear voice, and is skilled at reading characters. Her only flaw is that she utterly misses the style of the novel. Her rendition drains the novel of humor in an utterly fatal manner. After about 5 minutes listening to her I wanted to slash my wrists. Don't waste your money on this narrator reading comedy.
Ms. Imrie has a very fine voice indeed, but it is just not variable enough to present the characters in this tale. Her male characters are too similar, and, there is no other way to say it, she screeches.
Nigel Planer makes a cameo appearance as Death, badly recorded, in this audiobook. He should have dramatised the whole thing.
Avoid This Narrator! With this month's subscription I purchased both Wyrd Sisters and Equal Ritesm which are both narrated by Celie Imrie. They are terrible! What happened to Nigel Planer for these books? I'm not sure if there are other versions narrated by Planer, or Stephen Briggs, but I'd look for them before buying this version. The narration puts the listener in the mind of a mother reading her child to sleep, which is exactly the effect obtained! By contrast, the Briggs/Planer narrations keep the listener actively interested in the story. In short, run away! Run away!
OK so I'm a Pratchett Fan, but Wyrd Sisters is for me one of the best of the earlier Discworld books and well worth a listen. The more Shakespeare you know the more references you will find, and its a great introduction to the Witches, who feature in a number of other books after this. Much of the joy stems from Pratchett's use of language - I have long used the opening to Wyrd Sisters as an example of why I like Discworld, with its description of a storm over the Ramtop Mountains that combines evocative description and plenty of humour.
I'm more used to Nigel Planer as the reader of Discworld books, and was keen to see what Celia Imrie was like. Once I'd got over the fact that she wasn't Planer, I found that she was actually not bad at all: her voice for Granny Weatherwax hits the spot, and she really brings something extra to Nanny Ogg, with a voice that hints at the character's rather colourful outlook on life. If there is a criticism to be made, it's that she occasionally seems to lack a bit of 'ooomph' - it's too much like her voice is caressing your ears when sometimes a little more harshness may be appropriate; the opening section is a good example, some of the descriptive stuff would benefit from being a little less soft in my opinion. Perhaps wisely therefore she doesn't do a voice for Death: however, the use of the recorded inserts for Death mean that the sections (only a couple admittedly) when he is present don't quite flow as they might do. As a result, I'm giving this four stars rather than five - but it's still a good reading of a favourite book.
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