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(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1996; Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett, 1988; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby
It is funny how much I am used to Nigel Planer reading Discworld books. This one at first was a complete turn off. I got 1/3 the way and started over because I had no idea what was going on.
I decided to throw away any expectation and assume that this was an alternate universe of the disc world... and that did make a difference.
I had built much of my concept of the world from Nigel's reading, and the difference in reading barred me from my expectation :).
Now, accepting the differences in narration, and allowing it to be, I am finding the book quite enjoyable.
Bought this without listening to the sample assuming it would be the same as all the other Pratchett books; It isn't the narrator is terrible and hard to hear much less understand. I found myself continually turning up the stereo and jumping back to listen to bits again so i could hear what was being said. Its really a shame they used this narrator as the book is really quite good.
On an 8 hour car trip with my deaf/hard of hearing daughter, I popped the CD into the car stereo. My daughter, who had been reading her own SF book, sat up and started listening, then laughing. I agree, some of the timing was off - not how I'd read it, but it was good. When I relinquished the wheel, I expected my daughter to put in one of her music CD's. Instead, we listened until we stopped for lunch then resumed, stopping only to listen for traffic news.
One of my favorite books by Pratchett. Now which one is my next listen?
The narrator reads Pratchett like one would read Narnia or the Bible or other book that takes itself seriously, which is not the way one needs to read Pratchett: many lines meant to be ironic or irreverent are read with high-minded seriousness or worse: read earnestly (shudder!).
Character voices are cliched to the point of embarrassment: Nanny Og's has the creaky, wobbly, ancient voice like might be applied by an unimaginative new parent reading aloud the witch's part of Handsel and Gretel (ie: terrible!) Pauses are too long, the audio quality is fuzzy, and overall, it sounds like a recording made by an earnest fourth grader.
This audible book will mislead new Pratchett readers to believe there's nothing special about Pratchett's prose.
Pratchett fans will most likely react like I did: with righteous indignation and a refusal to tolerate the butchering with a yank of the headphones out of the ears.
I was so desperate for a Pratchett story I hadn't already listened to, I forgot to read the reviews. My bad. $35 down the drain.
Any Pratchett book narrated by either Stephen Briggs or Nigel Planer (you will usually prefer whomever you first start with, but both are excellent) is a better choice.
Listening to a book you've already listened to would be a better choice.
Loved the book. Hate the narrator. I can understand her fine, I listen to a lot of British humor, but by god her voice puts me to sleep. Like she is reading just a bit too slowly. My mind tended to drift off and I found it very difficult to keep listening.
The narration is so difficult to understand that I have given up on listening to this book. I've tried three times, but I just can't follow the story because of the narrator's accent and her screachy "voices" of some of the characters. I'm sure this is a good book (I've loved all the Terry Pratchett books I've read so far), but I sure can't tell from this audible book. If I sit and concentrate and do nothing else (I usually listen while driving) I can follow a bit better, but if I'm going to do that, I might as well just read the book - which is exactly what I intend to do.
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.
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'm a big Terry Prachett fan and this story is no exception. The narrator, however, leaves a bit to be desired. While narrating, she is passable. However, there are long pauses which have me checking my iPod to see if it has gone dead. It gives the reading a plodding quality that doesn't match the prose. She has little gift for characterization, some dialogue is hard to understand as she speaks as tho the character has a large jawbreaker in his/her mouth.
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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