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(P) ISIS Publishing Ltd, 1996; Copyright © Terry and Lyn Pratchett, 1988; Cover Illustration © Josh Kirby
I was a little worried after reading the other reviews here on Audible that found fault with the dramatization provided by the narrator and also one review that found fault with the audio quality itself. I am glad that I am a completist and gave it a try anyway. If you are familiar with the other witch-centric books narrated by Celia Imrie, you will not be surprised by the style of dramatization here. I found that it gave life to the book and greatly prefer this to a flat reading. The audio quality was just fine, too, with no static or background noises that I noticed. I am sad that some people might pass over listening to this book, based on the negative reviews here, since I think this is one of the best Discworld novels so far in the series in terms of plot and characters.
I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett audiobooks - I think I have almost all of them from Audible now. But to be honest, I couldn't even finish this one. Celie Imrie is a fine actor, but I don't think she understands that the Discworld books are supposed to be funny, lighthearted and a little absurdist, even when they're dealing with 'darker' themes. She reads this as though it's a highly serious, somber, and utterly without humour. I never thought I'd say this about a Discworld novel, but listening to this was kind of depressing.
A very original parody of Macbeth.
Steven Briggs without a doubt.
Celia Imrie's male characters all sound about ten years old. Some of her character's voices are hard to understand because she tries to change the characteristics of her voice instead of using different accents. Her style of reading is better suited to children's books.
While others found the dramatisation of the narrator a bit over the top, I enjoyed it immensely. I was disappointed the rest of the witches series has not been narrated by Celia Imrie. The voices and very hard to verbalise phrases and humour were nicely balanced.
As for the story - if you're a Pratchett fan, you will love it. If you're not, you probably will be once you've listened to this story.
I would vastly prefer an unabridged version of this book read by Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs.
As stated; a version read by Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs.
Mrs Imrie's voice does not agree with me at and actually ruined the listening experience for me. Although she really has a very nice voice I found her interpretation of most of the important characters ridiculous and irrating. One of my, normally favourite characters, Nanny Ogg now sounds like a stuttering, retarded drunk and the Duchess and Duke are sometimes very hard to understand. I am an avid TP fan and read (and re-read) all of his books. Also, I thoroughly enjoy listening to the audio versions of the books. They simply never tire. But this one, will remain on the shelf for a very long time, before I feel inclined to listen to it again. I would definitely buy an unabridged version read by Nigel or Stephen. Mrs Imrie's voice, I think, is better suited for a different kind of audiobook.
TP is the king, but other readers (Nigel) are disrespectful to the content and characters; turning them into bumbling idiots. TP writes in layers. Imrie innately understands this and does an excellent job.
The audio on this recording is variable, as with some of the other early Discworld books. Particularly volume is variable.
I don't really like some of the voices in Imrie's narration, perhaps in part because I am more used to the other narrators' interpretations of the other books. I like the idea of the female narrator, but she makes Nanny Ogg just sound silly, which is disappointing.
I felt bad for the narrator, I think she did an ok performance but the editing and sound quality issues was really distracting.
Perhaps it's because I've only read a couple of Discworld stories before, but I didn't see anything wrong with the narration. I really liked the characters and I really liked the character voices. The story was just what I was in the mood for - something light and funny but still cleverly written, fantastical and with a decent plot. Pratchett has a wonderful way of both satirizing witch stories and creating an engaging witch story at the same time. It's fantasy for those who love fantasy but have a sense of irony about it.
Terry Pratchett's homage to William Shakespeare. Telling the story from the viewpoint of the three witches. Hilariously.
"Impossible to understand the narrator"
Absolutely not, unless recorded with some other narrator. I will definitely not buy any book narrated by Celia Imrie (sorry).
Nigel Panner - excellent job with "Witches abroad" by the same author
I love Terry Pratchett's discworld series, especially the witches, but in this case, do yourself a favour and do not get this audiobook. while the story itself is marvelous, the performance is atrocious. The voices are irritating, while the whole narration is so slow it would be faster if you just ran to your nearest bookstore and bought the book. I had to force myself to finish listening to it. the audio quality isn't great either.
What I want to know, is who let this woman read the book???
"Great story ruined by narrator"
This was the first Terry Pratchett book I ever read and I have listened to many of them competently narrated. This was read badly that I abandoned, found the tatty old paperback copy and went back to reading it with my eyes instead of my ears. Who is "Guyther Og"? It is Gytha! What the unnecessary pauses breaking up the flow of a sentence? Why the horrible laughter and dreadful characterisation. Could you please get someone to record the story properly?
"Not just poor but annoying"
Listen this story is good. The person in charge of this should be sacked. It is woeful. What on earth made them think it was a good idea to slip in ridiculously badly acted voices with silly amounts of reverb and make the editing sound as if it was slotted in by some drunk work placement student? The very very worst Audible effort I have heard. Celia isn't great either. Her voices are really not suitable for the work and her croaking is difficult to hear what she is saying sometimes.
Last comment. What was on Pratchett's mind when he insisted on the extremely rude and deeply unpleasant warning about infringing his copyright at the start? It does not give a good impression of him at all. It was insulting and completely pointless. Disgraceful and very annoying. I've never heard any other author behave so appallingly towards someone who has just bought one of his works. I wish Audible had declined to have anything to do with them to be honest.
The author's insistence on a threatening tirade about copyright at the beginnning of the book. I wish Audible had told him to forget it.
"Ruined by the narrator"
I love this book and all the Discworld novels but I had to give up on this after 4 hours.
The narrator made this very hard to listen to and by the voices used showed that she had no understanding of the characters. Nanny should never sound as frail as in this recording. A waste of a credit.
The reader Celia Imrie has no idea what she's doing. there is no rhythm to the story and the characters are very poorly portrayed.
Annoyed at having wasted good money on an excellent book ruined by the reader
These books read by Celia Imrie need to be read by Stephen Briggs
"Good, but needs re-recoding; dreadful quality"
This is a fun story, with great comedy moments and interesting themes. Celia Imrie reads well, brings the characters to life and gives an engaging performance. However, like most of the early Terry Prachett titles on audio, the quality of the recording is truly dire. Surely it can and should be cleaned up, and if not should not be sold as a full price modern audiobook.
"The Play is the a Thing...."
If the truth is what you see ... And the truth is what you need... The that is true of the Truth . It is after all true.
"extremely poor sound quality"
I listen to audible to walk to and from work. The low sound quality meant I missed a lot of the dialogue.
Celia Imrie is an exceptional actress, but her voice just was not strong enough to be heard clearly.
This is one of my favourite Pratchett stories... When I could hear the dialogue, it was brought to life.
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