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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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a good book spoiled and Ive read the book a number of times. I dont think its just the narrator. It sounds like it has been recorded by one narrator and other narrators have added different character voices but with bad editing. There are too many silences in the narrative, it doesnt flow so you loose the story line. It makes listening hard work. Not at all the quality I would expect after listening to other Discworld audio books. I would not recommend this audio book until it has been re-recorded. Bring back Nigel Planner or Tony Robinson please.
"It just does snot work for me"
This must be one of the few Discworlds I have not listened to. In my head the voices are perfect from Planar and Briggs, even Robinson. Nanny Ogg does not sound right the way Celia Imrie voices them. Good story as ever but the voice characterisation jars.
"Great Book - not done justice by the narration"
Not sure whether Celia Imrie had read the book before narrating this - the voice of Nanny Ogg (meant to be a robust lady!) is a little querrulous, which is distracting when you have read her character traits in other books. Never mind - if you can get past that then this is a good listen.
Another great book A good book spoiled a little by in some instanses poor Sound Quality and story telling
"Excellent read let down by poor naration"
I tend to agree with the previous review (if not with quite the level of invective). The narration is wooden bordering on monotonous, especially when compared to that of Nigel Planer.
I am familiar with the television work of Celia Imrie and I admire it greatly. However, this is by no means her finest performance and my advice to fellow audible users is save yourself the money and buy something else (witches abroad is unabridged and a good old Pratchett romp too). Alternatively, if you don't mind abridged titles, this is read read by Nigel Planer with much more aplomb.
I have to agree with the other reviewers I'm afraid. This was my first Terry Pratchett download and the first download I've ever given up on. The narration is as previously stated wooden snd just doesnt bring the much loved characters to life. The witches books are my favourite Pratchett series and this is a real let down. I had to stop listening half way through part one. I have already downloaded Witches abroad and hope it is lots better.
"Dissapointing narration and sound quality"
Unfortunately I have to agree that Celia, whilst being a wonderful actress, isn't on par with Nigel Planer as a narrator of tp books. Secondly the sound quality of the recording is so poor I find myself straining to follow what is being said. All in all, not up to their usual standard.
"Wrong choice of narrator!"
I wish I'd have read the reviews before I made this purchase! However being a big Discworld fan I didn't even bother and unfortunately the previous complaints are certainly justified! I wouldn't say it's poorly narrated just the wrong choice of narrator for Pratchett! From being a kid listening to my Discworld cassettes, I've got used to a male narrator and listening to this book just didn't feel like I was listening to a Discword book. Obviously a very personal issue, however I'd have thought for anyone who's listened to a number of his audiobooks will feel the same. I really struggled to get into it!
"Excellent story, poor narration"
I didn't think it was possible to make Terry Pratchett sound boring but this narrator does. Such a shame.
"Shockingly poor narration"
I have have previously heard the abridged version of the Wyrd sisters, narrated by Tony Robinson and enjoyed it emensely, so the thought of having an extra 6 hours of story in the unabridged version was very tempting .I have watched and enjoyed Celia Imrie's performances on TV and in film, so thought that with the range of characters she has potrayed she would be able to handle Pratchett without any bother. I was wrong, and this purchase has been a waste of money. Celia Imrie is quite frankly the worst narrator i have heard. She had no comprehension of the rythmn of Pratchetts writing, or how to convey the humour- jokes that previously made me laugh out loud when narrated by Tony robinson, fell flat, and her voices for nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax were just creepy. Avoid like the plague, I got so sad about the shocking narration that i stopped 15 minutes in. the book itself is a five star book, it's great,and laugh out loud hillarious. I gave this narration 1 star because of Celia Imire.
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