A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that makes for a thrilling listening experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets 16-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
©2011 Ransom Riggs (P)2011 Random House
“It's an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.” (Publishers Weekly)
"A haunting and out-of-the-ordinary read, debut author Ransom Rigg’s first-person narration is convincing and absorbing, and every detail he draws our eye to is deftly woven into an unforgettable whole.... Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a truly atmospheric novel with plot twists, turns, and surprises that will delight readers of any age." (Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011)
I really enjoyed the story and characters, and Jesse Bernstein does a fantastic job as the main character. Unfortunately his accents and voices for other characters were pretty terrible. Until the very end, when I was so absorbed by the story I didn't care, I dreaded every time Emma or Miss Peregrine needed to speak.
I like realistic books that stretch the truth and the laws of physics...and also emotionally resonant narration that doesn't suck.
Sure. Its a fantastical story with a realistic base. Just my thing.
The scene of the main character groping around in the dark in a strange, ancient, and beat up house full of ghosts, and experiencing a sense of being in between worlds, simultaneously with the pain of being a family member affected by the holocaust.
Frank Muller, any day of the week. Anyone but Bernstein really.
This narrator does not only make anyone with an accent sound like an idiot or a ghoul, but his reading also completely lacks proper timing and emphasis. Its like he doesn't know how human beings speak. If I had less of an imagination, he would have completely ruined the book for me. As far as the supposed cursing is concerned, its not an issue, unless you are a small child or very oversensitive. Cursing level is pretty every-day.
The writer seemed to want to add new twists and information where none was needed. The different time periods and plots were interesting by themselves but didn't fit well together and that created a very unbelievable group of characters and plot. Most of the characters were only developed on the surface and you quickly lost interest in what each was doing and contributing. I think that if the writer had expanded on pretty much everything it would have been successful but then it would have neared 500 pages. Next time, less is more.
Te reader didn't seem able to perform the many accents needed for the storyline. Most of the characters had labored dialogue and in all honesty it made me ready for the book to end so the dragging and awkward accents would end.
I'm a Sculptor of toothpicks.
Story was great but narrated by a guy who has no clue how to do a British accent and as I'm a Brit it was very difficult to listen to someone mangle the accent so badly. I wish the story had picked up faster in the beginning but it was difficult to stop once Jacob got to the island.
The story was very interesting and fairly well written. A bit slow at the start, but it does pick up after a short while. I greatly enjoyed listening to it...that is until it came time for Jesse Bernstein to speak with an accent. I could barely stand listening to it. The overall performance was not bad, but be prepared to cringe every time a character with an accent speaks!
I may be willing to Bernstein another chance, as long as I knew that no accents would be involved in the book.
I think this book does have potential to be a wonderful movie!
Overall, I really did enjoy this book. It kept my attention throughout, and always looked forward to listening to more. If it weren't for the terrible accents (which really distracted from the story), I would've rated this book a bit higher. Definitely worth the listen though!
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Enjoyed the secret world and surrounding characters were interesting and different; not your typical werewolf & vampire faire.
Tale well woven but sudden ending left characters & storyline not as neatly tied up as it could have been. The scary parts were a little ridiculous, but the details of the house and the story of Emma & the grandfather & main character were well done. The parents were unbelievable and too non-existent. I would have given them more depth or killed them off earlier.
British accents were bloody awful and geriatric. Couldn't enjoy connection between characters b/c I was wondering why Eliza Doolittle and her Father's cockney accents were blaring through my headphones.
Worth my time to listen. Good concept, but not carried to fruition. Not a fave, but enjoyed.
I wouldn't change much about the story. It's wonderfully engaging and full of great fantasy mixed with reality and lots of suspense.
The twist was good!
No. This book is set in Wales. While most of the people are Welsh, there are also Irish, English, and Scottish characters. Every single character that Mr. Bernstein portrayed that wasn't American sounded like some horrible Dick Van Dyke version of cockney or like Jason Statham after a stroke. The children's voices reminded me of the Artful Dodger if he was developmentally disabled. It was painful and it took a lot to try to ignore it.
It has one. That part annoyed me. It was blatently obvious at the end of this book that I was going to have to listen to the next one. I am currently doing so and thankfully the narrator is different.
"Terrible accents - don't waste your money"
What could have been an entertaining enough story (even if I was shouting at the stupid, illogical lead character decisions at times), was absolutely ruined by the narrator's unbelievably terrible attempts at Welsh / English accents. I cannot fathom why you would get an American to narrate a book, at least 50% of which includes dialogue by non-American characters, who has no aptitude for foreign accents and has clearly never even bothered to listen to a Welsh accent, never mind English accents. His appalling (and frankly insulting) attempts at accents completely distracted me from the story so much that I just couldn't get into it. And to top it off, as he was clearly having so much trouble doing the accents, all the characters spoke so slowly that they all seemed to have learning difficulties. His one attempt at an Irish accent (speaking as an Irish native myself) was equally pathetic. Do not waste your money on this terrible audiobook!!!
"COR BLIMEY G'VNOR!"
I would try another book by Ransom Riggs; indeed I'd quite like to finish this one, but Mr Bernstein's Welsh/British/Dick Van Dyke/Goodness, Gracious Me accent made me want to shove a sharpened screwdriver into my ear canal, so I have had to abandon it as my grimacing was scaring fellow tube passengers.
I guess that answers the second question?
Didn't get that far. None of the pseudo Welsh characters, suffice to say.
Didn't get that far.
For the love of God, if you have Welsh characters in a book, why not employ WELSH actors as voice artists? Ever heard of Rhod Gilbert? Ioan Gruffudd? Rob Brydon? Goldie fricking Lookin Chain?
My cat could do a better job than Jesse Bernstein and HE'S got a harelip. Just AWFUL.
I think I need to read the book - not listen to this version on Audible. The American character's narration is fine - until he comes to Wales when the other voices are a drawling, idiotic Mockney. It's so irritating. I can't listen to any more, even though the story is intriguing. What a shame. Very disappointed.
"Jesse Bernstein is an idiot"
Someone please send Jesse Bernstein to Wales immediately. His narration is embarrassing. Couldn't enjoy the story.
"Interesting book ruined by narrator"
What would have been a quite engrossing listen with a new twist on the alternate reality/gifted children YA genre is ruined by the narrator's appalling attempts at british accents. It is really destroying the book for me as I can't concentrate on the story when I'm busy wincing.
At the beginning of the book it is also stated that a .pdf with the photographs mentioned in the book comes with the download. It would have been great if Audible could make that available to those who have purchased the book.
If, unlike me, you are able to overlook the narrator's shortcomings then this should be an enjoyable listen. For the rest, I would suggest getting the paper edition as the book itself really is pretty good and probably quite engrossing.
"A great tale with some terrible accents."
Loved the story a mix equal parts fun, intrigue, the creeps and down right heart in your mouth scares. Shame however that Mr Bernstien has the worst set of UK accents I have ever heard. It's like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and Don Cheadle in Ocean 11 raised a family of many many many people with equally terrible accents. Everyone sounded like they had a bad cockney accent despite many supposedly being from Wales. When he really went to town the locals sounded more Scottish. The best way I found to get through it was reason that the book is told by Jacob the main character, he was American and so possibly if he was telling me the story in person he may have been bad at accents. As an Englishman I would have stopped him however 5 words in to his first attempt and told him to stop it. If you can get past it then great. I'll probably just buy the next two on my kindle.
"Terrible accent meant I couldn't finish the book"
I was enjoying the story and interested in it until they got to Wales. Unfortunately I had to stop listening to it shortly after that because I couldn't get past the accent. How on earth someone thought it would go unnoticed that the narrator is doing a worse cockney accent than Dick Van Dyke, for people who are supposed to be WELSH, is beyond me!!
It was great up to that point. I would have had no problem with the narrator had it stayed in America. He was doing fine up till the change of country.
Yes, if the accents were better.
Anyone who can do an American accent and a Welsh accent.
It's the first book I've stopped listening to.
If it was brought out again with an improved version, I'd buy it again because I was enjoying the story.
"Why would you release this audiobook?!"
Seriously?! The reader can't do any accents other than his own! It's massively distracting and hugely detrimental to the enjoyment of the story. All the characters other than Jacob sound the same, and they sound like deranged and brain damaged cockneys!
How difficult would it have been to audition for a voice actor who can actually do other voices like on all the other thousands of audiobooks?
"OK story; poor narrator; PDF of photos is missinig"
The story was fairly enjoyable. It was unusual, but I did find myself getting a bit bored in places. Mostly, though, I found it quite engaging. For fuller reviews of the story, see Amazon website.
However, the audiobook was narrated by an American man whose Welsh and English accents were so terrible it was actually pretty funny. Except that it spoilt the book because you just couldn't take it seriously or get into the story. It made it feel farcical all the time. It's a shame. I'm not some fussy pedantic Brit. I can put up with a lot. But this was beyond terrible. It sounded like Dick Van Dyke's accent had been put in a blender with various other strange accents that resembled nothing I've ever heard. There are some excellent voice actors that can do lots of different accents, and you can forgive a lot. I would have preferred just to have a bland English accent instead of this terrible attempt at Welsh or whatever it was he was trying to achieve. The story was strong enough for this not to put me off listening altogether. It's a pity about the awful accents, because the narrator read the prose nicely and at a good pace: slow enough and with feeling, not too slow or too fast.
The other thing is that and announcement at the beginning of the Audiobook states that it comes with a PDF file of the photos in the book. Well, the CD version may do, but the audiodownload doesn't. Although the photos aren't essential to your understanding of the story, but it would have been very nice to see them. They are part of the book and are what the author created the story from, so you miss something by not being able to look at them.
"Remember Dick Van Dyke's accent in Mary Poppins?"
This is WORSE. OMG the "British" accents are so poor I couldn't concentrate on the story. How did anyone audition this guy? What did the sound recordist say? SO BAD it would be funny if it hadn't cost me money.
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