©1983 The Cape Cod Scriveners Company; (P)1990 Recorded Books, LLC
Mind you, Ron Keith is a fine narrator - but he's so miscast as the American protagonist that Kingdom by the Sea is irretrievably sunk. Theroux's book is no mere travelogue; it's an outsider's wryly affectionate study of a foreign culture. The producers of the audio book completely miss the point: Imagine an American's observations on Brits and Britishness - voiced in the first person, but in a British accent. The result is ruinous confusion: an Englishman seems to be studying Englishmen and their oddly foreign ways. What's next for this producer? Casting Kate Hudson to narrate an autiobiography of Winston Churchill?
One has only to compare this book with Bill Bryson- who also writes travel books as an America Ex-pat. He has picked up a bit of a British accent, loves Britain, but sees the absurdities.
This narrator instead of fond irony sounds smug and deprecating.
I think I may get the book and try again-in general I have loved Paul Theroux,
Just plain grating, and it was really hard to synthesis the British voice with the american point of view,.
Still struggling to finish
Why ruin a good book ?
This is an intricate portrait of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, revealing much about the country and its people. The only drawback is that it's dated - set very much in the time he took the journey. I'd love to encourage him to retrace his steps to see what's changed and what hasn't - just as he did in "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" (retracing, as far as possible, his route in "The Great Railway Bazaar"). Both of those books, as well as his other maginifcent travelogues, are highly recommended.
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