©1987 Jimcin Recordings
This is one of those life-changing books that has a profound impact on all who read it. On one level it is the story of a murder in which the murdered man's sons share varying degrees of complicity. However, it also has a deeper level. It portrays the spiritual drama of the characters moral struggles between faith, doubt, reason, and free will. Wonderful story, though not exactly light reading. Walter Covell is one of my favorite readers and he did his usual excellent job. Five stars.
I loved it! I have read this book a number of times and in different translation but it was great to listen to it while on the road.
I tried all three narrators available for the unabridged Brothers K. I hated them all to begin with, but Covell is the one that I was able to settle into. Davidson's condescension, though I tried my best to ignore it, was just too much. Woolf and Clovell are both underwhelming, and it takes more concentration to hang on, but between them, I like Covell. In general, I've found boring narrations to be less offending to the ear across a long listening than obnoxious ones that might be more dramatic. Listening to Covell is sometimes like hearing those computer-automated voice, but it can actually become endearing after a while. In any case, while his voice didn't do anything to enhance the reading, in the end he didn't detract from it. I've read the book before, and I found the sensation of hearing Covell's reading exactly the same, whereas Davidson's narration jarred the spell completely for me.
It's a shame there is not a reading of this novel as great as Guidall's masterful Crime and Punishment, but this performance still amounts to a wonderful experience.
If you want the story, there is a good movie. Russian novels are difficult at best and the only reason I even understand this is because I took a course on Dostoevsky in college. One of the main problems for non-Russians is the variety of names for a single person: there are formal names, semi-formal names, diminutives and short diminutives. The person who reads this book solves that problem because somehow he makes it clear who he is talking about. Overall, the reader is excellent.
This is the third time I've "read" the novel. Each time you notice something different, like with the appreciation of any timeless artwork. This time I noticed Kolya's interaction with the doctor at Ilusha's fbedside. Who cares about Fyodor? This is the real tragedy. Also, I noticed how boring the lawyer's speeches were at the end of the book and I wondered if Dostoevsky had noticed a market for courtroom dramas and was trying to drive up sales . . . ever the cynic.
I confess I have not finished yet, and suspect I may go to the print book.
The audio levels and recording setup seemed to change abruptly several times throughout this recording. So much so that I was not sure it was all the same narrator. The pacing and tone was also very monotonous and made it very hard not to zone out. That said, I previewed all the available versions and this seemed the least bad.
I suspect that the story would be much more compelling if I were able to sit down and read it on my own.
I actually wish that I could get a refund on this book. I'm halfway through the second part and am very unlikely to get through the whole thing.
A well done reading of a story worth hearing.
I'm not a huge fan of classic literature, but this story is still relevant and powerful, particularly if you know any sullen young "intellectual" men with chips on their shoulders, or happen to be one.
Love mystery books
The narration was great.
It is a classic story, many know the plot even before they listen, but still, the way the character development unfolds is masterful. Dostoevsky is genius as most of us recognize it.
Throughly loved it.
Mr Covell's pronunciation enabled me to either listen and follow along with a book simultaneously, or simply listen alone and still understand everything that was being said. Words were said clearly with no confusion or slurring of phrases. Very well done.
Well, Crime and Punishment comes to mind first due to the similar settings, vocabulary, and the fact that they're written by the same author. I enjoy this latter aspect because in C&P we know the killer and root for him being the main character, but in TBK we don't know him and have come to despise him by the time we figure out who the killer truly is.
If I had just read the book there would've been portions that would've been skimmed over quickly rather than meticulously studied thanks to the pace of Walter Covell's read. As I followed along with my book, I was able to read with more patience rather than storm through the book, forgetting lines only minutes after reading them.
I didn't laugh or cry, but I was amazed at the social attitudes that were prevalent in the historical times of the novel. This was shown immensely during the trial, and I was greatly amazed at the jury's judgement when all that was given by the prosecution was circumstantial evidence. But that's the way courts worked in those times, with just men hearing the story and making decisions - when judges could put forth their opinions and tell the jurors what is true and what is not.
Only a couple of times in the narration was a line or a phrase skipped over. This was no doubt due to the same phrases being in back-to-back lines (scribal phenomenon called homoeoteleuton) and the error (called periblepsis) of the omission of the end of the first line as the scribe or orator's eyes returned to the page.
Also, a little more emotion in the narrator's voice could always liven the story up a bit, but it is understood how taking on a frantic character's voice could lose verbal clarity which Mr Covell maintained very well throughout.
One of my favorite books; one of my least favorite audio books. I listen to audio books nearly every working day of my week. I know this book backwards & forwards, but about an hour into it, I found myself thinking about my grocery list or the airspeed velocity of a swallow. It was horrible. I could not handle the narration-- I would get lost in the dialogue knowing who spoke or if it was the narrator. If you want juicy (though Post-Revolutionary) Russian literature, try Bulgakov's, The Master & Margarita. Excellent narration, though British--but entertaining and allows you to keep track of the different characters during a dialogue. Or just read the hard-bound; it's one the world's best works of fiction.
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