©2005 Conn Iggulden; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I'm a big fan of Conn Iggulden, but this is the second series of his (Genghis Khan is the other) that I've abandoned after a narrator change. Paul Blake may be a great narrator, but the lack of consistency between books 1-2 and 3 (and apparently 4) is unbelievably jarring. Blake, when reading dialogue, is bearable; his overracting during text is unreal.
At this point, probably not.
The series itself is wonderful, and the first two books were performed very well. I'll just be going paperback for the last two.
The frustration at such appalling narration.
Its been done.
I REALLY enjoyed the first two volumes of this series, narrated by the excellent Robert Glenister. Eagerly, I purchased volume 3, despite some minor concerns about the change of narrator. Quickly it became apparent that I should have listened more carefully to my intuition. I was prepared for the changes in character voices; how could it be otherwise? But it got worse.Blake is enragingly frustrating in his insistence to mispronounce accepted character names. Servilia becomes "Sir Whillia"; Pompey becomes "Pompeii"; Cato becomes "Carto"; Octavian, "Octarwhian" and Catiline becomes "Carterline and then, within the space of a single paragraph, "Carterleenie". Its astounding that Blake has not yet (I haven't managed to get to the end of the story) found bizarre and previously unheard pronunciations of Caesar and Brutus.Here's advice for future consumers who have the choice: listen to and love the first two volumes of this excellent series - thereafter, buy the books.
Yes, the story is good
I HATED the narrator's performance. He has an annoying habit of mispronouncing certain of the character's names; for instance, Octavian becomes Oc-tay-wee-un, Servililia becomes Ser-will-ee-ah, Cicero becomes Kickero. At first I thought he had a lisp until I noticed he could pronounce the V in victory. By his logic, Caesar sould have been pronounced Keeser but he did not pronounce it that way. What gives? It was very jarring and even in the last few minutes of the book I was still fuming at each mispronounciation, wondering why the producer did not correct this in the beginning.
I'm not sure what all the caterwauling is about Paul Blake as narrator. He's a great actor and his pronunciation, while it may be difficult for some listeners, is technically correct since he pronounces Vs like Ws and Cs like Ks. I agree that a publisher switching from one narrator to another is a bad idea in a series like this. Nonetheless, Paul Blake is very capable and brings these fun, if not historically accurate, tales to life. A 5 star read (listen) all around.
There is absolutely nothing more infuriating that switching narrators in the middle of a series. Especially a switch to one as bad as Paul Blake. Overact much?
I cannot recommend this series often enough!! Conn iggelston is one of my favorite authors. He makes history come alive. You are there. It is a great read!!
History comes alive.
Julius. And everyone.
If I had the time, yes. I did listen for hours at a time.
Read Iggelston's series on the Kahn's also.
Top 15 of 85
Paul Blake was weak. Not the guy I would have had do this. However, Conn's story saves the day.
This was a first listen for us with narrator, Paul Blake. We're enjoying him very much. He's different from Robert Glenister (narrator of the first two books in this series) but just as good. It is rather annoying when changes are made in a middle of a series. But if, as in this case, the story is worthwhile, (and Conn Iggulden is always terrific) than getting to know a new narrator is part of the fun.
Within the first 15 minutes of this audiobook I am struck with how annoying the reader is and again baffled as to why authors would allow different narrators to work on the same book series. It breaks the continuity and the effects are worse when the replacement narrator is so much worse. What seemed like an interesting and even noble story of Julius Caesar has become, with the change of narrators a tale of pompous Roman ridiculousness like reading Flashman at the Charge and taking it seriously. The story will barely survive the narrator change for books 2 & 3.
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