Somebody else reading it. He is overly dramatic and I can hear him licking his lips and swallowing, which is really distracting. The performance is to..Show More »o much, much like the typical over enthusiastic thespian.
Now that I'm familiar with the author/narrator's breathy style and heavy Scottish accent (having read the first mystery) I fully enjoyed this one. The..Show More » returning characters are continuing to develop and McLevy himself may be feeling the pangs of love. Who could imagine it! The author/narrator brings the period and characters to life with his vivid portrayal of late 19th century Scotland.
Recording is missing last eight chapter (10/20/16)
CAUTION: As of October 20th, Audible still had not repaired the file they've posted for this book. The available version ends at Chapter 35, while t..Show More »he book goes on another eight chapters. (We will know when the file is fixed by checking out its timing: the truncated version runs for 12 hours and 34 minutes. The full version will probably run to 13 hours and something.)
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE: As interesting and engaging are the plots and the characters in the McLevy series, David Ashton's narration will be the sticking point for listeners. Simply put, Ashton violates every rule that voice actors and radio talent are taught (I used to produce for public radio): Ashton "kisses" the microphone so there's a lot of mouth and breath noise; he sometimes reads at painfully slow pace - in part because he often indulges in what I call a "purple delivery." By this I mean his cadences become over-the-top (hammy and melodramatic), or under-the-bottom (he speaks so low and slow that many of his words become swallowed inside his guttural Scottish accent.) In short, this incredibly mannered performance ranges from the broadly exaggerated to the muddy and indecipherable. Listening to Ashton can be an extremely frustrating experience and will no doubt put off a lot of people
HOWEVER ... I must add that the very weirdness of Ashton's delivery stirred my curiosity and now that I've gotten used to it, I find it mesmerizing, moody, and entertaining. (His Scottish accent helps make the performance work: I doubt he could read like this with a normal British accent.) BUT I couldn't really listen to the performance until I sped up the audio playback by 15% (that is, what used to last 100 seconds now lasts 85 seconds.) At this speed, no part of Ashton's delivery sounds rushed (as it can at 20%). And so long as you have software that counteracts the "Donald-Duck" effect of sped-up tape, the pitch of Ashton's voice remains the same. All that changes is the duration of his interminable...dramatic...pauses and the length of those lingering caresses Ashton can give to his words. After applying this audio tweak, I've come to appreciate Ashton's eccentric performance and the way it evokes the quirky characters and the shadowy, fog-laden atmosphere of late 19th century Edinburgh.
McLevy reveals a bit more of himself in each episode. The use of well known personalities to set off the plot is nicely done and has led more than onc..Show More »e to further research. I know some listeners have problems with the narration, they take me back to radio dramas of my childhood and I love it.