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  • Last Rituals: A Novel of Suspense

  • Thora Gudmundsdottir, Book 1
  • By: Yrsa Sigurdardottir
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Wiley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 97

At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim's family isn't convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn't long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student's obsession with Iceland's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • looking forward to Book 2

  • By Dr. William J. Kass on 07-22-16

Excellent book ruined by extremely poor narration

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-05-16

Would you try another book from Yrsa Sigurdardottir and/or Elizabeth Wiley?

By the author yes; by the narrator, never

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narration had an oddly flippant quality that ruined the experience of the novel. The two central characters -- Thora, the attorney who is the lead character in the series, an the German man she meets through the case, are serious, intelligent, interesting characters who were utterly trivialized by the narrator's silly, affected voice. In addition, the narrator's use of a comic-opera German accent was just awful. It was very difficult to understand and sounded like something from a 1930's movie. I believe the narration did an enormous disservice to the novel and I cannot understand how the publisher agreed to release it.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book itself is very good. It's an interesting picture of life in Iceland for a single professional woman and mother. It has a plausible romantic subplot and the mystery itself is absorbing. The translation is good too -- flows well. it is just unlistenable.

Any additional comments?

I simply don't get how such an awful narration was approved and published.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Thin Man

  • By: Dashiell Hammett
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 552
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 444
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 448

The Thin Man introduces Nick and Nora Charles, New York's coolest crime-solving couple. Nick retired from detecting after his wife inherited a tidy sum, but six years later a pretty blonde spies him at a speakeasy and asks for his help finding her father, an eccentric inventor who was once Nick's client. Nick can no more resist the case than a morning cocktail or a good fight, and soon he and Nora are caught in a complicated web of confused identities.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • RECORDING IS DEFECTIVE! MISSING SEVEN CHAPTERS!

  • By David on 01-08-13

Bad performance ruins classic

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-29-14

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

To the rnarrator Put some thought into what kind of impression you want to give of the first-person narrator before you start talking. the narrator uses elegant language; don't sound like a careless slob.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful