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Atlas Shrugged

By: Ayn Rand
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 62 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12,521 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts?

In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? And why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies but against the woman he loves?

Tremendous in scope and breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus, an electrifying moral defense of capitalism and free enterprise which launched an ideological movement and gained millions of loyal fans around the world.

©1985 Eugene Winick, Paul Gitlin and Leonard Peikoff (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • Mount Macedon, Australia
  • 05-04-13

A long listen but worth the effort and patience

At 63 hours long, this is the definition of a marathon listening session, but I think it's worth it. Atlas Shrugged is a long story, which presents Ayn Rand's theory of objectivism through a number of speeches and discussions, but it also has a great fictional narrative that goes along side it. You may not like Rand's politics or philosophy, but at its heart this story has a great female lead character who fights to be successful and competent surrounded by idiots, fools and incompetents. So, give it a try, you might be surprised and enjoy it.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mica
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 03-24-09

Hurt version decidedly superior

While I appreciate many of Scott Brick's audiobooks, he misses the emotional impetus behind the characters and Ayn's incredible grasp of satire. Many of her characters are archetypes, and Hurt just plain understands how she intended them to come across. There are some issues with the audio quality(background noise, etc). This drawback is overwhelmed by the brilliance of his acting. He really brings the book to live. Brick on the otherhand comes across flat, misses the characters emotional states and motivations, and turns a great story less so. I have both versions, but if you only purchase one yourself, select the Hurt version. You will not regret it

381 of 425 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Stick with the Christopher Hurt version.

Belive me when I say stick with the Christopher Hurt version. I have listened to both. Scott Brick is said to be "THE NARRATOR" but he can't compair to Christopher Hurt.

The Hurt version isn't great sound quality. I did hear some background noise at parts. There is a part where is stops compleatly for a few seconds but stick it out. Hurt's version of Taggart alone is woth it.

Brick makes this book I belive 11 hours longer using the exact same words. Brick has 1 voice for each male and female character and his book is packed with many characters. I think brick trys to play some parts.

This is my favourite book. I read it every year. Belive me when I say stick with the Christopher Hurt version.

199 of 232 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Henrik
  • Herndon, VA, United States
  • 01-03-09

What an incredible audio book

If you want a real treat - download this unabridged recording.

I have been meaning to listen to Atlas Shrugged for years, but I have been put somewhat off by its length.

When I discovered that a new recording had been made with no other than THE narrator Scott Brick the case was settled.

Atlas Shrugged is a story that will stick with you and make you reflect on The World, your life and the future.

It is set in The US and describes what would happen if you took away the initiative of the individual and deprived all of the intellectuals of their rights.

While I understand why many people will find the story political, controversial and even disturbing - it cannot help you appreciate how lucky we are living in democracies.

Download this recording, listen to Scott's mellow voice for 62 hours and prepare yourself for utter joy.

Wow.

144 of 168 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-06-16

A true classic! 'Who is John Galt?'

Released in 1956, Atlas Shrugged has become an American classic. I first read in in 1962 as a college sophomore. There are two versions if the novel at Audible, one is narrated by Christopher Hurt and the other is narrated by Scott Brick. Brick is my favorite narrator, but I admit that Hurt does a slightly better job with Atlas Shrugged, but both are superb. I recommend the Kindle version over either Audible version because of John Galt's very, very long speech to the nation which is easier to understand by rereading parts. (The Audible bookmark feature is almost as useful.)

Atlas Shrugged is too long and complex to easily summarize. Dagny Taggart inherits a railroad and expands it into an empire despite her weak brother James. Hank Rearden invents and patents a new steel alloy (Rearden Metal) that threatens to put all of his competitors out of business, but politicians interfere and threaten his patent. Taggart used Reardon Metal to enhance her railroad construction in the Rocky Mountains. Taggart and Readen become lovers and join forces against the thuggery of the politicians. The ultimate hero is John Galt who years before abandoned society when his invention of a revolutionary motor that would have literally changed the world was threatened by politicians and government regulators.

Reading or listening to Atlas Shrugged requires a significant commitment of time. It is well worth it; indeed, it would be worth twice the commitment. Atlas Shrugged is a great novel.

38 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Luc
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 04-03-09

Amazing Audiobook ruined by poor casting.

There's very few things I can add to all that have been said about "Atlas Shrugged" that haven't been said before. Ayn Rand wrote a timeless masterpiece who put her name across the most influential writers of the english language. The story by itself is an Ode to the Human Mind and the best within us. This book change the lives of those who enter in contact with it and, most of the time, for the better.

The production of this audiobook is perfect. There's no background noise and the sound is as crisp as it could be. Only on the technical standpoint, the recording is as perfect as the state of the technology allows it to be.

So, why I gave it only 3 stars? Because of the casting of Mr. Brick. I have no quarrel with him. He's a talented artist who, I am sure, would give an outstanding reading of "Pride and Prejudice". He's, sadly, a poor choice for "Atlas Shrugged". His voice is unable to carry the certainty of John Galt, Dagny Taggart seems to be a moment away to sobbing, Francisco d'Anconia got a mundane voice while Jim Taggart sounds perfectly sane(!). This mostly ruined my enjoyment of this recording. "Atlas Shrugged" is a righteous book and his voice is too mellow to sound right.

In summary, may I suggest to those who really want to enjoy this story that they acquire the Christopher Hurt's rendition of it? The quality is less than stellar but the reading is perfect. In fact, I listened to the later right after I listened Mr. Brick's recording, just to forget the poor experience I lived.

107 of 128 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Harlan
  • St Louis, MO, USA
  • 11-11-09

Important work, some notes on narration

I'll assume that anyone considering this book is already aware of its significance, so I'll focus instead on this audio recording. The narrator, Scott Brick, is very talented. When listening to an audiobook, it is important that the reader uses inflection to impart life to the individual characters. He does a fantastic job of creating individuals who are recognizable by their voices. He does, however, have a tendency to speak quite slowly, and draw out some of the text in a painfully deliberate manner. To the point that several of the characters sound overly grave or even angry. You might notice that this recorded version is more than 10 hours longer than the unabridged version released in 2007. While I haven't listened to that version, I wonder whether that's because he speaks that much slower. I found that I was able to play this at 2X speed on my iPod and it was still perfectly clear. This ended my frustration of waiting for the words to come, with the added benefit of cutting the playback time in half.

45 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Listen to the Christopher Hurt version.

Where does Atlas Shrugged rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of my all time favortite books. I have read this book 3 times, but I never made it through the speech but once. I decided to listen, and originally bought this version during an Audible sale. After listening for a few hours, I could not listen to this narrator any longer and purchased the Christopher Hurt version. SO much better. I am sad to know that the book will end in the next couple of commutes.

44 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good with some caveats

I enjoyed this book a lot but there are some negatives that diminished my enjoyment of it.

The Good:
- I loved the protagonists (Dagny, Hank Rearden, Francisco). They were strong, intelligent characters and I was rooting for them right from the start
- the story was interesting. I was anxious to find out how it would all end and it was gripping
- the philosophical disadvantages of Socialism are well-presented

The Bad:
- it seems very exaggerated. I don't think the staunchest defenders of Socialism would identify with the "Incompetents' (my word for them) in this book
- the antagonists in this book (James Taggart, Wesley Mulch, etc.) seemed to be the same person. They are one-dimensional with no redeeming qualities
- it was very, very long. A few times I wanted to stop because it was so long but I really wanted to find out how it all turned out. John Galt's speech on the radio could have been cut down to 10% of its length with no loss of meaning or impact.

Overall a good, enjoyable story and I recommend it

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

great story...perhaps a bit long in the tooth

this is a truly entertaining story. one that many people in america would do well to hear considering our current political and economic situation.

i gave this 4, instead of 5, stars for two reasons:

most of the monologues in this book, and there are a handful, are almost suicidally long. the point is typically made within the first 5 or 10 minutes, but the listener is subjected to exhausting reiterations of the same idea. case in point is john galt's radio address clocking in at 3 hours of listening time. having said this, i loved francisco's diatribe about money being the root of all evil (or not, as the case may be) and that probably came in around 45 minutes or so.

the second reason i didn't give this 5 stars is that i felt the narrator portrayed dagney in an excessively weak and frail voice. i don't know if that was his best impression of a woman, but dagney deserved a more confident sounding voice. he did a great job with reardon and i found myself hating james taggert on multiple occasions because the whining tone of his voice was so grating.

overall, awesome book. would recommend to everyone, young and old.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan Michael Forrester
  • 12-25-12

John Galt would have liked it

A minor criticism first. The first track in this audio book is an introduction with spoilers, so you should skip it if you don't want the surprise to be spoiled. The narration is clear and well acted and the sound is good.



Atlas Shrugged is two books in one: a novel and a book of philosophy. As a novel, AS is very good. It has interesting characters that change over the course of the book in ways that seem reasonable given their worldview and the world they live in. The plot also makes sense and is very effective at presenting Rand's worldview.



Many people complain about AS. I think these complaints are largely due to them disagreeing with the philosophy without having any good arguments against it. Do characters speak more eloquently than most people do in real life? There isn't a novel worth reading where that isn't true. The characters sometimes give speeches when they have something to say that requires a speech. People disapprove of this stuff because they dislike the content of the speech, not because there is a speech. My suggestion about how to approach the book is this: every time you feel outraged ask yourself whether you have a logical argument against what Rand is saying. If you don't then you should be willing to admit that you might be wrong and keep going.



So, to conclude, this audiobook is a well-narrated presentation of a challenging and dramatic novel.

73 of 80 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 04-07-13

Has challenged me to rethink ideas

For a long time I was reluctant to start reading this book, as it is a very long book, but it has been a great "read" for many hours of driving. Yes, it is long, but it has kept me interested and curious for the next turn of events.



I knew it was a political/philosophical book and it has certainly provoked my thinking - more than I really like, as I normally do not see myself as such a radical liberal as promoted here. The "looters" seem so obvious wrong in this book, that it is scary how often we see and hear their ideas promoted in real life also now in 2013. Having travelled around the world, I see countries almost purely based on the model promoted by the "looters" here - and not surprisingly these countries seem on the brink of catastrophe.



Probably the most thought provoking book I have "read" in years.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 12-24-12

Well Worth the Effort

I was so pleased when I saw the unabridged version of Atlas Shrugged had been released on Audible. I tried to fight my way through the tiny font 1168 page paperback I bought a few years ago but I only have so much determination. This is what audiobooks were meant to be.



As many know this set in an America where socialism has gone bad. At times you do feel as though Rand is hitting you over the head with her message, but I suspected it was always going to be that way.



After a slow start Rand manages to keep my interest in the plot, although I have to admit that it's lovers of philosophy who will get the most out of this book.



Well read by Scott Brick; next up for me in the unabridged Fountainhead.



The longest book I have ever bought and definitely value for money.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GWFarrow
  • 12-02-14

Atlas Shrugged with indifference

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Value for money? Yep it's 63 hours long. Entertaining? Not in any real sense.

What could Ayn Rand have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Had Rand employed a judicious editor, introduced a sense of pace, or narrative thrust it might have been bearable. While I have no personal issue with didactic writing, labouring a point over interminable ages bears little fruit in terms of convincing or entertaining the reader.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favourite?

Character performance is superb throughout and his delivery is a real strength.

Could you see Atlas Shrugged being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Even God himself (deity of your choice) could not forge this into a film worthy of watching.

Any additional comments?

The book is notable not just for its length but also for containing the least appealing love affair in history.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Oliver
  • 04-07-13

A work of fiction, a work of philosophy.

I really can not describe how much this novel has affected me. The value this book presents is just unmatched by any other work of its kind. For me Atlas Shrugged feels like a classic that is actually a classic. Themes of the book weave together like nothing I have ever read. If you enjoy a good thought provoking book, Atlas Shrugged will change your life.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • michelle
  • 04-08-13

Atlas Shrugged

This is a fantastic eye opening read. It gives the reader a whole new view of the economy today even though it was written in the late 50s. I would recommend this audio especially for those who find reading a book of this size difficult. Definitely a must have!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-17-14

Atlas Shrugged - 30th Edition complete with extras

Would you listen to Atlas Shrugged again? Why?

A titan of a book, by any standards, would need to give it a while before revisiting, will be trying The Fountainhead though.

What did you like best about this story?

Narration perfectly executed by Scott Brick.

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favourite?

Brick's take on all the characters is excellent, but his Hank Rearden was the best.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Such a great book, narrated so well, with notes from the author etc thrown in for good measure.

Any additional comments?

One of the best purchases I've made on Audible.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Edward
  • 06-14-13

An Explanation of Our Current Folly.

Prophetic vision of our future written Sixty years ago. This is a gripping read that seems to explain today's headlines. Well read in the audible format. An excellent explanation of why ,"There is no free lunch."

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Derek
  • 06-26-16

Must read, for high tax payers despised by society

How much value do different people generate? How much do they deserve in return for generating it? How much right does society and the common good have to the success of those individuals? Why are the wealthy so often regarded as undeserving and disliked for being so? This book answers these questions with a brilliant narrative.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • LondonLass
  • 12-28-14

Surprisingly impressive book

What made the experience of listening to Atlas Shrugged the most enjoyable?

Scott Brick is a talented narrator with a fluent command of the different voices.

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

There are many characters in this book and Brick managed to make a different voice for every one of them.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me think.

Any additional comments?

There were holes in the plot and a lot of unanswerable questions. The Utopia which Rand describes is not workable. The Distopia she describes could not happen at that sort of pace in that way. However, later events -- typified in the collapse of Soviet society for example, or the rise of politicly correct language in Western countries -- which she could only predict at the time she wrote the novel, prove her to have been remarkably prescient and although her views seem extreme this book carries warnings we should heed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Carsten Primdal
  • 07-09-17

too much

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

not sure - it is exteremely long and could have been written much shorter and to the point. I do agree with the principles behind it though.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

That too much interference is damaging to the economy and individuals. But OMG the monologues are so insanely long. Who talk like that?? And the semi-erotic passages.... Did anyone say "Early version of 50 Shades"?

Did Scott Brick do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

yes

Was Atlas Shrugged worth the listening time?

half the time, but overall, even 30 hours to get the point across could be considered too long.

Any additional comments?

a book for those with plenty of time on their hands.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Miyazaki
  • 09-25-17

reevaluation

verry thought provoking, found myself rethinking my beliefs, and find that the view expressed are related to the many issues of today.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew L
  • 11-21-18

Hate/enjoyed this

So preachy. So, so, so preachy. Ayn Rand wanted to make industrialists into religious leaders and this story is the bible of that bizarre religion.
It had some interesting ideas, but could have been 1/10 the size and been better for it.
So preachy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Saranpaal
  • 11-15-18

Long but worth it

A long read but enjoyable with fantastic narration. Compelling exploration of political thought and ideas. Whilst built on idealised characters and stereotypes and hard to be taken as gospel, the story provides a great way u to. Understand Rynd's philosophy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • 10-29-18

must read story

I loved it must read book will chnage your mind on everything you know. a bit long but worth it must invest your time into your self if you want to be a better version

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-19-18

Must read

This is the one book I wish I read before my twenties. So many insights and truths weaved in an entertaining story that is relatable to people across generations

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Benjamin Lupton
  • 02-02-18

The narration was as phenomenal as the story

This really is the magnum opus of Rand. It takes the ideals introduced in fountainhead and tests them with more realistic circumstances, that spiral into tests to see which themes survive. The narration was captivating, I never wanted to put this book down, and never wanted it to end. You felt all the emotion of every character, every character had distinct voices and personalities, and even the females were feminine and divine. Just truly perfect. If they had oscars for audiobooks, Scott Brick should win it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Luke walsh
  • 07-18-19

Amazing story...

By far the best audio book i have listened to, an amazing story that is somewhat scary when you look at the xurrent state of the world

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • sophiek
  • 04-15-19

Longer than necessary

Way too long. Socialism capitalism and a revolution. That’s it. I can believe how long it is.
The narrator had three tones: female male and wining. I have listened to other books where even though the character is of same sex the listener can still differentiate the person.
Not a great audio book but maybe I am too fussy. Wouldn’t you if you were to listen to 8 parts of 8hours each?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alistair
  • 02-10-19

Top 5 Best Books of Modern times

This book is near perfection for the mind and soul.
There are lessons that we all should learn and understand, and there is a story that grips at you tight enough to make you pop.
It's brilliant!
We need a mind such as this in Western World' schools, today.