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Publisher's Summary

After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting - egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis's declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos. Vicar Clytahn of the Church of God at harvest time, King Cayleb of Charis, his queen Sharleyan, and Merlin Arthawes will have their hands full trying to stave off wholesale starvation in Siddermark while at the same time shipping in enough land combat units to fend off the "volunteers" from the Church's Temple Lands. And while Vicar Clyntahn is hailed in the Church for his boldness and audacity, there are those who remember how dependent Church power is on money from Siddermark...and who wonder what will happen if Siddermark starves.

Bursting with vivid invention and the sweep of lived history, Midst Toil and Tribulation will build its series' audience to a new level.

©2012 David Weber (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    641
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    50
  • 1 Stars
    24

Performance

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
    185
  • 2 Stars
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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    23
  • 1 Stars
    8
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  • John
  • United States
  • 09-27-12

Worthwhile Story Poorly Narrated

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Toil and Tribulation is a worthwhile continuation of the Safehold saga. Some surprises are included in the story, and there is much of the industrial, military, diplomatic, and theological complexity for which this series has become known. At times, though, complexity gives way to tedium. Hence four stars and not five. The story is worth listening to.

What did you like best about this story?

The breadth and depth of military history and tactics that are presented. I recognize this is an acquired taste, however, and so this tale may not be for everyone.

What didn’t you like about Kevin T. Collins’s performance?

The narration is carelessly done. Pronunciations from previous volumes and their narrations are nearly unrecognizable. There is no attempt at using English and other accents to distinguish various ethnic groups as done so well in previous volumes. Worst of all, even English words such as adjutant are badly mispronounced. If the producers of the next volume can't do better than this, I'll just buy the book and be donewith it. Please bring back Oliver Wyman or Jason Culp.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No movie could be made long enough to do the Safehold series any justice.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sigh. But I keep reading...

Like most of the Safehold books (and, in fact, like pretty much everything David Weber writes these days), this is an excellent 500 page book hiding inside a 1000 pages of blather. (or, since this is the audio version, it's an excellent 14 hour book that you need to listen to 28 hours to find.) We do have lots of blowing things up, but also way too much of Merlin wringing his hands and flagellating himself, while there isn't nearly enough development of some of the other characters. But like so many others, I seem to be addicted enough to keep reading.

The narrator for this book, Kevin T. Collins, is the 4th narrator in the 6 books to this point. And, sadly, I'd have to say it isn't one of his better efforts. It's not _bad_, but way too "dramatic" when it shouldn't be. But at least the pacing is, mostly, pretty good.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Unforgivably Poor Narrator Preparation!!!

After 3 chapters I am giving up. The narrator and the Audible editor have either never listened to the pronunciations from all the previous books in the series... Or were just pathetically lazy!

Almost every name and place is mispronounced. In an audio book series this is a mortal sin.

I will read the book instead.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • Stephens City, VA, United States
  • 03-04-14

Narrator needs to pull it back about ten notches.

What did you like best about Midst Toil and Tribulation? What did you like least?

Fantastic series.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Nevermind he can't pronounce anything correctly. He just can't stop pushing so much drama into every. Single. Word.
People making fun of hardcore Shakespearean actors don't cheese this hard.

Was Midst Toil and Tribulation worth the listening time?

I couldn't finish it. The narrator made it too cringe-worthy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jane
  • Akron, OH, United States
  • 02-04-14

Worst. Reader. Ever.

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

The story was fine and I am enjoying the series. This reader, however, sounded like Judy Garland on speed in the Wizard of Oz. Breathless! Concerned! Earnest! Excited! Intense! And emotions without congruity to the situation.

What other book might you compare Midst Toil and Tribulation to and why?

I got a volunteer reading from a southern library by 4 different readers of Methuselah's Children. This was minimally better.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He read it out loud and some idiot recorded it.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance at the reader.

Any additional comments?

Playing this through the Audible android app at 1.25 x speed helped. It was the only way I got through it. DELIGHTED to see the first reader return for book 7. I will always look for this reader and avoid him in the future. He had done 210 books and I cannot for the life of me imagine why.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good book in the series, horrible narrator

Would you listen to Midst Toil and Tribulation again? Why?

No, the narrator was terrible. Why would you switch narrators so far into the series?

Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin T. Collins’s performances?

Absolutely not.

Any additional comments?

If Collins is the narrator for the next book I'll be going to the library and getting the hard copy and not getting the audiobook!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Re-record this novel with a different narrator!

What did you like best about Midst Toil and Tribulation? What did you like least?

Continuation of a good story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Changed the pronuciation of virtually every character & place name from previous series narrators. Narrator reads EVERY LINE with same breathy, exaggerated damatization. Struggled through 3 chapters, unable to listen for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Will finish READING novel.

Any additional comments?

Won't purchase anything with this narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Love the series, HATE the narration!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. I couldn't stand the narration and wish I had actually listened to the preview before I wasted a credit on this book.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator could have listened, even briefly, to the previous books in the series to learn how places and names were pronounced. A more measured pace to his speaking would have helped greatly, he sounds extremely wound up.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste a credit on this audiobook, just buy it in print or ebook format and read it instead - I think even a text-to-speech app would sound better!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Overly dramatic much?!!!

What disappointed you about Midst Toil and Tribulation?

The narrator. Was his copy given to him in all capital letters? I know he is a man but everything was so dramatic it felt like a hormonal teenager telling the story. The only thing it lacked was the foot stomping and door slamming.It is bad enough to have the accents of the characters change from book to book but could someone please make sure the names of characters and countries are pronounced the same?

How could the performance have been better?

Have someone else read it. Heck, hire Rosanne Barr.

Any additional comments?

I like David Webber's books overall. I just wish he would move the plot along a bit faster.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 08-13-13

Religious War

I am not sure about this series. I read it and say no more then I find myself wondering what happens next and download the next book in the series. I am hooked on Weber's Honor series but this series can not compare to that one. I hate it when a series keeps changing narrators. My message to the publishers and author is hire one narrator for the whole series. If the narrator can not commit hire a different one. In this series Oliver Wyman narrator the first two books. Jason Culp the next two, then Charles Keating and now Kevin T. Collins. The main plots of the story and its' characters are interesting but Weber seem to go into long description trying to build a world rushing into the industrial revolution and a religious war. Merlin Athawes has a bout of survival guilt and bout of conscious doubt about killing people. Did Weber forget he is a machine? The book ends but what happened to the war in the Republic of Siddermark? Lots of question --is it coming up in the next book, if so, do I want to read it? Guess time will tell, if I again wonder and reach for the next book in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 07-30-13

No Toil or Tribulation in this listen

I have really enjoyed this series. A pleasant easy going SciFi Fantasy epic going no where in particular, but still very enjoyable and so easy to listen to. I saw one comment from someone else about the poor narration - but I thought it was pretty easy on the ears myself. This is just such good quality escapism and I always look forward to the next one in the series coming along. I am amazed how prolific DW is, but I am not complaining. I am watching for the next one from DW.

  • Overall
  • Andrew Carr
  • 12-11-12

a genuine toil

I have loved this series until the last book, the change of narrator then spoilt the experience for me the change in the way names were pronounced etc was annoying but the sorry still held me. Now a new book yet another narrator and this time, dam is the writing annoying, Mr Weber has aways made his good guys too good and bad guys far too bad. At least until just before they change sides then they become the new better than good guys. i can live with that, but do we really need the tedious droning on about how good and just the emperor and empress are, it seems every time they are bought back into the story some one has to pontificate for half of the chapter about how good they are how fair they are and just how much in love they are, its taking up so much of the book i find myself shouting at my iPod ( or i suppose Mr Weber ) YES I KNOW THEY ARE THIS IS BOOK 6 YOU HAVE TOLD ME ALREADY PLEASE GET ON WITH IT



In my opinion the few months in the stories history this book covers could have been covered in the 1st 2 chapters of a much tighter more exiting book, one that actually moved the plot along, what worries me the most is that if this is the new rate in which the story is moving along I along with the rest of Mr Webers readership will be long dead before the final book is finished.



As for the narrator Mr Collins, I have to agree with a lot of the other comments his style is to over dramatise every sentence hasn't made this book any more bearable.



A Tip: if your taking over the narration of a book listen to the past narrators you don't need to copy his accents or style after all we are all used to a new actor taking over a roll in a film, but please get the way names are pronounced consistent. when you read a book yourself it doesn't matter to much if the way i say a name isn't the same as everyone else does, but when being read to its important that this part is consistent

  • Overall
  • Mr. R. Chvapil
  • 10-13-12

Bad narration

Kevin T Collins sounds as if he is about to burst into tears every moment. In the beginning I thought it might be just him describing the horrible details of religious fighting but his tone never changes after that . Really disappointed.

  • Overall
  • Steve
  • 10-11-12

The title sums up the readers' experience!

As already said - if you've read this far then you know what you are in for and presumably you are willing to forgive the style of the writing (and narration) because the actual premise and story is intriguing.



This is turning into something of a trial for the fan - and believe me when I say you HAVE to be a fan to come this far. But what you get from this saga is a smashing 'what if?' senario with a lot of historical drama and invention thrown in. It is something of a history of military technological development through the 16th century onwards and how - given the ability - 'you' might influence that development if you had the power...



Of course the power is in the hands of the writer, but none the less it's fascinating to speculate on which military innovation will be introduced next as the Charisian Empire attempts to overcome the powerful Church of God Awaiting.



The writing is full of idiosyncrasies - dialogue that is completely out of place given the periods concerned, annoying characters that just get away of the narrative and a unreasonable obsession with sailing ship terminology. Luckily these books are long enough to soak up the amount of skipping forward you will be doing...



In the end you feel you are doing some of the copy editing that someone at the publishers should have done in the first place!



...And yet, in the end once you are hooked you are really hooked and willing to overlook the obvious flaws in these books.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful