Keep chilled: listen to another Ghost Hunter Mystery.
©2007 Victoria Laurie; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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"How A Narrator Can Ruin A Story 101"
I fully realize that I run the risk of receiving "Unhelpful" votes from those who loved this book/series, so here goes. I purchased this book when it was on sale. If I had paid more, or used a credit to buy it, I would be seriously disappointed right now. I finished the book only because something inside me made me do it. I bought it mainly because it seemed a little different from much current paranormal lit. I had just finished "Nice Girls Don't Live Forever" and admittedly I was going through a bit of withdrawal; however, it is grossly unfair of me to compare this book to anything written by Molly Harper and performed by Amanda Ronconi; a more talented author/narrator team you will not find!
After finishing the book, I'm still uncertain whether or not this might be a good book to actually _read_, but I think more than likely it would not. The storyline was, as I said, a bit different than other books I've read; however, included in it are tons of cliches and phrases that the English language is better off without like "all that and a bag of chips". MJ, the main character regularly refers to herself as a "ghostbuster". Puh-lease. And I quickly grew tired of Stephen's colorful use of English, frequently confusing similar-sounding words and being constantly corrected by MJ or Gilly. The author exaggerated that caricature to death.
I can describe Eileen Stevens' "performance" in one word: inconsistent. At times her reading sounded quite good, but at other times it became halting, as if she was momentarily distracted or perhaps hadn't read that particular passage prior to recording. She would pause in unusual places and put the emphasis on the wrong words in a sentence. And I cringed at her mispronunciation of words like mischievous, pronouncing it "mis-CHEEV-i-ous (ugh!). The story is told in the first person so I had no doubt that M.J., the main character, was speaking when she used the words "I said". But her portrayal of Gilley, M.J.'s business partner who is gay, was SO stereotypical. She made him sound like a very unpleasant drag queen, while not differentiating his voice at all in tone from that of M.J. And while I realize that M.J.'s love-interest, Dr. Steven Sable's way of speaking is _supposed_ to be an odd mix of Latino and European, I found the strange-sounding accent Ms. Stevens used for him, and her monotone delivery of his lines, to be down right unpleasant. I very nearly stopped listening because of this, but soldiered on hoping that I'd get used to it. I didn't. Also annoying was the parrot. There should have been a tad more post-production mixing because that "voice" always came through my earbuds far too loudly.
In conclusion, the sound of a narrator's voice, the way he/she delivers dialog, the tone and inflection that he/she gives to the characters, should all be considered when purchasing an audiobook. Always listen to the sample because a bad narrator can ruin a great story! The problem is, I have no idea if this even could have been a great story. But the fact that I constantly kept checking to see how much time was left should have been telling.
"This was a hard listen."
I think it is hard to hear a woman perform a man's voice (and vice versa) when that man is the main character. It would be worth it to have a man read also.
In this instance I think it would be a better read than a listen. The narator was whiney and I think her best character was the voice she used for the parrot. The other three main characters didn't come off believable for me.
As mentioned above, I think her best character was the bird's voice.
Not really. I think I would have preferred to read this book.
Doubtful. The author has previously made some public, distasteful comments, that make me want to stay away from more of her books. I read this because I had already bought it.
Well, several things. It's a pet peeve of mine when a reader mispronounces words, especially constantly. My second biggest pet peeve is when a reader uses an incorrect accent for a character. A very heavy monotone Latin accent does not jive for a character that says he grew up in Germany. Very Annoying. And this may be harsh, but in my opinion, if you can't tell the difference, then don't be a reader.
Another issue that made me cringe is less important for the general population, but was nerve-racking to me, at least. I can't be too mad when a reader, someone who's career is essentially acting, stumbles over terminology related to another career field. But since I belong to that field, I end up gritting my teeth when readers struggle over Computer/IT/Computer Science talk. And since the main character's best friend,cousin, and roommate is an M.I.T. C.S. grad, it was brought up often. I mean, just take a quick course on the topic, or ask when you run into a term you're not sure how to say. Otherwise, the ignorance takes away from the actual story.
Gilly, Steven, the parrot. So pretty much all of the supporting cast. All they did was manipulate and push M.J. around. It was more than frustrating.
I know I picked on the reader over the computer talk, but really the blame should be shared with the author too. Who clearly was only vaguely familiar with the topic. Or who makes her German bred medical doctor struggle over every....single.....sentence...he has in the entire book. (Germans, like many Europeans are actually taught multiple languages -including English. Americans aren't for the most part. It was mildly insulting that the handsome awesome doctor makes very easy mistakes, especially in medical terms.)
First example - 'His cholesterol was elevator.'
Overall, it was just bad writing. M.J. has no back bone, everyone that she cares about takes advantage of her left and right or pushes her into things she clearly has no interest in. And the guy we are supposed to fall in love with, can barely speak of a word of English and has the ego of Charlie Sheen. My final thought? Ew.
"Good book, boring narrator"
The book was interesting, the narration pathetic, nearly rendering the novel un-listenable.
"Really tried to like it...."
Every other sentence included some sort of idiomatic phrase, either delivered correctly by the main female lead or incorrectly by the male lead at which time she would correct him. This was "cute" for the first hour but after that it became EXTREMELY tedious. I had hoped the book would be similar to the Molly Harper series but I was so turned off by the writing style I could hardly force myself to finish the book - and the parrot - what purpose did that serve other than the annoying voice. I have read hundreds of audible books and this is the first one I truly wish I had not purchased.
This was an enjoyable listen. The story was fun and fairly quick paced.
The main character does the stereotypical insane jealous female bit. It's suppose to be funny, and it is a little, but I find that sort of thing annoying. It's not too badly overdone so not a big detraction. It's used as a device to create conflict in the romantic sub-plot.
The murder of slang by a supporting character is adorable at first, but starts getting old. It never gets to the point of annoying, more just to the point of not as funny as it was.
The other supporting characters are quite enjoyable throughout. Gilly is absolutely adorable.
There are other bits that stand out as the physics or timeline being a bit questionable. Nothing glaring, and I found these bits to be easily overlooked. The predictable, unexpected, and 'expected but do not occur' events are balanced nicely.
I consider the time spent with this book time well spent. I didn't feel it was a "wow" book, but it was fun. It doesn't merit an immediate re-listen but I wouldn't rule out a re-listen in the future.
Overall, I would recommend this book. I plan on picking up more in the series.
"Made a very long day pass pleasantly"
A routine car service appointment ran into seven hours, but thanks to this book on my iPod, I found myself frequently laughing out loud and got five inches of knitting done while waiting. I love the way Stephen murders English phrases. A great way to pass the time and I just started listening to the next one in the series.
"Just a touch predictable"
I seldom listen to audio books more than once. I doubt that I would do so with this book. I might read or listen to more titles in the series.
This book wasn't written to be moving. It was written for entertainment purposes only. And there is nothing wrong with some simple escapism.
"It grabbed me as I continued reading....."
I had a bit of trouble at first getting into the story and the characters and feeling connected to them. I kept listening, and I think I was just needing to get familiar with all of the players. I did enjoy the character development and by the end was feeling enthused about getting into the next book in line.
I read a lot of very long, detail oriented stories, ie, the Outlander series, Game of Thrones, etc. I like to have a few series going that are not so involved and are fun and I can slip in quickly between the other type. This will definately be there for me along with Janet Evonavich's books and I also have loved "The Cat Who...." series of mystery books.
"A lot of potential for a good series!"
I enjoyed the characters and story line. I will order the next in the series. I think the reader was judged very harshly. The reader may not be the best but she did a decent job. I almost did not buy this one because of the reviews on the reader. Glad I purchased it.
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