One winter's morning, Lorimer Black - young, good-looking but with a somewhat troubled expression - goes to keep a perfectly routine business appointment and finds a hanged man. A bad start to the day by any standards and an ominous portent. Sure enough, Lorimer's life is turned upside down and inside out in ways he could never have foreseen...An unabridged reading by Simon Shepherd.
©1998 William Boyd (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
I enjoyed this novely enormously and thought that Simon Shepherd's reading was excellent. I understand a previous reviewer's comments on the breathy quality of the reading but did not find it at all off-putting and felt it was perfectly suited to the dialogue. A very intelligent and enjoyable read.
William Boyd is a great story teller and this book takes you into the complex and often humorous world of a cast of three dimensional and believable characters. It's one of those books that you're really sorry when you get to the end.
"A gripping novel well read"
A gripping and enigmatic novel, excellently read. I'm mystified by another reviewer's criticism of the reading as breathless
"Great story - shame about the narration."
William Boyd has never diasappointed me; Armadillo is as rich and beautifully worded as all the other novels of his that I have read. However, this is one book I should have reserved for reading rather than downloading in audio. Simon Shepherd's breathless narration - what was wrong with the guy, had he just arrived at the studio after a cross-country sprint? - irritated and confounded me. There were times when his sharp intake of breath occurred after every three or four words, leaving me as exhausted and breathless as the narrator sounded. It ruined the mood of a lot of the scenes and, had not the storyline been so engrossing, I would have given up listening long before the second chapter. Not entirely a waste of one of my credits, I am convinced that Armadillo is worth buying in good old-fashioned book format, but I shall be wary of further novels narrated by Mr Shepherd. Sorry, Simon, it's nothing personal. I'm sure you're a lovely guy.
"another thought-provoking read of earlier Boyd"
Boyd's most recent books have all been different sorts of pure thrillers - Restless and Ordinary Thunderstorms for example. Since listening to them I've gone back to his earlier works. I found Brazzaville Beach a less 'fun' read but it asked harder questions for and of the reader. Similarly Armadillo was less of a page-turner but still a great listen. The main character Lorimer is extremely well sketched, with insights into his complex behaviour and history shared as the story in the present day is spun. Excellent narration augments a potent package.
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