I wasn't sure to start with whether I was going to enjoy this audiobook but a few hours in and I was hooked. Rupert Degas deserves so much praise for the narration of the book, he truly is one of the best narrators I have listened to- his ability to switch between a number of characters and the variety of accents is unbelievable. He really understands the characters and has made this series of books for me the most enjoyable part of my day - I spend 3 hrs in the car each day so this is a welcome distraction.
Fantastic writing as well, I'm about to finish the second book and am looking forward to the next installment.
If you loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for it's magic and excellent narration then you will love this even more.
Let me start by saying that I loved The Passage, the audio version was splendid, great characters, exciting narrative and brilliant writing. I have been looking forward to listening to The Twelve since I finished The Passage 2.5yrs ago, I downloaded it the day it came out. Boy was I in for a sugar crash.
Same great narration by Scott Brick and some great sections of writing but the book has been written so self consiously in the knowledge that it will be translated to the big screen it started to become annoying. There is character cliche after character cliche and no end of bad one liners. The narrative really didn't flow and I started to switch off and really not care what happened to the characters i had loved so much in The Passage. Such a shame that money and hype have some how taken away the soul of what this trilogy could have been.
"Not quite Middlesex but..."
I loved both Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides, and The Marriage Plot doesn't disappoint- however it isn't quite the intricate saga that Middlesex was.
Madelaine is about to graduate from Uni having studied English Lit and Language, in particular the novels of the 19th century which more often than not centre around the courting, love triangles and eventual marriage of their protagonists. She loses herself in a relationship with the 'wrong' guy who she idolises due to his incredible mind but who also unfortunately suffers from severe depression and mental illness. She in turn rejects the advances of the possibly 'right' guy, Mitchell, who indeed also has his problems and so unfolds a story of a modern love triangle. The book looks human psychology, the naivety and meaning of love, the search for spiritual enlightenment (is there such thing as an unselfish act?) and the stages and effects of mental illness.
I loved this book because it reminded me of my state of mind whilst at university and during my first proper relationship. I also loved the insight into each character, not one of them flawless or indeed even very likable but all three vulnerable and very real. It reminded me very much of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, just really great American Literature which has something to say about society in a very quiet and therefore genuine way.
And because a Audiobook is only as good as it's narrator, I would also have to comment that David Pittu was excellent and made a great book worth listening to.
What makes this audiobook is the fantastic narration by Jonathan Keeble, he really understands the characters and made the book come alive. It isn't the best thriller I've ever read but I enjoyed it and looked forward to listening to it on the way to work.
"Without doubt one of the best..."
I kept putting off listening to this wonderful book, I wasn't sure if it was going to be a bit dry- boy was I wrong! This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to alongside Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel and Under The Dome, what connects all these audiobooks is the strong narration and excellent character development by the authors. Pillars is one of those books where you can see, feel and smell the era and people. You really get to know each character so well, you cheer on the heroes and boo the villians- I was very sad when it was over. It is long but that is what makes it so great, value for credit and I have listened to some real duffs recently so was crying out for a good listen. John Lee is a great narrator and I can't wait to listen to him again reading World Without End. My new favorite author- Ken Follet and my new favorite narrator John Lee!
"My first but not last Stephen King"
I loved this audiobook, what totally made it was the excellent narration- probably one of the best narrated audiobooks I have listened to and couldn't have come too soon as have listened to some pretty rubbish narrators recently.
It's a great novel and my first Stephen King, great characters and there are a lot of them but all are really well developed. The story is out there but actually it feels really believable, I agree with some reviewers about the ending but to be honest that didn't take away from how great the entire novel is.
I was really looking forward to listening to this as a number of people had recommended and I had heard some great things on the radio 4 book club. However I was really disappointed, the narrator didn't bring the characters alive at all, she was very one dimensional and her voice was actually pretty annoying. The story was interesting but I'm afraid I totally switched off due to the lack of commitment from the narrator. Just goes to show how important the narrator's job is when creating an audiobook, great books often fall flat if you get the wrong person reading them.
"Awful writing highlighted by narration"
I couldn't finish it, which is very unlike me, I normally stick with it until the bitter end. Many reviewers have mentioned how bad the narrator is but I actually think that she didn't have much to work with because the terrible writing is only highlighted when read out loud. Granted I think the accents were awful and incredibly annoying but the story and writing was, in my opinion, worse. A couple of friends, whose recommendations on books are normally spot on really enjoyed this which is why I gave it a go, I can only assume that it is one of those failures as an audiobook and possibly easier to swallow as a traditional read.
"This is not buffy"
I really enjoyed listening to The Passage, and yes you should believe the hype. I'm not the biggest fan of this kind of literature, I think the vampire theme in a lot of novels is wearing a little thin, however what saves this book is the awesome writing. Although this is Justin Cronin's first bestseller, from what I have read he has been a writer for some time and this really shows in this novel. The character's are really interesting and his descriptions of their surroundings are well carved out which really does make it a page turner. His writing actually reminds me a lot of Stephen King. In all my reviews I feel it important to mention the narrator as I think this can make or break an audiobook- the narrators in The Passage are excellent, it is a long book and the main narrator doesn't lose pace once, he also has a really great tone to his voice, hard to describe but perfect for this kind of novel.
Certainly worth a listen if you appreciate good writing, good narration and a good old fashioned zombie theme!
Enjoyable but not mind blowing. I really enjoyed the first few chapters but the plot got a bit silly towards the end. Interesting take on crime fiction, however it felt as though the author was writing in the hope that his book would be turned into a film though which I find a little annoying. On a positive note, the narrator was pretty good to be fair and I think this improved the listening experience. Worth a listen if you have a spare credit but there is better crime fiction out there.
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