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  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance

  • The Amelia Peabody Series, Book 10
  • By: Elizabeth Peters
  • Narrated by: Samantha Eggar
  • Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

The prospects for the 1907 archaeological season in Egypt seem fairly dull to Amelia Peabody. Her adored husband, Professor Radcliff Emerson, has been ignominiously demoted to examining only the most boring tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but they are determined to make the most of a bad situation. This year, however, the legendary land of the pharaohs will yield more than priceless artifacts, for the desert guards even deeper mysteries that are wrapped in greed - and sealed in murder.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as good as Barbara Rosenblatt!

  • By julie a warren on 21-10-09

Horrendous. Read the book instead.

1 out of 5 stars
1 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book has a horrendous narrator who mis-pronounced all sorts of words. This performance doesn't compare in the slightest to the excellent readings by Barbara Rosenblat of the rest of the series.

If the narrator wasn't irritating enough, the editor who abridged the book presumably used the dartboard methodology for deciding which sections to cut. The story veers wildly from one scene to the next and with absolutely no warning. Only half way through a scene do you realise that this is not Ramses talking to David, but Mrs Emerson talking to the professor. It's so bad it's almost funny. Are we in the back streets of Cairo, at the dig, dining at Shepherds or on a boat? Who knows?! It's all the "fun" you can expect should you misguidedly buy this terrible audio book. Is this Nefret's personal thoughts, Mrs Emerson's letter to Enid, or someone speaking? Perhaps you could turn it into a drinking game with friends. Guess the speakers and setting and check in the paperback to confirm! Some sections are punctuated by bizarre harp twanging. The music is wildly out of place with the book, but at least you realise the scene is over.

Don't hope to follow the plot. Luckily I'd read the book but my poor husband had no idea what was going on some of the time. Why has a book so rich in detail and sub-plot been so mangled in being abriged?

Would you be willing to try another book from Elizabeth Peters? Why or why not?

Seriously, pick *any* other Elizabeth Peters book. I have a whole library of the Barbara Rosenblat audiobooks and all the paperbooks too. They are brilliant fun. This is the one rotten apple that has been mangled by an incompetent narrator and a careless editor.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Aside from the plethora of mis-pronounced words, the inability to sustain chosen accents gets rather aggravating. Speak with an accent or don't. I don't care which you choose, just don't attempt an accent and then let it fade out if starts to get arduous!