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molly68

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Awful narration. Had to send it back

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-02-20

So disappointed. FG Cottams books have been so beautifully read by David Rintoul, Sean Barrett and others. I was really pleased that another of his books had been released on audible but I can’t listen to it for a moment longer. Naomi Frederick reads it in such a bland over pronounced, deliberate way that it’s painful to listen to. She over emphasise every word at the expense of the characters. You don’t get any sense of who they are or any flow. She sounds like an elderly school teacher reading to a bored classroom. Such a shame

Love the narrator but not for this book

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-19

I listened to this book because it was recommended by a friend who shares a similar taste in books to me and they loved it.

It took me ages to get into it (at least till 2/3 way through) but I persevered.

It just didn’t grip me enough. I wonder if it’s because of the narrator. I think Sean Barrett is absolutely wonderful, but I suspect that his voice wasn’t quite right for this and I wonder if it lacked colour as a result.

You may love it. It’s all down to personal taste in the end.

Horrible narration.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-19

Really sad that most of Ruth Wares books are read by Imogen Church. She over performs terribly and it sets my teeth on edge. I had to send this one back and I won’t read another read by her.

3 people found this helpful

Awful narration. Please get actors and don’t narrate yourself.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-19

Why do authors think they can read their own books. Hardly any of them do it well. It’s pure arrogance.

This book was recommended by a friend who’d read it and loved it. I wish I’d have bought the book instead. I had to send this back half way through. I couldn’t get passed the awful narration. I began to hate the story, but I think it was the characters I disliked and only because of the way that they were portrayed.

We have some of the best actors in the world, why aren’t we being more picky when choosing narrators.

Absolutely loved this book. A complex; enthralling, intense, character driven rollercoaster of a mystery novel.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-19

I was wary of buying this having read some of the reviews but I’m so very glad I did. The story is fabulous. It’s a brilliant thriller, but written with such detail that you feel as if you’re right in the middle of the action yourself. The characters are fully fleshed out and three dimensional. You may not like many of them, but they’re written in such a way that you understand them all thoroughly. I’ve seen complaints that the book is too long. I don’t agree at all. If you don’t have the patience to read an entire novel and prefer abridged versions, or you’re just looking for a quick read at the moment, then this probably isn’t the book for you. There are so many books that tick those boxes though, this is unusual in its intensity and I found it refreshing. I’ve also seen one or two reviews that complain about the central character in the book and describe him as unlikeable or criticise him for making mistakes. I don’t understand that either. He’s flawed. We all are. He’s made decisions that he regrets deeply. I think most of us have haven’t we? He’s striving to learn from his mistakes and become the person he wants to be (which takes huge amounts of courage) throughout the story. That’s what makes the book so engaging and realistic. Some of the themes explored in the book - privilege and injustice for example- made me feel really anxious and quite hopeless and frustrated (in the same way the the Peterloo film out earlier this year did) but surely that’s a good thing. The barrage of emotions I felt reading this had me utterly invested in the story and it’s conclusion. As for John Telfer, he’s amazing. Such a brilliant narration. I’ll definitely look out for other books by the Author and also books narrated by John Telfer.

I really disliked this book

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-07-19

I can’t quite believe that I kept going until the end of this book. I really wish I’d have sent it back. So much about it infuriated me. I was hoping that it would redeem itself with a clever ending, but it just didn’t. The conclusion was overworked and to me just felt plain silly. I found the characters empty, one dimensional and unlikeable. However, the thing that made me more angry than anything else was the attitude throughout the book to suicide. I think that the “suicides are selfish horrible people who just don’t love their loved ones enough” attitude espoused by every single character in this book is disgusting. Not one character shows an ounce of empathy towards those who commit suicide. At no point does the author have a single character consider the pain that someone must be in in order to carry through and kill themselves, and there is nothing in the blurb that warns you that this is one of the main themes of this book. This is incredibly unhelpful to those people reading the book who have experienced the suicide of a loved one. I can’t remember the last time I hated a book this much.

2 people found this helpful

Who casts these actors?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-19

In all honesty I was disappointed in the book all round. I found the female characters one dimensional (although how much that was influenced by the irritating narrators I can’t say) and there wasn’t enough suspense or depth for me. For me it was ok and no more, but that is just a matter of personal taste I know. Therefore I wouldn’t be leaving this negative review if it wasn’t for the appalling narration Thank goodness for Anjana Vasan. She was the only one of the four narrators with any talent. The other two women were over emotional in their reading (you don’t have to express the emotion in every single word you say. If you do you lose the sense of the characters and the scene - no one does that in real life so why would you when narrating a book?!) and at the same time monotone. I really disliked the woman narrating as Clare. She insisted on making the men sound as if they were all elderly and stupid. Why do that? It’s so unnecessary. Andrew Wincott over acted so badly it physically made me cringe. That’s not how you create tension. Again he was over doing the emotion. Compare his performance with those of David Rintoul for example. Rintoul reads effortlessly and truthfully and chills you to the bone. Winnacot sounded like an amateur pantomime villain. I thought Anjana Vasan read really well. It was simple, truthful and interesting to listen to. I’d happily read another book narrated by her, but will actively avoid listening to books narrated by the other three. I wish I’d have stopped reading when I first wanted to an hour in. I kept going and hoped that the plot would be so good that it made up for the awful performances, but although it wasn’t bad (my opinion obviously) It wasn’t good enough to make it worth my while. What is like to know is who casts these audiobooks? Whoever it is really needs replacing. We have literally thousands of amazing actors in the U.K. There are a few of them narrating audio books, but most audiobooks seem to be narrated by actors (and sometimes people who are not really actors at all) who have no talent and ruin the books they perform. As a casting director casting for an audiobook you only have to focus on two things. Is this person an excellent actor and is their voice suitable? That’s it. You’re not restricted by anything else because the actors are not seen physically. I don’t understand why the casting is so bad so often. It’s not fair on the authors, nor the listener, nor to be honest is it fair for audible who have to refund money on more books than they should. Soooo annoying!

Great book. Great narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-12-18

Another brilliant book by Stuart MacBride. I love Ian Hanmores narration....Perfect for Stuart MacBrides style. I’m so tired of great books on audible being ruined by appalling narrators. It’s such a relief when you get a good one.

Very glad that this one has a different narrator

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-12-18

I enjoyed listening to this far more than the others in the psychic survey series. Previously I’d enjoyed the stories but the narrator was awful. They seem to have decided that using an actor is a good idea at last. That said they’ve used Sheila Dearden again (who is appalling and has absolutely no appropriate skills to be narrating anything) for the latest psychic surveys book, which I’ll avoid listening to for that reason alone. The writing is still a bit twee for me, but the stories are easy and warm and nice to listen to, which is what I was looking for. It was a nice listen. Thankfully the narration is far far better in this audio book.

Excellent book spoiled by one of the narrators

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-10-18

I loved this story. It had some really nice twists and turns and great characters. Three of the four narrators were brilliant and I really enjoyed listening to them. Unfortunately Anna Bentink who narrates the bulk of this story is completely unsuitable for the role and narrates terribly. It’s difficult to remember that Nina (the central character) is only 45 and mother of a young child. Anna is clearly considerably older than this, and seems to feel the need to adopt an even older voice to play the part. She reads her as if she’s a prim 70 year old, which just doesn’t fit. It makes absolutely no sense and is irritating to the point of spoiling the whole book. The way she reads the voices of other characters is terrible too and completely at odds with the voices of the actors playing those roles. She also has a habit (particularly towards the end of the book) of slowing down and becoming staccato as if she’s tired and has lost all of her energy. It’s a big shame. I really wish that the production companies were more careful when casting. They only have to concentrate on getting a voice that fits the book and an actor who is good enough to narrate in a manner that does justice to the author. It’s no where near as complex as casting a play or film, where many other factors come into play. Why do some narrators continue to get work when they do such a poor job? Please if anyone from the production team is reading this, try a bit harder. It’s frustrating for the listener, really unfair on the author and in the end financially compromising for you!

1 person found this helpful