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SEA, Charente

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  • 25
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  • 29
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Wonderful story effectively ruined by narrator

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

Reviewed: 30-01-19

A gripping and ultimately unexplained mystery which never fails to engage the reader.
Sadly, the excellence of this book with which I am very familiar was not matched by the reading of it. Accents are clearly not a strong point. The ‘normal’ speed of the narrative was so slow that I was obliged to change it on my device. Characters’ accents were muddled as the narrator clearly misunderstood who was speaking. Her numerous mispronunciations cannot be excused. A total ignorance of French pronunciation made some passages quite excruciating.
A talent for making the most momentous passages sound like the reading of a shopping list adds nothing to the narrative.
I would not recommend this recording and am most disappointed in it.

1 person found this helpful

Remarkable and somewhat different

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

Reviewed: 29-04-18

Another classic from Ruth Rendell, beautifully narrated.
This book tells us more than we have learnt before about Wexford’s early adult life. The main narrative is historical, combined with a modern theme, the two being cleverly combined in the denouement.
Slow in development, this book is still well worth reading.

1 person found this helpful

Gripping and full of suspense right up until the last page

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

Another Rendell classic, perfectly narrated by Sian Thomas.
This masterful story of unproved murder and family tensions cannot be bettered.

Essential reading for Cazalet addicts.....

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

Reviewed: 12-11-17

Elizabeth Jane Howard closes the final page on the Cazalet family with all the interest and attention to detail which her readers have come to expect. Sadly we say goodbye to those characters whose lives we have followed with fascination from their introduction in 1937, and are not disappointed in the somewhat unexpected dénouement.
Penelope Wilton reads beautifully apart from the occasional and unexplained confusion between Simon and Wills which does not occur in the written text.

First class rendition

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

Reviewed: 23-08-17

Truly excellent narration of this classic mystery.
À story which retains its secrets and dramatic tension to the last, perfectly complemented by Ian Holm. A real pleasure to listen to.

An old favourite revisited in audio form

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

Excellent story with plenty of drama as well as the expected historical accuracy and interest.
Araminta is an unusual early nineteenth century heroine in that she has sense as well as intelligence and personal attractiveness, but sadly the intelligence is well-hidden by the narrator's insipid rendition.
A listener could be forgiven for believing that Araminta is a brainless rustic doll which considerably spoils the story. The narrator's delivery is that of a nursery teacher reading to a group of under fives, there are a number of mistakes in reading which changes meaning in some places, and overall is not conducive to drama.
If you know and love the book it may be better to stick to print.

Better on second reading/listening

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

Reviewed: 15-04-17

Not one of Ruth Rendell's finest but worth a listen. Excellent narration.
Story not compelling & motive seems less than adequate but characterization as good as ever.

Not to be missed

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

Reviewed: 07-03-17

What a pleasure to find so perfect a match between author and narrator. Surely Eliot herself could not have hoped for a better rendition at any time.
A monumental tale of early nineteenth century provincial life, hopes and dreams, whose every character is beautifully and convincingly portrayed by Juliet Stevenson. A classic whose appeal will only be increased by this audio version.

Classic wrecked by narration

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

Reviewed: 18-02-17

This love-story with detective interest is an old favourite.
Sadly, in my view, this most peculiar and inappropriate style of narration seriously detracts from the book. The narrator pauses wherever she feels like it, often after one of a series of adjectives for example, completely changing the sense of what is occurring, makes several mistakes which should certainly have been corrected, and generally ruins it. I found myself wondering for the next major irritation, rather than actually listening to the content. Anyone I believe would be distracted by the idea of sixteen men chained together, marching across a prickly dessert.....
A great pity. A proof-listener would be a good idea.

2 people found this helpful

An excellent narration of an old favourite

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

Reviewed: 20-01-17

This jointly narrated classic is a triumph. The various interwoven threads of Bleak House only gain from the different but equally inspired renditions of the two narrators.
From the fog of chapter one to the sunlit conclusion, this version is a pleasure to listen to.