LISTENER

Purpleheart

  • 3
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 4
  • ratings

Worst professional narration I've ever heard

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

Reviewed: 03-10-19

I do think the book is overhyped but it does have great atmospheres and sense of time and place. I hope I could switch between kindle and audible book as I often do but I really don't know how anyone can listen to this. the narrator hasn't bothered to find out how to pronounce words she's unfamiliar with - and there are a lot of those. She affects a curious lising voce, terrible accents and has no sense of pace. Just the worst professional narration I've ever experience.

Totally engrossing

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

Reviewed: 11-09-19

I read the novel and then started listening to this wonderful production which has a very short introduction by Margaret Atwood. The voices and pacing is perfect and really helped my understanding of this totally engrossing novel.

Margaret Atwood's sequel to the prescient 'The Handmaid's Tale' opens with one of the new novel's three narrators describing the statue made in her honour. We're not told immediately that it is Aunt Lydia but it becomes clear - her voice is compelling and her importance and power in Gilead is surprising but completely believable. One of the strengths of this novel is that Aunt Lydia isn't a Disney villain - how she came to be who she is in The Testaments gives complexity to her character and motivation. Atwood is exploring the women who are complicit in maintaining Gilead's patriarchy and the subjugation and oppression of other women. It's a fascinating and enthralling route for Atwood to take and once again she captures the zeitgeist - reflecting back to us the myriad ways in which this type of complicity and collaboration happens in our own world. The two other narrators are young - Agnes Jemima, the daughter of a Commander and Daisy, a teenager living in Toronto. It's not spelt out if the young women are related to characters from The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood likes to let readers make up their own minds. Her trust in her readers is yet another of her strengths as, of course, is her writing. This novel speeds along like a thriller and the prose is clarity itself.

I found this novel unputdownable and am sure it will live with me for a good time to come. Margaret Atwood is my favourite writer and I read The Handmaid's Tale when it was published in 1985 and have read all her novels over the years since. I was worried about her revisiting such a masterful work since the continuation of the TV show didn't sit so well with me but Atwood's return to Gilead using the voices of these characters works beautifully to broaden and deepen our understanding of the whole structure and gives some insight into why it might fail.

I was lucky enough to have tickets to see Margaret Atwood at the National Theatre for an exploration of this novel. She speaks as well as she writes.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

The prequel to Northern Lights

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

Reviewed: 20-11-17

Pullman knows how to tell a yarn but I think my enjoyment this book was increased by Michael's Sheen's narration, which is simply superb. He must be a huge Pullman fan and this is a tour de force reading. I didn't think anyone could top Anton Lesser when it comes to the interpretation of Pullman in terms of both character and adventure but Sheen does top him. It's whatever the equivalent of unputdownable is when it's an audiobook. I like to listen while I walk and kept finding excuses to go out so I could hear the next installment. Wonderful experience. I've recommended it to everyone.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful