LISTENER

katy

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings

Scottish Postcolonial Masterpiece.

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

Reviewed: 28-07-18

Attempts to pigeon hole this book into the crime genre have done it no favours, see the book reviews on Amazon moaning it's not 'a proper crime/thriller/didn't really happen' (seriously people?!).
That said I think introducing a new genre might help expand rather than constrict understanding of this work and its serious depth and intent. Approach this book as a postcolonial text, its setting in a croft where displaced people scratch a living after the highland clearances and Scotland's status as British colony more than justify this.Then read it alongside Franz Fanon's work The Wretched of the Earth about the effects of colonial violence upon the oppressed population. If you consider the text like this I think it opens up the enormity and importance of this as a postcolonial Scottish text with huge ambition and scope. A truly remarkable text though misunderstood and overlooked. (and then go read scottish author James Kelman's Booker winning 'How late it was how late' also amazing and overlooked and a true successor to Samuel Beckett).

A wonderful polyphonic book, highly recommended.

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

Reviewed: 17-07-18

This fantastic collection offers real insight into lives that often pass unseen and unheard, because it suits our society to imagine that those we don't hear are somehow lesser or ignorant rather than systematically suppressed. There is so much joy, anger, passion and talent in these pieces I am keen to search out the other books by these authors.I learned an enormous amount from these essays, although this was absorbed under the radar as the enjoyment of the narrative was always the prime factor. In this instance the choice of readers enhances the essays, unlike many other audible books. I really can't recommend this enough. If you read to open a door on other people's experience then this book kicks that wide open for you.
More of this please publishers and audible!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Audible strikes again

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

Reviewed: 31-05-18

Firstly this is not a review of the content beyond saying it is excellent, incredibly well reasearched and a must read for anyone serious about understanding how neoliberal ideology has made itself hegemonic within our state.
What I want to review here is the narrator. Once again Audible's array of unemployed actors who seem to make up the pool of readers have proven why they are doing this - not acting- for a living. This reader feels compelled to give every interviewee an accent and it seems despite his clear inability to do Northern dialects he will not be put off attempting them. So, whilst the Tories and civil servants speak in clear crisp 'bbc' english the entire Labour party sound like thick as sh*t psuedo northerners! (Why are they all assumed to be Northern adn just where it this spurious town they all seem to hail from located?) In some instances this is quite amusing (and green Party leader Caroline Lucas sounds like a man doing a very bad impression of a woman!) but when we come to the voices of one of the Hillsborough victims the fake Scouse accent seems really offensive. This is not to say the book is unllistenable but just that the reader does his best to marr it.

Don't be put off but,

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

Reviewed: 04-05-18

if this is the only way you can access this important book then don't let the reviews of the narrator put you off. It is possible to get the gist of Ahmed's important and challenging work from this reading.

That said this is one of the poorest examples of a narrator showing utter indifference to the content of a text.Whilst not quite as bad as those computer style monotone readings, there are endless errors. Mis-reading 'feminist' over and over as 'feminine' is ridiculous, utterly changing the message of the book (what IS a feminine protest?) but slightly funny I suppose once you realise. By far the worst is the constant mispronunciation of the author's name. In narrating a book concerned with words, women, racism, you think you might bother to get the author's name right. However it seems 'Ahmed' is far too complicated to pronounce so our fearless narrator plumps - repeatedly- for 'Akmed'.

All that said this ia a brave and important book which deserved far better from audible, and now you are forewarned about the narrator's errors don't let it put you off accessing it via audiobook if you cannot access it in print.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

AVOID!

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

Reviewed: 25-04-17

Would you try another book written by Herman Melville or narrated by Alan Munro?

Alan Munro comes very close to managing to spoil this exceptional novel. I actually came on to double check the narrator was a real person and not a computer program. Clearly he is reading the book for the first time as he narrates but even so his failure to use intonation correctly is spectacular! He repeatedly places emphasis on the wrong part of the sentence which mangles meaning and utterly spoils the experience by jarring with the listener. Like all audible narrators he also feels obliged to employ a series of terrible accents for characters. Do read this wonderful book but don't let Alan Munro read it to you.

What didn’t you like about Alan Munro’s performance?

All of it. He places intonation in the wrong place consistently and as such distorts the authors intent. Truly the worst narrator I have ever heard.

Did Moby Dick inspire you to do anything?

Yes I went whaling afterwards, what do you think?

12 of 12 people found this review helpful