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S E Darrington

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  • Royal Flash

  • The Flashman Papers, Book 2
  • By: George MacDonald Fraser
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218

In volume II of The Flashman Papers, Flashman tangles with femme fatale Lola Montez and the dastardly Otto Von Bismarck in a battle of wits which will decide the destiny of a continent.

In this volume of The Flashman Papers, Flashman, the arch-cad and toady, matches his wits, his talents for deceit and malice, and above all his speed in evasion against the most brilliant European statesman and against the most beautiful and unscrupulous adventuress of the era.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Flashy does it again!

  • By Hammerhead on 25-07-15

Poor narration spoils a great story

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

Reviewed: 07-10-17

Elaborating on my criticism of the first Flashman in this audio series, I'm so disappointed with the narration that I won't continue with the rest.

I enjoy revisiting books that I love; having them read to you by a skilled actor on a second visit can enrich the text, bringing out nuances in character and other elements which make the re-read well worthwhile. A great example of this is the Aubrey-Maturin "Master & Commander" series. I loved the books the first time and then felt like I'd doubled the enjoyment by listening to Ric Jerrom's take on the characters.

I was so looking forward to seeing what a narrator could do with Flashy. One of literature's great comic creations deserved something special and Coin Mace has done nothing to bring this off. If you had never read the Flashman novels then you might get through these recordings having enjoyed the stories as they were. If it comes to the words alone, then Macdonald Fraser's books are an absolute delight. But if this is your second time around and, like me, you were hoping for something special, then you will be severely disappointed.

Mace's delivery adds nothing, and in many ways detracts from the story. He reads like someone who has never seen the words before. Intonation and rhythm is repetitive and inappropriate. Time and time again he misses great comic lines and sounds like someone reading a text for the first time with no rehearsal.

Harry Flashman deserves more. He is a character whose words paint a picture of a historical past, but also of a spineless rogue. The books are his words and they needed, not only an actor who could live up to this challenge, but one who could add to it too.

I'm not going to listen to any more of this series because it irritates me so much. It irritates me that Flashy hasn't been brought off the page in a way that I know other characters have been. But the narration actually grates. Sentence stress and intonation in this recording is indicative of someone who is taking no interest in what he is saying and instead attempting to enliven it by randomly dramatising parts which don't need it and passing over parts which do.

Huge opportunity missed. What a shame.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Flashman

  • The Flashman Papers, Book 1
  • By: George MacDonald Fraser
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 288

Harry Flashman: the unrepentant bully of Tom Brown's schooldays, now with a Victoria Cross, has three main talents - horsemanship, facility with foreign languages and fornication. A reluctant military hero, Flashman plays a key part in most of the defining military campaigns of the nineteenth century despite trying his utmost to escape them all. Flashman, soldier, duellist, lover, imposter, coward, cad, and hero triumphs in this first installment of The Flashman Papers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Flashman rides forth.....

  • By Charles on 13-07-15

Narration a let down

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

Reviewed: 10-09-17

Read the books before and loved them. Really looking forward to the audio as a holiday treat. Unfortunately, the narration was merely a reading by someone who appeared never to have read the books and hadn't rehearsed. Sounded like a first run through. Publishers really missed a trick here. Could have been so much better. Thankfully the book stands up for itself.

  • Lady Chatterley's Lover

  • By: D. H. Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Katherine Littrell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

Lady Chatterley's Lover is D. H. Lawrence's last novel. First published privately in 1928, Lady Chatterley's Lover was banned from wider publication in the UK until 1960 and was the subject of censorship and book banning in the United States and elsewhere. Its erotic subject material, colorful language, and discussion of interclass relations were deemed obscene.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A badly written story redeemed only by its social perspective

  • By S E Darrington on 04-02-17

A badly written story redeemed only by its social perspective

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

Reviewed: 04-02-17

The narration was awful- the colloquial dialogue was beyond bad. It was badly edited with one or two mistakes left in. Story was only salvaged by its historical background. Characters were badly drawn and inconsistent 50 Shades of the early 20th century.

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,583
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,311
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,324

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

  • By Tara Mcgrath on 02-12-13

Spoilt by narration

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

Reviewed: 27-06-16

I'd already read this a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was looking forward to listening to it on my daily commute. Unfortunately I found the narrators acting so hammy that I almost gave up. The first part of the book has so much unnecessary angst-ridden voice wavering that it ruins Tartt's tight, clipped and precise style. Her subtle humour is trampled all over. He calms down for other large patches but not entirely. It was enough to spoil it for me and I would have preferred Tartt's sparse narration, so effective in The Secret History. My first complaint as a long-term Audible listener.