This is a wonderful book of Muir's trip to Alaska in the late 1800's, full of delightful detail about geography, views, native culture and great stories ab out both Alaska and his travels.
However, the narration is appalling and destroys the beauty of the book. The narrator speaks VERY quickly, in a sing-song sort of style with no regard for the text and no attempt to interpret what he is reading as most of the good narrators do. The same style, inflection and speed apply even when he is reading stories iwth different characters or describing Muir's first view of Glacier Bay and Muir's corresponding awe. The style is frustrating at best and I found it infuriating after a very short while. As a result, the book is very difficult to listen to (and I am a native Eastener used to fast speech). I had to resort to running the book on a slower rate on my I-Pod to get anything which allowed me to enjoy even a little of the beauty of the book - however this creates an echo. The echo, though, is better than the breakneck narration as taped.
What a pity. This is a book that deserves a wonderful narrator with some acting ability to interpret the text. Think how great it could be, for instance, with a James Earl Jones sort of voice. As it is, a wonderful book is destroyed.
Listen to the book for the text which is a wonderful narrative of Alaska. Just be prepared to have to deal with a very poor narration.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
I can't say much for the content of the book yet, but the narrator seems to be engaged in an attempt to set a new record to read the book the fastest. It's so hurried as to make it tense to listen to.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
I am halfway through this listen and find the story fascinating, the descriptives of Alaska and its inhabitants a century ago incredible. However, the reader Noah Waterman reads so fast, like he can't wait to get it over with, so that the grandeur of the descriptives are lost in speed, the flavor and ambience I had expected are washed away in hurry hurry hurry. I do plan to stay with this to the end but I was sorely disappointed. Being a long-time user of audiobooks, this is the first one I wish I had passed up. I am planning to read the book so I can savor John Muir's adventures, allowing the time to process and experience the mental imagery of a place still so beautiful, in words it is indescribable.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I found the narrator difficult to follow. He speaks quickly and this has constant very detailed descriptions.Americans may not have a problem (I'm English).
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
As per the other reviews it is read very fast. I found the .75 speed to work well. Great story and history.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
I'm listening to audiobooks because of post concussion syndrome I'm unable to read.
I have read parts of this book (paper version) and loved it but mostly because the descriptions are beautiful and calming. I believe John Muir was a calm man who didn't easily get upset. But this narrator has so much restlessness in his voice! I couldn't stand it so would like to return this.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Travel's in Alaska is a classic of travel literature, a must-read for anyone interested in Alaska. The narrator is not good at all, though, and this detracted greatly from the experience of reading the book.
How could the performance have been better?
The narrator of this Audible version is not at all suited to his task. He speaks too quickly, and his cadence gives no sense of the emotion and meaning behind the sentences being read. The narration becomes sing-songy and almost mechanical in places. All I could think of while listening was "what I wouldn't give for someone with a strong feeling for nature, and maybe a bit of a Scottish brogue, to be narrating this book!"
What did you like best about Travels in Alaska? What did you like least?
The images Muir paints are poignant. Some of his stories are entertaining. The narration is horrid. I had to play it back at half speed to understand it. Then it had an echo!
What didn???t you like about Noah Waterman???s performance?
His speech is incredibly fast! I have never complained about narration, or anything, before.
Did Travels in Alaska inspire you to do anything?
very good book if you have lots of time. he describes everything very well almost as if hes painting a picture. this book has a lot of detail and can get a little boring when it comes to him describing the trees or plants or even the icebergs. this book will defenestrate a time in our history where things were much different than they are now.
Read/listen only if your an student of the outdoors or you intrigued by a great philosopher named John Muir.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful