A modern serial killer - hunting an ancient secret. A woman is left to die as the rebuilt Globe theatre burns. Another woman is drowned like Ophelia, skirts swirling in the water. A professor has his throat slashed open on the steps of Washington's Capitol building.
A deadly serial killer is on the loose, modelling his murders on Shakespeare's plays. But why is he killing? And how can he be stopped?
A gripping, shocking page turner, The Shakespeare Secret masterfully combines modern murder and startling true revelations from the life of Shakespeare. It has been acclaimed as one of the most compulsively readable thrillers of recent years.
There is no doubt that the author has researched the subject of Shakespeare and the various associated mysteries and conspiricies in commendable detail, but unfortunately it does not make for an enjoyable listening experience. The construction of the plot and the book in general is contrived and clumbsy. Potential enjoyment is further marred by poor narration. The female American first person narration is almost comedic and does not suit the nature of the book at all. Often parts of the narration slump into farce with a Cockney accent that makes Dick Van Dyke sound like a skilled linguist; an English aristrocrat who is a dead ringer for Snake in the Simpsons; and a so called Yorkshire accent that owes more to the west of Ireland!!
The book has been compared to the Da Vinci Code, but in reality it is only similar insofar as it explores age old mysteries and speculation based on historical ambiguity. All in all it is not an enjoyable listening experience. It may be that the book is a better 'read' than 'listen' , or that a more professional narration would help its cause, but as it stands it fails to impress. I was very disappointed as I had been looking forward to this coming out in audiobook format.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
The book is dramatically overshadowed by the narrator's foray into the various accents of the characters. Her English accents are even worse than the famous cockney of Dick V.D. Absolutley amazing. Whoever authorised the release of this version should crawl into a corner and hope the earth swallows them up. The Australian accent has to be heard to be disbelieved! I've only read the first of the two part downloads, but have given up because the story line becomes absolutly purile when you hear it read in some sort of ' ere guvernor - wot a night luv' parody of the English language.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Truly the worst narration I have ever heard. At times, during the attempts at national and regional accents, it borders on racism- but most of the time it just borders on insanity. Worth a listen for the 'so bad it's almost good' factor.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I think enough has been made of the narration. Let's look at the poor quality of the writing which is hidden below. Dan Brown can be very irritating to read as a result of his ineptness as a writer, but this is even more awkward with odd 'literary' sentences full of inappropriate similes and Brownesque repetitions (see Digital Fortress which has 3 separate and pointless beginnings). Here the repetition is there to insult the reader. The writing gets better when the ins and outs of shakespearian scholarship come up, but the action is handled with huge ineptness. Shame, it was an intriguing, if rather derivative, premise. A few evening classes in creative writing are needed here, and avoid first person narration.
Is it possible to give a book no stars?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Shakespeare Secret better?
The only thing that would have made this book better was not writing it!
What was most disappointing about J L Carrell’s story?
Nearly everything about this pathetic story was highly disappointing however as a plot idea I think it was a good one but the author must be a Dan Brown fan or was told how much he made with one book as it became a parody! Of the same ilk of Dan Brown but at least hasn't caused the same hysteria. I will never go anywhere near anything written by this author
How did the narrator detract from the book?
The Narrator was awful maybe that's why it uncredited accents what accents someone train this person. However maybe the more accredited narrators read this book and felt the same about this awful drivel and they pulled this narrator from the street.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Couldn't delete this fast enough
Any additional comments?
Do not waste your time on this! How could this rubbish get a sequel!
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I recommend this audiobook to anyone that enjoys a good thriller and adventure story
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
The plot keeps you on your seat for sure as you never know who it is that is after the main character, Kate. The people that help her along the way change regularly and though she trusts them half the time she shouldn't
Have you listened to any of the narrator’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I never heard a book by the narrator before and she did a good job on this one
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, it is and it was hard stopping it because I always wanted to know where Kate was going to and what mess she was getting herself into.
Any additional comments?
This is a very enjoyable listen and I hope that J.L Carrell's next is done in audio format as I have read that one and it was really good read so I would love to listen to it as well.