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Summary

Spring, 1922. Tessa is a beautiful, tiny, dark-eyed princess who’s given up her duties to follow her heart and work backstage at the Viennese opera. She keeps her true identity a well-guarded secret, but when a wealthy, handsome Englishman discovers this bewitching urchin backstage, Tessa’s two lives collide - and in escaping her inheritance, she finds her destiny....

©2009 Eva Ibbotson (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Magic Flutes

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

More sensitive reading.

What did you like best about this story?

The book itself is excellent - a gripping and well written historical romance with strong characters.

What didn’t you like about Kate Lock’s performance?

I really don't like to be negative and don't usually do bad reviews but this performance upset me. The book clearly states that the heroine does not have a strong accent but sounds like a German character from Allo Allo, while the hero, who is described as being able to take back on his Geordie accent when he returns home from his sophisticated world, has a strong Newcastle accent throughout - he just wouldn't have had, in this period. More than that, several words were mispronounced throughout - I really think an actor reading for Audible should know that the composer is "Donizetti" not "Donzinetti" for example. I know it sounds like a little thing but it's incredibly disruptive to the listening experience, especially when it's on the final page.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was really quite sad that a favourite book hadn't been very well served by the reader.

Any additional comments?

I don't know why this upset me so much, except that it makes you feel the reader doesn't care very much if they can't be bothered to pick up on the character descriptions given by the author. It's as though we're considered too stupid to notice.

I love Audible and listen to your books all the time; please don't think I'm being horrible for the sake of it. But I won't choose another book read by this actor.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

lovely fairy tale but the narration, oh dear.

I read this years ago, and was really looking forward to listening, but the narration is truly dreadful. If she stuck to her normal voice it would have been a pleasure, but the exaggerated accents is a complete turnoff. I won't be finishing it sadly.

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  • amy tran
  • 16-04-16

Good read

Good story and good narration however the narrator was impossible to understand at times due to her accents.

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  • Peggy Stuart
  • 20-11-15

Strong Performance with a Flaw

This narrator was great, except for the mispronunciation of German words. It took some time for me to realize what the words were. Emphasis on the wrong syllable and mixing up ie and ei were the primary problems. The characterizations were wonderful, though, and the story was charming.

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  • Kathryn @theBookDate
  • 23-08-15

Very entertaining.

I really enjoyed this tale set in Austria. The kind caring backstage worker at the opera who has a passion for her work. Guy and Martha - hard working, caring people. Juxtaposed by the greedy self interested woman who would like to marry Guy. All the quaint characters bought to life by the narration of Kate Lock. She does and incredible job of narrating them all and making it sound like a whole cast of narrators.

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  • colette
  • 02-06-14

Really enjoyable listen

What did you love best about Magic Flutes?

it was a predictable story with a happy ending - that's what I liked about.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tessa - I really admired her grace.

Have you listened to any of Kate Lock’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

She did a great job with all the voices.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several.

Any additional comments?

Good romantic read - especially of you books set in the early twenties

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  • customer
  • 22-05-13

Vintage Ibbotson, but reading below par

If you could sum up Magic Flutes in three words, what would they be?

The story line is predictable, if one read any other Eva Ibbtson romances. But, as all of them, erudite, entertaining, and very funny.

How could the performance have been better?

The reading is clear, but the character accents are unnecessary, overblown, and mostly irritating. The common, but still regrettable and illogical device of characters speaking the same language to each other with an accent. As in - two Austrians conversing, supposedly in their native German, but each rendered with her own ridiculous German accent.