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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor, sits in the waiting room of the city's preeminent psychiatrist as he anxiously ponders the particularly intimate nature of his neurosis. When the enigmatic, intensely beautiful Hettie Bull walks in, Lysander is immediately drawn to her, unaware of how destructive the consequences of their subsequent affair will be. One year later, home in London, Lysander finds himself entangled in the dangerous web of wartime intelligence - a world of sex, scandal and spies that is slowly, steadily permeating every corner of his life.... 

©2012 William Boyd (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Waiting for Sunrise

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting story ruined by awful narration

I’m a fan of William Boyd ( Any Human Heart is terrific ) but this book was ruined by the narrator’s complete lack of ability to do any accents at all apart from cockney, to vary the the different characters voices ( one was so grating it hurt to listen to him ) and finally he couldn’t actually pronounce words. Quadrangle became quandrangle and he pronounced the ‘ l ‘ in Folkestone to name two of many. It did distract from the story when the narrator couldn’t actually read or got the emphasis on the wrong syllable of a word.

3 people found this helpful

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Poor narration

The story would have been enjoyable, I think - but the narrator’s insistence of not pronouncing any ‘Ts’ completely spoiled it for me and I couldn’t get past the first chapter. I’m afraid good English pronunciation for audible is essential to my enjoyment of the books.

2 people found this helpful

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Spoiled by t glottalisation and mispronunciation

I’m confident that a 1910s West End actor would not have lost his ‘t’s in the middle of quite so many words. And I'm sure he'd know how to pronounce Folkestone. Perfect for a Nick Hornby but very, very distracting here. Ultimately made it almost impossible to suspend disbelief.

1 person found this helpful

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Poor Narration

It is a pity that the narration is so poor. It is monotonous without any feel, inflection or variance of tone. Nevertheless I stuck with it and eventually I became unaware of this problem. The story was quite interesting and had enough pace. Not the best work of fiction but I enjoyed it enough.

1 person found this helpful

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Great novel terrible narrator

The narrator very frequently mispronounces words and some are so mumbled that I cant understand the word at all. These regular distractions from William Boyd’s narrative are difficult to accept. Everything us read in the same monotone which dies not help with recapturing ones distracted interest.

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Some poor accent choices

I don’t for one minute think British readers should all speak RP, but if a reader is going to assign accents to characters, then some historically-informed authenticity would help. Here, First World War British army officers are assigned a variety of regional working class accents that just doesn’t seem believable and which really detracts from the enjoyment of the boom. The main character too, speaks in an estuary drawl. I’m fine with the reader’s own London estuary accent for the narrative passages but for the dialogue someone should have directed him to be a bit more authentic.

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Very enjoyable.

I'm very much enjoying william Boyd's books at the moment and this one did not disappoint. It has his signature blend of recreating an image of a particular place and time in your in your memory (here Vienna, London and Geneva 1913-15) whilst filling it with interesting characters and language that is a pleasure to read/listen to.

Jack Rowan does a good job overall and he has a nice voice. His English accents are great, but foreign pronunciations need some work. Quite refreshing to have a novel like Boyd's narrated in a cockney twang.

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Drama and involvement lost

William Boyd’s novel of turbulent times and intrigue is customarily full of twists and turns, varied and engaging characterisation, and his effective default deeper themes. Clearly another example of the author’s fluent and elegant period pieces. However, the Audible audiobook is seriously marred by a poor performance. The reader’s mispronunciations and inept phrasing are simply too serious for the listener to maintain involvement in the text. I have listened to and read several of William Boyd’s works, and accept that the French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian references can be challenging (although every audiobook I’ve heard has been a triumph of skilled work by the reader in this respect) but this performance of ‘Waiting for sunrise’ is terrible. Even the English is spoken badly with an inappropriate glottal stop (he just sounds wrong for the world of the character), awful and inappropriate pausing and emphasis, and generally gives the impression of a student who hasn’t seen the text before trying to sound confident - while acutely out of his depth.
I look forward to a replacement credit. This performance should not have taken place; I’d be surprised if the author is impressed.

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Complicated

I enjoyed the narration most of the time but there were some jarring mispronunciations particularly of place names. I found the story absorbing and exciting but I would have preferred a clearer ending. Perhaps the whole point of the book is that people alter the ‘truth’ so that they can get on with their lives.