I first encountered David Hewson's writings through his Rome series and found his stories enthralling and well-suited to being audio books. Semana Santa pre-dates that series and is not so successful as a book to be read aloud as it has many characters with unfamiliar sounding names and is full of elaborate writing that goes off at tangents describing, for example, dreams in great detail which leads to one losing the thread of the narrative. The book also gets off to a sluggish start, unlike the author's later books which grab attention from the beginning. I heard a recent Audible interview with the author who said that now he bears in mind how his writings will play in an audio version. This has benefited listeners, to judge by more recent books.
Semana Santa is a good story and Sean Barratt reads it superbly well giving the many characters different accents and tones of voice which helps the listener to keep track of who is whom, though I sometimes got mixed up as to who were the goodies and who the baddies!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
A great story and a really good narrator. A slow build up, but the pace quickens and you soon get really into the storyline. It jumps well from present time to past and there are some excellent characters that you quickly get a great feel for. The setting in Spain works really well too. David Hewson's books are in my opinion not easy plots to follow, but this story has some great twists and turns and keeps you guessing right upto the end. The added Spanish Civil War factor works well. I would strongly recommend this - i have a long journey each day and found myself looking forward to listening as the story unfolded. A great download !!!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Took a flyer on this one as not my normal buy but I am glad I bought it. Sean Barrett does his normal excellent job with the narration - one of the main reasons I bought this book.
Good book with a few tense parts! Well worth a listen and a thumbs up from me.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
If my friend had many summer hours to waste, yes I would recommend this novel. Finding a worthwhile listen, once abandoned, means you are pretty desperate. The author himself has expressed some regret at the flaws in this, an early novel. It is so repetitive and full of dragged out, overwritten sections. Almost every chapter has an ' overblown,' overdone section which shows a lack of ability by the writer to drag himself away from the paragraph. Groan. Some interesting use of language.
Has Semana Santa put you off other books in this genre?
Not at all. We, the Great Listeners remain hopeful.
What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Thank goodness for Mr Barrett's voice. One can at least relax whilst one could be very irritated.
Could you see Semana Santa being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?
It has been made into a third rate, unsuccessful film. It is not surprising. A shame nonetheless because the exotic locales, the very interesting historical flashbacks, the " usual suspects" character types could feasibly have made a reasonable, short, TV series. In fact, there are at least two that spring to mind. Perhaps the bull fight focus was too difficult to stage.
Any additional comments?
Again, as a potential listener I would have appreciated being forewarned of more of the brutal topics covered in the text. Arguably reviewers want to avoid ' spoilers' but I for one would like to know if offences against minors, torture or other sensitive areas are included. Interesting paradox.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Hewson is such a good writer...this kept my attention from start to finish, with some unexpected twists and some excellent characterisation. Barrett is one of my favourite narrators...highly recommended.
Good history and story. got a bit confusing with some of the characters towards the end.