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This production is an audio massacre. I'm sure Danny Glover was delighted to read the autobiography of such an admired man, but this production did Mr Mandela no favours. I can't vouch for the Xhosa pronunciations, but Glover butchers common SA English words such as "veld" (pronounced felt) and even Mandela's own name. It's man-DEH-lah.
This audiobook is a perfect example of how British and American disregard for accent and pronunciation leads to accusations of cultural imperialism. If Tom Sawyer was read by a Pakistani narrator, how many Americans would complain? There would be an outcry. So why not get a South African narrator to do a proper job? There are a number of SA voices with the deep vocal quality of Glover, without the glaring inability to pronounce names correctly.
I'm sure I will eventually get used to the butchering of names and words, but it is all so unnecessary. The author deserves better respect than this disaster. The producer owes him an apology, but this is unlikely to happen.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
The story is completely riveting and no fictional account could invent the drama and pathos of the events.
Unfortunately, Danny Glover was not up to the task. He could not pronounce the South African surnames and place names correctly which detracted from the narrative. Oddly, even some of the English names (eg. "Meedowlands" for Meadowlands) were incorrect.
There are hundreds of very accomplished African actors and voice artists who could have narrated the story with passion and authenticity. To hear Mandela's words spoken with an American accent is jarring but this would not be the first (or last time) that Hollywood has butchered a good story by casting an American in the lead role.
Morgan Freeman played Mandela in "Invictus" and James Earl Jones played Rev Khumalo in "Cry the Beloved Country".
African accents are rich in nuance and actually quite easy to understand for any English speaker, its a great pity this book could not be narrated more authentically.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This was the first title I purchased once I had subscribed to 'Audible'. The narration by Danny Glover (who's understanding, diction and pronunciation of the Xhosa language is exemplary), made for an entertaining, empathic and educational listen. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and will return to the book time and again.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
Danny Glover was a fantastic narrator so much so that I could not believe that it was him! I bought the book over ten years ago and never got a chance to read it so it was brilliant having it read to me. It gives me a greater understanding of what Neslon Mandela went through and a time line of what happened when. Will definitely listen to it again!!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
A wonderfully and articulately read abridged version of an inspirational book. Thank you for the opportunity to read such quality.
When his real voice speaks during his speech on release I had to hold back the tears!? Brilliantly read also