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I usually love the RNIB audiobooks: they may have an "older" feel to them, but the narrators are all unmistakably professional and generally do their jobs extremely well. Peter Grey is also a professional narrator, but sadly he is not the right man for this audiobook. First of all, his accent is so "plummy" that it would make the Queen sound common. This in itself is not a very big problem for me, but if you're not used to this sort of accent it might be enough to completely ruin the audiobook. Listen to the sample and decide. But the bigger issue is that most of the characters in the book are Americans, and Mr. Grey tries to read their parts with an American accent, which is where he completely and utterly fails. His idea of an American accent seems to be to pronounce all the R's, but all his vowel sounds remain unchanged. It would have been much better had he not tried at all, and read everything in his own accent. A secondary problem is that he barely differentiates the different characters' voices, but there are enough cues in the text itself and in the paragraph breaks to make this tolerable.
In the end, I was able to ignore the narrator's shortcomings and follow the prose, but it was hard work. I would recommend looking for another version of this book, unless your own accent happens to be like that of Mr. Grey, in which case you probably wouldn't mind it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is a great novel, but as other reviewers have mentioned, the reader is terrible. The phony American accent is bad enough but it often breaks down into an awful Irish accent! When Audible offers something for a low price, listen to the sample first
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I don't mind most of the audio & production issues that these old RNIB recording have. They are usually recorded in rooms rather than studios, the equipment isn't what you'd expect from modern recordings, and the readings aren't edited - any mistakes or stumbles in the reading are just left in. However, I'm afraid that Peter Gray's slurred reading defeated even me. It was difficult to make out all of the words, the accents assigned to each of the characters seemed mildly American, part Irish, but all about the same. Would like to listen to a better reading.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Henry James is not easy to listen to at the best of times, he requires concentration and a reader who can suggest through their voice, nuances of meaning. David Gray's rendering is monotonous and he hardly deviates from his clipped, old-fashioned, over precise English enunciation. His voice is tense and his vowel sounds laboured so it is uncomfortable to listen. A more relaxed American accent may have been better. I enjoyed reading the book but couldn't finish the audiobook and wouldn't recommend this version.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful