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The book itself is well worthy of the name "classic". It is deep, intelligent and moving, and the most impressive thing about it, to me, was the apparent ease with which the author portrays such a complex protagonist and such deep feelings. However, I was only able to reach these conclusions after reading a print version of the book, since in the audiobook I could only barely follow the story.
The problem with the narrator is very simple: his voice is just too deep. He's not an untalented narrator, in that his pronunciation is very clear and he reads without any errors (I think I detected a hint of accent -- South African, perhaps?). However, he reads at such a low pitch that it is very hard to decipher what he's saying. Most of the time it sounds like someone grumbling to himself in another room. This would be a perfect voice for some sort of "mountain-man" in an animated film, but constantly straining to understand the narrator is not what you want in an audiobook.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I bought this version of Death in Venice because it was really inexpensive, and the sample seemed decent enough. After I started it, I found the narration to be excruciatingly awful, and after about an hour of listening in the car, I made up my mind that this audio book had to go! The narrator has a deep, muffled, and throaty voice that simply croaked. He sounds like a heavy smoker whose respiratory system is about to give out at any moment. I decided to call it a loss and to download and listen to the more expensive version. The story itself is great.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Where does Death in Venice rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Who was your favorite character and why?
Tadzio. All credit due to the author's description of the youth which plays with your imagination and helps you paint every subtle action, every emotion of the character. I have seen the film before this and it complements the visual.
Have you listened to any of Peter Batchelor’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I have not. I have to admit that Peter's narration although good, was also quite quiet that I had to raise the volume above the recommended volume level.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I wouldn't want to. This book is powerfully descriptive as the author paints you the scene, the background and the small details. It's a book that you would have to listen again and again to gain more understanding of what the author wanted to convey.
Any additional comments?
Other than the voice being quiet and that some paragraphs can be quite daunting in their description when you cannot connect with it. This does well to narrate and complement the visuals that one can see through the film.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A melancholic allegorical study into the unavoidable human dangers of love and compulsion set in the backdrop of Venice during a cholera epidemic. Sombre, descriptive and moving.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful