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I really wanted to enjoy that book but I had a hard time caring about the story and the narration was really not the most eloquent...
Like a good novel captures everything : relationships, fear, politics (pharmaceutical industry, our relationship with developing countries), role models....
Marina is not the most likable character, but she achieves what no one else has done and manages to escape the jungle intact.
This is a good story which kept me involved and wanting more, keeping up its pace until the end. The reader did not do it justice. She reads competently but with no voices at all, just her own same flat American accent and intonations and it's impossible to tell from her voice who is speaking even when the character is Australian. A great shame as I would highly recommend the book otherwise and I still enjoyed it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I didn't finish this. The story is reasonably well put together, and although parts of the plot reminded me a great deal of another book, I don't think it's fair to write it off it solely on that basis. Plots and settings are always shared and this one was chugging along okay. I think perhaps with a different narrator I might well have got to the end, so perhaps the main issue for me was technical issues with the recording. She has a nice speaking voice, but there were a lot of hesitations or half-stoppages in the reading which I found distracting. I kept listening for them rather than listening to the story itself. For an audiobook we pay for, I'd expect that all of these problems would have been over-dubbed during the production. It may be that, after some of the brilliant narrations I've heard on audio now, that my expectations are getting too high. For example, in this particular book, the narrator rendered the Australian character in an American accent which I found very distracting (I live in Australia, so there's a clue to why that issue struck me in particular).
It makes me think that audio is a very risky format for an author, because any issues with the narrator can ruin their otherwise enjoyable novel. In this particular case, I didn't find the story gripping enough to overcome the few issues I had with the narration, but it wouldn't put me off trying another Ann Patchett novel in the future.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Expertly crafted and performed, a fascinating story with an important theme - what right does first world pharma have to indigenous secret knowledge of sacred plants? How the lure of miracle properties drives scientists into dangerous risks.
This is the story Liz Gilbert says she believes Anne Patchett 'caught' from her when she was unable to complete. It's a fascinating theory she writes about in her book 'Big Magic'