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If you don't already know this wonderful quartet of novels, you have a treat in store. Splendid richness of historical setting and character. Paul Scott's writing is strong enough to overcome almost any flaws in narration. But he deserves better than this. The narrator speaks clearly enough, but his emotional range is often little wider than that of a talking clock, and all the characters have the same voice. Several days' worth of listening to his performance is a qualified pleasure. So, check the sample audio before you spend your eight credits. Let's hope that a narrator more sympathetic to the drama will take this great task on.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I am a book editor, and I'm forever reminding my clients to show and not tell their story. I tell them to inhabit a point-of-view character rather than be an omniscient observer, a literary technique that is out of vogue. I instruct them that all narrative must come from within the story rather than outside it, from the storyteller.
Paul Scott's novel tells the story a majority of the time, the point of view is not consistent, and the narrator is often the voice. Listening to this book should have irritated the heck out of me, but it didn't. I loved it.
Scott writes beautifully, and he includes unusual, telling details. Sometimes he breaks a moment down into tiny increments, which allowed me to draw a distinct picture in my mind of what was transpiring.
Richard Brown delivers an outstanding performance. His voice is that of a highly educated Brit, but he nailed the characters from India. Their dialogue never sounded singsong. He was adept at not spilling over the accents into the narrative or, when two characters, a Brit and and Indian, were talking to each other, he always delineated them. The accents didn't bleed into each other (as they are doing now, in Volume II, with a different narrator).
My attention never lagged. I really enjoyed this listening experience, and I am committed to listening to all the volumes in the Raj Quartet.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful