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Important note- my 1 star rating is solely due to the quality of the narration- I loved the book, as I've loved all of Mark Kurlansky's books, but the reader in this recording is positively awful. The choice of a reader with a very pronounced, almost affected, British accent struck me as odd, but as others have noted, his often bizarre mis-pronounciations are so distracting that I would certainly have requested a refund if I'd paid full price.
The reader is apparently unfamiliar with names like Phil Ochs- he pronounces it 'Awks' (thoough later he pronounces Arthur Ochs Sulzberger's middle name as 'oaks'). Thelonius Monk is called 'Thelanus'. My favorite, though, is Robert Lowell, whose surname is at first repeatedly pronounced so as to rhyme with 'towel', though a few chapters later, it is unaccountably pronounced normally.
Unfamiliarity with the pronunciation of some pretty well known names is bad enough, but then there are the real howlers- doctoral is pronounced 'doctoreeal', and Earl Warren is quoted on the need to 'revolve' the conflict between the generations.
Hands down- the worst narration of any Audible production I've heard- and I've been a Serious Listener since the subscription program began.
My advice- wait until they re-record the book with an acceptable narrator, or read the hard copy. The book is worth reading, but this narration is definitely not the way to do it.
24 of 27 people found this review helpful
The book is ok - but no better than that. Unfortunately, that's the good news. I could not recommend the audio version because the reader has not bothered to learn the correct pronunciation of words or names in any language other than UK Engish. He mangles American names (and there are many), he mangles Slavic names and words (and there are many), and he kills that most beautiful language of all-French. It's comical to hear him attempt "Ho-Ho-Ho Chi Minh-the NLF is Going to Win!" It seems like quality control really slipped up on this book--the errors aren't even consistent from one part of the book to the next.
24 of 28 people found this review helpful