Regular price: $24.95
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $24.95
George Higgins is such a talented dialogue guy. And cleverly he reveals this plot almost entirely through the discussions among his characters. And his ear is note perfect to create individuals who stand out.
And the plot that unravels digs into the way each of the characters defines themselves. He probes their deepest thoughts almost entirely in their words. Which takes time, but I really enjoyed visiting these people enough to want the story to go on and on.
And Mark Ashby is a powerfully strong collaborator lighting these character with the sudden dependability of a Zippo lighter. Yep... this is different enough I'm looking forward to my next Higgins adventure.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful
What a shame Audible picked Mark Ashby to read George Higgins's tour de force. After a few paragraphs I was shaking my head; by the end of the first chapter I was completely dismayed. I went back to Audible.com to see what kind of ratings Ashby had received before. There were only a few reviews of any of his performances, and only one commented on him specifically. What surprised me is that the bulk of Ashby's narrations were on books about business and finance! And let me tell you folks, he reads this book as if he were reading a ledger sheet. Flat, dull, monotonous.
Higgins was famous for long, clever, and well paced soliloquies. In some of Higgins's longer passages, Ashby seems to lose the thread about half-way through and lapse into phone-book mode, and of course all of Higgins's substantial artistry is lost. From time-to-time Ashby would stick in a little inflection, stressing one word over the others. I went back and re-listened to those to see if anything special was going on that I had missed, but no, the stress appeared randomly inserted. Maybe Ashby was shifting in his seat. Or maybe someone, the audiobook producer perhaps, had just told him to put some punch into it.
Ashby's Boston accent is completely inadequate--I would put the accent closer to Iowa or Kansas than Massachusetts. If you've read a bit of Higgins, such as his Jerry Kennedy books, you know that the sentence structure of his characters' speech is often pure Boston. Ashby just murders these lines, and there will be no doubt in your mind that he is just reading the sentence in whatever his native accent is.
In fairness Ashby appeared to get a little better as time goes by. Or maybe I just got resigned to the ordeal. Well, yes, there was one character that Ashby rendered quite well! However, this fellow had an artificial voice box that made him talk like Stephen Hawkings. Ashby was a natural for this accent.
I'm usually quite forgiving of narrators, realizing that George Guidall can't narrate every book I want to read. This time though I couldn't stand it. Immediately upon finishing the book I went to my Audible.com Wish List and deleted the other Higgins narrated by Ashby, "The Digger's Game". I've had enough.
If you love George Higgins you'll have to read "At End of Day". It's one of his finest books. All I can say is grin and bear it if you pick this production. A damn shame.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful