Regular price: $24.47
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $24.47
I enjoyed this book a lot. The plot was well developed and the characters were reasonably well drawn, given (as it seems to me) the main point of the book was to explore a theme: specifically, the emerging Victorian science of criminal anthropology - trying to codify the influence of genetics on the criminal; and more broadly, how depression and other forms of mental illness may lead to criminal behavior, and to what extent this is a mitigating circumstance. I liked the way the author didn't land heavily on an answer but left many ideas hanging in the air for the listener to explore. He let you see that this was a new concept for the times, but there were a lot of things the Victorians didn't yet understand that we now know, thus introducing some irony in the fate of the character. It was a good story as well!
My main beef was with the choice of narrator. This was a book set in the north of Scotland, where all the characters were Scottish. So why on earth did Audible get an English actor to perform it?? His accent was 90% there but the 10% that wasn't really irritated me. The pace was off because he was trying too hard to get the accent down. He read it in a sing-song intonation which I guess could have been a Highland lilt but I'd have liked a more dour reading, personally. The author wasn't served by the narrator's unfamiliarity with some esoteric words like "demur", which he pronounced as "demure"; "midfrift" for midriff (maybe that's a Scots variant??), especially given this won the Man Booker Prize. I would definitely listen to other books narrated by Antony Ferguson; I just didn't think he was right for this one.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Excellent performance rendering many voices and accents redering characters. If you read this as an intellectual costruct which reveals the author's extensive research, you won't be disappointed.
Tiny quibble with the glossary definition of stirk, but perhaps a part of Scotland where bovine sex denomination is reversed.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful