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I loved the movie and now the I have had opportunity to read the book!
This is one of my all-time favorite thrillers. But, in this case, a great book is all but ruined by a truly terrible narrator. His accent is atrocious. He makes Smith and Wyatt-Turner, characters of brilliance and sophistication, sound like uneducated cockneys, who scream constantly.
Please! Do it over, and get Bill Bryson or Micheal Pritchard to do the reading.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Possibly not. I love the story, it is a classic, and possibly Maclean's best work... but.. it is only a good listen if the narrator can recreate this. The producer/editors should also take some of the blame to. This recording is not upto the standard of the 40 year old cassette version!
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jonathan Oliver?
Anyone! (David Rintoul, Toby Longworth, Matt Addis, but as they are soooo good and therefore possibly to expensive to employ).. how about Colin Mace who read 'Nomad' so well ? ...actually that is a bit unfair, but Oliver struggles much like with 'The Guns of Navarone' with accents. The German ones all sound the same and like a cliched parody more akin to the BBC's 'Allo, Allo!', and the female voice of Mary, nearly made my ears bleed. The american accent for Schaffer is identical to Dusty Miller in Guns of Navarone, the germans the same, and I can only thank god that there were no greeks in this story. He seems to only be able to recreate one version of an accent. His fluency is in question as well, as he struggles to turning that into a coherent and not disjointed experience (lots of unnecessary pauses, or bad edits?). The problem here is that this is repeated from previous books, and although I believe he delivers this one slightly better, it is still a long way off from good, let alone perfect.I originally listened to this on cassette read by Martin Jarvis...the cassette, even in it's 40 year, mangled state is better!
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I nearly cried in places when the accents assaulted my ears!
Any additional comments?
Oliver's performance in Fear is the Key, was a lot better (less accents), so I will be looking at 'When Eight Bells Toll' in the future, but will be weary of acquiring other Maclean works, that he reads. It is a real shame as I like Maclean's work, but it is only good if delivered to the same standard.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Story is great but not sure the narrator got the tone right for me. Too much tongue in cheek humour which didn't jump out to me when I read the book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful