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What disappointed you about Forensics?
The book itself was great. The narration was AWFUL.
Who was your favorite character and why?
What didn’t you like about Sarah Barron’s performance?
First of all I should say that book is a really interesting, nicely written and well researched piece of popular science. I just wish I had read it, rather than listened to it.
The problem was not with the general reading, the narrator had a nice reading voice. But when she gets to quoting people, for some reason someone thought it would be a good idea forget to attempt regional and national accents. That was s SERIOUSLY BAD idea. It's so bad!! So very very bad. She is incapable of doing ANY accent than her own. It's cringe worthy. I was embarrassed for her!
The American accent was possibly the worst, but the regional English accents were a close second. She manages to make people, who are undoubtedly highly intelligent experts in their field, sound like dim imbeciles from a Little Britain sketch. Maybe her regional Scottish accents were better, as she is Scottish, but given how TRULY AWFUL the others were I wouldn't be surprised if they were bad too.
It's not only that the use of accents were TOTALLY distracting (I cannot truly emphasise how distracting they were) it's that the use of them was also inconsistent and at times simply incorrect. I happen to have worked for one of the people quoted in the book - Clive Stafford Smith. He's a lawyer who has represented many people on death row in the U.S. The problem is that the narrator gives him an American accent. Stafford Smith has indeed worked and lived in the States, but he's from Cambridgeshire and speaks with an English accent. He's also relatively famous and is interviewed on TV fairly regularly, so there's no mistaking his accent. So it's just lazy that they got that wrong.
I know I'm going on and on about it, but that is symptomatic of how blummin' awful it was and that it completely ruined what was actually a great book. I can actually only assume that the book was even better than I think because I thought it was pretty good despite the TERRIBLE narration. Imagine what I'd have thought of it had been good!
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The content of the book was super interesting, well researched and nicely written.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Why oh why did the narrator have to use such phoney, annoying regional accents? The narration completely ruins the interesting and factual content of the book. Very disappointed that I was only able to listen to the book once, as I was so irritated by this dreadful narrator. The first listen was endured because of the interesting content, but the second attempt was abandoned before the end of chapter one. Peter Arnold doesn't speak in the way portrayed at all and his expertise is considerably demeanoured by it. TERRIBLE!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
well researched. interesting. fascinating. excellent structure. good narration. learnt new facts. a very good book
this book is a perfect cross-section of forensics and all the ways it has worked over the years to support (or undermine) the pursuit of those who commit crimes by justice.
McDermid works her way through forensics from its earliest application to today's more advanced techniques, presenting the concepts in easy-to-understand bite-size pieces. The way that she builds on those concepts to discuss some pretty advanced processes and decisions is a masterstroke - I never felt left behind or like I was missing out on the information I needed to understand the content.
I particularly enjoyed the cross-section of early forensics and the swinging pendulum in public opinion and in the courtroom between acceptance of the some questionable concepts as irrefutable evidence and complete disregard for solid scientific foundation.
The book was a delight to listen to while travelling or going about my day; the concepts are explained so well and in detail. One word of warning however: I did have one or two occasions where I decided it may be best to stop eating for a few minutes while some of the more distasteful topics were discussed, but it never descended into full-blown gross-out mode.