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I have tried three times to listen to this book, and have not been able to make it beyond about an hour or so.
I was very excited by the premise of the story, and was looking forward to more books by Barbara Hambly.
But the narration is so abysmal that I cannot finish the book. Teri Clark Linden is the absolute worst narrator I have listened to in all my time as an audiobook listener.
She over-enunciates every single word and gives everything the same emphasis. She can only read about 4 words before having to take a breath, and there are odd pauses in all the wrong places. She prounounces the indefinite pronoun "a" as a long vowel (as in the first letter of the alphabet) and it's like biting on tinfoil. Other words are mispronounced, and it makes for an abysmal listening experience.
The only slightly better narration is when she is using a mock-English accent (voice of the wizard), but that only rises the performance out of the mire for a short time.
I am prepared to give Barbara Hambly another chance, but I will never listen to anything by this narrator again. I am going to return or delete the book.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
I first read Time of the Dark when I was in high school and I enjoyed the story greatly, the premise was interesting, the plot was well conceived, and the characters were enjoyable. As a fan of audiobooks, I have waited for this series to come to audio for a while. Sadly, when the series finally became available, the performance was so miserable that I can't bring myself to purchase the second and third books.
This audiobook can best be described as cruel and unusual punishment for the ears. Linden reads with zero emotion, horrible character voices, and a punctuation and pronunciation that would suggest trying to teach a recalcitrant child with a lisp how to read. There is so little emotional inflection that terror and joy could be the same thing. When Linden reads as a character, she seems to choose the worst possible voice. Ingold, possibly the most important character in the book, is meant to be a strong older man with a great deal of command and power while maintaining a normally soft spoken, kind demeanor. The voice given to him in the audiobook would be perfect for a dying old man with laryngitis who is trying to speak his last wishes. Rudy, another main character who is portrayed as a biker, artist, and semi-drifter from California is given a voice that seems more like what you would expect for a Virginian farmer with a bad case of southern accent. All the while, regardless of the character background and personality, they are all read to sound like some English professor who has lost sight of how to communicate in favor of dictionary pronunciation.
One of the worst parts of this audiobook is that Linden can't seem to understand how to deal with the letter A. Who in their right mind would pronounce the words around and across with a long A? Why would someone given a hick farmer accent use a long A any time he talks? If Linden speaks the way she reads in her everyday life, I can't imagine anyone wanting to spend time with her after the first 5 minutes of conversation.
All in all, after listening to this audiobook, I can't imagine how this got past any editor. It would be difficult to imagine a performance better equipped to make this audiobook be a failure. A re-recording with an actually talented narrator would be a great service to Hambly fans.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
Someone who's deaf?
What was one of the most memorable moments of Time of the Dark?
The whole book has a really good plot, with twists and turns right through it. I read the book several years ago and the story has stuck with me ever since.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Teri Clark Linden?
Nicole Poole would be a good narrator. Maybe she would know that Gil is actually pronounced Jill.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Time of the Dark?
If I was Editor, I would have thrown Teri out of the office and hired someone else. The book is just fine.
Any additional comments?
Definitely read the book. Don't bother to buy this Audio. Unless you like being read to by a three year old. I only managed 2 minutes of it. Wish I'd read the reviews of other people before buying it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I really like Barbara Hambly. I really like the Darwarth trilogy, post-apocalyptic fantasy, well-written, engaging characters, a really good read. But the reader for this audiobook is terrible: slow, mannered and displaying a range of truly awful faux-Brit accents. Ingold the wizard sounds like a terminal laryngitis case, and the cryptic, deadly Icefalcon has for some reason been rendered as a Brummie. At least I think it's Brummie, it's kind of hard to tell, but by heaven it doesn't work. I'm returning the audiobook, it's painful to listen too. What a pity. I had to return 'The Ladies of Mandrigyn', again by Hambly, because the same reader simply destroyed it for me.