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I really enjoyed Michael Sheen's reading of the book. But I was also reading the Kindle text, using Whispersync to listen to the Audible version as I read along. So any differences between the audio and print versions jumped out at me immediately. And there were a lot of them! At first I thought Michael Sheen must be reading a British text, while Kindle had an American version. But it quickly became obvious that couldn't account for all of the discrepancies (and I don't know whether there are differences between the British and American versions). At one point, a day of the week and the time of day were different. The Audible version had "physicist" in most, but not all, places where Kindle had "experimental theologian." In very many places, the synchronization stopped while the audio continued, only to resume in the middle of the next page. But the most glaring difference came in a tirade from Alice toward Malcolm. In the Audible version, it's long, very violent, and extremely profane--something parents should be warned of. But in the text, it's much shorter, less violent, and not profane. I'm guessing that Sheen was probably reading a pre-publication text that was edited further before publication, and I hope that a new audio version that follows the published text will be forthcoming. In the rush to get both versions out by the publisher's deadline, someone has been exceedingly sloppy. I found the constant discrepancies and interruptions in synchronization to range from irritating to really upsetting, leading me to read the last few chapters without Mr. Sheen's constant distractions. And I find it disturbing that those who experience the oral, but not the written, text will not get the version Mr. Pullman and his publisher intended.
62 of 67 people found this review helpful
I loved the full-cast experience of the "His Dark Materials" series. For anyone hesitant to listen to a single narrator after listening to the full cast trilogy, do no be concerned. Mr. Sheen is one of the best narrators I've ever listened to in my 25+ year history of audio books. There are several action scenes in this book where the narrator raises his voice and almost shouts. The intensity is incredible. Audible should make one of these scenes be the sample that audio book browsers hear. Sure, this is a great story by Pullman, but he couldn't have picked a better voice actor. Sheen's range of voice characterization is stunning. And if you're an Anglophile like me, you're in for a treat.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful