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What would have made The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio better?
A better reader. I'll be buying this on my Kindle and finishing it as a print book. It sounds like a great story, but I simply can't stand to listen to it any more.
Would you ever listen to anything by Lloyd Alexander again?
Absolutely, as long as Ramirez is not reading. I am an adult reader (and high school English teacher) who enjoys YA fiction. I recently finished listening to Alexander's entire Prydain series (Book of Three, Black Cauldron, Taran Wanderer, House of Llyr, The High King) and enjoyed them so much I ordered this book without taking the time to listen to a sample of the reader - much to my regret.
I found the reader's style to be extremely distracting. I suspect that he was trying to deliver 'drama' to the dramatic reading, but as a result, each and every sentence was delivered in a tense,anxious style - regardless of the circumstances. The reader's voice and inflection made every sentence sound like he was in a life-or-death situation, whether he was walking through the market or talking to his uncle. I couldn't stand to listen to it long enough to find out how he narrates something *truly* exciting. There was never a point where the reader seemed to relax enough to simply read the story in a fluent and interesting way without sounding like he was trying to make every. single. word. drip with excitement. The very first paragraph was delivered in a way that led me to believe that the second paragraph would deliver a thrilling punch - it didn't, and that sense of false anticipation persisted throughout the three chapters I managed to get through. There was never any sense of tension actually building: rather, every sentence in itself was delivered tensely. It's been my experience that a good reader knows how and when to add drama to a reading by varying the tension, cadence, and inflection of his reading. I recommend you listen to the sample before you buy, keeping in mind that nothing particularly exciting is happening in the part of the book you're listening to. If you can listen to 7 hours of the same reading style with little variation in pattern or inflection, you'll probably enjoy the performance.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio?
For more details, please see above. In a nutshell, I got the impression that the narrator somehow felt that reading an exciting story aloud meant delivering every sentence in a 'dramatic' way. I kept thinking that this is how a high school freshman would have read the story, thinking that 'dramatic' reading meant every word should be dramatic.
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