Friday, 8 April 2016

The good and the bad of audio books

For the first time ever last week I asked for a refund on an Audible book (yes you can do that, surprisingly!)

The book in question was "Hawk Of May", the first in Gillian Bradshaw's excellent trilogy of Arthurian/Dark Ages novels about Gwalchmai ap Lot (Gawain). I own it in print and I adore the series, but given I had credits to burn, I figured having it to listen to on my commute would be good inspiration for Dux Britannoiarum.

Oh. Dear.

Let me quote my review:
Quite honestly, this is unlistenable. The (American) narrator affects a range of supposedly Scots accents for the characters (including the first person narrator), and they are, I'm sorry to say, unlistenably, almost embarrassingly bad. Gwalchmai (the narrator) as a teenager sounds at BEST like Wee Jimme Krankie, and is at worst borderline incomprehensible.
The reading has pretty much ruined the story for me, so much that I've actually stopped listening,. 
The video link to the right is the first 15 mins, which was about all I could stand. Some of the American reviewers actually liked it!

So, to easy my disappointment, I'm now two chapters in to Bernard Cornwell's "The Winter King", read by someone with a much better grasp of accents.... which is prompting interesting thoughts on the nature of magic in its world.

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