'I was just a freelance hero doing his best in a hard world.'
The spirit of adventure calls Falco on a new spying mission for the Emperor Vespasian to the untamed East. He's picking up extra fees from his old friend Thalia the snake dancer as he searches for Sophrona, her lost water organist. With the Chief Spy Anacrites paying his fare, Falco knows anything can go wrong.
A dangerous brush with the Brother, the sinister ruler of Nabataean Petra, sends Falco and his girlfriend Helena on a fast camel-ride to Syria. Here they join a travelling theatre group, which keeps losing members in non-accidental drownings. The bad acting and poor audiences are almost as bad as the desert and its scorpions - then as the killer hovers, Falco tries to write a play.
©1996 Lindsey Davis (P)2014 Audible Ltd
I've loved the Falco series for a long time as the author has created a great set of characters, a rich world with generous helpings of cynical humour bound together by intriguing plots. I have all the audible versions read by Christian Rodska but unfortunately this narrator does not even come close.
Christian Rodska, who has narrated several other books in the series, is the perfect voice for the main character bringing Falco and the other characters to life. His pacing and tension really draws you in to the world and most importantly his comic timing does justice to the author.
Gordon Griffin however strikes the wrong tone, constantly mispronounces nouns, makes all the characters sound the same so I was often unsure who was talking and makes every comedic moment fall flat.
Even though I love the series I am hesitant to buy any more of the new releases I have been looking forward to because a bad narrator really spoils a good book.
Lindsey Davis has produced another great tale following Falco and Helena. It's clever, witty, dry humoured and utterly brilliant.
I saw a comment about the narrator, I can agree and have previously been scathing ....but I worked out the answer ..speed it up to at least 1.5x !! Gordon Griffin doesn't do too bad and I think he adds an air of sophistication and culture with his narration which is what the Romans were all about.
"Missing Christian Rodska"
I am a big fan of the Falco series, and whilst I'm enjoying the story I'm afraid the reader is very disappointing. For me Christian Rodska really has this character sewn up, he has made it his own. I have nothing against Gordon Griffin as a reader, he has a very pleasant voice, just not as Falco. I am missing the cheeky, wide-boy that comes across in a Christian Rodska reading
"What a let down"
Yes, previously I have always enjoyed the Falco series. The narration was fine, the story long drawn out and boring.
No, I must assume this was written at a low time.
About tow thirds of the middle.
I can't believe I stuck with it to the end.
"Great Naration of Falco's Last Act in Palmira"
Amongst the best.
These Falco novels, so well read, come 2nd in my preferred books to the Dick Francis novels read by Tony Britton
Falco, with Helena a close second.
Always laughing (so well written) and cried when Helena was bitten by a snake ( even though I have read the printed book several times).
Top quality audiobooks help me relax and go to sleep as I can no longer hold a book for too long. I have many cassette versions, but have just purchased a Zip-Tunes speaker set for my Sansa Clip so I no longer have to wear earphones. Brilliant.
"Shame about the reader."
What a letdown after the BBC dramatisations with Anton Lesser, and unabridged readings by Christian Rodska! This is Falco from Surrey, sounding more like a middle-grade civil servant than someone living by his wits and charming everyone with dry humour and a great sense of the absurd. This Falco wouldn't have lasted an hour with Helena Justina...
If it was a 3rd person narration, perhaps it might just have been excusable, but when it's a series with 1st person narrator, and already with more appropriately cast Falcos established, it's hard to understand how this performance was ever commissioned, and worse, published. This is Falco as golf club secretary, Conservative councillor, and absolutely not someone edgy, sexy, funny and ingenious.
"A really compelling story"
Great story narrated well but not the real Falco (Christian Rodska) and lacks some of the character of other books.
"Descriptive and entertaining"
I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story, and the descriptions of the locations a grey deal. I failed to guess the villain! I wasn't convinced about the narrator, and he didn't capture Falco's humorous yet perceptive character as I'd imagined him. This is the first of this series I've had through Audible, and I've read the previous ones, so I suppose I've had plenty of opportunity to form my own opinion. I read reviews first, and had I not already read the books I would have tried the other narrator. So it will be reading for me in future.
"A great road story"
This was as great as other falco books
Although I was looking forward to it with trepidation as I love rodska renditions I soon got used to the narrator and found I couldn't put it down - twist may have been a bit obvious but a great ride getting there
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