LISTENER

Sister Luke

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 30
  • ratings

I'll stick with Beowulf

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2021

So apparently Mediaeval people were really obsessed with adultery and cuckoldry. And drunkenness. I didn't like this for the same reason I don't like Shakespeare--it's too low, too vulgar, too coarse, too common (in every sense). It's so petty, so inconsequential. I'm not interested in how ordinary people lived their lives (when there isn't something greater at stake)--my soul longs for grandeur, adventure, heroism, the high and noble and great. Tolkien was absolutely right (and Martin is wrong) to purge the gross from his pseudo-historical epics.

My favourite was the Prioress's Tale, and least favourite was the Miller's, for obvious reasons. I noticed that in the audio version I listened to the narratress of the Prioress's Tale adopted a hysterical tone in order to distance herself from the teller and discredit the tale.

I think it was a mistake to listen to this via audibook, as I was often totally unsure what was going on or even which tale I was hearing. At times I wanted to check a word or phrase, but this was difficult as the audiobook I was listening to via audible doesn't have proper part headings/divisions. On the other hand, if I hadn't listened to the audiobook, I would never have got through it. And I did want to get through it, just because it's one of those things one ought to have read, and I'm a completionist.

Based purely on my personal enjoyment: 2 stars, minus 1 for all the farting. Seriously, what the fuck, Chaucer? It wasn't even funny.

Curious

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-12-2020



Was this recorded quite a while ago? I mean, decades ago? The audio/narration quality would seem to suggest as much.
He sort of slurs/stumbles his way through at a very rapid pace, and often makes outright mistakes, which I assume if this was a proper audiobook recording he would have gone back to correct. All his voices sound pretty much the same, and there are some odd choices in how he choose to do many characters. Overall, it just didn't sound very professional, or seem like Maloney really 'got' the book. In fact, I would guess he was probably bored by it. Sloppy. Sloppy is the word I'm looking for.

A mixed bag

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-06-2020

There was some wonderful voice acting ( Brian Blessed was brilliant, as ever, as were the voices of Tom and Goldbery). However there were also some very odd choices made when it came to adapting Tolkien's stories into dialogue, and often the voicing/characterisation felt 'off',
; what they chose to leave vs what they left out felt arbitrary, and the conveying of visual information through ordinary media was generally clunky and awkward. The action scenes were particularly badly handled. Those problems pertained primarily to the Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wotton Major and Life by Niggle stories. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (which is actually the Hobbits stay in the House of Bombadil from the Lord of the Rings) and the audio documentary on Tolkien , on the other hand, were excellent (incorporating snippets from the BBC Lord of the Rings radio play) were by far the best parts, well worth it for that alone.

A classic just as enchanting as in my boyhood

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-2019

This is a childhood favourite of mine, and I am pleased beyond words to discover it holds up equally well know that I am grown up. Garth Nix writes a cracking, original narrative with enough in the way of mythic/religious allusion and more serious themes (particularly toward the end of the series) to give it a truly epic feel. The writing style is both profoundly simple, and very good--perfect for a book aimed at children. The narrator is excellent, with a masterly control of different voices/accents (his choice of a Welshman for a coalminer, for instance, is amusing and just right.)

1 person found this helpful

Awful. Just awful.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-03-2018

An unforgivable mangling of a truly remarkable work. Agree with the reviewer below- the bit at the beginning, a completely inappropriate co-option of Renault's work to fit a contemporary 'Gay Rights' narrative, is insufferable and unnecessary, and contradicts completely the core messages of the book (I can only imagine they were too subtle for the writer of the foreword). The Charioteer is first and foremost a good novel, not even so much a Gay(!) novel, still less a didactic political screed.

The voices the narrator adopts for the different characters are stilted and overdone (not to mention badly done); bizarre, actually. They're like caricatures: the masculine voices are exaggeratedly deep and dense-sounding; the feminine (for which he adopts a falsetto), mean and shrill. It's excruciating to listen to. Laurie, Ralph and Andrew (who the narrator distinguishes by making him speak in a barely-audible whisper) deserve better. Mary Renault deserves better. Her peerless and singular style (of which the narrator has no discernible appreciation) deserves better. Renault's descriptions and especially dialogue perfectly and effortlessly evoke the period, but this narrator doesn't really seem to know how people in the first half of the 20th century talked. A more experienced reader would have been much better. My personal choice would be an older woman, perhaps a distinguished (theatre?) actress; someone literate enough to understand the beauty and power of what they are reading.

A must for any Tolkien fan

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-03-2018

Tolkien's verse is simple and delightful and, at times, very beautiful. Derek Jacobi is, of course, inimitable.

Story and Narration both excellent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-03-2018

This is C.S. Lewis' best and most mature work (in his opinion as well as mine). The story is a must-read for fans of Lewis, Greek myth or literature with sensitive and moving explorations of profound spiritual, psychological and philosophical themes. Equally enjoyable by believers and non-believers, and I would imagine more palatable to the non-religious than Lewis' more blatantly didactic/allegorical works. Make no mistake, there is plenty of allegory here too, but it is first and foremost a good story. The narrator is excellent and does perfect justice to Lewis' simple, yet elegant and evocative style.

3 people found this helpful