Friday, 13 June 2014

Audiobook Reviews: Revisiting Melina Marchetta

I've been wanting to reread some of my favourite Melina Marchetta books for a little while, and decided to give the audiobooks a try, because I don't feel so guilty about rereading if I'm at least experiencing the books in a different way. These are some notes on the audiobooks themselves, as I've already addressed the overall books in my original reviews.


On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Narrated by: Rebecca Macauley
Available at: Audible
I really loved this audiobook. Macauley's narration was great and felt authentic to the characters and the story. I didn't love a couple of the male voices, like Griggs, but they weren't bad - just not totally how I thought they should sound. Overall it was a solid performance from Macauley though, and it was a wonderful way to experience the story again. It made me ugly cry on the train, which looked even weirder than it usually does when reading, because I wasn't actually reading - I had headphones in and it probably just looked like I was listening to a really sad song or something. But it was worth it. 
Rating: 5/5 story, 4/5 audio.


Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (Book 1 in The Lumatere Chronicles)
Narrated by: Tom Wren
Available at: Audible
I have really mixed feelings about this one. The audiobook was so, so good in some ways and really not good in others. Wren's narration was well done for the most part and some of his voices - like those of the older men in particular - were brilliant. But other voices were awful - Froi's was one that was very grating. And certain words and names were so badly mispronounced it drove me batty every time I heard them. I could also hear him swallowing at times which wasn't very pleasant. But I found myself loving the book perhaps even more than I did the first time, nonetheless. Still, I probably wouldn't recommend this as a way to experience Finnikin - certainly not for the first time.
Rating: 5/5 story, 2.5/5 audio.


Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta (Books 2 and 3 in The Lumatere Chronicles)
Narrated by: Grant Cartwright
Available at: Audible 
The final two books in this series are narrated by a new voice actor from the first one, and although he doesn't have any really standout character voices like Wren did, he is also much better overall. He gets the pronunciation of everything right, the pacing is good and the emotions he infuses the dialogue with are incredibly moving. There was one section in particular that I relistened to about five times before I moved on because it was so powerful - part of that was the amazing writing, but the narration really enhanced it. I still don't know if I'd recommend listening to the audiobooks if you haven't actually read the series first, but maybe that's because I adored the experience of actually reading them so much. Basically, no matter how you get them, they're going to be good.
Rating: 5/5 story, 4/5 audio.


5 comments:

  1. Being a blind book lover, I consider myself quite the audio book aficionado. I have experienced everything from the spectacular to the down right disgraceful. I have to agree with all of your points. especially RE Tom Wren. OTJR isn't Rebecca Macauley's best work (I prefer her saving Francesca) but it's pretty good. Unfortunately though, you've missed the best Melina Marchetta audio book experience of all time...if not the best audio book experience of all time!! The Piper's Son narrated by Michael Finney is amazing! Finney is such a spectacular narrator, He leaves most others for dead. In my opinion, it's almost perfect. He doesn't seem to have narrated any other audio books though, which is utterly tragic considering his immense talent. Give it a go. (It helps if you love Piper's Son as crazy much as I do) I think I'd enjoy even the crappiest book ever with his narration though. :)

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    1. Oooh, I LOVE The Piper's Son, so I'll definitely have to check out the audiobook! I'll give Saving Francesca a go too. Thanks for the recs!

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  2. Definitely agree re The Piper's Son. I have listened to it 4 or 5 times now. Soo good!

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    1. Oooh I will definitely have to pick it up.

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