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The book does not lend itself to being enjoyable to listen to. Names, timelines, plot... all don't work in the audio book.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Although generally highly regarded , this book in the style of Magical Realism seems to be a never ending account of military manouvres. It is almost inpenetrable , although I stuck it out through the first 8 chapters, I couldnt stand any more.
The psuedo story was buried deep within the endless, often senseless detail.
I wouldnt recommend it to anyone other than die hard Magic Realism Enthusiasts. The reader is too fast and delivers in a monotonous tone.
Any additional comments?
One Hundred Years of Solitude has made a name for itself as one of the most stunning novels of the 20th Century. So, it’s no surprise that many readers, like myself, have anxiously awaited its release on audiobook… yet it should also come as no surprise to fans like myself, that this is an intricately woven piece of literature, often requiring a little legwork to fully grasp the complex web of characters. I went into my listening experience knowing this, and after reading some scathing reviews by other listeners – while I understand how translation from page to digital can create some inevitable need for clarifications – I have to disagree with such harsh reviews that seem to trash the audiobook as a whole. If needed, there are plenty of resources online to help the listener along, not to mention, a hard copy of the novel (which, in my opinion, everyone should have regardless)! I found John Lee’s performance full of clarity and rhythmic narration, quickly and effectively engaging me as a listener. After much anticipation, I was thoroughly pleased with this audiobook, and would definitely recommend it - with the understanding that, as a novel, it is complex – but SO worth it!
64 of 65 people found this review helpful
I read this book in Spanish twice and in English once, but I had never enjoyed it as much as I do now, as I listen to it in my car on my way to work. The quality of the voice, its depth and resonance and the rhythm of the language have taken the story to new depths. Previous books by Garcia Marquez, have ben read by Latin accented narrators, and while I do not diminish their quality and professional talent, I believe that John Lee is a much better narrator for this book in its English version. I am genuinely bilingual and do not agree that a book has to be read by a Latino accented narrator just because it was originally written in Spanish. One Hundred Years of Solitude, is so big a story that it transcends cultures and gains when read by people in whose language it is translated. I live in Australia and I did not enjoy listening previous books by GM read with a heavy Hispanic-Californian inflection. That’s because this regional accent takes the story away from its narrative setting, Macondo, and locates somewhere in a neighbourhood of the United States where Hispanic people live. John Lee’s version gives this story its universality, and makes it a joy to listen, even when he has to round his vowels with a slight effort to pronounce Jose Arcadio Buendia, and that makes it special. In my humble opinion, an audio book works when there is harmony between a good story and an enjoyable sound, for it is sound that paints the picture. For example, I didn’t enjoy The Book Thief when I read it, but when I listened to its audio version, I was fascinated. Well done John Lee. I’m sure the master is happy.
60 of 63 people found this review helpful
What would have made One Hundred Years of Solitude better?
If the the narrator would not immitate an accent, and interpret all the women of every age as sounding like a cliché of drowsy, tired and yet mysterious old ladies. He turned the characters into parodies.
Would you be willing to try another book from Gabriel García Márquez? Why or why not?
Yes - as I have previously read this book, I know that my bad experience is not based on the story but on the narrator
How did the narrator detract from the book?
As previously mentioned, he turned the entire thing into a parody on south-american people - especially women! AND his accent was very weird - why roll the r's like that?
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from One Hundred Years of Solitude?
Any additional comments?
Sometimes you could hear the difference between takes - like a skip in the recording or a change in volume.
26 of 30 people found this review helpful
How could the performance have been better?
John Lee reads each sentence with a pompous and repetitive tone that is utterly divorced from its meaning, a real shame for a writer with such deftness and subtlety. The most offensive part of his performance, however, is his insistence on reading any female speech in the book with a ludicrous, breathy voice, thus undermining every female character. Can you imagine how farcical it would be if a female reader decided to do a comically deep and macho 'caveman voice' every time she spoke for a male character?! So off-putting I almost abandoned the damn thing on several occasions.
28 of 33 people found this review helpful