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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classy and absorbing detective story.
The latest in the Aurelio Zen mysteries is a welcome addition to Dibdin's genre of 'whodunnit' Italian travel writing, and as usual the sense of place and atmosphere is richly evocative. It is predominantly set in Sicily, and, as one would expect, it is filled with the intricacies of local mafia politics, although these are refreshingly unglamourized.
Dibdin moves...
Published on 18 Oct 1999

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Audio book review- a-bit---precise
Right - it was the TV adaptation that brought Zen to my attention. The Kindle sample chapter of Ratking was readable enough, and before I had a chance to do anything else, I was lent this audio version of a book part way through the series. I'm not sure if I'd happened upon this as my first experience that I would go any further. I just can't take Michael Kitchen's style...
Published on 2 Feb 2011 by Julie Cutler


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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undiluted Pleasure, 4 Feb 2011
By 
P. G. Strachan (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Aurelio Zen: Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen 07) (Audio CD)
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The television series had kind of stamped on my enthusiasm for Aurelio Zen but I'm all fired up again after listening to this. Despite looking gorgeous the telly Zen is a much less complex beast than Dibdin's creation and the real pleasure of his books, for me, has always been the political backdrop. I know they do the politics on the TV but given the constraints of time it's necessarily a simplistic interpretation. As for the reading....Michael Kitchen's voice is perfect for the role. He has the sort of icy, world-weary detachment that the tale and it's hero demand. And there's something in his almost lazy pace that I found really evocative of Sicily (that sounds pretty pseudish but knowing what I mean and typing what I mean are two different things). Anyway...loved it....looking forward to the next one now...bring it on.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Audio book review, 26 Jan 2011
By 
BookBliss (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aurelio Zen: Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen 07) (Audio CD)
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I've never before listened to an audio book, in fact the last time anybody read me a story was probably when I was about 5 and had a bedtime story read by my parents (I won't go into how many years ago this was) so I was slightly dubious as to how much I would enjoy this. I've only recently become acquainted with the work of Dibdin through the BBC tv adaptation of his Zen novels which I have really enjoyed although I have never actually read any of his books.

I had imagined that the audio book would come in the same packaging as a dvd tv series, although similar there are some noticeable differences. The box itself is smaller and more like a thick cd case, inside rather than one disc per holder and multiple holders, there is one holder with all the discs piled on top of each other (like they are when you buy blank dvd/cd's). My laptop had a couple of issues recognising the 2nd and 3rd discs when I was loading them on to add to my iPod but this wasn't a major issue.

I'm a big admirer of Michael Kitchen and although he is a very English actor I was glad he was used rather than someone with an Italian accent, I think I would have struggled to understand an accent as easily which would have spoilt my enjoyment. Additionally, having seen Rufus Sewell play Zen in the BBC adaptation I have never particularly associated Zen with an Italian accent although this is obviously what was intended when the books were originally written

Of course, I can't review this without commenting on the story itself which I thought was excellent. Although I enjoyed the story I felt that it was a little bit too descriptive and that this took away from any detection that was done, for a detective novel there didn't actually seem to be a whole lot of investigation taking place. Maybe I wouldn't have noticed the heavy description if I'd read this rather than listened to it (I would have easily been able to skip to the end of a para or skim read, which can't be done on the audio version). However, I still enjoyed listening to this book.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Letting Off Steam, 12 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Blood Rain (Hardcover)
I feel compelled to dispute the egregious reviews of this stunning work. If the previous Dibdin books were mere arias, fragile, beautiful but ultimately small worlds, Blood Rain is a sublime opera of unnerving pace, deft characterisation, witty dialogue and a kettle full of bubbling water. From the moment you switch it on, faint wisps of steam issue forth from the spout in the form of Zen's cunning perspicacity. However, it is only on a second, third or fourth read that you remark the traces of condensed water droplets, now dried, evidence of a hydrogenated thinking upon the wall. On a first read you are too caught up in the whirl and purl of the bubbles as the book begins to boil, the superheated atoms of water dancing on the surface with the grace of a long-legged fly. And then the fly takes to wing, exploding gossamer limbs which beat at sixty-four times a second, thrashing the insides of the kettle, beating its polymer coating with unrelenting vigour. And now the book is an emergency, Dibdin's prose pure steam, curling in bilious fury across your kitchen. The weakness of the other characters is Zen's strength: it is the eternal duality of the universe, strong and weak, good and bad, steam and water. Finally, the book has thrashed itself into a perfect agony, the kettle switches off, the water laments. And you have your cup of tea, and then you begin to notice the marks on the kitchen wall.... That is Dibdin's genius.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Detective ficition at its most frustrating, 5 Aug 2004
Although my range of detective fiction is limited (Chandler, Robert B. Parker, and Rankin are the only novelists I have read more than one book of), I think I have enough knowledge to spot a reasonable detective novel.
This book sadly is not one of them - the plot takes an age to get going, and then is resolved all too neatly, and left me dissatisfied.
None of the characters are sufficiently developed to engage the reader sufficently to either like or loathe. If, as other reviewers have indicated, this book relies on the previous novels to develop an interest in the characters, then the above three novelists have always drawn me into established characters which each new book I've read - regardless of whether I'm reading the books in the sequence they were written.
Shame really as some descriptive writing of the scenery and the characters inner self is excellent, but again under developed.
Buy only if in a buy 2 get another book free offer really.
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Aurelio Zen: Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen 07)
Aurelio Zen: Blood Rain (Aurelio Zen 07) by Michael Kitchen (Audio CD - 6 Jan 2011)
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