Top critical review
Terrible audiobook reading mars novel
on 13 October 2013
I have really enjoyed the Maisie Dobbs series but this review is of the audiobook of Incomplete Revenge read by Orlagh Cassidy. While I read the other books in this series, I decided to listen to this one. I will not be listening to any others.
Firstly, this reader cannot do accents. Maisie, the Oxford educated former maid sounds virtually the same as Priscilla, a bona fide member of the gentry and yet often is indistinguishable from her costermonger father and her Cockney assistant Billy. This makes it very difficult to follow conversations. The Cockney and gipsy accents are not only not very good but they are also very inconsistent as some sentences will be read with a marked accent and others will slip back into the narrator's voice. Again, this is very confusing to listen to.
Secondly, the reader uses American pronunciations of words such as 'vase'. Listening to a novel set in 1930s Britain in which someone puts flowers in a 'vace' is jarring to say the least.
Thirdly, the reader simply does not know how to pronounce many words. Michaelmas, admittedly an uncommon word, is pronounced by her as Michael-mas instead of 'Mikelmas' but then 'barren' is pronounced 'bare-an'.
All in all the effect is of trying to immerse oneself in a novel but being prevented at regular intervals by poor and lazy reading.
I am a huge fan of audiobooks but in this instance, I would advise readers and listeners to stick to a format which does Winspear justice and to avoid any audiobook read by Orlagh Cassidy.