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This was a thoroughly enjoyable return to my younger days and a genuine classic of the fantasy genre. It's the first of a three part series but reads very well as a book in its own right. That might be useful for anyone thinking 36 hours is commitment enough!
The characters are well portrayed in not one but two richly detailed worlds as fate brings two very different civilizations into conflict.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in the genre and Feist is more accessible that some of the authors that followed him.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
What didn’t you like about Peter Joyce’s performance?
Mr Joyce makes incredibly strange choices in his reading. As another reviewer mentioned, I see no reason for his decision to pronounce "Arutha" as "Aruta". Nothing in the text or elsewhere suggests it.
Then he seems to have decided not to distinguish between the various characters, just their races - most of the Midkemia men get more or less the same voices, as do the elves, the invaders from Kelewan etc. The only times he deviates from this, he chooses inappropriate voices (particularly Martin and Father Tully). And why did the voice he chose for the men have to be a rasping growl? How many people speak like that? It just sounds like somebody putting on a strange voice rather than the way someone would actually talk. I can see that he's attempting a kind of sing song quality for the elves, but... well... epic fail there.
A good reader should distinguish between voices in a natural way. If a narrator is unable to think of a suitable accent, then it is better that he or she does nothing than something inappropriate. You only have to listen to Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter novels for an example of how it should be done. Each character has their own 'voice', (a great achievement considering the number of characters), yet each one sounds completely natural. Masterly. Stephen Briggs is also brilliant in his readings of Terry Pratchett novels.
What began to drive me mad though after a while (once I'd noticed it) was his habit of a long pause after saying "[someone] said". Why this huge pause? Continually during the course of ordinary dialogue, it was held up by an extra beat while we waited for what each character was going to say next.
Having said all that, he did at least manage to sound relatively enthused by the whole thing, and Pug's and Tomas' voices were fine, so overall it remained an okay listen. It was just a shame that I had to struggle to screen out certain elements in order to enjoy it.
Was Magician worth the listening time?
Generally speaking, yes.
Any additional comments?
Due to the somewhat stilted narration, I'd head towards the kindle rather than audio version.
31 of 34 people found this review helpful
Ive read the book many, many times. Listening to it was such a pleasure. An excellent performance.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The story is an old favourite but the narrator has limited ability to produce believable characters. I was still able to enjoy it as long as I know the story and characters well, and know what they should sound like.