rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really loved this series when it first appeared almost 21(!!!) years ago. Damn, I’m old.
ANYWAY, listening to it is a completely different experience. I haven’t revistied this series as often as I have re-read The Belgariad, so a lot of this book has been forgotten over time. As I listen to it, however, I struggle with the urge to skip around. If I had the book in front of me, I definitely would be doing that. As I’m listening, I’m forced to hear every word of the book. This isn’t, necessarily, a good thing.
Cameron Beirle is a good reader. He keeps the voices the same from book to book and from Belgariad to Mallorean. He’s consistent. The writing is a bit…..I won’t say pedestrian, but it is a bit simple. It isn’t a bad thing exactly, but hearing it makes it seem a lot less complex. When you’re reading this series, it is deftly plotted, and the characters are sharply drawn. Your imagination supplies the rest, which makes reading these books almost as magical as the contents. Listening, however, lays bare all of the faults of the books. There are great passages of…..description. Maybe it is because I’m reading these again, but I don’t really need to hear all of that. I’m not sure this series holds up as well as the original Belgariad did. Although, here I am, listening to it 21 years later.