Top critical review
39 people found this helpful
There are better books for voice improvement. Narrator reads one word at a time, staccato, in each sentence.
on May 4, 2013
I suspect something is shady with all the 5 star glowing reviews from reviewers who haven't reviewed ANY OTHER BOOK. Almost all the 5 star reviews for this book come from someone who created an account just to review this book.
You should vote them down for helpfulness when you see that, and vote up the 4 star reviews, since they may be less biased. Or, if I see a 5 star review from a reviewer who has many reviews under his/her belt, then I'll vote that one up.
So far I've listened my way through 2 hours of this audiobook, narrated by the author (so a third of the book). After 2 hours of waxing poetic about how your voice is important and influences all areas of your life (I honestly believed that already...which is why I purchased this book) finally the author mentioned an exercise. She said it could be seen on video (I was glad for that), at the web address she gave. I typed that in (fullvoice.net) but it redirected. That website is pages and pages and pages long, and SOMEWHERE on the site (I'm sure) is that video.
I'm not going to wade through that huge, one-long-page website to find the video.
I may revise this review after finishing, because it's bound to get better, now that after 2 hours into the audiobook we're getting practical.
The author (when narrating anyway) speaks in a stilted voice throughout most of the book, so that the cadence of the sentence is not fluid. Half the time she reads one word at a time, and it shows. She has a nice voice, but she doesn't read naturally. It just sounds like someone's reading to you and leaning far too long on each and every consonant and being sure to leave a distinct space between each word in every sentence.
I've read Patsy Rodenberg's The Actor Speaks, and Cicely Berry's Voice of the Actor. Both are better...but then they weren't in audiobook. In fact they also were poetic, and some reviewers criticized them for that...but in the above 2 books the poetry was very descriptive of anatomy and for a specific purpose and along a directed theme. Also the 3D Voice is a simple book and more practical, and less verbose. In this book the author might tell a story about how a woman swore her brain injury healed faster once she started doing voice exercises, then another story of a man who looked like Santa Clause but sounded the opposite (and go on and on and on about this man). I don't care about the Santa Clause guy!
The book is written in an undisciplined, meandering manner.
You feel as if you're sitting in a hospital room listening to an old woman ramble on about personal stories, and then finally tell you conventional instructions which can be found in any other voice book. Also the author lazily indulges in repeating myths on the voice and stock advice (if you've read one or two internet articles on improving your speaking voice).
The author uses the word "literally" when she means "figuratively."
For example, "Hilary Clinton's voice literally grated on the ears of her listeners."
What I REALLY LIKE about the book was the many modern-day examples of such and such voices. Strident voices like Hilary Clinton, or too breathy voices like Bill Clinton, or nasal voices like Fran Drescher, or earthy voices like Jeremy Irons and Alan Rickman (actually I just thought of those examples--wish they had been mentioned in this book). Other voice books sometimes mention a few examples, but they are usually people from 50 years ago. After reading other voice books, I did not understand what "strident" was.
Also the examples of songs to sing when practicing a given voice quality. Hadn't seen that in other books. Very good idea.
What gets very annoying is that the author drones on about "another client of mine [the author]," then you think that will be the last time. Then again, immediately after that little story of when the author miraculously helped someone, "Another client of mine..." Again! Then, wait for it... "Another time, many people in the audience came up to me [the author] after and told me how moved they had been...." Next paragraph, "Another client [of mine]..."
I appreciate authors who do NOT simply fill their books to the brim with how they've worked miracles for other people and catalog all the compliments people have paid them. Any half-competent therapist or even showman has a myriad of such stories of "moving" people. An entertainer, after performing 50 shows, will invariably strike a chord with a dozen people who become raving fans. The entertainer rarely hears from the audience members who weren't very fond of the show. Those members of the audience simply leave. They don't bother to wait till after the show to meet the entertainer.
If you're going to comment on this review, don't call me a hypocrite because I've rambled. Unlike the author, I'm not charging you to read my review.