- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 10 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: December 6, 2016
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01KGL9KGW
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Romeo and Juliet: A Novel Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
I’m Italian and I live near Verona, so the story of Romeo and Juliet is set in places I know very well, but I never liked that tragedy so much.
At first, I was interested in the audiobook mainly because of Richard Armitage, but, after it was announced, I began following the blog of David Hewson and everything became much more interesting. To promote the book, he created a sort of a treasure hunt in twelve weeks: every Saturday he wrote an article about Verona or about history and art of that times and then there were questions to answers. It was very interesting and every one of the questions was related to the background of the novel.
The author made a lot of research and the Verona of his novel is life-like and so real. Listening to the book I could recognize the places I know so well, I could imagine the characters in the streets of Verona and “see” the scenes in my mind.
Another thing I loved are the characters: every one of them has their own personality and Armitage was very good at giving them a different voice, accent and way to speak. I really loved Juliet and I feel she is the main character of the story, I loved her strong will and her witty replies (and her love for books!). The original story is a tragedy, but this novel has tragic and funny moments well mixed together. Often I found myself laughing because of the dialogues, then after a while I was moved or afraid for the characters. It gave me emotions and this only happens when a novel is good.
I’ll read other works from David Hewson for sure, I really liked how he writes. I hope a paper version of this book will come out sooner or later.
Richard Armitage performance was perfect, his voice is always clear and easy to understand even for me (I’m not English mother tongue) and it was very nice for me to hear him saying Italian words :)
So thank you to both David Hewson and Richard Armitage for this audiobook, I really, really loved it.
I think my biggest gripe is the reinvention of Juliet, where again the writing is inconsistent, as if unable to decide if she is a child of the 15th century or a woman of the 21st. I can appreciate the effort to give her a complexity beyond a naïve teen, but it made it hard to see why she would then fall hopelessly in love with Romeo, who I think kind of gets lost with much less dimension given to him. I suspect that each listener’s enjoyment will depend on their ability to adjust to the alterations of the story. I guess I wanted it to be closer to the traditional.
Armitage gives a very theatrical reading, mostly right on point, but occasionally overly dramatic, as with Juliet’s father, who becomes a snarling villain, and Nurse who becomes a broad caricature. Still a very worthy effort with the vast numbers of characters to be dealt with.