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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Wild Horses"

by Dick Francis, 1994, audio cassettes, read by Simon Jones, 3hrs, rating=4
*I own a copy of this audio*

"Once a blacksmith, now famous and respected as a newspaperman, Valentine Clark knows everyone who is anyone in the racing world. Aged, confused, blind and dying, he harbors a daunting secret that he is desperate to be rid of.  He makes his last confession to his visiting film-director friend, Thomas Lyon, whom in his delirium he mistakes for a priest. Unburdened and as peace, Valentine passes away, yet his legacy remains, guarded by Thomas.

One location in Newmarket, Thomas is troubled by the old man's secret. Seeking to understand this puzzling revelation, he uncovers a long-unsolved mystery that he soon finds is very much unforgotten. But as much as he wants to learn more, it seems he already knows too much. Imaginative and decisive though he may be, he will need superhuman courage and extreme cunning to stay alive." (Goodreads)

I tried this audio book over the weekend and I liked the experience.  I've been hesitant to try it because I figured me for a touch, feel, smell, curl with a paper book kind of gal.  Same reason I'm hesitant to try Kindle and the sort.  I did try ebook reading from my computer and that went alright.  That's only because I wanted to get through the book to read the sequel.  Anyway, the audio experience was convenient for me.  I used an old school portable audio player and listened while I folded my laundry and other household chores.  I even took it to go and listened to it in my car when I went to the store (my kids were good and didn't peep much).  The audio experience was also relaxing.  I forgot how pleasant it is to be read to.  Having a voice other than oneself was a nice change of pace.  It was a plus that Simon Jones did a pretty good job at actor-reading.  The vocal changes in language and intonation for each character worked here.  The genre of mystery seem to be perfect for this venue.  However, there are downsides.  For instance, it is condensed from the original book version so you're at the mercy of their interpretation and presentation.  Therefore, having a similar question in your mind as that of a movie based on a book ... how close did it get to getting it right?  Also, it's pretty hard to mark a favorite part, like a quote.  Overall, I like it enough to do this again.  I must admit though, that upon completion of listening to this, I felt a sense of guilt.  Another book done and barely a sweat!  Did I cheat by not reading the book?  Hmm, maybe I will read the actual book one of these days and compare.

If you haven't tried audio books, I recommend that you give it a shot.  It might be convenient and a relaxing break for you as well.

Happy listening!! =]

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