I have a 40 minute commute to my day job so I use the time to listen to audiobooks I download from the library. This is not only enjoyable, but a method for me to study professional voice artists. So I’m going to feature a regular post giving a brief review of the audiobook I’m currently listening to.
This week, I listened to The Fifth Profession by David Morrell and narrated by a team of people. And this is the biggest downfall.
The book is about a “protector” who suffers from a horrible nightmare about the apparent death of a fellow Japanese protector. Things are not what they seem and the protagonist tries to figure out what is real, what is a dream, and what is a nightmare, all the while trying to stay alive as the forces of evil and corruption surround him.
The book is decent, but not great. There is a fair amount of history of the Japanese samurai and a good amount of action. But the dialog is stilted and unnatural and this isn’t helped by the multiple person narration. The actor who plays the lead (I don’t his name) is pretty much awful. He has no emotion in his voice and delivers his lines as if he’s reading a book. Which he is. And this is the problem. Books are not radio plays. They are meant to be read by one voice. It’s very jarring to hear one actor read a line and the main narrator to immediately follow with “he said.”. It tends to make the narrative jumpy and unnatural.
I like David Morrell’s books, but this one is not recommended in its current audiobook format.