>> Friday, June 29, 2012
The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri
(Translated by Stephen Sartarelli)
Series: #1 in the Inspector Montalbano Series
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2006 by Blackstone (Book originally published
Length: 4 hours, 4 minutes
Read by: Grover Gardner
The Short Version:
This is the first in a police procedural series featuring a Sicilian detective that combines interesting mysteries with wit and an interesting locale.
Why I Read It:
I enjoy Grover Gardner’s narration and since I’m caught up with the Andy Carpenter series I was looking for another series featuring him. A conversation on Twitter led me to give this series a try
Between the twisty plot and large cast I don’t think I can coherently summarize this one myself so I’m going with the publisher’s synopsis
From the publisher:
Andrea Camilleri's novels starring Inspector Montalbano have become an international sensation in eight different languages. This funny and fast-paced Sicilian page-turner will be a delicious discovery for mystery afficionados and fiction lovers alike.
Early one morning, Silvio Lupanello, a big shot in the village of Vigàta, is found dead in his car with his pants around his knees. The car happens to be parked in a rough part of town frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers, and as the news of his death spreads, the rumors begin. Enter Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Vigàta's most respected detective. With his characteristic mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano goes into battle against the powerful and the corrupt who are determined to block his path to the real killer.
I was looking for some fairly short audiobooks that would appeal to The Hubster as well as me for our vacation road trip listening. This one at just over four hours was perfect. I already knew that The Hubster enjoys listening to Grover Gardner as much as I do so I figured he’d be willing to give this series a shot.
I have to say that at first we both commented that due to the high number of similar sounding names it might have been better to read this instead of listening so we could flip back and keep track of characters. Fortunately that feeling did not last long. By about a third of the way through the first disc we were no longer concerned and were thoroughly enjoying the story.
The setting in, the various political intrigues and the wealth of quirky characters makes this a fun story. Montalbano is a delight. He’s moody and melancholy yet at the same time his cynical wit made us giggle.
Grover Gardner does what he does best in this book. His delivery has just the right level of sardonic tone that lets you almost hear the slight grin he must have on his face. He’s not a narrator that does markedly distinct voices or accents for every single character and that works in this book because there’s a gazillion Italian male characters. Gardner makes this a series we’ll continue.
Rating 3.5/5 for the book
Rating 4/5 for the narration
SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.