Iain Nicholas Mackenzie
, September 2012
A work suitable for being an audiobook must have strong characters and a believable story with a fair amount of dialogue. Though this novel is considered a classic English children’s story, it is really is for anyone who likes a good story well-told.
Listening to The Owl Service as told by Wayne Forester, who handles both the narration and voicing of each character amazingly well, one is impressed by his ability to handle both Welsh accents and the Welsh language, given the difficulty of that tongue…
That The Owl Service is, as the Naxos website notes, ‘a fabulous, multi-layered book of mystery and suspense, but also a contemporary musing on love, class structure and power’ is indeed correct but I will confess that these matters, particularly the intertwined matter of class and power, were far more evident to me when voiced through the voices of each character as the narration brings to life them as individuals.
Roger is English and is openly contemptuous of the Welsh people; Huw Half-Bacon is Welsh to the bone and both terrifying and silly at the same time. Wayne voices both characters to perfection as he does Nancy, Roger’s mother…All other characters, be they minor or major, are equally fleshed out by the unique voices they are given.
I must mention the use of music of a Classical nature which was drawn from the ever impressive Naxos music library. It is light when need be, dark when need be, and used with a touch that shows the sound folk knew that music must be used sparingly.
I recommend The Owl Service to anyone who appreciates a well-told story that combines matters of myth and society in a tale you won’t soon forget. Bravo to all involved in creating this audiobook! © 2012 Sleeping Hedgehog Read complete review