Monday, June 18, 2007

We are not amused ...

... by the current installment of the adventures of that POG (Princess of Genovia ... actually, that was one of the few truly witty things in this whole book ... best friend Lilly calls her that): Princess on the Brink (Volume VII for god's sake ... on the audiobook, the author is called Meg Cabot, LLC ... think she's gone a little corporate?).

Comment on the audiobook, Lee ... nothing else is your concern! So, the corporation -- um, author -- has Mia (the POG) make the decision whether or not to do "it" (which is unfortunately referred to [over and over] -- in a way that makes you think that Mia believes it -- as the Precious Gift [I'm assuming the capitals]) with her beloved, Michael Moscowitz. She's considering the big step as a way to keep Michael from spending the year in Japan. And this goes on for over five hours. As Mia would say ... ew!

Wait, the audiobook. OK, so setting aside the distaste one feels at listening to this for five hours, the reader makes an excellent Mia -- suitably youthful, enthusiastic, emotional, with the right note of self-deprecation. But, quite frankly, she's egregiously bad at portraying everyone else in the story: Lilly sounds like she's 40, another friend (Tina) is high-pitched and squeaky, and the story's two boys are oddly soft-spoken, almost whispery. But it gets worse once she ventures into foreign accents: Grandmere, Mia's father and Lars the bodyguard are cringingly awful. I don't know French (and the reader does have some French passages that I'm not equipped to judge), but I know when I'm listening to a bad French-accented English. Do the French really use "z" to mean "th?" As for Lars, I don't know where that came from?

One of my colleagues nominated this ... but everyone else who has listened has not shared her enthusiasm ... including me!

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