"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Friday, May 4, 2012
Rabbit in the Moon (audiobook) by Deborah Shlian and Joel Shlian
Published in 2011 by Spoken Word, Inc.
Read by Barbara Whitesides
Duration: 12 hours, 40 minutes.
If I told you that I had just listened to a thriller set in China during the Tienanmen Square protests in 1989 involving secret plots among the top levels of the hardline Chinese leadership, the underground protest movement, an adventurous young Chinese-American doctor who is just beginning to learn about her Chinese roots, an intricate plot to keep her trapped in China by an evil man, a budding romance, Chinese gangsters, a corrupt Korean businessman, a motorcycle chase, gunfights, daring escapes, an introduction to Taoist philosophy and a possible cure to aging you would think that this would be a real whiz-bang listen.
The book revolves around Dr. Lili Quan, a Chinese-American doctor who is offered the chance to study in China. It turns out that certain members of China's corrupt leadership have brought her to China to use her as a tool to get at her grandfather's (he is also a doctor and Lili thought he was dead) secret cure to aging. Meanwhile, the Tienanmen Square protests are starting up and Lili Quan finds herself being torn by loyalty to her family, the lure of new medical discoveries, her new romantic interest and her desire to escape to freedom in America.
But, slow pacing, incessant flashbacks (surely there must be a different way to remind the listener about an important point than a flashback to the scene just a few pages back that repeats the character verbatim?) and a budding romance that goes into way too much detail and angst for this guy just drags the book down. A couple of hours of this audiobook could have been edited out and made it a much more exciting read.
Barbara Whitesides does give a strong performance. She is especially strong with the variety of Chinese accents (male and female, old and young). However, the story is just not as strong as her skills.
I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Rabbit in the Moon.
Reviewed on May 4, 2012.