Performancing Metrics

Monday, November 7, 2011

Audiobook Review: Magnificent Folly by Iris Johansen

Book cover of Magnificent Folly by Iris Johansen
Goodreads summary: After a tragic turn of events, Lily Deslin learned the hard way that people are not always what they seem. Now she’s rebuilt her life from scratch, returning to school and nurturing her beloved and talented daughter, Cassie. What she doesn’t know is that her quiet but satisfying life is about to change. At the beach cottage she’s rented for a well-earned vacation, Lily is being watched.

Andrew Ramsey has been waiting for years, and now is the moment to make himself known. If he confesses the truth—a truth that will be all but impossible for Lily to believe—it will shake the foundations of her life and Cassie’s. As Andrew and Lily’s relationship heats up and danger threatens close at hand, how can Andrew admit that he’s been keeping from Lily an even bigger secret—a secret he must reveal to prove himself to be the real-life romantic hero she needs.

My thoughts: Over the course of three weeks, I gave this audiobook several tries, but in the end I had to call it quits.  The story didn’t particularly appeal to me, but the jarring narration really made it almost impossible to listen to the book.  I tried to finish Magnificent Folly – I really, really tried! – but in the end I was only able to finish three of the five CDs.

From the description of the book, I thought this romance would be right up my alley.  I usually enjoy secret-love-from-afar stories, but that’s not really what Magnificent Folly is.  The book turned out to be far more supernatural in theme than I anticipated.  However, even that unexpected twist in theme wouldn’t ordinarily have kept me from at least finishing the book.  What really made the book such a failure for me, though, was the narrator’s performance.  I found Leventer's voice grating, particularly her over-exuberant portrayal of 9-year-old Cassie.  It was the audio production more than the story that made this one such an unsuccessful listen for me.

Lest you think I'm being unnecessarily harsh, Alexis from Reflections of a Bookaholic had a similar negative experience with Leventer's performance of Rafferty's WifeI've found some positive reviews for Leventer on Audible and Audiobook Jukebox, though, so perhaps others won't find her performance as off-putting.  Personally, however, I'll be avoiding books from her in the future.

Grade: F
Narrator: Parker Leventer
Publisher (audio): AudioGO
Publication date: 2010
Length: 4 hours, 57 minutes
Sensuality: A few love scenes

Romance novel book reviews by Sarah The Brazen Bookworm (Magnificent Folly by Iris Johansen audiobook)

I received this book from the publisher and Audio Jukebox in return for a fair and honest review.


  1. Of course I don't think you are being harsh since I had to go through the same thing with a different book. It looks like narrators stick to a specific genre. I'm going to be careful in the future especially when I know it isn't just me. I appreciate your honesty. I know how hard it can be when you feel like you are being negative.

  2. Alexis ~ Thanks...your review definitely validated my feelings about the narrator.


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Romance novel book review