Hilly's Reviews > Dream Man

Dream Man by Linda Howard
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Jan 25, 2014

it was ok
bookshelves: audiobooks-read, paranormal-superpowers-esp, suspense-murder-mystery-noir
Read in June, 2011

This was my first-ever Linda Howard. I really enjoyed the story when I read it, and was looking forward to the CD.

Alas, must've been early days for Phil Gigante. He can't read women at all (I recognized his two stock women's voice characters from Moning's Highlander audiobooks: Gwen and Cloe, IIRC).

His men would've been great, if only he could've managed the accents. I really liked his voice for Trammel, but it sounded Mexican or Southwestern Native American, and the character was supposedly from Puerto Rico, and that's not interchangable. Our hero, Hollister, was from Florida, but to my ear, his accent wanted to wander to the Southwestern USA, also. Rather like listening to the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Distracting.

I want to give it a higher rating, but I can't. The performance dragged the book down a bit for me. It also exposed more of its flaws, and while that's not surprising for a book written in the early 1990s (using pagers, not cellphones, for example), it meant that it's not a keeper.

I didn't hate it, but I won't be listening to it again. That's my opinion, FWIW. YMMV.
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Susan (the other Susan) Yes! Thank you for being the only other person who's bothered by Phil Gigante as narrator on this! When he does women's voices, he tries a little hard to be feminine and breathy, and it's a little comical. There are a few male narrators who deliver female voices without sounding silly: Victor Slezak, Holter Graham, Victor Slezak and Victor Skezak come to mind. I think the trick is that they just go softer and quieter instead of high-pitched... I haven't listened to anything recent by Phil Gigante. Does he get better at this? Because I'm learning that the wrong narrator can give me a terrible impression of a book I might have liked in print.


Hilly You certainly aren't alone in your opinion, Susan! I wish that I could recall an improvement in PG's technique, but I really can't find any notes to that effect in my audiobook-reading history. I know that his earliest reads are the cringe-inducing worst, but I don't know that his interpretations of women ever get to the point of being enjoyable. If you are willing to risk it, I'd suggest trying the most recent narration you can find -- from a library. If he still isn't doing it for you, then stick to the partnered works with women narrators to portray the female characters.

Perhaps other Goodreaders could provide us both with suggestions...?

And thank you for your suggestions! I've been looking for Victor Slezak narrations to try, but I'm not familiar with Holter Graham, so now I'll keep an eye out for him, too!


Susan (the other Susan) Victor Slezak narrates some of the better Sandra Brown books - Envy and Lethal are two of my favorites - and his voice is so sexy, it really adds another dimension to the romance element. He's got me spoiled now, so that when another narrator performs one of Brown's books, I'm distracted by the unfavorable comparison. Slezak is perfectly cast as those rough-edged, trash-mouthed heroes that Sandra Brown writes so well. But what really sets him apart for me is his ability to read the female characters without it sounding like a guy making fun of the way women talk. Another actor I've enjoyed for romances on Audible is Dennis Boutsikaris… If you have any narrators that you particularly recommend, male or female, I'd love to know about them. Narrators can be a deal-breaker.


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