The Hob's Bargain - Patricia Briggs

The Hob's Bargain

by Patricia Briggs


When I found a copy of the audiobook of Patricia Briggs' The Hob's Bargain, I was thrilled.  Thus far, I've never been disappointed by any venture into Briggs' imagination.

I hadn't, however, considered the problem of narrators.


I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and in general, while I consider the narrator an important part of the process, I can usually ignore bad character voices and the like, and just redo them in my head.


This one, however, defeated me.


The narrator's voice is actually quite pleasant, and her intonation and reading are good.  In the role of the first-person narrator, her narration is downright enjoyable.  However, she made the interesting decision to do all narration in an ever-changing array of truly atrocious British accents.  Leaving aside the way the characters routinely switch from bad-American-attempt-at-Received to gawdawful-American-attempt-at-Cockney to horrific-American-attempt-at-West-Country, why the hell does the main character narrate in first person in American but speak to everyone else in Random-British-ish accents?


Dear American audiobook narrators:

You cannot "do" British accents of any variety.

If your Jamaican accent could be confused with mockery, just don't.

Believe it or not, there really is no similarity between a Russian accent and a Mexican accent. If you think there is, you're doing it wrong.

Please just stop trying.


If I'd been more enthralled in the plot, I probably would have struggled on a little longer, but at least so far, it doesn't feel like one of Briggs' best.  It starts out the recently-married narrator surviving a raider attack that leaves everyone, including her husband, horrifically and gruesomely dead.  But within only a few minutes, a new male character pops up and I've got a terrible sense of certainty that it's going to end up as a romance. With previous husband's body probably not yet cold.

Ye gods.


So, yeah, I'm DNF'ing.

I'm not sure what to say about the book, but...well... I don't recommend the audiobook.