AUDIO – Bellwether by Connie Willis


Bellwether (Connie Willis)

Title: Bellwether
Author:  Connie Willis
Narrator:  Kate Reading
Length: Unabridged (6 h, 30 m)
Published: February 2009 (Blackstone Audio, Inc)
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Fiction
Start: 16 November 2010
Finished: 19 November 2010
Source:  Public Library

From Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O’Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions – with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

Why this book?
One of my favorite Connie Willis books. I’ve read it several times, but not in the last four years (due to it being in storage). Also, it was one of the few books I was actually interested in listening to that the local library had in their virtual stacks for download, and it was available — no waiting list. As I stated before, I was looking for books I’d already read and loved, so this was a no-brainer for me.

Narrator: Kate Reading
First off, isn’t that a great last name for someone narrating a book? I enjoyed her narration so much, there were times that I did not want to stop listening. I suppose that’s the audiobook equivalent to “I couldn’t put the book down”. Since I save audiobooks for my commute, I normally stow the iPod and earphones when we get close to my destination. However, once the sheep got loose, I was so into the story that I got off the bus and was nearly home before realization hit me. By that point, the story was almost over anyway, so I finished it.

Ms. Reading (ha!) did an excellent job of giving Sandy’s various co-workers and the people she interacts with their own distinct voices. You could tell the various eye-rolling, sighing-because-you’re-making-me-do-my-job service personal apart, just as you could tell the difference between Sandy’s co-workers — even if you couldn’t remember which one was planning a birthday party and which one was having relationship issues. The book is written in 1st person and the narrator changes her voice slightly so you know when Sandy’s talking to the other characters and when she’s the narrator. Sandy-the-narrator sounds more confident and sarcastic, while Sandy-the-character is more soft spoken and a little hesitant.

I thoroughly enjoyed this adaption of Bellwether and I plan to purchase my own copy so I have it on hand to listen to again.

About the Story:
Bellwether is SF, but not the type most people would describe if asked. It’s about chaos theory and researching trends. It’s about how a misdelivered box can lead to falling in love. It’s about how one person can wreck so much havoc, that things actually work out for the best in the end because of it. There are no spaceships, aliens, or time-travel in this book.

Mini Badge

Story: 5 stars
(I’m still working on how to rate the narration)
Overall Reading:  Excellent
Characters: Excellent


For 2010 “pages read”: 247 pages (own a paperback copy of book)


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