4 out of 4 stars
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Kiwi Jacks by Hairy Jack is an audio book which is a New Zealand creation and contains fact-based stories of this country. I may be a little biased with this audio (as I am a staunch kiwi girl), but I cannot praise this book enough and the storytelling style. This makes for a unique audio book which will give any reader a very strong sense of life in New Zealand.
I have never been a fan of audio books as, to me, there is something very special about holding a book and feeling it in your hands and the smell of it as well. However, after listening to this audio book, I am thinking that I would like to listen to more when I am driving. This audio book is a collection of stories about New Zealand culture and land, for people who are not familiar with the country, it will give you a good sense of life and the daily challenges that many people experience. The way of storytelling is slow and in a way that is very kiwi in nature as it details and events as they unfold and, in a way, that they are perceived. There is swearing during the stories, however, it is not offensive and just seems a natural way of talking for the narrator in his style of prose. The stories range from legends of taniwha (water monsters) , famous mountains, ghosts of the past and stories about life in different jobs. Some of these stories sound unbelievable, even to me, but the way that they are told is so natural, you will end up believing them anyway! However, it is left up to the reader to decide what they choose to accept as truth or fiction.
What I loved about this audio book was the natural way of storytelling that the narrator had, and he used a very typical New Zealand accent to present this. As a citizen of this country, I appreciated that this went to the heart of our culture in this country and is one of the draw cards for visitors to New Zealand. I also liked the way that the swear words were put in the audio in a natural way and they were not at all meant to be offensive as it just sounds like someone talking using swearing. What I did not like about this audio book was the length as it is quite long.
I would rate this audio book as a 4 out of 4 stars as I thought this was a very good glimpse for people into New Zealand culture. The way that the stories were narrated was exceptional, and it was very relaxed in the way that they were told. This made it easy to listen to and provided hours of listening during car rides. As the author is clearly a traditional New Zealander, I think that this gives the novel credibility as well as he has likely had these legends and stories passed down to him as a young man.
This audio book would appeal, firstly to people who enjoy audio books and prefer them perhaps to reading print. I think that it would appeal to a more mature audience of 30's and over and to people who enjoy imagination and listening to something different to usual non-fiction novels.
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