Gabriel’s Inferno Audiobook
By: Sylvain Reynard
Narrated by: John Morgan
Published by: Penguin Audio 09/2012
20 hrs and 28 mins
Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide. An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, “Gabriel’s Inferno” is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man’s escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible…forgiveness and love.
I had a love-hate relationship with this novel. I was captivated and head over heels for the first 8 hours. I loved everything about it! The characters, the story, the writing style, the narration, even the upper crust dialogue. But after 12 hours of listening to it I started to feel like Elaine Benes (from the Seinfeld show) when she went to see The English Patient – and so many times just as she did, I felt like screaming, “Quit telling your stupid story and just die…just die already!”…LOL, not that anybody dies, but you get my point.
I got to give credit to the author. The character development was excellent; even though, in the second half of the book, there were quite a few instances when I didn’t care for either of the protagonists’ attitudes. Ok, so they were flawed, and I do enjoy flawed, but not when they make me roll my eyes, because when that happens I’m brought back to earth, where logical comparisons to the real world are going to be made, and they better resemble some sort of reality or I’m gone. Nevertheless, I imagine that if somehow you manage to stay connected to the story, you will love this novel.
I still would recommend it to any fan of Fifty Shades, and the casual romance listener.
The basics of the stories are similar—a mature man in a higher authority position. Ultra-rich, handsome and with a tortured past, (but with fewer shades of grey) professor (Gabriel) falls for the innocent, sweet, intelligent, beautiful young (with a few shades of grey of her own) students (Julia); however, the story has a feel of its own. This story is more romantic, intelligent, and a LOT less naughty. Lots of attention is paid to building their relationship. The length of the novel gives room for a deeper look into their past and into their lives, making the drama and the plot more complex.
The fact that they don’t “get it on” (a phrase too mundane to be found in this novel) until close to the end of the book didn’t bother me, I love sexual tension, but I failed to feel the build-up and anticipation that I imagine the author was going for.
Also, I didn’t like how long it took to get from point A to point B, there where at times I felt as if the Author love to hear himself write (there were times when I loved it too) and his effort to create a grand romance felt forced and pretentious. What takes me back to my first sentence, I loved it, and I hated it, maybe hate is too strong of a word, after all, I did listen to the entire book.
One big note of caution to the romance listener, if you are looking for a sexy and naughty read, this is not it, but if you like tortured characters that have a troubled past to overcome, I think you will enjoy it. There seem to be plenty of peeps who did, just like I know plenty who didn’t care for it. It’s kind of hard for me to completely dismiss it when I did enjoy a big part of the novel.
Am I going to listen to the following book? Yes, eventually.
This is my first audiobook narrated by John Morgan, and what a pleasant surprise! I loved his deep – sexy voice. He reminded me a lot of some of my favorite narrators.
I thought his tone and approach to Gabriel’s character were excellent! The arrogance and overconfidence felt very real. Mr. Morgan knew when to downplay his tone to bring Gabriel’s vulnerability to light.
His interpretation of Julia was acceptable; her voice didn’t sound too androgynous for my taste despite his voice being deep-toned by nature – which I loved for Gabriel! He also does a great job with the rest of the cast – plenty of differentiations, I never felt confused.
Overall, he does a good job relating the feelings of the protagonists, and the overall ambiance of the novel. I do have to admit; I did find myself more comfortable listening at a faster speed than normal.