Reviews & Recommendations

Hidden Gem: Djibouti, by Elmore Leonard [audiobook version]


Djibouti has all the characteristic snappy dialogue, jaunty characters, and screenwriter-style descriptions that we’ve grown to expect from Leonard. I thought I’d highlight this title for a couple of reasons: to honor Leonard’s memory (he passed away last month), and also because it focuses on one of my current favorite topics–maritime security (actually, it just focuses on the piracy part of the security issue). Also, we haven’t focused on any audiobook reviews yet, so here’s the first!

The story centers on a documentary filmmaker, Dara Barr, and her assistant/companion/fixer Xavier. They’ve traveled to Djibouti to track down some real life Somali pirates, to tell the story from a different angle. And of course, adventure ensues. The character descriptions are a bit too detailed and over-the-top for my tastes, and Leonard lapses at times into a narrative style of  dialogue which describes the film clips Dara and Xavier have shot–yawn. But overall it was an interesting premise, and kept my interest so I listened the whole way through.

The audiobook has a good narrator, which makes all the difference in this format. Some of the character’s voices and accents seem a bit off or inconsistent at times, but I could listen to all 7 CDs without it driving me crazy, which is saying a lot. It was great to listen to during my daily commute, and it would also make a good companion for working out, running or jogging.

You can borrow it from our audiobook collection.

–Review by Margot Hanson


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