Ice-T (narrator; Audible Studios, August 2014, ASIN: B00MN1NAYC)
Ice-T is a creative force that I’ve enjoyed throughout all his endeavors. Drizzt is a fictional character that I’ve enjoyed throughout his existence. So when I first learned of Ice-T’s narration of a chapter from “A Tale from The Legend of Drizzt” on his podcast, I was excited. But the realist in me prepared to enjoy the product not as advertised.
As a tale, Comrades at Odds is more than serviceable. It deals with the titular’s character’s guilt in dealing with the death of Ellifain Tuuserail, saved by Drizzt when she was a baby during a Drow raid. Ellifain driven by revenge,trains, seeks out and duels Drizzt. Drizzt narrowly wins the duel but not before taking Ellifain’s life.
The story is juxtaposed with that of another Drow Elf, Tos’un Armgo, as he deals with his sentient, bloodthirsty sword and surviving the surface world.
Ice-T’s narration is something of a case of schadenfreude. Sure he pronounces the words correctly and injects emotion in the obvious parts. But there is a genuine anguish behind the voice. An almost boredom. Obvious edits and a deliberating pace. I wondered if Ice-T even heard of Drizzt before going into the studio. I further wondered about how that studio’s air felt, tension rising after yet another failed pronunciation. Friendly banter dissipating into sighs and strained smiles, all professionals involved trying to get through the day.
Comrades at Odds is actually quite an enjoyable listen. Ice-T’s narration does not get in the way of Salvatore’s words. The presumably pained time it took to complete this project only adds to the contemplation and message of the story. We cannot always choose our companions or even the destiny we share with them. We can only hope to make the best of our time together and mutual understanding.