I downloaded this book on the basis of the description. It was... well, just OK. The narration was probably the least enjoyable part. His tone and cadence were positively soporific. I spent the first hour or two listening and feeling like i were being dragged into a vat of molasses. Finally, I set my iPod on double speed and, I found myself listening to a book read at normal conversational speed. Much better.
The remaining hurdles were surmountable, though irritating. First, during most of the book, I think I found myself thinking, "what's the point?" I really didn't know where this was going--mostly because I never really caught a particularly strong theme running through the book. I suppose the cautionary tale aspect was something, but that didn't grab me that strongly. Next, the sheer implausibility of the background was tough to overcome. Windup springs as power for transoceanic ships? This engineering-trained mind reels at the thought--no process I can think of could do that. Next, we have the problem of feeding the megadonts in the first place. Finally, airships filled with ... hydrogen? helium? I can't remember. Either way, the energy needed to produce these two gasses in industrial quantities is tremendous. Any technological society capable of producing H2 or He gas in quantity is sufficiently advanced to also produce some sort of chemical energy storage medium as well. Yeah, i've heard this called "cyberpunk."
So, in sum, if you can suspend your disbelief, this is an OK production. It finally got somewhere at the end--it just took 10 hours of listening to get there. If you do listen, though, do it at high speed. It shortens the wait and makes the narration go from sleep-inducing to at least reasonably paced.
Perhaps I am impatient, but I allowed myself one hour of intense listening to try and figure what the heck this book was about. I was intent on trying to grasp or comprehend the subject matter. The experience of listening to this narration was akin to listening to someone recite random words out of a dictionary. I don't know what this book was about, nor what is has to to anything. I am perplexed as to why it was even written. Not only was it uninteresting, but it was beyond comprehension.
listening in Burbank
Although I love the concept of this story, I found myself unable to get into the story and when part one finished I didn't bother to start part two. I may try again at another point because readers I respect have said it is worth the trouble.
This read was slow to start and the ending was jet fast with so much happening. Things changed so fast with the many different characters that I couldn't wrap my head around the big picture. I gave it 3 stars on a so so basis, just average. I was hoping for a better ending and a better story.
Oh well, on to the next book.
Some really interesting concepts but didn't flow well for me at all. There were terms in the book that I must have totally missed the references to and often found myself wondering what the hell he was talking about. Perhaps I just couldn't get into it enough but I got all the way through and still didn't really get what the author was leading to.
Had to re-play bits over and over and was still non the wiser. Not worth the effort.
Sounds like a screenplay being read with some flesh on it...Davis tho is one of Audibles best narrators...if you're going to listen...skip incoherent intro by author. The "White Devil" and "shrewd Asian" patter got to be rather goofy. I bailed after half an hour.
Okay, I must admit: This was a pain to listen to. Of the two dozen audible books i already have, this is the only book I wasn't able to finish. The author speaks every. single. word. with intense "emotional" inflection. Usually, such vocal inflection is reserved for a few lines spoken by some old Oracle character when he/she is in a trance, prophesying, and speaking in fortune cookies. Usually those Oracle characters get very few lines, and that inflection is utilized to add emphasis and aid the reader/listener in remembering those important details in later chapters. ... ... ... This book's reader utilizes that wispy, sing-song voice for every. single. page. Every. single. character. Every. single. description. ... ... ... A friend of mine (who abhors audiobooks) recommended this book to me. She enjoyed it and shared with me no complaint. I'm sure the book is interesting when read without Mr. Davis's annoying voice, but please, unless you're a voice-recognition program 10,000 years in the future, recovering human books by audio transcription of someone's preserved iPod, and this audio file is the only remaining method for recovering Bacigalupi's work..... yes, unless you're that program, don't suffer yourself to listen to this audiobook.
Wow, this was horrible.
This book goes absolutely nowhere for about 90% of it's length. When it finally does begin to pick up near the end I'd lost interest in all of the characters so I really couldn't have cared less what happened to them.
Save your credits.
Names: Enico- Amaco??, Conico -Coneeco??, Kenya- Conya ?? Dog F@cker and Who??? Ginko. The narrator keeps changing the way he pronouces the names. It takes a long time to figure out that this person is that person: Huksoon - Oxsen. I made myself listen to four hours. I think that I had 30 or more names in my head. I am not sure how many people that is. 10, 20???? Anderson has three names I think? I have listened to many many hours of lectures on Quantum Theory and string theory. They are both easier to follow. It is like bits and parts of other peoples' dreams. I could not keep track of a time line or anyones wants or motives. green bands?? , white shirts????? yellow cards ???? I do not know what any of these things are. They talk about joules of power ( watts) and jewels, as in diamonds. I was never sure which one was which. Both are valuable and hold power in there own ways.
The fresh setting intrigued me but alas the story just drags and drags.
Perhaps the book suffered from a narrator that has no idea how to depict the emotions of the scenes he is reading.