I thought this was a great idea for a story. When I listened to it, I had a very tough time getting into the story because of the lack of drama in the narrators voice, and the matter-of-fact way the story was laid out. I wore through it, thinking it would pick up, but it did not. What I found was that the author was trying, underneath it all, to set up a very classic tragedy type of story. However, the pacing of the book, coupled with the frustrating narration (the viewpoint jumps back and forth from the antagonist to the protagonist), kept me distanced from both characters and not really caring how it ended. It was a grand idea that lacked the grandiose and the drama. I would advise against buying this one, and go with something that packs more punch.
I very much enjoyed that this book took energy to listen to. The book spans several decades of the 20thC, and refers to individuals in the mid-19thC. It travels from Europe to California in its scope, and deeply explores the lives of two characters, the two Henry Days.
Having a different narrators for the two characters helped quite a bit in keeping the parallel narratives separate, though I wonder if the accents ascribed to some of the secondary characters were based on 'facts' of the book or were a result of the narrators' creativity.
I agree with another reviewer that Tolkien was a poor comparison. It reminded me most, in style, of Eugenides 'Middlesex' or some works of magical realism. And I liked it because it wasn't heavy fantasy but humanity in a fantastic situation (like the Martian Chronicles) -- the characters were distinctly, deeply human.
I loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I recommend this book to anyone who still has contact with their inner 8 yr old.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
What a great idea - - the concept of this book is wonderful - - the execution, not so much. The book plodded along without much happening but keeping just interesting enough for me not to be able to unplug and walk away. I did like the concept of two narrators, but their voices were so similar it was difficult to be able to tell when we had switched characters. A classic example of substance over style.
It's hard to explain the premise of this book - but what a wonderful story! I was completely drawn in within the first few minutes and could not stop listening. This book is wonderfully read, the story moves along nicely and certainly makes you wonder about "life & death". I highly recommend this book even if (like me) you're not a big fantasy/science fiction fan.