I wanted so badly to love this book. When I didn't understand the audiobook -- too much listening while falling asleep and missing key points -- I bought the hardcover. I was determined to see why this story got such rave reviews. After spending months trying to wrestle this beast to the ground, I still didn't get it. I had a feeling that Mitchell wrote this book to prove how smart he is, rather than to entertain. I expect an author to enlist me as an ally. Instead, I felt intimidated and alienated. If you do very well with a story with multiple characters and leaps back and forth in time, you'll probably like it. Unless you have to listen to it for a book group or class, or to impress your friends, don't do it!
Great narration, great story lines. Easy to listen to. Very funny in one chapter. One of the best audible books.
I did not learn to read until I was in my twenties. Have not stopped since. The two most important things to learn are reading & chess.
After listening to the audio I had to buy two hard copies. One for my book shelf to read in the future. One to lend to friends. I have never read a book of this genre. Each segment is a story on its own. There is a thin thread that runs through each segment,connecting them. The stories travel through centuries, starting in the past and going far into the future, then loops back around picking up each story where it left off. Completing each segment. The book has everything, intrigue,science fiction,philosophy, romance, history, music.Mitchell writing in insightful and keeps you thinking long after you finish this book.
The narrators were wonderful. I could listen to "Timothy Cavendish" forever and would love to listen a full novel about that character alone. I did have a hard time with the voice of "Robert Frobisher". I had to keep in mind Frobisher was a young man, the voice sounded like someone older.
The structure of the story and it's insightful conclusions about personal freedom and choice.
The concluding paragraphs.
One of my all time favorite books.
This book is essentially an updated version of Italio Calvnio's "If On A Winter's Night A Traveler." It nestles several stories into one another, stopping each halfway through and only picking them back up after perspective on each story has been added from the first half of the other tales. The readers are fantastic. Listen to it just for them. In addition, it's a pretty intriguing story. It is a challenge to the listening because of many proper nouns and made-up names in the more futuristic parts (it spans distant past to far future in terms of setting). But it is well-worth it. Highly recommended for people who like stories that move through big chunks of time, lovers of science fiction or light science fiction, and lovers of mystery.
This is the second David Mitchell I've listened to. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first, this was a disappointment. The individual stories have abrupt transitions which are bothersome but would be fine if one could knit together conclusions from the parts that appear later. There are interconnections, but for most of the stories the interconnections appear as oblique references that explain very little. Perhaps if I listened to this 2-3 more times I would understand the nuance and the unspoken relationships, but I do not think this book is worth repetition for the chance that it would make more sense the second time around.
When I first started listening to audio books, I still kept reading "good" books on paper, and just listened to books I knew I wouldn't have wanted to keep on my book shelf forever. Sort of like I don't like to see movies of books that I love. Well, this one made me realize that a work of literature can be enhanced by an excellent audio performance. This is a weird and wonderful work of modern fiction, and all of the performances are perfect. Now I find out first if a book is available here before I buy it on paper.
Kind of disjointed. I really enjoyed one story and the person who narrates it. ... and that story is hilarious. Truly funny. The dialogue written for the Hawaii story is utterly irritating. The main character's narration sounds like a cross between Bob Marley and Jar Jar Binks. Anyway, overall mildly entertaining.