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.
I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks over the past 15 years and I would put this one near the very top. I liked it so much I went out and bought the book, but reading it isn't nearly the artistic experience that listening to it affords. The various characters really come to life and their interwoven stories are compelling. I found it by searching for my favorite narrator, John Lee, and I am once again grateful for his skills because, although he narrates only a part of this title, my devotion to his work is what brought me to it. Thanks to all who made this performance a reality.
I wondered where this book was headed when I first started listening, and almost didn't stick with it past the first few chapters. That would have been my loss. Each story within the whole is fascinating by itself, and how they all tie together across time and geography is thought-provoking. I don't always care for multiple readers, but in this case, each was beautifully suited to the character. Each change of reader was a jolt and took getting used to, and then soon it was unimaginable that the new character could have any other voice. Suspenseful, nuanced, sometimes funny sometimes sad, engrossing. I was sorry when it ended.
This is a very different book. I knew nothing about it and was just taking a chance on an author I'd heard about. In the beginning I was honestly turned off but when I realized the format I could enjoy it much better. I would definitely recommend. It's amazing how the author could write so drastically different in each of these short stories. I love how he takes us forward and then backward, each time revealing more.