Based on rave reviews I was expecting something on the level of Dune, or at least a better Heinlein novel. The collection of stories here are fairly entertaining and/or intriguing. But the overall frame story is weak. Basically, there's a lot of dabbling around in different ideas and themes, but nothing of substance in any of them. It felt like Simmons' own self-gratifying literary romp, which wasn't so much fun for me.
Its just not the type of book I enjoy
too much about tech and little story
the narrator tone did not grab me
I would have given the narration a 5 star review if it wasn't for Allyson Johnson. Her narration was particularly bad. She manages to read every line as if she's asking a question. Luckily, her parts are limited.
-Great story, will keep you guessing right up to the end!
-World building is very interesting; really dig how characters build up "Time-Debt" and how that affects their lives......and the Techno Core is very cool.
I'm now questioning my lifelong SciFi favorite of Dune.......
Just listen. Really. its just that good.
An imaginative and well-written work. Nevertheless, I would prefer to give this an "Incomplete" rating, since it is just part one and not the whole story.
The author has chosen to use a Canterbury Tales format (the knight's tale, the miller's tale, etc., told on a pilgrimage) to cover a wide-ranging story. Many of the tales have flashbacks-within-flashbacks. This makes the story difficult to follow, and works better in print format than in audio. That's one reason, I suspect, that they used a cast of performers, rather than a single narrator. Normally, I don't like multiple narrators, but it was helpful for this book.
One footnote-- While this is a very well-written novel, it has a few flaws, including the, intentionally or not, humorous construct: "Only Magritte knew the details and she died last winter without telling anyone."
How thoughtless of Magritte!
I read it before I listened to this wonderfully performed version
It took Simmons 7 stories rapped and interwoven upon time and space to create a universe that is so believable I could have felt it.
Sol Weintraub the most simple and the most moving
The Scholar's Tale
expect 20 hour spent in one reading
A good friend told me about Audible. It is Awesome! Now I am hooked.
I read it as a in the early 90s, now close to 25 years later I listened on Audible. It was great, I loved the story and the narration for different characters by different actors was awesome
Siri - the Consul's grandmother because I wonder if that's where the IPhone app came from.
The description of the techno/electrocution/crucifixion of the father was both incredibly unexpected and disturbing because you just don't think of catholic priests when you think of science fiction. I feel okay in giving that away because well they start off telling you he did not "survive" and all that was left was his journals in the priests tale. Also there is so much more to that storyline I'm not really giving away anything that you won't see coming.
The effect of the time tombs on Rachel and her family was just incredibly sad. The narrator really just did an outstanding job portraying the pain and sadness of it all.
Great, great, great story. I am more of a horror/supernatural fan, but this story was so awesome. Book 2 was pretty good also, but didn't come close to as good as this one. The only reason I didn't give this all 5 stars was because of the narrator who portrayed Brawne Lamia. She did not do a good job at all in my opinion. Her voice was just off. She sounded happy/upbeat even through her fight scenes and her emotional scenes.
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
Simmons is a very good writer. This book deserves to be called a classic. I couldn't decide between a 4 and a 5, so I will round to a 5 based on the interesting stories and quality of writing. I especially liked the Priest's Tale and the Scholar's Tale.
I read this book many years ago, and was looking forward to rediscovering it as a listening experience, but the performances of the narrators are stunningly wooden, awful and distracting. The individual sub-stories when told by a single narrator are OK -- but when more than one narrator is part of the tale they're just laughably forced and frustrating to listen to. Never before have I been so turned off by an audiobook.
Never, never, never again. The ensemble narrating this story effectively ruined the book for me. It's as if each actor was a nervous high school student standing at a try-out for the school play - no nuance, no depth in the performance, just wooden, graceless reading. Worse, when these performances are combined (I suspect the parts were read in isolation from eachother) there's no cohesion. It's sad because you can tell they put some time, effort and money into the production - but whoever was running the show was unable to evoke good performances, and completely tone-deaf to the forced nature of the whole piece.