I had only read bag of bones and liked it enough to try another, I'm now hooked. This was a great listen, I did find the Vietnam parts a bit long winded and repetitive but the other stories were simply magic, the interconnections were great. My favorite King so far ( well thats based on two :).
I have long considered Stephen King an underrated literary author, and this book proves me right. Here he is at his literary best - stories of depth and insight that define great storytellers.
Hurt's narration is slow at the beginning, and takes getting used to, but it fits with the slow summer days in Bobby Garfield's life and picks up right when it needs to. And King, as always, is simply brilliant reading his own work.
I have recently become an audio book junkie. It started about six months ago when I got an Ipod and began listening to books rather than music on long car trips and plane flights. I came across the Dark Tower series by accident and was hooked from the start. The original narrator Frank Muller was amazing! He brought the story and the characters to an almost living state. Unfortunately he suffered a motorcycle accident and could not continue the series after the fourth installment. It was carried on by George Guidall whose voice was a bit too old and lacked the range to convey the story as Muller had portrayed it. (Although it was still the most captivating story I have ever heard.) Anyone familiar with the Dark Tower series knows that a lot of the characters have connections to other Stephen King novels, "Hearts in Atlantis" being one of them. I began this story with great expectations only to turn it off after three minutes due to the horrible narration by William Hurt. It honestly sounded like a stoned college kid mumbling through a book he was half heartedly paying attention to. I tried to start it over several times through several days thinking it couldn't be as bad as I remembered, but it was! I will save myself the agony and read the book myself. It's a shame because Stephen King is listed as a co-narrator and the stuff I've heard him read was really quite good. I just can't put myself through the long pauses halfway through a sentence (or a word, name, page turn, whatever), the monotone and partially confused sounding voice, and the loud intake of breath which comes every few seconds. Big disappointment.
I must say that most of this book is good as in the first story and the last few stories in part 3. Part 2 however, from where which the title was taken is stellar. I really dont even mind King's narration -- while not as spectacular as Frank Muller, King's narration adds an essence of reality to the story being told in my opionion. As with most King novels you are not roped in at the very beginning but throughout Part 2 events/emotions keep tieing together completeting a wonderful symphony of a story by the end. Really moving adding a sense of realism that many novels do not achieve. I can also say wonderful things about part 1 -- but being a fan of The Dark Tower books and as my views may be biased on that note I will not comment. The third part of this book ties up the loose ends from parts one and 2 so while necessary for some, others could do without. I was not drawn in with the same magic as the First 2 stories in this book. These last stories seem cut and pasted together in a manner of speaking.
Overall -- Even if for the second story alone -- I would Recommend this book. In all reality the first 2 stories are excellent. Even the writing within part 3 is good -- just not stellar.
Two Thumbs Up Overall
This has to be one of the most memorable books I have listened to. Hurt is good King is good. I probably liked King better....It's his story.
Sadly, I may never know how this story ends. I can't believe no one has mentioned the horrid narration job done by the otherwise excellent actor, William Hurt. I could not make it through Bobby's story having to listen to William's heavy breathing and nasally flat delivery. He also seemed to rush through parts of a sentence and then pause in all the wrong places...Considering his reputation for perfectionism, I'm surprised he was satisfied with the results of his work.
I love King so I hope to read this eventually. Maybe, if it's re-released with a new narrator, I'll give it another shot. In the meantime I can dream about an unabridged version of The Stand.
This has got to be the absolute worst reading of a novel I have ever had the great misfortune to experience. I can't believe Mr. King approved the release of his book in this condition. With the ill timed and exceedingly long pauses, loud, hissing deep breaths, inappropriate inflections in his voice and the general disinterested, flat, monotonous tone with which he read, William Hurt, truly ruined this novel for me. He did a great disservice to Mr. King, who is a fabulous writer. The story may have been good, in fact, I am pretty sure it was quite good, knowing Mr. King's reputation and having read many of his novels, but I was so distracted by the lousy reading that I just gave up listening. I guess I'll have to read the book before I can pass judgment on the actual story.
I do not recommend this audiobook based on William Hurts performance.
I would but I would make sure they know that the story is only 10 hrs not 20 at the Audio book suggest.
I hated William Hurt at first but after 30 minutes I realized that he was the only one who could of told this story.
No they kind of ruined it by the story that followed something about the war.