Original, entertaining, and thorough.
The story is told in first person, which lends an intimacy lacking in third person perspective. The science is well thought out, the psychology equally developed. Once you get used to the idea of learning some new vocabulary, since we are reading about an alien culture, it is a fantastic ride.
Oliver Wyman has done other Stephenson books, and is my favorite narrator. He has a delivery that is emotional, his character voices are varied, and he seems to enjoy telling the story. While some narrators character voices are distracting or annoying, Wyman accomplishes creating personality in characters without over doing it to the point of parody. He also maintains consistency with his character voices, making dialogue, which this book is full of, easier to understand.
I had immediate affection for the protagonist. The book has very funny parts, particularly the protagonists interactions with his peers. There are also heart rending sections made more emotional because of your attachment to the characters.
Lots of entertainment, a long book with a well developed story, told masterfully.
William Dufris is the perfect narrator for the main character of Erasmus. He is absolutely wonderful in this role, and shows a lot of scope. All the other characters are voiced convincingly and well, too.
The book is fascinating, a vision of an alternate universe and a compelling train of events that leads to unexpected places! So worth it. One of my most highly recommended audio books.
It's worth a few listens just to take in all of this books original language and fictional history.
It's an excellent mix of readers and the range of character voices is impressive.
Hold on to your bolt it's going to be a bumpy ride!
Anyone who's a fan of Stephenson's writing is going to love this book. It's a real departure from his past works but is so original and entertaining it's worth the listen.
Editing. This book is over 30 hours long and it could have been half of that.
This book would only appeal to folks that love sitting around talking about math, geometry, math, physics and math and math and theories about math and physics and more math theories and little else. This book is nothing but characters talking about theory theory theory theory, then a tiny bit of action. More talking about theory theory theory theory and a tiny bit more action....and on and on and on. It is not entertainment. Its home work. The world that the author created was interesting but after hours and hours of theories by characters sitting around speculating and theorizing some more, I started shouting for them to just shut up and get on with the story.
I loved this book so much I listened to it twice in a row... which I have never done before with a book nor an audio book.
I've read several things by Stephenson and loved them but this is now my fave.
The writing and thinking behind it are brilliant.
The performance of the main narrator is endearing - you feel like the 1st person character is a friend.
Management consultant, video game player, avid reader of all types of books, and happily married father of four. I'll read just about anything, from Fantasy and SciFi, to mysteries and ChickLit.
The book was a bit difficult to get into, with many new, fictitious words being introduced without the proper context, kind of expecting us to understand what they mean. Eventually most of these are described or defined, either through the story or through short passages from the "New Dictionary".
While the overall plot doesn't have a lot of surprises, its the exposition on the basic philosophy behind the plot, that provides the real meat of the story. An interesting view into a world where academia becomes a world of its own, quite literally separated from the rest of society both physically and socially, with its own world of custom and practise.
Give it time, and you'll come to enjoy the story - there are no great heroics, but the characters are likeable.
Oliver Wyman is the main narrator, the others provide supporting voices for things like chapter headings and definitions.
Stephenson is the best. Having it read to you slows down the experience and etches it in the mind like never before.
I would make the actual story both more interesting by having the characters do more than talk about the science and I would wish the author had made a greater effort to explain the science and what was happening at the end when weird things happened but it was never explained what was actually happening.
More interesting character that actually do something. Science is cool, but Science Fiction should involve more use of science in stead of debate.
flat voice. many voices were similar.
I really enjoyed this and will listen to it again. It was a really unique story, far from anything I've heard/read before. If you liked Snow Crash or The Diamond Age, then you will definitely like this. The narration was very good as well.
Lewis Carroll made nonsense poems cute back in the 19th century. Unfortunately, Stephenson decided to take the idea to the Nth degree. The language of this book is tangled with idiocy trying to pawn itself off as clever, sophisticated metaphor.
Worse yet, the author seemed to think that burnishing every scene with multiple layers of insipid embellishment would somehow make the story appear rich and complex. Unfortunately, Stephenson's love for his own style just makes even the most trivial of passages unbearably convoluted and tiresome.
My greatest regret was that I spent *two* credits on this waste of time -- I could have enjoyed any number of worthwhile publications for the same cost. While my money is lost, the least I can do is ward off any other innocent casualties of this great mistake.