No. Its a very compelling story, but there are so many extended didactic parts that it gets kind of tedious.
way too long for that.
I'm not sure there is any way to sum up this story that doesn't sound deadly dull, and even though I'm a big Stephenson fan, I put off reading this one for years based on all the reviews and plot summaries that are out there. All I can say is, if you like Stephenson, just forget that this is supposedly set in some monastery for eggheads and have fun with it. This is a big Stephenson-esque tour de force that's part treatise on the nature of consciousness, part social commentary on our own world, and part Heinlein-style adventure story - only the adventure part is better than anything Heinlein ever did, almost as if Stephenson is saying, "Look, this is how you write science fiction adventure stories for teenagers."
William Dufris was just right for narrator (the others are there to read definitions from the "Dictionary"). I was much happier with him in this one than in Cryptonomicon, in which he made Bobby Shaftoe sound like Gomer Pyle. This time, I think he did an admirable job with most of the character's voices - although Orolo's voice is quite elderly, and if you do the math (not hard the way their world is structured), he could hardly be over 50. Overall, Dufris has a cheerful, slightly ironic way of reading that strikes the right chord for this work.
Finally, a note on the new vocabulary. It's pretty clear a lot of work went into creating the names for things on planet Arbre. These are not new words for new things, but simply different words for things we already recognize, and a lot of them make sense in context. Jeejah actually isn't a bad word for a cellphone, especially the screeching obnoxious things that are a nuisance at social events, and bullshyt is actually a pretty good word for that particular concept. Among other things, this is a funny book, and the new vocabulary, clever in that way, helps to set the tone.
Stephenson fans, this is one you will not want to miss.
The story seems like a great one, but the reader's voice just sounds silly as he changes characters. A story this long requires a strong reader to get you through the slow parts(and there are definitely slow parts). Overall, the concept of the story is great, but due to execution and length, I just couldn't get through it. This is not usual for me. I will usually "power through" any audio book, but I gave up on this one. Too bad, because the basis of the story is very original...
I believe this is one of those books that felt it was so important to detail the world before introducing plot. 10 hours is too much!!!
It's not the narrators fault. Maybe he could have read through the first part much faster?
No. Don't do it!
If you are willing to commit more than 10 hours, perhaps this book is life changing. I will be never know.
Probably not. While I enjoyed it, it had long stretches that went on too long for me. I think the idea behind the book was fascinating, but it got boring by the end. It would tease me with something that could have potentially been exciting, but when it came down to the end it was just boring. I really liked Neal Stephenson's "Reamde" and I was hoping this would be more like that.
Less non-action and philosophy and more, not necessarily action since I'm not an "action" type of gal and generally I like thoughtful books, but maybe a swifter resolution.
No I haven't, but I REALLY liked the narrator. In fact, I've since purchased a couple more books specifically because they're read by him. I think that the reason I stuck with the book through all its boring parts was because of the narrator.
No - frankly I was glad when it was over... the story was great, but way way too long.
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.