I really wanted to like this book. The narrator was amazing and the premise sounded great. I just couldn't get into it. I must have restarted it three times before I finally made myself stick to it. In the end I listened to it at triple speed just to finish it. I just couldn't make myself care about Johannes Cabal. I like anti-heros as much as the next gal but this guy was just "anti", no "hero".
Hilarious book, one of the few I've listened to that made me laugh out loud. Funny characters, very dark humor. There was a lot of missed thematic potential, though, so don't expect deep personalities who seek redemption or anything similar. Just people with questionable morals doing really funny bad things - the book made me think of a world populated with Edward Gorey characters.
I greatly enjoyed this listen and have since added his second book to my collection. The narrator give life to the well-written characters and the situations and dialogue kept me hooked from open to close. If you like a little dark British humor and humorous social studies, I highly recommend. Those that gave this a low mark obviously didn't know what type of book this was or were closed minded to characters making wagers with a sarcastic devil and the reanimation of the dead to create light-hearted carnival workers.
One of the best reads I've had in a while. John Howard brought Johannes Cabal and all the characters to life in such a unique way, that allowed me to build images of the characters and the scenarios in my mind. I was able to envision all the dark imagery in a very Tim Burtonish style. This would definitely make a great movie if it fell in the right hands.
Entertaining story and spot-on narration
One of my favorite books, the best I have 'read' in a long time.
Solid plot, A book you can't put down, suspense and sarcasam with a bit of British Humor. A sort of Monty Phyton meets Satan kind of humor, yet dark enough to make you keep the lights on at night !
And Christopher Cazenove is an outstanding reader.
I found this book light and amusing, with a delightful flavour of morbidity. It is great if you want something along those lines. It is not High Literature, but it is not intended to be. The reader gives it the proper tone and I didn't catch any mispronunciations. However, it does drag at the end and become focused on letting the plot twist, rather than on the writing.
The intelligence of Sherlock Holmes and the comedy of A Hitchhiker's Guide? It is difficult to describe this book (or the entire series!) I rarely take the time to write any sort of review, and an audiobook must amaze me before I feel the need to tell others about it. This is one of those books. I came across this book by accident and took a chance on it after being intrigued by the description. I cannot say enough good things. The writing is beyond witty, and the reader picks up on the nuanced comedy so well that it results in an incredible performance.
I have gone on to listen to the entire series, and while the first book remains the best, all of them are worthy of a listen. Jonathan Howard is proving that good writers still exist and that intellect can be entertaining and amusing!
Not sure. I had a hard time with the english accent of the reader and found myself getting distracted from the book. For a while I was considering moving on, but the story was interesting.
Have it read by someone with a more clear accent.
Good question. I have to think about that one.
The first 2/3 of the book is great, feels like Alice in Wonderland + Dexter. Johannes' total lack of compassion and the world from his perspective is intriguing and refreshing (well, OK, not that refreshing but still interesting enough to keep me engaged). However, the author just have to force the idea of "good vs. evil" in the story, force Johannes to be the unwilling protector of the good, which is both unnecessary and boring. It makes the story predictable.
And the last few sentence of the book introduced one of the most overused female tropes in popular literature, that by itself, remove 1 star from the story. I was very disappointed that the author took the easy way out to explain Johannes' motivation. It's lazy and uninspiring.
The performance of Christopher Canenove is absolutely great! And since I'm not too happy about the story and the second book isn't narrated by Mr. Canenove, I'll not continue this series.