Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
A fine companion in theme to the Count of Monte Cristo with a wonderful variety of characters, landscapes, places and scenes of inventive episodes of sweet revenge. Woe be to those who crossed Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins. She is one enemy you don't want on your trail.
I thoroughly enjoyed The First Law series, ever so deftly narrated by Steven Pacey but was a little apprehensive to pick up this audiobook when I noticed that it was narrated by Michael Page instead.
I'm sorry to say that my fears were proven correct...
I had to fight the urge to stop playback after the first 60 seconds and after 5 minutes I just couldn't take it anymore.
Mr. Page's pacing is agonizingly slow and over-enunciated, with poor voice characterization to boot.
From a technical perspective, there is a "hollow" quality to the sound, that makes me think the recording was made in a bathroom shower stall and not a soundproof studio. This cavernous echo greatly added to the annoyance factor.
I will give the audiobook another chance, but hold little hope...
I'll update my review if the audiobook redeems itself.
Wonderfully dark, bloody, sexy and enough sword play to make even the most die hard fans of the Fantasy genre shiver with ecstasy. Perhaps the narrator wasn't quite as wonderful as the story, in fact he is the reason I only gave Best Served Cold a rating of 4 out of five, never the less I found his shift from character to character an inviting delve into the dark world of this blood thirsty adventure. I do agree with the previous comment, parents be warned; this is definitely not a book for younger readers. Please Audible, more titles from this author as well along these lines of hard core fantasy adventure!
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
I was completely taken by this book, engaged, surprised, wonderfully entertained, shocked, disgusted and, in the end, almost thoroughly satisfied. It is a no holds barred examination of "righteous vengeance"--its seductive appeal, the obsession which may accompany it and its soul destroying power. It twists together the threads of good and evil into a fascinating tapestry which makes us think, while never noticeably slowing the headlong momentum of its plunge toward tainted triumph and unsettling self knowledge.
It is not a book for dainty sensibilities since it doesn't shrink from including all the dark or secret corners of life But there is sufficient light in its central idea and in its flawed characters to lift the spirit in the end and to allow us to believe in the possibility of redemption.
As for the narrator, I loved his work. His character voices were distinctive and revealing of--well, of character. They were often broad but also truthful. His voice is rich and flexible and his reading skillfully unlocked all the meanings in the author's artful and ebullient use of language. Bravo!
I have read the other books (and loved them), but this was the first audiobook of the series that I tried. Unfortunately I had voices for some of the characters in my head all ready from the previous books, and the narrators choices just didn't match. Abercrombie uses a lot of characters and it can be a little confusing at first until you can sort out who is who as the book is told. I enjoyed the story, and look forward to more, but I will most likely stay with the printed books.
A great revenge story, full of memorable and fleshed out characters and more than a few laughs if you get dark humor.
The reader has an excellent voice and does a solid job giving each character a different tone. I'd like very much to be able to listen to the other Abercrombie books from the First Law Trilogy.
Glad I purchased, I expect that this will be listened to more than once and at over 27hrs it is well worth a single credit.
I enjoyed this book even if the narrator was below par. The one warning that I would give has to do with the content...... if you like heros and happy endings keep looking! He probably nailed the true nature of men, but it isn't pretty.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Best Served Cold has an exciting plot and it???s clever and funny ??? mostly in the droll, ironic, black humor sort of way. For example, Monza pulls Cosca out of alcoholism??? so he can murder people. Some of the scenes in which Morveer was trying to poison somebody bordered on slapstick and provided some hilarity to balance the story???s grimness.
I enjoyed the plot, characters, and humor in Best Served Cold, and I recognize and admire Joe Abercrombie???s talent, creativity, and passion. But the truth is that his stories stress me out. It???s sort of like watching Schindler???s List. Brilliant movie, important message, but not something I want to watch before bedtime. There???s a lot of ugliness and vulgarity ??? much of which seems to be done for shock value (e.g., cannibalism and incest) ??? and there are more characters who are sociopaths than who are normal. If there???s a crude word for something, Abercrombie uses it. Characters are constantly pissing, spitting, growling, bleeding, feeling sticky, and sucking on their sour teeth. They don???t make love, they ... battle and torture scenes are the worst ??? they literally give me headaches.
All of this makes for interesting, original, dramatic fantasy, and I completely understand why it???s so appealing. After all, Joe Abercrombie at least makes me FEEL something. But what he makes me feel is rather depressed, hopeless, and just plain icky, and I can???t say that I really LIKE feeling that way.
“I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."
Unwholesome gloomy fun.
This book is like driving by a horrid car crash. You know you shouldn't look, but you look anyways because of some deep morbid fascination that hypnotizes. That's what this book is like, even though you know you shouldn't turn the page, or in this case, to stop listening, but you end up listening/reading on anyways. Until, before you know it, you're at the bitter end and your like: "Yuck!!!" And then you laugh to prevent yourself from crying at the brutal and meaningless world. You know that saying that goes: "No good deed goes unpunished", well the author here seems to have taken that saying to heart. Indeed, whenever someone did something remotely good in this book, you started to expect hell would soon follow and exact punishment for such a righteous act. Mr. Abercrombie doesn't hold back, he punches you and punches you until your numbed all over, until you're as miserable as the characters are. LOL. Spank me some more, I must really like it. This book is a masterpiece on describing the human condition at it's lowest and most deplorable levels. I found myself cheering and almost weeping whenever even the smallest act of decency is displayed, but it's short lived at best, for such acts are quickly swept away by the onslaught of the brutally meaningless existence of the all the characters in this world. Which sadly, a lot of times, reflects our world.
Yes I would. Normally I would give Michael Page a high rating because he did a good job, but I have been spoiled by Steven Pacey whom narrated the previous books by Abercrombie, so my rating of Michael Page is a bit tainted by extremely high expectations. It also didn't help that the sound quality was subpar to what I am use to by Audible. I tried listening to different formats but they all had this echoing sound to it, like the audio was EQ/set on: "Hall" or something, like listening to sounds in a cavern.
I have to be honest and say this book sickened me, but entertained me all at the same time. I am not sure what this means yet, but it's somewhat frightening, like watching a scary movie and coming out saying, why did I just do that, but then can't wait to go watch another scary movie to subject myself to even more torment.
Once again, the sound quality was not up to the standards that I have become accustomed to with audiobooks from Audible.
I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
There is quite a lot to recommend this book. The author's gifts for creating original characters as well as putting a new and at times laugh out loud slant to descriptions of fantasy settings and combat are truly noteworthy. The problem I have, is that reading Best Served Cold isn't very enjoyable.
Now don't get me wrong, some of my favorite reads have been really rough ordeals, I love A Song of Ice and Fire for starters. However the world on offer here is relentlessly dark, in a way that may be different from run of the mill fantasy but isn't to my way of thinking inherently better than other more conventional works, and actually suffers from its universal bleakness. As previously mentioned by others, crudity abounds for some reason, so much so as to be over the top.
My issues with the book aren't helped by the audio production that the publisher has built around the book. From his grand delivery, I can imagine Michael Page being a great narrator of fantasy books, just not this one. His style simply doesn't feel appropriate for such a dark setting, particularly with a female protagonist. Also, the recording has an odd quality, like it was performed in a small room with bare walls or something.
As much as I really liked parts of this book, I can't say I'll be going out of my way to recommend it. Perhaps it can best be called a good buy on sale, to be kept around for when you think you're too happy with the world around you and could use a good dose of glum.