First book read by Willis. I'm a hard science fiction fan, and the blurb sounded pretty good. Started listening on a driving trip and had to turn it off after an hour. Technically insulting (historians in the future need implants to speak "American" but actors can do a pretty good job of this now) and the reader makes the story sound Dickensian instead of post contemporary. The story line sounded so good...
Is having a Kindle betraying the concept of the book?
It shouldn't be toted as a science fiction book. The only science fiction aspect was that a few characters were sent back through time to WWII. From there on, the book was about characters stuck in WWII. Vague sci fi references, heavy on the historical fiction. Not what I was expecting.
I probably wouldn't have thought much about the blackout period if it wasn't for this story.
I suppose it does given that this book (the first) doesn't end. So, logically, an additional book is needed to finish the story.
I'm rather disappointed in general with this book; like I said, it was more historical fiction than anything else. I like historical fiction, mind, just not what I was hoping for in a book that's under the science fiction genre.
Yes, definitely! The characters are amazing, especially the children. They had me laughing all the way through!
The children characters and the narration was spot on.
Katherine just does a wonderful job at bringing the story to life and Connie's characters are wonderful and real.
This book and the sequel, "All Clear" were very humorous, especially Alf and Binney Hotbin.
I strongly recommend this book to others. I hope that Ms. Willis has plans for another on this series and I hope Alf and Binney are included.
Despite an almost flawless accent, Katherine Kellgren is clearly not a native British speaker because she doesn't quite get when to use a short
I loved the quick pace of the novel and I absolutely adored Katherine Kellgren's spot on narration. It's such a good story and I was thrilled when I realized that I would get to listen to more of Kellgren in the sequel. Truly flawless.
The two urchins, Alf and
Binnie (spelling?). They were such scamps and I found myself laughing aloud at their manipulative behavior and their comically adorable exchanges.
This was a tie between Alf and Binnie. Both are charming little con artists. Maybe a slight edge to Binnie.
I loved the pathos of Dunkirk. The dilemma of not wanting to change history but finding oneself stuck in a situation that required true heroism.
I hope more of the titles I love feature truly gifted narrators like Kellgren. Gifted narrators like her are a big part of why I have fallen in love with audio books. I will look for more titles narrated by her specifically.
Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.
This is an absolute monster of a book - and after ?18? hours of listening, it is only the first half. (Then you have to rush off and download All Clear). This book, in parts wonderful, unnerving exilarating, bleak, humourous frustrating, rich (very) in detail. Also, the narration is just wonderful. Amongst the best I have heard. With Blackout you would have thought Connie Willis had lived through the Blitz, this tale is so very well observed. Some aspects are confusing (all the loose ends and confusions in this time travel tale are nicely tidied up in the second book). This book just stops (not even a cliffhanger) hence the 4 stars.
I have enjoyed Willis's previous books, but this is like the winner in a contest to see how many times you can get away re-using the exact same sentences over and over and over in one novel. (I can't go to Dunkirk! I need a skirt. I need to get to the drop. OMG maybe I changed history, etc. etc. etc.) Do they not have editors anymore? Oh and this is just part one of a two part book. Is she paid by the word? Buy her a delete key please. I downloaded the second half already but won't listen to it.
the leads are boring dorks. The "premise" is maybe they changed history and made Hitler win the war, but what they are worried about is their boss man will be really mad at them. Seriously?
The only thing sort of keeping the book moving forward is that it keeps switching b/w lead characters often enough to distract you from the fact that nothing much is happening with any of them.
It's a shame because the Blitz is interesting and there are several very engaging minor color characters.
Time travel is the device making this more than just a catalogue of vignettes from the Blitz but time travel in Dr. Who or even Diana Gabaldon is more logical than here. Tip for time travelers lost in the past: put an ad in the paper.
This didn't work for me. I like Connie Willis, I love the narrator, but this story just didn't grab me. I didn't care enough about the characters and their struggles in WWII as time travelers.
The premise of this novel is fantastic, and the overall plotting is extremely well-constructed. But I found the writing itself disappointingly turgid and almost gave up several times.
There are some novels that work in print but don't work as audiobooks. I think I would have loved "Blackout" in print, because in print you can skim-read, and this is an extremely skimmable book. I say that because Connie Willis's style is functional rather than stylish, and is unbearably long-winded: she spins out some mildly amusing comic sequences ad nauseum until the joke is worn thin, and the novel contains endless scenes in which characters think through their predicaments and then work logically through every possible solution in minute detail. This would be fine in print, but when you have to listen to Every. Single. Word. it becomes achingly slow and repetitive.
Another thing that bugged me was the empty characterization. The world of 2060s Oxford has no characteristics at all; all we're told is that Oxford University has invented time travel; apparently nothing else in this future world is worth mentioning. Similarly, our time-travelling students have no backstories: they're just generic Oxbridge types who are functions for kickstarting the plot. And in the 1940s section, the Londoners all behave like stereotypical figures from old movies about the pluckiness of Brits. I felt as though the author had gotten her knowledge of Britain largely from Brideshead Revisited and Ealing comedies.
The reader does an superb job of covering lots of different accents, and her treatment of the Cockney evacuees is particularly delightful. She speaks at a good pace that helps overcome the novel's plodding style at times. However, her use of a cut-glass upper class accent for the main narration is a mistake; it makes for a strident and headache-inducing listen. And occasional mis-pronunciations cause irritation ("she walked down the parsage and put on her gars marsk" - erm, no, not even in 1940s England....)
In summary, the clever plotting and the inherently entertaining premise of "Blackout" kept me fighting through to the bitter end, as I did genuinely want to know what happened next. It was a struggle through, and I'll be buying the next instalment to read in print at the airport, where it belongs.