I love a nice long audio book. I am not sure why this book has positive reviews. I listened to a good twenty hours waiting for a plot and or something interesting. It is completly wordy and unintersting. If you are looking for a book that will put you to sleep you found the right one. If you are looking for a story with a plot and some substance you are in the wrong place.
I used to love Ursula LeGuin because, true to her anthropological roots, she created alternative realities that were immensely satisfying. But when she went to fantasy, she lost me. This book got me back to those early LeGuin-like moments. Susannah Clarke creates a parallel universe in early 19th Century England, one where the practice of magic is accepted as part of everyday life. It has enough reality and enough fantasy to make it a true page-turner. Honestly, I didn't want to stop listening, even for 36 hours or however long it took. I told everyone about this find, thinking I was discovering a new author. Only then did I discover that Clarke had won the Hugo Award!
This book wins the prize for the least substance fit into the most words. The book was an endless epic of nonsense. I am a total reading addict. I read everything but particularly enjoy fantasy. My favorites are from Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling, so you get an idea that I take my reading seriously. This book, however, was a complete waste of time. There was no real plot and no real action. Characters who were not interesting enough for me to distinguish just seemed to wander around talking about boring things, or talking about things they weren't doing -- like magic, for instance. Magic wasn't practiced in the way you might expect from a book about magic. It was talked about a lot, but the magic that was presented was useless and uninteresting. Even worse was the continuous introduction of new characters throughout the book when it was hard enough to keep track of the existing ones. And no one had a personality. They were all dry and boring, like this book. I don't understand how anyone did enjoy it unless maybe they don't read enough good books to compare it to. If you must read it, check it out of the library so you can return it immediately once you wake up from your nap.
I should have known by the length of the story but I found I was wanting the story to end by the last 4 hours. The narration is excellent but I feel the story could have been cut by at least 1 part. The footnotes are interesting but as at least one other review has pointed out, it can be difficult to know when the story picks up again.
If you like excellent narration and a long and involved story this book is for you.
The narration is well-done, but the story is terrible. It's tedious and boring and even after the first six hours it is still a chore to listen. I recognize that other listeners give the book high marks, so there does appear to be an audience for it, but be warned that it is a story told in slow-motion.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
I really liked this book, although those with short attention spans beware. It is very long and the reading of the numerous footnotes is a bit confusing at first. But despite the length, which I actually didn't mind, The story was very engaging and moved along pretty well. I thought the narrator was excellent, and did alot to make the book engaging and move quickly. He was perfect. I thought this book was very funny, in a very dry, intellectual sort of way. I laughed a great deal while listening.
A very busy dad and IT manager from Athens, GA. I have a long commute, and I listen to tons of audiobooks in the car and around the house.
I really enjoyed this. The scale of it was impressive, but the stories kept a very personal feel. I wasn't put off by the length, being a fan of longish audiobooks. And, it was surprisingly funny in a very dry, British way. There were some minor weirdnesses--pacing near the end seemed to accelerate all out of proportion to the rest of the book, character development could have been a tad better--but overall I was really pleased with this, and sorry to hear its end.