All the reviews said to stick with it and this would be so great. Well, I stuck with it and did not see what everyone else did. Not sure I would have finished it if the narration wasn't so great. Would not recommend.
This book is unusual enough that I don't want to compare it to others. I will say that I would recommend it only to my friends with a strong literary bent and a load of patience.
It took a long time to woo me, but by the end I loved it. Nonetheless, finishing it was a relief.
The narrator doe an excellent job. Each character has his or her own voice. The insertion of the many footnotes does not detract from the overall flow of the story - perhaps because it flows so sluggishly.
A Slow Boat to Britain
This is an ODD book. It develops very slowly. I was about a third of the way through the story before I really got into it. The pacing speeds up somewhat as the story progresses. I found that by listening in larger chunks than I usually do, I was able to immerse myself in the book, making it more engaging. The Jane Austen-like prose was pleasing, but I know it is not to everyone's taste. I can see where this would be a polarizing "love it" or "hate it" book.
I have not.
It wouldn't work as a movie. But it would work as a BBC-style TV show.
This is an extremely well written fantasy novel. However, despite the quality of the writing, it is a very dense, slow-paced book. The premise is fascinating, but the book is underwhelming. I completed the entire book, but it was extremely tedious to do so. Frankly, I felt extremely disappointed, because....with the amazing premise and setting….this book could have been much, much better.
Although totally different writing styles, I would compare this book to Game of Thrones for its ability to develop a a very descriptive multi-layered story, amazing plots and subplots, and outstanding character development.
Loved all the main characters but would have to say, that Steven and Jonathan Strange were my favorites.
it seems to me a rare thing that an author can me feel like I know characters as though they are old friends. to the point that finishing this listen, makes me sad in the same way as when I know that I will not see a good friend or brother for a long while.
this book seems to take a more human and practical look at magic, and how it could be the pride of a nation, but also how such a thing could be feared and despised as well as every grey area in between.
the writing style and cadence is paced, but not slow and moves with the story and events naturally. I personally found the footnotes enlightening and humorous, although I suspect that some may find them to be a bit of a distraction.
Simon Prebble only adds to the enjoyment of this book. although I have not listened to anything he has narrated before, I will be listening to some books solely because he is reading them.
His narration is rich and clear, and he seems to have no trouble keeping up with different cadences and intonations of the various characters.
I kept thinking to myself that I didn't know how she would write her characters out of this or that rabbit-hole, and she DID! I loved how they got into that hole in the first place. I would re-read this book because of Ms. Clarkes superior command of language, and how she made a rare success of fully fleshing-out each of her main characters.
It's a little like Harry Potter on steroids for grownups.
My reviews are rather simple but only because I want to convey my impressions of a story. I leave summaries to the publisher. LOVE Audible!
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very odd story indeed but told with a certain flair that Simon Prebble delivers so well. I can't really express much about the book other than how it made me feel and in that regard - wonderful.
This is a great example of an audio book surpassing the actual thing. I'd had this book on my shelf for years, and continuously had trouble getting into it. But Simon Prebble is a genius. He brings not only the characters to life--he brings the brilliant writing and dry wit to life...and I think those of us who are Americans probably need his help. I seriously did not realize how hilarious the book was until listening to this. Overall, the book really is too long--but the audio never ceases to entertain. I found it enjoyable all the way through.
I'd recommend this book even to non-fantasy readers--it's not a typical fantasy and reads more like a cross between historical fiction and Jane Austen (that is, if Jane Austen wrote interesting plots).
I read a number of reviews that talked about getting through the first 8 hours of the book. This was not my impression. I thought the whole book was very well written, interesting, and rewarding. However, the pacing is slow throughout its entirety. This is not a criticism but it is a warning. If you are looking for fast paced adventure, this book will not please you. If you are looking for a very well written book with interesting characters and an unusual theme, you will be very happy with this listen.
Prebble was an excellent narrator. However, while the first half of the book is some of the best fiction I've ever read, the second half sputtered to a halt and finally concluded in a pathetic denoument. Oh well, the first half was so good that in my opinion the book still deserves 4 stars at least!