There is a lot to recommend “The Black Company.” The characters, the setting, the situations . . . they are all very interesting. What’s lacking is depth and detail. The story feels very disjointed, almost a listing of events, as we hop from one scene to the next, sometimes jarringly. Also, while the characters are interesting, they aren’t overly dynamic. It’s almost like someone sat down with a D&D group who wanted to play antiheros and recorded their story.
I’m glad I picked it up during one of the ~$5 sales, it’s not bad, but it’s not something I’d have wanted to spend a credit on. That said, I’ll consider picking up the next one to see if the framework laid out in this book grains flesh in the next and if the prose improves.
Might be a good book if read on the printed page. Hard to follow in this format, there seem to be no real transitions from place to another. The reader sounds good, but, you never know where one chapter ends and the next one begins.... Causes a little confusion.
I couldn't get past the first chapter. The narration is horrible. The story seems good it not for the narration.
I really couldn't find a plot in the first 2 hours of the book. The story line was erratic at best, and at times completely random. There were a few spots where I thought a passable story was going to emurge, but the incredible amount of similes and completely unnecessary elaboration on irrelevant details made it impossible to finish. At times, it seem like there was litterally a simile in every sentense. Many of them were really random comparisons of things that were either annoyingling hokey or hard to follow. I can tell that the narrator is partly to blame for this stinker of a performance, but the heart of the problem is weak storytelling. I regret the $4.95 I spent on this, but I'm glad I didn't waste a whole credit.
A congruent story.
I don't think any one wold want to.
I picked this up because a friend was reading it. I found out after a painstaking hour of listening to this thing that he threw the book out after about a third of the way through. I don’t blame him. I had to actually stop listening go to another book and come back due to boredom. I was annoyed by the reader and the writing was excessively choppy and uninspiring. Perhaps ether is something grand later in the book but I can’t stand the pain.
I usually think the first volume in many fantasy series is weaker, and The Black Company is not an exception. For much of the book I felt rather lost, as not much is explained in the usual way, and it was hard to tell the characters apart because I didn't have much detail about them. It picked up at the end, but the majority of the book was just simply hard to follow and uninteresting. The naming system didn't help, either, and really kept throwing me out of the story. I know this is military fantasy, but callsigns such as Tom Tom, Goblin, The Lady, and a bunch of other that have passed out of my mind as soon as the book ended just really didn't work for me. Also I caught a lot of slang terms that the author used that I would never expect to hear in a bleak, medieval fantasy world.
This book, while seeming like it might have helped influence the Malazan series, nevertheless now feels like a pale foreshadowing of it. I also did not like the narrator's voice too much. While his voice sounds appealing (even Clint Eastwood-esque), his inflection and ability to cast multiple characters failed on me.
What an absolutely abysmal book. I only got 2.5 hours into the book, but by that point I just couldn't take anymore. After 2.5 hours I had no idea what was going on. The story seemed to just randomly jump all over the place with no direction or purpose. I couldn't follow what was going on from one scene to the next. As one other reviewer mentioned, after 2.5 hours I had no idea who the main protagonist was, other than the fact that he was physician, nor did I really care. He was an empty shell of a character, as were all the other characters in the book (at least to this point in the book).
Marc Vietor's narration was not bad. It wasn't even close to his best work, but it wasn't bad. He was much better in Hyperion, and did an absolutely amazing job with 1Q84. I'm not sure if it was the story or what, but his performance was off this time.
I can count on one hand the number of books I have not finished in my life. Once I start a book, even if it's bad, I almost always stick with it to the end. This is the first audio book I have not finished. It's just BAD!!! I'm sure Glen Cook is a good writer (he has obviously written a ton of books and has a big following), but I doubt seriously I will ever pick up another of his books (written or audible). It's a shame I wasted a credit on this book.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
Necropolitan Hill, rained stones, statues bleed, sacrificial victims, bowels were opened and ten black vultures. All of this is in the second paragraph of the book. Some of the characters are One-Eye, Croaker, Pickles, Mercy, Raven, and Tom-Tom. Sounds like a great start to a great creative story, right?
Well you would be wrong. There is no plot. The author show he has imagination in his colorful naming of characters and setting, but can't seem to get past that. What usually happens is these tough guys with weird names sitting around playing games and talking tough. Super Macho talk. When any action takes place we get the start and the ending with no middle. There is no story line. Each chapter was once a short story and is loosely tied to the chapter before. A say short story, but there really is no story. GC needs to team up with another writer who can plot stories. This seemed to have so much potential.
I only got through the first three chapters which are a hour and half long each. With out reading the rest of the chapters I can guess that each chapter will have corpses and flies.
If you like listening to guys sitting around talking tough, buy the book, if you like a plot or developed characters look elsewhere.
I nearly didn't get this book because of the reviews. However I am very glad I did. In fact I am currently paying for book 3 because I can't wait for my next credit (the reason it gets 4 out of 5 is because the books are so damned short.) I have listened to many of the fantasy / Sci-Fi featured on Audible... and I have to say that this is a very worthy addition! ~ just had to get used to the first person perspective.... I am so used to the limited omniscient third, that at first it was hard to follow. Mayhapps that is why these nay sayers were so down on the book.
Try it out for a change of pace. Good Plot. Intriguing Characters, and Fun to listen to. However, remember that it takes some getting used to the perspective of the Author of the Annals.