Neal Stephenson wrote one of my favorite books (cryptonomicon) and Simon Prebble is my all time favorite narrator. So when I found this series it could not be a better match.
But this book just does not go anywhere! I know I had high expectations, but I really wanted this book to be good, and because of this I kept on listening, but had to give up 2/3 into the book.
I cannot recommend this book. But I can fully recommend Cryptonomicon by Stepenson.
I found the historical and philisophical aspects of the book interesting, but it gets rather boring. It is like hanging out with my geek-friends who don't have a life, only their work. I was looking forward to intrigue and wow, this just didn't have it.
My feelings are mixed. On one hand, the writing style is fairly clever, but there is nothing to move the story forward. As a reader, a vision of an alternate pre-enlightenment era is entirely insufficient in itself to warrant so much reading. This book reads like a late-era European history textbook with a narrative structure. I was never enthralled by the lives and doings of boring rich gentlemen the first time around, and adding a bit of sci-fi to their lives does not, in itself, nudge them into being interesting. Even still, I'm sure I'd have probably enjoyed the book if it had had an interesting plot, (environment and characters being already dismissed to my mind,) but alas, the plot, again, reads like a historical account. The tides of history aren't an interesting plot in and of themselves. For me, there needs to be some serious degree of human drama to propel the story, and there mostly isn't. For readers who enjoy the style, the victorian language, and period, and love the idea of combining something magical with it, I recommend Clarke's "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" instead.
I agree with all the other reviewers on this one. There is one reason you might want to get this. It helps you get to sleep at night!
In truth the narration is great, bringing life into what is possibly the most disjointed and uninteresting story I have come across. Even the science history is poor. At one point it mentions he meets I think it was Newton as a boy, next minute he was recommending that someone reads his book.
The overdescription is just annoying too. The author seems to think that it is good if he can say something in a paragraph he could have said in a word! What actually happens is you know what he is rabbiting on about at the start of the paragraph but you have to wait for a minute or so to get some petty detail you don't want to know anyway.
Avoid this book like the plague....unless you have insomnia!
An unsocial freak living his life around audiobooks, the next best thing to under water blowdryers.
I was hoping this would be something diffirent since i am a history fanatic. I usually listen to books while working, but several times the book dissapeared among the hundred thoughts i have which never happens on any other audio book. It is complex and the main character is extremely boring. It is very technical yet it will have an audience with those who find toothpicks and pebbles more interesting than the end of the world or some alien invasion. Did i forget to say YAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWNNNN!!!
Reasonable narrator (but not in the league of Patrick Tull or Davina Porter) but relatively boring story. I am four hours in and ready to abandon an audio book for the first time (after many). I would pass on this selection.
I will wait for reviews of book two before I give up on the whole series. Puratins with moral delimmas was not a real good attention grabber for the first book. I listened for 7-8 hour before giving up.
Yes, I did, darn it. I never made it through this one. I love historical fiction, and long, drawn-out rambling series--fiction, but this was just really boring to me. It's the first book I haven't been able to finish. Won't be getting the rest of the series.
Out of the 200 audio books I have downloaded over I dont know how many years as a member this without doubt is the worst.
Im reluctant to even give a star it's more a twinkle of a point...
Please Neal Stephen dont write any more in the series or at the very least read a Ken Follett or Steve Berry to get a better idea of weaving a story through your facts.
It is slow listening, boring, and the narration monotonous.
Once again I was fooled into buying a book based on an authors previous books. While I greatly enjoyed Neal Stephenson's other books this one was as dry as a popcorn fart. I couldn't even get through it. Hey Neal...send me a refund!