Embassytown is a fantastic novel, but I did not enjoy the reader's voice. Elements conveyed well in the written form were difficult to parse for me when heard. But your ears are different from mine and it might be better for you to hear.
I like books. Reading them, writing them, listening to them, and occasionally arguing with them. I also like cats.
No. The book is great. The story is great (when it picks up). And the recording is great. However, the book is meant to offer commentary on language, and I had to look at Wikipedia for reference to understand a lot of the written subtlety of it. Also, one alien species speaks a language with two separate speaking organs making different simultaneous sounds. Narrator Susan Duerden uses sound editing to handle this brilliantly. However, it makes for a very difficult listening experience. I enjoyed the book, but would rather re-read a text copy.
The examination of language not as communicating merely what is but what could be is a fascinating phenomena. The protagonist is a "simile"--a living extension of Language. She acts "like a girl who ate what she was given." Thus, she is able to introduce new ideas to an alien culture by comparing other existing ideas to her--the girl who ate what she was given. An addict consumes a drug "like the girl who ate what she was given." That whole idea--making people into similes, into extensions of language--is absolutely astounding!
This is difficult. A few scenes come to mind. One small scene was when someone's biomechanic prosthetic sprouted an ear to listen to an addictive linguistic drug being spoken. That small detail really intrigued me and served as a great metaphor for addiction and technology.
"In space, nobody can hear your two speaking organs scream!"China Mieville has many books worthy of movies. This one might be too smart for Hollywood to do.
China Mieville is an amazing author. Susan Duerden is a fantastic narrator!The story here is as captivating as the science fiction elements!However, this book is not always easy to listen to because of the complex nature of sometimes hearing two sounds spoken simultaneously for short monosyllabic names, greetings, and other moments.
Still, it was well worth the listen and I'm glad I purchased the book!
I finished only because I felt like the uncomprehending alien characters: sure that something worthwhile must be about to happen because of all the energy that was wasted up to that point. Beating my head against a wall or my office chair helped to pass the time while these words happened to me.
The binary voices were presented well and the reader was quite pleasant. I have no complaint with the Audible production.
The author didn't excellent job of world building and character development. The idea or plot behind the story was very good too. Unfortunately the way the author told the story the reader /listener could often get lost. The author did not put enough detail and explanation at the beginning of a story or a new element in the story for the reader to fully understand and visualize what was happening or what was going on. The narrator did an excellent job of making sense of the story for the listener. The voice characterization was done very.
I can really only say that this was done ingeniously. I had thought this was a premise that would be hard to pull off in audio book, with so many unpronounceable words and difficult ideas you have to go back with, but if anything that all adds to this books accessibility. Having listened to this I feel like I know so much more about how Language worked than I did just reading the book.
Reading Fantasy and SCI-FI on audible.
I am glad I listened to this as an audiobook. I would never have survived the paperback. This story takes a long time to get going and requires you to learn a new set of coloquialisms including a double speech ability. The story does become more interesting, but it hard to get into it at the beginning.
There are some interesting ideas - the houses, vehicles, weapons are all organic plants/animals that are taught to form certain objects. The idea that the native creatures can never lie is also intriguing. I was never sold on the "addiction" to a particular human pair of speakers - humans that communicate with the natives must talk at the same time which requires special brain communication.
But overall, this was work. The performance is great and made the book bareable.
This is a big ideas story. Sometimes I had to pause the book so I could just spend a while with all the thoughts it had provoked. This, to me, is the best measure of a book: if it changes the way you see the world.
Spanish Dancer! That's one of the Ariekei, the aliens in this book. I really liked the narrator, Avice, but in the end I admired Spanish Dancer the most, because ultimately it had to show the most courage.
This is a book you really must experience as an audiobook. She and the production team really bring to life the strange jargon and alien linguistics of the world of Embassytown.
Only lies can set you free.
The performance of the work is excellent; both the tone and the voice of the reader seem both appropriate for the story and flexible enough to carry multiple characters. The use of the doubled phrases for "Language" made it all the more compelling.
The time spent in Immer... I wish there were more of that, or perhaps a sequel that further explores what lies beyond Arieki in the Immer
Avice is an excellent, believable character... though I get great pleasure from hearing her work with the unusual, double-threaded voices of the ambassadors and Hosts
Reflections of a rogue simile
Very good book. Not quite what I expected, and did not go at all where I expected it to go - but I like that. More deeply thoughtful on the nature of language, thought and alien-ness than I was prepared for, and very well thought out.
Once again China Mieville has put down a thought-provoking and totally unique story, one that takes on what it means to have a mind and to use language. Susan Duerden's narration was top of the line; as with the best in her profession, she brings something to the story rather than simply reading it.