"It gets good"
The book starts well and keeps you interested for the first five or so hours. I then found it dragged a bit, possibly as I realised quite how much I had left to go. However, stick with it as the last 15 hours are real metaphorical page turners.
I was speaking to my mother about it who asked her normal questions about books I read/listen to: "does it have a spy? A submarine? A helicopter?"
I found myself answering in the affirmative to all of these so she said she wasn't interested in it. However, don't let this put you off as they are all comparatively minor bits of the story (sorry Olivia) and it is otherwise a rip roaring yarn (all 39 hours of it) about human struggling through very difficult circumstances and pulling together.
The one downside was the accents used with the welsh bad guy sounded like Sean Connery. It's annoying but not ultimately fatal to the story and the narrator does well otherwise.
"Bit drawn out in places but enjoyable enough"
Bit drawn out and not as much of the reamde virus and online train game as I was expecting. Narration was good when narrating the story in his own voice but the other accents were pretty ropey. The Scottish accent was so bad it was quite entertaining in an odd way! Stuck with it to the end though so can't have been that bad.
"terrorists, spies, hapless idiots, Russians"
not what I was expecting. good characters but story felt laborious and clichéd at times
Starts brilliantly with the focus on internet/gaming intrigue but fades around a third of the way into sub-par cookie-cutter spy yarn. It never recovers. Very disappointing listen.
I was happy to see there weren't nearly as many references to the proper care and maintenance of genitalia in this book as there were in 'Cryptonomicon.'
Mind you, there were still some, just not as many.
"Good book, shame about the narration"
Enjoyable story with some interesting characters. Nice tongue in cheek critique of globalisation and the digital age. Unfortunately the narrator was very poor. Nearly gave up as his attempts at anything other than a broad American accent were so terrible. Would recommend reading this rather than listening to it as a result.
"Quality and quantity - can't go wrong."
Epically convoluted adventure
This stunning quest for gold and revenge manages to cross half the real world and a fantasy one too. Non stop plot that never looses the thread.
Hillgarten's reading lights up the characters, and even though his Russian/Hungarian accents verge through Mexico and Pakistan, his English accent is so POSH it's almost comic, and his Welsh is um.... he's obviously never heard a Welsh accent, he keeps the pace going so that one wants to just keep listening.
This could not be made into a film. Maybe a series of films. There is just too much stuff.
I'll be looking for more by both the author and the narrator. Very good listening.
"detailed but just boring"
it just fails and falls flat. it goes nowhere and says nothing. it describes and didn't explore. anathem takes you there, cryptonomicon makes you understand... this just bores you.
"Suspension of disbelief required!"
I managed to stick this out for 12 of the 30+ hours required before I finally decided to stop subjecting myself to a nonsensical plot and needlessly descriptive prose. About an hour in the story starts to hang together on a series of irrational actions which I had hoped would later be explained as part of some elaborate scheme however this was not to be the case. Characters act in ridiculous manners with the flimsiest of plot devices used to push the activity from one scene to the next all the while taking hundreds of words to describe what should have been conveyed in a couple of sentences. The author appears to have a loyal following with some other works attaining praise but this is a clear miss for me.
"great fun but a bit too long"
I felt that some sub plots were over developed and didn't really add to overall narrative other than by weight
very well read apart from a couple of dodgy accents - the Scottish one was particularly irritating but thankfully not a major character
I would go for another book with same author and narrator though but probably I'll wait for a suitably long business trip