Say something about yourself!
Like many of the longer horror novels I've read, this one starts off deep and mysterious and ends up feeling kind of formula. I don't want to give anything away but there elements here that will seem familiar from other books and movies over the years. Then again, this is an older book so it all may have been fresh when written.
There are two narrators and I loved the females voice. The male did fine job, except for his version of the female black hero, which seemed whiny and overdone. This was no biggie at first, but after about 29 hours it started to kill the deal for me.
As others have pointed out there is plenty of racism in here. I smiled in several places at the total disregard for political correctness. Somehow the language worked for me as many of the foul and racist parts helped paint the characters. It was necessary and added something to the book.
My rating is high because of two points: I loved the creative way the bad guys used people, it was creative and really nasty. I loved the crazy old lady who is the major villain. The author did a beautiful job with her narration and I really felt 'inside' her head as she develops. My biggest misgiving about the book is the use of Nazi death camp experiences as a plot device in a horror novel. Because I knew the death camps were real and actually happened, they seemed to upstage any other concocted horror the author thought up. This really hit me at the end of the book, and it felt awkward to use such real tragedy in a 30 hour page turner where fictional character life was so cheap.
In sales and on the road a lot. Love SciFi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional Non-Fiction. Funny. Opinionated.
This novel is long, let's get that out of the way first. That being said, it is well worth the investment. I read this over a year ago and it still sticks with me. Very good narration overall, very good characters, and as stated in the title, ENGAGING. You will stay wrapped up in the storyline, even if some scenes drag on for a while. The characters are, as another review has already said, uni-dimensional... but you'll get over it. I think Simmons has a truly unique take on "Vampires" to the point that the term doesn't even really describe the monsters of this story. This is not for fans of Twilight, then again neither is any decent "literature." This is not exclusively for fans of the monster genres either. I would even dare to say that some of the purists wouldn't like the direction the author went in this novel.
Bottom line: For 1 credit this book is well worth your investment. Enjoy.
Yes - if it was shorter for the author. As for the narrators I don't know if I could, they have come to represent this book so completely that I can't imagine them giving voice to other characters!
Saul Laski - love the accent and the narrator really seems to capture the man's personality.
One thing that I will say is the author literally explores every possible use of mind control. Talk about taking an idea to its full potential.
Biblioholic and Russophile.
This is a great read about a small group of malevolent friends who use their psychic abilities to control others in an annual contest to see who can create the most spectacular murders. The combination of blue-blood gentility and sociopathic vigor make "Miss Melanie" a great villain.
The narrators also did a great job, especially the first-person narrative of Melanie.
YES! If you like to think and look at all options..think you know what might happen and then Dan Simmons throws a curve ball everytime!.... you my friends will love this book.
Melony is the most horrific babyish insane mind vampire of the whole group. I loved the end when she is showing again her paranoia and hunger...and she thinks she is ALWAYS right...downright creepy.
Tough..loved Willie. He was almost as awful as Melony. Nina played a short wicked part but was forever the fear of Melanie. For evil I choose Melony.
Tough again. Sol's memories of the concentration camps..his whole life's purpose and internal struggles and all the wonderful people who came together with Sol to kill the minfmd vampires.
Natalie the "negress" and all the dated predjudiced terms I forgot I grew up with were reminders of what is always possible to happen again at any time.Hatred and evil has always been around and sorry to say will be. People who can manipulate and be charismatic are the true mind vampires that the author writes about. I believe using politicians..Hitler...and the holocaust are the perfect canvas for Dan Simmons to paint his "mind vampires" who are real but not in the supernatural way. That was just a tool for his novel...or a novel tool. :)
I loved the Hyperion series, but couldn't be more disappointed with this one. Long, boring, tedious story with one dimensional characters. The flat characters are made worse by the reader's cartoonish attempts at black and southern accents - he sounds like he's mocking the characters. I kept waiting for the story to get better, but it just got more and more contrived, pointless and repetitive as it proceeded. I felt like the author had an interesting idea, then spent hundreds of pages trying, and failing, to do something with it. Lame. Wish I hadn't spent my money on this turkey.
I generally enjoy Dan Simmons, and this story was very good--however, as I live in Charleston, SC, one of the settings of the book, I was distracted. It would have been glaring to any Charleston resident--Simmons did not visit the area nor talk to anyone familiar with the area before writing about it. Had he done so, the richness of the story would have so very much more.
This is a long book but very much worth the investment of time. You will not regret spending the credit on this book!
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It took a little while to get into it, but in the end it was worth it. A different kind of story, but well written and well performed.
Folks, for audiobooks it's not just about the writer, it's also about the narrator...
This audiobook ranks the highest so far in the just the handful I have listened too. The narrators were spot on in their voices and acting skills, it was absolutely an entertaining experience. As with all Dan Simmons's books I have enjoyed so far this one doesn't disappoint, it truly is difficult to pull yourself away from this one.