This book was certainly unique. I vacillated between confusion, discomfort, curiosity and amazement. Given the length of the book, that was an unusual 46 listening hour listening experience. I thought the readers did a good job and that their voices were very appropriate. I am amused by the frequent criticism of the female voice. I thought it fit with the characters' physical descriptions, but to each his or her own. That is why it is good to listen to the samples first.
Some aspects I never did quite understand. I borrowed the book from the library because I thought maybe I missed something...I didn't. I still don???t understand the forest, the little people, or all the abstract relationships between all the characters. Perhaps the most meaningful phrase in the book is from Tengo's father: ???if you can???t understand it without an explanation you won???t understand it with an explanation.??? Nevertheless, I will think about this story for a very long time and that is part of why it is enjoyable. It is not just a simple "beach read" but a book that is intricate and multifaceted.
Overall, I enjoyed it. It drew me in with its complexity and beautiful writing style. I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters and it had a puzzle aspect to it that intrigued me. The interwoven plots added a fascinating complexity that required unusual talent by the author. For those who were unhappy with it I think you didn't stick with it long enough to fall down the rabbit hole into a suspenseful wonderland with Aomame and Tengo.
If it were condensed down to about 7 hours. And if the female narrator woke up... she sounds drugged.
The female narrator was way too slow.
About 75% of the dialogue. I know writers are supposed to show and not tell, and that is often achieved through dialogue...but come on. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Conversations about minutia.
I only made it through the first part before deciding I couldn't endure the pain any longer.
Excellent performance. I loved this story from start to finish. This has been one of my favorite Audible books of all times....and I own hundreds of Audible books!
The play on words-how important certain words are in bringing out the double meanings to a character.
Aomame- how the narrator sets up her cadance through her voice inflection- I really can see her Japanese-essence through this way of reading her parts.
A cadance that helps to set up the tensions in the developing plot and a relaying of the subtlty which is the essence of Japanese culture.
No. There were places where it felt right to pause and reflect on the events which unfolded.
While the translation was good, it would be interesting to be able to read it in Japanese to really get a better understanding of underlying meanings such as the absence of question marks really meanig that the squestion lacked the necessary ka at the end to let the listener know it was a question.
The first 2/3s of the book are fascinating as subplots and characters interact in strange and interesting ways, even if it is rather slow paced at times. But the last third is about as exciting as reading about somebody hanging out in a small apartment and never going outside for months or about a guy visiting an old folks home and reading short stories for weeks on end--cause that's pretty much all that happens in the last volume of the book. I didn't expect every loose end to be neatly tied up or every surreal incident to be explained in a completely logical manner, but some sort of climax might have been nice. Overall an interesting story that feels cheated by a meandering ending
After 39 hours of storytelling, I felt let down by the ending. I actually relistened to the last couple of hours just to make sure that I hadn't missed something critical to the story. I don't know if Philip Gabriel has done a good job in translating the book as I don't speak or read Japanese. The audio performance was done well. My disappointment came with the actual story, which, in my opinion, would have benefitted from editing and shortening the length. If you like books which constantly repeat the thought processes of the characters, then this book is for you. There is little action. 39 hours of little action.
First, the good point. Narrator Allison Hiroto is absolutely charming. It was probably only listening to her voice that made me keep slogging through to the end.
Yes, it is long, and it is wordy, and it is repetitive. But there comes a point when it is nothing short of ridiculous, so ridiculous that there is not enough willing suspension of disbelief in the world to cover it. Worst of all, aside from Ms. Hiroto's charming narration, what kept me going to the end was the prospect of some sort of explanation or resolution. There was NONE, NO explanation, and no resolution.
Terrible, really and truly terrible.
I have been looking forward to the release of this book for ages. I downloaded it so I could enjoy a what should have been a fabulous story. Unfortunately the delivery was SO distracting in that it was so deadeningly boring...a rata tat monotone drone by a woman who should NEVER be allowed to voice another book again. I was glad that that they shifted narrators every once in awhile but the man was no better. It reminded me of the recent Star Wars movies that force the actors to speak in monotone. Perhaps it was intentional but it was so off-putting I couldn't finish it. I will go buy the book instead.
Save your money. They need a redo. This was a disgrace. (full disclosure: this is my first negative review for an audiobook. I've been disappointed before but never felt the need to warn others. This was different. Egregious)
I would give the author another chance, but this book simply fails to live up to the hype.
Nothing by him. Not for a while.
The narrators are very good at what they do. I've hard Mark Vitore (sp?) several times before.
Disappointment. So many unresolved issues. So many characters who didn't serve any real purpose other than to make the book longer and more plodding.