Climbing since 1995
Its one thing to talk about what would happen, its another to go into detail of the sounds, textures, and smells as people crush each others skulls for the last scraps of food. Yick. I could stand it for once or twice, but every 10 minutes or so it got too gorey for me. I also didn't care the fantacy side of things. The shapeshifting satan character, and the dream glass ball, were too dumb for me to enjoy.
Here I am a grown man, father of 4 and I felt like I needed to take a shower after listening. I only got through 10 hours then called it quits. Don't know how it ends, don't care. Yick, yick, and icky.
I will say this. The actor that read this book should get an award! So many voices, and with such natureal tallent. WELL DONE.
I rated the story three stars based on the entertainment factor, and the amount of listening time I got for my credit. However, I was tempted to go lower when considering many of the subtle and not-so-subtle undertones and failings of storytelling that bothered me while listening to this book.
To sum it up, this is very much a book written by a socially conservative Christian author with a lot of very traditional viewpoints. Don't get me wrong, that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. However, in this case, aspects of the author's world view come out pretty strongly in several negative ways:
[Minor spoilers ahead]
1. Religion. The only religion represented or even mentioned within this book is Christianity. There isn't really any excuse for this when it comes to good writing and world-building, regardless of the author's beliefs.
2. Sex/Romance/Gender. The only instances of sex within the entire many-year-long post-apocalyptic story are rape and/or heavily coerced prostitution (almost all of which is treated flippantly). The only gay character is a pedophile, rapist, and murderer. Every good character is basically chaste throughout the book.
3. Race. It got very tiring to hear every black character described as the "black man" or the "black woman" almost every time they were referenced regardless of how familiar the reader was with them. Whereas anyone described as "a teenager" or "a woman" or "an old man" was assumed to be white. Also there's a good dose of moderately offensive accents. The "best" character is blond-haired blue-eyed girl. A lot of this stuff is arguably somewhat excusable as the book was written almost 25 years ago, but even knowing that, a fair amount of it was uncomfortable.
At best, these attitudes made the book seem shallow and immature, as entire aspects of the human experience were missing - within a book about the human experience. Some omissions or simplified story might make more sense if the book were geared toward a younger audience, but large parts of the book hit fairly hard in dealing with abject despair and obscenely disturbing characters and events, which seems to go against that idea.
On the whole, I got some entertainment value out of this book, but I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone I know. In the future, I'll be more careful in reading reviews and paying attention to publication dates before spending my money.
I must say I fell in love with his book Boy's Life and gave this one a chance.
WOW, I was amazed.
Take Mad Max, Book of Eli and mix in Steven Kings The Stand and you have this wonderful journey. Definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. Couldn't stop listening.
Good vs Evil
What more could you ask for?
The narrator does a great job.
His voice changes per character is perfect. Good pacing and style.
Robert McCammon has crafted a sweeping story of the days after the end of world that will thrill readers of this genre, especially those who enjoyed The Stand by Stephen King. This story is both a bit more fantasy-oriented and, at times, a bit darker than that epic novel. But the characters are just as rich and the ending is just as satisfying (even if it is a little predictable). The voice actor for the audible version was great. I do think he struggled a little with some of the female characters, and I found myself wishing they had used an African-American voice as a good part of the book is told from the eyes of an African-American character. But otherwise, the actor's ability to morph from character to character was amazing, and even when he struggles to find a good sound for a character, it never becomes distracting from the story. It felt like this book flew by, and I found myself taking longer walks with the dogs or spending more time working in the yard so that I could log more time with it. All signs of an engaging story. I don't know that I would count it with my top 10 books of all time, but I would definitely recommend it to almost anyone (as long as you have a good stomach for violence and gore because there's no shortage of either of those at the end of the world).