Love Star Trek
I have read this book in Japanese more than 20years ago and this was the first time "reading" it in English and let me tell you...Wow
The audiobook version of this book was given as a gift to me and it was such a jewel. It is actually read by the author with the casts including music and sound effects. I was not only able to experience the original English version, but also could enjoy the nuances and the richness of the dialogues as well, through the wonderful narration by the author.
The experience of listening to this production was like watching (listening) to a classical Shakespeare-like periodic play. If you are a fan of this book, don't miss the experience!
Love it when the narrator makes a good book better.
Unlike most of the other reviewers posting early, I had never read (or even heard of) this book. I scooped it up based on (1) Neil Gaiman's recommendation and (2) the presence of Simon Jones, my all-time favorite narrator, in the cast.
The story is offbeat, as one might expect from Gaiman's choice of it, but is fast-moving, enjoyable, and thought-provoking, with drama, action, and an undertone of humor. The production values are great; it combines the soundtrack elements of a radio play with straight narration, and does so with superb dexterity.
Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.
The story and the narration were absolutely fabulous. It was almost like a movie with some of the sound effects, and acting. The story is about a swordsman and his friend/lover that he is constantly getting out of trouble, and political machinations of some really evil/stupid/self-serving people. OK they aren't all stupid, just one, but sneaky and conniving fits the bill. Wonderful listen, entertaining throughout. Great characters that I really had to love or dislike. I was glad there was a second book waiting.
Swords, sex, and subterfuge
Both St. Vier and Alec were interesting characters and an equally matched pair. Alec was a bit irritating at first and seemed irrational, but once you began to understand more of his psychology and the reasons for his odd, self-destructive behavior, he became quite likable. Of course, everyone in this story is ethically gray, but that works within the context of the book's world. I don't necessarily need characters to be likable, just three-dimensional and with realistic motivations.
This was the first of Kushner's books that I had experienced and the first time hearing her narration. It was fantastic. I wish that every writer was this good at reading their own work (many aren't). I definitely want to listen to more.
I didn't really have an extreme reaction, but I enjoyed slipping back into the atmosphere of the world and its various locations (taverns, mansions, theaters, and courtrooms). The setting and the recording itself were wonderfully engrossing.
Thank you, Neil Gaiman. I wish every book received this quality of production. The music, the sound effects, the background noise, the voice actors, everything greatly enhanced the listening experience and brought the whole thing to life.
Society requires sublimation
Alec and St. Vere - on their own they might be flat character types but together they are magic.
Narrator/Author does a wonderful job of conveying the different voices of her characters and their shifting emotions and vulnerabilities. The audio cast is excellent but you hardly even miss the actors when the narrator is speaking their lines.
A fantasy with its feet firmly planted on the ground. And it is good, rich, ground. If you love the English Renaissance, and English renaissance drama in particular, this is the book for you.
Sexy swashbuckling politicoes
Richard and Alec are kind of terrible but I love them in spite of themselves. Although hmm, the Duchess might beat them.
Well, I've heard Ellen read in person before, so sort of? She's a fantastic reader, and loves her characters and her settings so much. This was a great performance, and the sound effects and other actors for the dramatized scenes really added such richness to the recording.
Oh, those mad, bad boys.
I read this book a few years ago, and just loved it then. Having such a fantastic audio version made me wriggly with joy. The last line of dialog is so simple and, out of context, utterly mundane, and the fact that it made me weep into my steering wheel is a testament to Kushner's ability to make a reader care so much about the characters that all of the context can fit into such a short line.
Swordspoint is one of my all-time favorite books--one I re-read every few years. I find it exceptionally compelling as a story, and I love the complexity of the plot and the intricate maneuvering of the characters. Ellen Kushner is a superb writer, and I have read all her work, including the other tales of Riverside. Swordsman Richard St. Vier and his lover Alec are two amazing fictional characters and I love being a part of their world. The audio version of the book is terrific: Kushner and her supporting cast make the ten plus hours fly by. Congratulations to everyone involved in the production, and thanks to Neil Gaiman for selecting it.
I remember loving this book when I first read it and it was just as good the second time around. Brilliantly complex take on the swashbuckling story. The only negative is probably personal, I didn't care for the sound effects, some were just off, and others pulled me out of the story.
Overall it was an excellent listen and if you like sound effects it will be splendid.
I have already recommended it to several friends; it's an excellent performance by all the actors, and it is truly a pleasure to hear Ellen Kushner read her work. The characters speak like I hear them in my head, which is impressive in itself, but the exact delivery of their lines and the lovely accents made this even more fun than reading the book.
The Fall of Kings, The Privilege of the Sword, but they are by Ellen Kushner (and Delia Sherman). It's a pretty distinct style, this book. I suppose Georgette Heyer is similar, but not nearly as so gratifyingly sharp.
Clearly, the narrator knows exactly how her characters sound.
Yes. It actually was what got me into my car in the morning, however, since I listen to books when I go to and from work.
There was only character who evolved and so there was only one character I cared about. He didn't get an ending. Why was so much time and promise put in to a character who was just going to be shoved off and forgotten about. The story, and the ending, otherwise was great.
The fight between the sword instructor (Applewhite I think) and Richard was fantastic. It was the right thing to really push Michael's store forward; to bad it didn't.