I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
APOLOGIZING FOR CONDESCENSION IS USUALLY CONDESCENSION ITSELF.
Almost every planet and moon in the solar system has intelligent life. About the only planets not mentioned where Mercury and Uranus. We also have people from Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, Mole People, Dinosaur Island, etc...
This is a light fun listen. It is smartly written. It is amazing all the characters and places, Martinez is able to squeeze into it. It is not LOL, but mostly a feel good smile type of book.
I liked it, but did not love it like I have Christopher Moore or John Scalzi.
The narrator did an amazing job. He did several characters, all done well. He understood the material and portrayed it just as the author should have wanted.
This book is definitely unexpected. With the evil overlord becoming the protagonist and fighting against an unknown entity, it becomes a "tongue in cheek" romp across a number of "Saturday Afternoon Movie" b-movie plots and unexpected twists. Giant Sea Creature, check. Extraterrestrial space mercenaries, check. Rampaging dinosaurs, check!
So sit back and enjoy, because Emperor Mollusk is at the wheel.
This was "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Creatures" but set in a 1950 b-movie lot.
Refined, british style of speaking that added life to the protagonist
Forget Earth, Emperor Mollusk is saving the Universe this time!
Listening to Scott Aiello was such a treat. He brought so much fun and comedy to this novel just by how he read it. He was absolutely brilliant in his delivery!
This story is cute and somewhat interesting but the star of the show is the narration. Scott Aiello more than makes up for the weaknesses of the storyline and I highly recommend listening to it just to hear his interpretation of the characters. He had me laughing out loud.
I found myself laughing out loud over and over. A lot of tongue in cheek humor. The characters are so surprising and endearing. I will be listening to this book again!
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
You almost have to listen to this again to take in all the details and get all the jokes. A. Lee Martinez imagines Earth as part of a solar system where every planet and moon is inhabited by every imaginable type of creature, and most of them are smarter than us. In the middle of it all is our narrator, Emperor Mollusk, a hyper-genius squid-like creature from Neptune who has subdued Saturn and Venus (among other planets) as well conquering Terra (Earth), where he is revered as a benevolent god thanks to the various brainwashing techniques and drugs he has plied on the human population.
During the events recounted in this book, Emperor Mollusk, with the help of female warrior from Venus and a deadly ultrapede, as well as various and sundry others he meets along the way, has to visit a number of exotic locales, from the caves of the moon to a volcanic time portal to an ordinary lake in Wisconsin, where he employs an array of doomsday technologies, like planet killers and time radios and the Eiffel Tower, to fight and outsmart a variety of deadly foes from a hypnotic dinosaur to a mummy who commands giant scorpions to the disembodied brains of P.T. Barnum and Soupy Sales, et.al., and finally a giant radioactive Marie Curie -- no, this is not meant to be serious, it is meant to be fun, and it is.
But it is so fast-paced and so loaded with imaginative details about the creatures and monsters and locations and battles and technologies -- and jokes -- that it's hard to take it all in during one single listening. So why not listen to it again? It might be worth it.
I already listened to his latest book, Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest, to which I had the same exact reaction: fun, funny, infectious, and perfectly conceived in terms of creating a world filled with magical or mythical or monstrous creatures that mirrors our contemporary world, imagined with remarkable consistency. If you like that sort of thing. And I do, so yes, I will definitely go back for more.
I looked up Scott Aiello after listening to this book, and he's had an interesting career as an actor of modest success, which is better than most, but not the ultimate success that theater people (like my daughter) crave. He has even written about it. One thing I found out about him (the reason why I looked him up) is that he is from Chicago, not England.
So the Downton Abbey voice he gives Emperor Mollusk, who narrates the story, is acted. And it's impeccable. I don't think I would have ascribed Mollusk that type of voice in my imagination had I read the book in print, but it is absolutely pitch perfect. The other voices are well done too, but Mollusk is so funny in his understated upper-crust English accent that he totally steals the show -- "I stand corrected," he deadpans, "Yours is the superior arbitrary system of government." Well done!
I'm just going to tweak the tag line from the cover of the print edition to be more consistent with the story line rather than the old Vini Vidi Vici construct:
He Came, He Conquered, He Squirmed.
As effusive as I am about the other elements of this book, the story itself is tepid. Without giving away any spoilers, it's pretty obvious early on how it's going to turn out. In the meantime, Mollusk goes with his Venusian warrior from one trap to another only to find a way out, no matter how invulnerable the various Godzilla- and Mecha-Godzilla-like foes are. He does it so often, she even scolds Mollusk for continuing to do it.
But I get it -- the story, such as it is, is only a structure on which to hang all of the detail about all of the fauna and locales and machines -- and all of Mollusk's humorous commentary. So overall, it works, but not necessarily as a story.
The story is cute and very fun to listen to, but the performance puts it in the super enjoyable category. The Emperor is a fantastic character, and I'd love to hear more of his adventures. The narrator just has the character nailed. I actually listened to this story twice in a row. A great diversion from heavier books.
Well worth the listen.
This is the first book by A. Lee Martinez that I have listened to/read. It is clever, hilariously ludicrous, and intelligently funny. I have been listening to audiobooks on Audible for 10 years, and love it when I find a new (to me) author and his books to dive in to.
I thought I would end the year's listening with some lighthearted fare. Revisited the Hitchhiker's Guide series for the first time in 20 years, and I was directed to this as a recommendation based on that decision. Took a chance and was pleased. It is not groundbreaking but there are a few surprises, and the characters are likable. Mollusk was an interesting protagonist. The non-linear storytelling was easy to follow and worked well. Was slightly disappointed by the end but overall well satisfied, it was worth my time, not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny but enjoyable. Several reviewers said "If you like Hitchhiker's, you'll love this" which may well be true but be warned it's not a copy of Hitchhiker's. Much less analogy-based humor, it reads more like a well-written action movie. I do want to give an enthusiastic five-star review for the narrator, who brought Mollusk to life beautifully and created clearly distinguishable voices for the other characters that rang true; I definitely think the audio version enhanced the experience.
Enjoying audiobooks daily!
The smart and snarky humor.
Mollusk was THE BEST character ever. He is brilliant and outwits his foes...most of the time.
Emperor Mollusk. He spoke him beautifully.
I laughed excessively. It was amazingly funny.
Great sci-fi parody book.
I am all in favor of farce and absurdity. I will admit that I have been wanting to read a book by Martinez for a while now and just haven't gotten around to it. Taking this audio version of one of his books was a good way to fit him into my schedule and be introduced to his books. I will also freely admit that it was the absurdity of the title which brought me along with my love of old time radio sic fi, which took concepts like Martinez's seriously - oh the 40's and 50's, when life was so much simpler.
So can Martinez compare to people like Pratchett, Adams, Holt? I will need more books to know, but I think this was a fun start. Aiello's narration and characterizations were good. I had read one review that wasn't kind to Mr. Aiello for another book, but I believe he did a good job of showing the pomposity of the main character, the barely contained fury of our heroes companion, and the fanaticism of the pulp antagonist. The secondary characters all had distinct voices and personalities that I felt were spot on.
Was the ending predictable? Yes, saw the big reveal from a mile away.
Was the book with it's "reformed" anti-hero still fun? You bet!
I'm looking forward to another trip into the odd mind of A. Lee Martinez and sharing his works with my daughter. 11 year olds and 40 year olds can both be delighted by this quick read (listen).