Connie Willis owes me a credit. I listened to the ENTIRE 29 hours 44 minutes and this book and it never got past its first act (to borrow a stage term). After the first 4 hours, I mostly had it play for the soothing sound of Dina Pearlman's voice. When my mind wandered, as it often does while listening and doing something else, I never had to back up to listen again to what I had missed because NOTHING HAPPENED. It is almost 30 hours of speculation about what happens when you die. Great for helping you fall asleep. Do not expect a story.
This book has an interesting premise but the plot takes entirely too long to develop. I gave it the benefit of the doubt-- I believed that some of the more meandering passages would have a payoff. But they didn't. There is no character development, no meaningful subplot, nothing that kept me invested in the plot.
The narration was okay. Given the material, the narrator did her best, I'm sure. I just didn't think there was enough variation between the voices. All of the characters were flat in every way.
I wouldn't recommend this book.
We are a couple who love books and occasionally write reviews. We rarely read the same book so our reviews express our individual opinions.
Not really. There were some interesting sections and some of the characters were likeable, but 30 hours was too long for a story that did not have much of a plot. I have an interest in NDEs but this book dealt with the topic in a very creative but somewhat bizarre manner.
I enjoyed the narration and thought she handled the different voices quite well and made the story more interesting. I don't think I would have kept going with the story if I had been reading a printed book.
Please no. As the whole book seemed to be trying to prove that NDEs were some sort of brain reaction while at the same time also describing the perspective of people who had "passed over" but were still somehow conscious and aware, I can't imagine what sort of crazy follow up plot would allow both these contradictory scenarios to coexist.
Would be willing to try another of Connie Willis's books as lots of reviews suggest her other books are better than this one.
I thought the first 2 parts of the story were a little slow going and repetitive, but the story really picked up at the end.
Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work
I love most of what Connie Willis has written. Interesting, provocative, entertaining. She seems to have lost all that in this book. The audio performance was wonderful - otherwise I would never have made it through this book. The story seems to be confused in what message it is trying to send and confuses reality with dream like events.
This is a book about near death experiences - a dangerous topic in any venue. She brings in the religious and scientific aspects - but never really does anything with them. You are left wondering why you just spent 29 hours of audio book time listening to the book.
Now the performance is great. The reader handles all the characters very well and made it bearable. But I would avoid this book.
This book did not go where I expected at all.
I really liked Connie Willis' Oxford Time Travel series, so I decided to try this one. It's a good story but it's also very different from that series.
The strongest part of this book is the characters. They're well written and realistic. There's also a good mystery about what's actually going on with the near-death experiences that the main character has.
My only criticism is that the book starts to drag around the halfway mark, and doesn't really pick back up until about three quarters of the way through. The last quarter is good, but the book could use a little trimming so that you get there faster.
Not so much. It is so repetitive. I know that is part of the literary device, but I felt like I was trapped in the rat-maze hospital with these people and I just wanted it to be over. I also felt like the "big revelation" wasn't much of a revelation at all.
I have to say, the descriptions were vivid and the characters were relatively well rounded. I enjoyed it but I expected a bit more from the plot line than the endless repetition.
The story seemed to lack a plot.
I really like her time travel books
The narration was the best part of this listening experience.
I hope this is not a trend for Willis.
Better characterization, less circular and ultimately useless internal conversation, more convincing characters
I'm not sure.
1/3 of the book. At least
IF YOU ARE NEW TO CONNIE WILLISI don't know if I can finish this book. I am roughly halfway through - a 15 hour investment in what I sincerely hoped would be a rewarding 30-hour saga. I do not typically quit something once I start, but every hour that goes by with 5 minutes worth of enjoyment is really starting to bug me. I haven't posted many reviews, but felt compelled to warn others. If you've read and enjoyed Connie Willis prior, then you will probably enjoy this book. If you haven't, and - like me - this would be your initial foray into the Connie Willis Experience - listen carefully to the full sample sound byte and decide if you can listen to 20+ hours of this. If I'm to extrapolate her typical style from this title alone, I'd say she is long-winded while still managing to lack adequate characterization. Her characters are frumpish, and it makes me feel as if I'm 30+ years too young to be reading it (i am 37).Maybe the mistake is all mine. I love SciFi of all types, and in my haste to find a new book I recklessly downloaded this one on a quick sample and jacket summary alone. Do yourself a favor - LISTEN TO THE FULL SAMPLE FIRST.
The idea for the story. Ms. Willis has an amazing imagination.
I much preferred Blackout and Doomsday Book. And I thoroughly enjoyed To Say Nothing of the Dog. But this endless tome went on and on. After the first couple of parts it was all gloom, with scene after scene in the same pattern. It should have been cut a good 50 - 100 pages.
When doing Maisie (sp?) - annoying. Otherwise, she was fine.
Only if it got rave reviews.
Maybe if I read the book it would have been a better experience since reading is much faster than listening. But I would love a word count on the word "no." It seems the protagonist said it constantly.