Audiobook Connoisseur for 2 Decades; Mama to 1 Amazing Kid, Critical but Fair-Minded User of Bunches of Miscellaneous Products, Auto-Didact.
Well, the narration was out-of-this-world. If only all audiobook performers could be this good. Each character had a unique voice and style! And, unlike SO MANY otherwise decent male narrators, Mr. Porter didn't make his female voices sound simpering and pathetic (for example, Michael Goldstrom, who read "Through the Ever Night" - gag!, and even Ron Keith in "The Amber Cat" - a kid's book, but still!). The book itself is a VERY mysterious mystery. I had no idea where it was leading for the first two thirds AT LEAST. It was a "keep you awake at night listening because you can't bear to shut it off even though it might affect your dreams in an unpleasant way" type of book. Otherwise known as a page-turner, if there were pages to turn.The characters are great...they are a little bit like characatures, but not so much that you find yourself disliking them for that. I mean, you've got your tech geek, your kinda lost-ish aging gen-x temp, your carpenter-married-to-biotechnology-student, your hot young artist, your freaky bible-thumper, etc. So there are stereotyoes there. But mostly they are likeable and behave like real people. They also have a kind of rapport that makes you feel somehow...included in their friendship. There's a lot of the same kind of witty banter you might actually find if you're a member of a bright, quick set of friends.The plot...well...it was quite original to me, let's say that much. I haven't read any HP Lovecraft or others of that strange sci-fi/horror genre, so I'm not qualified to say whether the book was derivative or not. But for myself, I've not read anything like it before.
Oh, the last two hours of the book will stick with me a little more than I might like to admit. Or, a little more than I might like. Everything was very spooky and mysterious, and then the last two hours got a little more into the actual....EXPLANATION (?) of what was going on, and that was, perhaps, a bit more...ah...graphic...than I would like to have listened to late at night and alone. I don't want to say anything more on this subject for fear of spoiling anything for anyone.
Oh, gosh, what a hard question. They were all good. Really good. I don't think I could name a favorite. Mr. Porter did a really fantastic job...I looked through other books he's done, but sadly, none of them look like anything I would be interested in, else I would jump on those, too.The only problem I had was that the way Mr. Porter portrayed Veek (sp?) didn't seem to really fit her. She was supposed to be very good-looking, very petite, 28 years old, and he did her with a bit of a harsh accent and demeanor. Don't get me wrong, she was no wuss, and she cussed like a trucker and had a bit of a hard shell, but I think he could have done her just a little softer. It was borderline.
I did giggle in a couple of spots - mainly at Roger's little quips - but it didn't make me outright laugh or cry. Throughout the book I had that eerie foreboding sensation that I don't usually LIKE to have (why I don't read thrillers or horror, usually).The last two hours had me tense as a spring, though. After the book was over I had to pry my shoulders off my ears, I was so high strung! So the extreme reaction was the the incredible tension and pace of the last bit of the book.
If one more person "took a hit off his beer", I thought I was going to scream. Considering that drinking beer on the roof deck features prominently for most characters in this book, it is AMAZING that NOBODY in this book ever SIPS a beer, SWIGS a beer, GULPS down a swallow, TAKES A DRINK, CHUGS their brewski (ha!) or any other of the hundred ways that a good writer could find to tell us that someone is imbibing a fermented beverage - they ALWAYS "take a hit off their beer" - ALWAYS. And they do it repeatedly, in scene after scene, so after a while, it kinda gets to you. (A decent editor might have suggested some revisions to this regard.) Also, you might notice that the author describes everything in exhaustive detail. Just someone sitting down and opening a beer can take HUGE amounts of pretty irrelevant text, such as, "She walked over to where they were sitting and reached into the cardboard box of ice and beer. The ice shifted as she pulled out a bottle, making a clinking noise against the other bottles. She pushed his legs aside on the deck chair and sat down beside them with her legs folded to one side. She then placed the edge of the bottle against the leg of the chair and thumped it with the base of her palm so that the cap sprung off and rolled to the deck with a metallic clatter. She wiped the lip of the bottle off on her white cotton button down shirt that was two sizes too big for her. It made a small dark circle of dampness on the hem of her shirt. The bottle dripped with condensation in the late afternoon heat. She took a hit off her beer and said,...." (This isn't word-for-word, but if you listen, you'll recognize the scene.)Now, not that I don't appreciate detail in a book, but when the whole book is FILLED with this kind of niggling detail that isn't actually telling you anything important about the characters or the story, it starts to feel like the author was either a) being paid by the word, or b) procrastinating because he was not sure where to go with the story.All that said, I think it was a pretty good book, worthy of a credit, and especially if you like the sci-fi/horror/steampunk kind of book (although less steampunk than the others, but it has elements). I'll listen to it again when the graphic images have gone from my nightmares and I have forgotten what the mystery is.
The story was creative until the ending. As you get closer to the ending the story just goes down hill.
Someone else compared this book to "Lost," and I'll agree: Great at the beginning, but the last third...I just couldn't stretch my belief that far, although I wanted to. Great characters, great dialogue, great narrator. Overall, worth the purchase.
This book couldn't hold my interest. I found my mind wandering....
Narration was fine
I don't recommend but to say anymore might spoil the story for those who wish to try it....
i like to read. i like to listen.
I was impressed by the fact that this was a great science fiction story, but still had impeccable characters and fantastic writing. a lot of SciFi stories are written with a more cheesy style...but I found this one thrilling and exciting.
this book was bone chilling. i honestly couldn't put it down because around every corner (literally) and behind every door (again, literally), there was a new mystery about the Kvatch building. not only was the story a good one...the science fiction aspect drew me in and scared the crap out of me...but the characters were all really well written.
Clines did a great job of making a building the central "character" in an engrossing and thrilling tale.
Ray porter should also be commended for bringing ALL characters to life. It was like I was listening to different narrators, one for each character!
Things that are too good to be true, often are. In 14, the insanely low rent apartment complex holds a great number of mysteries for its tenants and for the reader. Peter Cline does a good job of keeping the reader guessing through the first 3/4 of the book. I enjoyed the way that each discovery seemed to increase the overall tone of suspense as things became more distinctly Lovecraftian. The ending was perhaps a little heavy-handed in places and there were some small holes that left unanswered questions, but overall it was a very entertaining listen and I would not hesitate to listen to more from this author.
I'd rank it with my favorites.
The characters were strong. We had time to get to know them and that makes for a rich story.
First time with Ray Porter and he did a wonderful job. He made the book even that much more enjoyable.
It was very difficult to stop listening.
After a Huge disappointment with "The Diamond Age" I really needed something to get me back on track. I listened to the Hobbit again and then found "14". The ratings were high so I took a chance and I am so glad I did. I think I held my breath through chapter 79! Mr. Clines, that is a great piece of writing. Thanks!
Writing reviews is work. Therefore, I need to be really happy or really unhappy with a book to write one.
I like paranormal tales, and in particular creepy appartment stories (Rosemary's Baby remains one of my favorites, and I have been a H.P. Lovecraft devotee since I discovered him many years ago, so I bought 14 on the basis of the description and the good reviews.
At the start it looked like I was onto a good thing. The book starts well with a cast of normal-but-just-a-bit-off-center characters (voiced perfectly by Mr. Porter) and increasingly weird indications that something very strange was going on. Then it got stupid, draggy and pointless, And then it got grossly ugly in an an apparent attempt to channel Lovecraft (which failing, remained only gross), and moved on to an ending that didn't make any sense at all.
Maybe, maybe, if Mr. Clines had written three separate books each of them would have been able to have a focus, or maybe if he had tightened up the plot? Or, as someone once said about Stephen King, "he's a brilliant writer, but he really does need an editor."
This is a good book. The narrator does a decent job, and the story is gripping. If you like mysterious sci-fi, you'll probably like this book. I certainly did. There was only one disappointment. I read review after review saying that I'd never guess the "surprise" ending. Well, I say that unless you're kind of dim you're going to know what the big secret is about a third of the way through the book. I kept thinking "Everyone said it was a big surprise, so it can't possibly be THAT." It was THAT.
It's OK, though. The big super-secret suprise wasn't really the reason why this is a good book. It's the journey along the way that makes it. There are some pretty cool characters, some great action, and some tight suspense (even if you've figured out the secret already). You'll notice I gave it four stars.