Great book (as expected), but what a fantastic performance by DIck Hill. This is a really good example how a books wins with a great narration.
This book has a great background idea and I found it executed pretty well. I love the writing by Stephen King in general, and this book definitely held up.
My one quibble is some of the personalized voices by Craig Wasson. Other reviewers have commented on it. I actually went along with most of the characters. But I was taken aback with the voice of Sadie. Mr. Wasson makes her sound weak and pathetic, which for me caused the relation between Jake and her to never become quite believable. I am sure that in the book itself this is OK, but the voice unfortunately killed that important part for me. Still, a great ride. I loved the great descriptions on how life in the late 50th might have been like, I liked thinking about how history might have been different if an important watershed moment would go the other way, and I liked King's treatment of the side effects of time travel.
This was my first Alastair Reynolds book, and it will surely be the last. The basic idea, a moon pulling away from the solar system and the crew of a ship stuck on it and being pulled into interstellar space had the smell of potential, and it made me get the book. However, it is a mystery how it got so positive reviews. John Lee is a good reader, that was alright. But the story was flat, the characters without any real depth, many parts of the story without connecting relevance, the contrast between the two main characters too black and white.
The prologue/epilogue seems completely out of place, without any function. To summarize, I cannot recommend this book at all.
I am surprised by the overly positive reviews for this book. The basic idea presented is interesting alright (but not that new), and it probably rings with the feeling of being trapped in current societies sexual rules and restrictions. But the book is very repetitive and focuses too much on picking a fight with established theories of human sexuality instead of presenting arguments for the "new" theory. I guess this would have been good as a 2 hour lecture, there is not enough substance for a 10 hour book. I stopped half way through, to turn to a better use of my time.
Peter F. Hamilton invents a really interesting Universe, one that is engaging and full of interesting stuff. But I feel that the book could have been soo much better by cutting it down to maybe 1/3 of its length. The writing spreads the interesting content over way too many pages. You have to work through hours of cheep TV-style soap about rather predictable characters before you are rewarded with another interesting snipped that drives the story along. While I in the end enjoyed diving into this Universe, I am not going to invest the same amount of time to read through the sequel.
I think I need to check out if there is a short story collection by this author....
The Hitchhikers guide. Read by Stephen Fry. It had to be five stars, and it so very much is five stars. To bad that the other parts are not read by Stephen.
I was somewhat disappointed by this book. While it gives a classification of part of SF literature and turns the reader on to a number of good books, I found it lacking in depth. More often than not the lecture does not go much beyond summarizing the content of a number of books, with little true analysis. The analysis is there is poorly structured and repetitive. Also, the course is really extremely America-centric. While the author is open about this fact and justified it by the fact that much SF originates in America, I still find it unfortunate. Yes, Jules Verne is discussed and Stanislaw Lem get mentioned, but that is about it. The biggest positive effect of this course was turning me on to Greg Egan, an author I had not yet read and now really like.
If you are not sure if audiobooks are for you, start with this one. Simply amazing.
I had some fund listing to maybe the first half, but then this book started to feel repetitive and I lost interest.
I had no idea how far cognition can go in the brain of a bird, and that really kept me interested in the book throughout the read. Julia Gibson as reader was first a bit annoying, but I got used to it and think that her voice actually reflects what the author is like. A lot of personal history of Ms. Pepperberg is also covered in the book. While some reviewers disliked that fact, I did find it interesting as well. It does show how difficult it can be to drive into new scientific directions without having the support of the community initially. It also shows that perseverance can get you there non-the-less. The subject of bird intelligence, in brains that are only distantly related to mammal brains, has kept me thinking for weeks after I listened to the book. Maybe the intelligence attested to the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park is not impossible after all?
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