WASHINGTON, DC, United States | Member Since 2010
This is like my 3rd Scalzi book with Wil Wheaton as the narrator and it is the can't turn off book of the Summer, or anytime. Wheaton brings a sort of animation to the reading that makes it funny as heck. So funny I brush off anything that would possibly otherwise be offensive. However Wheaton does have some acting limitations as in what accents he does well, and so only 4 stars. As for the story, it's interesting and does make one think a bit, but isn't heavy. It's got Hollywood, office politics, strong female characters (Scalzi is good and develops his women well) and a dog.
We love Batman. We love everything about Batman. This is sort of about Batman, but more about fake Batman merchandise and scaring the immigrant street vendors that sell the stuff. About a few minutes in we just could not get into it and it didn't seem worth our time.
We listened to this in the car for a short trip and overall liked this dramatization that seems to have taken place in the 80s because there are dictaphones and cassettes mentioned. We also noticed that this would be a good listen for someone not that familiar with the Batman, as there is a of review and flashbacks, explaining his origin, why Barbara Gorden is in a chair, etc. Yet there is not so much review that it is dull to the Batman fan. My problem was I couldn't figure out why Harvey Dent sounded like an idiot, when I realized the character was supposed to be Harvey Bullock. I also took issue with the Joker's voice. I should also note that the actor for the Batman character does not give his character the graveli-ness we've come accustomed to with the Batman films, another hint as to the age of this dramatization.
My spouse had read this book for a previous engagement's per-martial counseling.. long story. Anyway the book really stuck with him even though the fiance didn't and he'd refer to it often enough that I figured I should give the book a listen so we'd be on the same page.
It is useful. To sum it up, everyone expresses love differently and we should be aware of each others way of showing love and acknowledging it as valid.
The author/narrator was conversational and kept it entertaining. However, I did not care for the interview style "forward" in the beginning. I was worried that I had gotten the wrong "Love Languages" book. There are like a zillion of them, like the "Chicken Soup" books. It seemed to go for well over half an hour. Thankfully I didn't quit the book early.
I must agree with other reviewers that the narration could be better. I was too aware of his breathing, pauses and well, him. It's like going to see a play and you're seated where you can see the backstage so well it distracts from time to time from the play.
I saw the movie before listening to the book, so another distraction was the mental comparisons between the movie and the book. The ex-wife plays less of a role than she did in the movie, the government structure becomes more prominent, and the environment gets more rural than urban. Yet, as always the book is far better than the movie.
Another, and this could be annoying, distraction was how the author wrote the book with two voices. One is in the first person of Theo as he fills his diary. The other is written in the third person. At times I had to ask myself and wonder if the book was in diary mode or not.
Though the main character is pretty much an atheist/agnostic the story is dripping with Christian themes and references. There are no perfect Christians in this story, everyone is broken in one way or another.
Overall it is an engaging book, despite the narration.
If the whole Northern Hemisphere goes to heck in handbasket, then what is learned in this is completely applicable. If your bug out plan is to run for the woods, maybe this might be helpful. If you have alternative plans already and just want to think out what you may need should you and your family need to run to the hills this is helpful. The best part is that it is not long winded.
Unfortunately, it does not cover small scale disasters where running for the hills would be a silly option if the problem is super-local, just one part of modern society and or you or your family is expected to show up for work/ school next week (think Sandy in NYC & NJ).
We listened to this short primer on the early history of Pennsylvania on our way from Maryland to Pennsylvania for vacation. It helped get us in the proper mindset to appreciate the state's history since we also planned to hit a few historical sites.
The audiobook is aimed at an general all ages group so it just covers the basics but isn't dumbed down. I also liked the narrator's deep rich voice and the story left us wanting a bit more.
This was informative regarding cities and suburbs and the Toll Brothers. It was interesting enough to come back to when I would tire of it after listening to it for several hours. But in the end I didn't get what I really wanted, which was a real sense regarding the future of cities and suburbs.
I can save you a credit if you want to know if the suburbs are going the way of the dodo, they aren't, according to this book. They are changing, and you will get a history of the suburbs in America, but no end.
I could not finish this audio book, and since it was free I felt free to delete it and never consider going back to it.
The problem was I didn't care about any of the characters, save Giles the butler, but even he couldn't carry this. I understand that this is in relation to a reality game show, which apparently excuses poor character development. It was when the 2nd murder occurred, it was clear that these people weren't going to get any more interesting, and found it hard to believe that people would react that way if there was a chance that most of them will die. They behaved, at least as far as I got, like people on a second rate reality tv game show. The people, except Giles, all seemed shallow and petty or one dimensional and I wouldn't want to have a drink or spend time with any of them, so why would I care if they died?
So I cut my losses.
The narration is good, but, still a poor story is a poor story.
I enjoy listening to the adventures of Georgie, the impoverished royal. Compared to the first book there is a little less sleuthing because she's so busy keeping track of her house guest and keeping up appearances. Regardless, the police are involved as is her grandfather and other fun characters from the first book. Here she seems to fall into or runs into trouble, being at the wrong or right place at the wrong/right time.
At the end there is a preview for another Her Royal Spyness mystery. The little bit I heard doesn't make me rush to buy it. Well I'll wait for a sale.
I've listened to other Scalzi books and maybe the best ones are the books narrated by Wil Wheaton. But even if Wheaton narrated this one, it probably would still be disappointing. There are a few themes in Scalzi books, and not to have any spoilers I won't mention them, but when I encountered one, I could link a similar idea better fleshed out in another of his books. There is also an element of crassness in Scalzi's writing, there just seemed to be a lot of unnecessary crassness that seemed not to develop the characters but just seemed to be there for crassness sake.
I'm not tempted to listen to the rest of this series. This first book is ok, but not great, and doesn't seem to warrant buying the rest of the series.
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