WASHINGTON, DC, United States | Member Since 2010
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.
This audiobook was so depressing I could not finish it. I couldn't listen to it for any length of time. So I stopped and had no desire to go back to it for the sake of my own mental health. Also if you are the kind of person who needs trigger warnings, stay the hell away from this book. The part that I did get through dealt with rape and murder and the injustice that follows.
The narration is fine and the author's words made the situation really real, but maybe a bit too real and too maddeningly depressing.
I'm sure it is a 5 star book for someone with a stronger constitution than mine.
I will listen to this again and maybe have my Bible with me. The narrator makes this book funny and he does an excellent job setting the mood and making it work. Apparently there were drawings in the dead tree version of the book. I didn't miss them.
For anyone who is semi-biblicaly literate, you will definitely get the humor. There are parts that are laugh out loud funny. There were parts I did not find as funny, when covering the New Testament, Jesus' miracles were referred to a few times as magic tricks. But that wasn't a complete turn off. I kept listening to the book all the way to the end.
Would I let kids listen to it? Maybe teenagers, as the language is not exactly PG. More PG-13/R, because face it the Bible is pretty R rated for violence, sex and all sorts of unpleasantness.
I listened to parts of the book with my husband. He enjoyed what bits he heard.
The performance is read in a conversational tone, which might be alright for some but I did not care to be in a conversation with this book. The situations did not speak to me and it was very clear that I was not the author's target audience. I did not complete the book when it was obvious that this was a waste of my time. The author had nothing to offer me in the first half of the book. I guess I wanted confirmation for my current financial path and I'm not in some dire straight struggling. So she had nothing for me.
As I finish listening to this book I keep thinking back to my trip to Disney World's Tomorrow Land and the ride with the animatronics singing "It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," as I note how today was viewed from circa 1970-1980-something. There is a good bit of that in this book and it's one of the things that annoyed me while listening, that and trying to figure out who the first person (singular and plural) were.
I did appreciate the book covering the progress made worldwide with cell phones and making things cheaper, and safer with less violence. One section covers education and the Khan Academy. This is stuff I have heard before, and it really depends on if you are willing to hear it all again, if this is a good book or not. Most of the good news was in the first half of the book, but then it started to lag and bore me. It got so boring that I thought I wouldn't finish it.
There is a portion that is too theoretical for me, meaning a lot of 'possibilities' but not out there in the marketplace. This is the great big beautiful tomorrow filled with GMO crops grown in office parks, kidneys grown in labs, stuff that in someone's mind could save the world but the quality and feasibility goes untested.
Of all the "Yay Cities" books out there (Triumph of the City, the Death and Life of Great American Cities, whatever Richard Florida spits out, etc) this one brings a uniquely Christian view of cities. The authors do acknowledge the longtime Christian distrust of cities. I've listen to the book twice and I've come away with two different feelings. On one listen it seemed to provide some guidance on being a Christian in the city and how to look at the city and what mindset to see the poor in cities. On another listen there seemed to be a bit more of a mission field outlook, which has no appeal to me since I'm not one who is planting churches or in a support capacity of church planters. So in that listen, I focused on the 'yay cities' part of it. If you've listened or read other pro-cities books you know that entails why cities are so great and wonderful and as Glaeser said, man's greatest inventions. It's got that too.
Performance wise it was a good listen and something I may return to a 3rd or fourth hearing.
I loved the author's first book Timebound and read it on my kindle. I had some issues with that book but let those issues go because I got a really great and interesting story.
I wished the narrator had a greater range playing different characters. It was the male voices that seemed very one-dimensional. Luckily one male character had an Irish accent so you could tell it was him, but for all the other men, the female narrator, seemed to only have one voice for all men.
Unfortunately for me, I'm a middle aged married woman who works in the history field and lives in Washington, DC. There is more of a romance, where our young heroine gets the attention of two hot guys and it is more of the story than in the last book. I'm not really into romances. Though the book is set in the DC metro area, I don't think it really captures the sections of the area it is set. But then again many writers never do get it right. As an adult, I found a few of the supposedly adult characters immature. I probably could have enjoyed it more if I turned my brain off.
Overall, it was a decent time travel book and the series is still looking promising. I didn't find the different time lines confusing, and despite the other issues I have with the characters, aspects of the story and the narrator, listening was enjoyable enough to pass the time.
I attempted to read the dead tree version of this book and did not get far. I appreciate the narrator because it seemed a bit more accessible in an audible format. I will listen to it again but with a dead tree version close at hand because there are ideas that Jacobs mentions that I'd like to spend a bit more time thinking about before rolling on to the next thought.
I've read urban planning commentary that quotes or refers to this Jacobs book as if it were the Bible. Listening to it for myself, I wonder if this is the same author people bring up when they talk about historic preservation, because I got a completely different sense of what she was saying, which is why I need a paper version as well.
Another commenter mentioned the book is dated. Yes, it is, but is informative regarding big cities and the motivations of city administrators and politicians in regards to federal funds and the motivation to big build stupid projects that do nothing for the citizen on the ground. That is still going on, even though those same city administrators may claim a love for Jacob's ideas.
I totally recommend this book to parents, people starting a business, heck everyone.
The author uses personal and other anecdotal stories to tell a bigger story of how we are forgetting that we learn from our mistakes and not making mistakes or the effort to prevent mistakes does us no favors. One was that of bankruptcy. In America you can start a business, fail, go bankrupt, and later try again (hopefully learning from the 1st effort). In other countries you only get to fail once, with sad results for the country as a whole.
The narration coupled with the story made this audiobook a good listen. it was informative and a little entertaining.
If Star Wars has shown us anything, it has shown there is a danger in the prequel. No such problem here.
For one it is short, no need to pack the book with needlessness to endanger the series, confuse characters, and whatnot. The protagonist is not thrown into her full character before it is time but there are glimpses of what could be and doesn't take it any further, thus avoiding what George Lucas can't seem to do.
I have a great interest in the Roman Empire, and have read/listened to several non-fiction books on the period. I also get that that this is a novel, a work of fiction and thus needs some leeway, but it was still annoying to hit upon an anachronism or something that just didn't seem right for the period. I felt the author was writing more about a modern football player than a gladiator, for one character.
The book is a Christian novel, but the are sexual situations, nothing explicit. The author puts in cameos of persons who had passing mentions in the New Testament and the main character for this novel is an early Christian. Despite being enslaved and facing other challenges and temptations, she is super-Christian, constantly keeping and living the faith.
The story itself, despite the little irritating anachronisms was interesting and I managed to listen to the whole book. However I did step away from it at times. The narrator gave a good performance.
I'm in no rush to get the next in the series, but I may give it a listen.
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