I listened to Black Out and All Clear back-to-back and found All Clear to be so confusing that I spent 95% of the book going, "huuuh?" It is excessively detailed and very convoluted. It was, however, perfectly put together in the end, but wading through 2 lengthy books to figure out what the H was going on was a bit much. Connie Willis, is a brilliant writer/researcher though and I have loved her writing style despite the confusion.
I am in awe of this book and mostly the astonishing narration for the main character who has the first 2/3 of the book. It is about bravery beyond measure, a friendship that is enviable in its depth and a time period that is one of the darkest in history -- Nazi Germany. I confess that I did not like the ending, but that was mostly because it didn't go my way. I just finished this today and I think I will start from the beginning again tomorrow so that I can catch all the nuances that you tend to miss when you rush through a book because you just can't put it down.
I have fallen in love with the Chronicles of St. Mary's and I am 100% positive that Zara Ramm is half the reason. It is deeply British humor that shines with her pitch-perfect rendition of the subtle (and overt) humor in this series. The stories are fun, funny, action-packed, creative and wholly enjoyable.
Although I loved this book (#4), it was, in fact, my least favorite because of [[[[SMALL SPOILER]]]] the fact that this other dimension is just enough "off" that you're not sure where "old friends" stand and who our main character really is,[[[[END SPOILER]]]] Having said that, however, I still loved the book and the performance. Definite cliff-hanger for book #5.
I SO wanted to love this book because I have loved *most* of the others in the series, but I found it frankly boring. There were some VERY disjointed sub-stories that I STILL don't get (kept thinking it would come clear by the end of the book) and the "main story" meandered all over creation and could have been covered in about 1 chapter.
I adore Ann Rice and her writing (style) is still fantastic --- "the individual bits were great"....... BUT, as a full story/book/plot, I was less than impressed.
I HATED this book. It was depressing and boring and there was not one single redeeming factor in the whole book. SPOILER ALERT. I totally hate when the "bad guy" wins and this was the worst kind of depressing bs ever. I have never been so bummed that someone DIDNT get murdered.
This was a super-good story that amazed me because it was "made up." It rang so true as a non-fiction tome that I tried to look up these chefs and their restaurants. I figure that's good writing if I believed it that completely.
Having said that, it is a very slow read, so don't expect wild action and dozens of twists and turns. It's just a good story and that's good enough for me sometimes.!!!
(SPOILER ALERT) HIGHLY Irritating character who is supposed to be an agent, but acts like and makes decisions like a "slow" 12-year old and then, in the last couple of chapters all of a sudden you get monsters 1000 years in the future. The story could have potentially been good, but the first 3/4 of the book was so irritating that it was almost impossible to keep going. The story in the last 1/3 was so reminiscent of the movie AI that it was like a mirror image.
I have never been so impressed with another person's words as I was with this 16-year-old "little girl" who is endowed with wisdom, thoughtfulness and an innocence that does not even remotely resemble naivete. She is quite simply a beautiful human being. The narrator was AMAZING for this piece. She brought a depth to the words that could not have been there by reading it yourself in your own voice (accent). This story is rich in history as well as rich in its basic lessons of humanity, peace, love, tolerance and so many of the virtues which we have forgotten or are going at too fast a pace to remember every day. I am in awe.
I read reviews about this book before purchasing it and they said that it was very funny. I have found it unbelievably depressing, monotonous, and even uninteresting in the extreme. I always try to finish any book that I buy out of respect to the time and work put in by the author, but this one has been almost impossible. I am forcing myself to listen each day. I am only an hour away from the end, but I just can't do it. I'm done.
Professor Anding is terrific. She is extremely knowledgeable and interesting and I found this course very educational. I have listened to it twice already. She has a couple of sayings that she overuses a lot, but, other than that minor quirk, I loved the course.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. Dr. Goodman was a great speaker. I loved his pace and his ability to speak in layman's terms without it sounding like he was talking down to you and at the same time, use correct terminology for those who DO want the right words/vocabulary.
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