How on earth can I have listened to the same book as some of the other reviewers? This book transported me to England during some of the most eventful decades of modern history. The characters would be sci fi heroes if it weren't for the fact that they lived. The times were so charged! The black death, the great fire, the birth of modern science and America. I have no idea how anyone could read this and not be dazzled. Simon Prebble is as always a master. If you like to learn and think when you read this will be a revelation. If you want mindless fluff, pass on.
This is not my favorite Dickens novel, but the superb reading by Flo Gibson brings the book to life. The books stars sweet Little Nell and her slightly addled Grandfather. They are thrown out of home through some evil actions and wander the back roads of Victorian England fleeing from danger. This book lacks the depth of character of the later books and Nell's sweetness is somewhat cloying. Even with these short comings it is a great book. Dickens takes us through the social structure of the times and shows us country life and the grim cities of the Industrial Revolution. I am struck how many of the same issues of poverty and homelessness resonate with today. The themes of greed and avarice are the same now as then.
Flo Gibson was a true master reader. Her deep voice takes a little while to get used to but her understanding of he work is a marvel. She conveys the meanings of the text with her phrasing and inflections. This was the only Dickens novel I never finished reading. It just never caught me. This reading had me hooked.
This book takes off like a rocket and never slows down. Sure, this is made on the same formula as the other books- Robert Langdon must travel from location to location using his vast knowledge to puzzle out clues to the hidden secret and avoid murderous bad guys along the way. This book has more twists than the previous books, great arcane facts and glorious settings. I've been to one of the cities and I felt like I was standing there next to Robert. The book is pure escapism of the top level. It may not be War and Peace but I never expected that. Instead it is a 150 and mph romp with some really thought provoking ideas. Loved it!!!!
I have nearly 500 books in my Audible library. This one wins the award for the worst narration. Horrible voices and she feels the need to use the awful voice even when the character is simply thinking. She pops in and out of accents within a sentence. I would NEVER EVER listen to her again.
That said, the book is pretty good, not great, but enjoyable. There are some intriguing concepts. I bought it for Kindle and gave up on listening midway through. Do your self a favor and read, not listen.
Last month I listened to "Broken Harbor' by Tara French. I just finished "Gone Girl". These are basically the same story. Both are mysteries that are set in the ruble of the economic collapse. Broken Harbor is set in Ireland and Gone Girl is set in the mid-west. Both start with a mystery and slowly weave out the how. where and why through flash backs and little clues. Broken Harbor is full of great characters and deep plot- Gone Girl has vacuous, idiotic characters with a plot SO thin I knew where it was going almost immediately. There is one plot error so glaring I was completely amazed it never came up in the end. It would have changed the ending if any of the characters had paid as much attention as I did.
I actually thought about returning this for a refund but I never quit a book I start. Do your self a favor and get Broken Harbor. You will be glad you did.
This is an amazing history of an American tragedy. I can not praise this book enough. It's the work of an LA Times reporter who brought to light the betrayal of the Navaho People for the uranium below their land. The book starts in the beginning of the arms race and continues to this day. She is a fantastic writer and this is a great book.
I wanted to enjoy this book but really couldn't. It's like a mash up Jasper Fforde's zaniness and China Meiville's altered reality. I wanted it to work but it just seemed to drag on forever with countless flash backs and forwards. I listened to this on 30 hour car trip and it kept me awake. That's about my highest praise. I sure will not buy the follow up.
This book is not easy. It's a long story that starts at the end and slowly unfolds the events that have caused the characters actions or lack of action. Through this, we come to understand the characters and why they do and respond in the way that they do. Many of the topics that are addressed are straight out of the current news. I found that I looked at the stories differently after this book. Not many books can do that.
This book is long, 3 sections. I did not like this book in the first section. I thought it was shallow. I stuck with it and by the end thought it was the greatest novel of the last 10 years. Some of the characters are disturbing, some annoying and some pitiful. By the end I could see why they ended up that way. It shows how past events can send out ripples that effect the future. This book will stay with me.
I have loved this book since I first read it many years ago. It is a glorious story that intertwines the present and past lives of the three main characters. It travels from post war London to the jungles of Malaysia and to the Australian outback. Nevil Shute wrote characters of depth and strength that still engage. My husband also, really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the readers calm, Scottish accent. It fit well with the character of the book's narrator.
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