I never really read this as a child, but of course know the movie well. This is a relatively short listen and I was interested to see how closely the movies match the book. I always enjoy listening to Jim Dale. He is good at evoking whimsy.
Normally I listen to audio books before bed. I fall asleep after 10 minutes or so. This book got more engaging as it went on and kept me up a few hours near the end, because I wanted to know what was going to happen. I enjoyed the science-y parts. The character and narration grew on me. At first, I didn't really like them, but the narration and character were well matched. By the end I was really rooting for the Martian.
With so many characters and races, you really have to pay attention to keep track of who is who. I think I might have enjoyed this more in print form. The story was OK, and the narration was OK, but I never became super engaged.
So this is a long book (41 hours) and I listened almost incessantly the last week. In contrast with a recent book about Churchill which felt like a chore and took me months to get through, I found this very engaging. It was interesting to get the different perspectives and comparisons with Lincoln's associates. I would right peers, but the man was peerless. After listening to this I am thinking of getting the audio book of Lincoln's debates with Douglas. His word choice was so specific and reasoned arguments are something to learn from. If I could demonstrate his level of empathy and thoughtfulness I would be better for it.
I will preface this review with the fact that I usually enjoy time-travel stories and the dilemmas/paradoxes that go with them. I initially wondered how such a long story would drag on, but the story was quite engaging. Despite a few awkward poundcake issues, the book kept me guessing throughout.
I'm not sure if you'd really appreciate this story as much if you were not familiar with Star Trek (particularly the original series). I think Wil is a great match for this writer, and possibly can bring much to his performance being associated with Star Trek.
The story itself is quite good, however there are some codas that I think would make more sense in the written version. It was strange getting to the "end" of the story and then having 2 more hours of "story". I was not as big a fan of the codas as the main story.
Overall it was an easy going story, and quite humorous. It managed to combine several stereotypical sci-fi oddities in a fun way.
Jim Dale and the Harry Potter books are the reason that I started listening to audiobooks. His voice imparts whimsy and comfort. I love listening to him before bed. This is definitely not Harry Potter, despite the existence of magic. While I don't think there's anything I'd fear for a child to read/listen to in this book, it definitely has an adult mentality.
This story while having magic at the core starts slow, but holds your interest from the start. This is also one of the more romantic stories I've read*. I have a few images so clearly in my mind from the book that just make me smile. I recently listened to this a second time, picking up a few more details, and enjoying it the same or more than the first time.
I found this book to be fascinating. As I listened I frequently bothered my boyfriend with tidbits starting "did you know..." As a teacher I thought this book could make for an interesting inter-disciplinary assignment as it connects history, chemistry, biology and more. For a curious mind, this is a winner.
Admittedly I am probably not the target audience for this book. I listened to the preview and thought it could be funny. When I got to the book it very quickly became mundane. A collection of complete randomness from the blog, it did not flow in an enjoyable way. Would probably be better read in pieces, not listened to as a whole. The author pointed out several instances where he was quoted with people not realizing the statement was satirical, and I have to agree that the line is so fine, most of the examples seemed to be plain ol' stories and I did not catch the humor. Near the end he points out the "serious" section which I will admit I could not distinguish from the satire section. If you are a church-going christian, you probably would enjoy this book, but it's not for me.
While the narration is a bit whiny sometimes, I have been a Wil Wheaton fan for a long time and I think his style suited the story well. I found myself laughing out loud and appreciated the mixture of sci-fi with the ever present media we live in today. It's not too intense so it's an easy listen, and I'd probably listen to it again.
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