If you're at all familiar with the Miles Vorkosigan saga you will be drawn into this audiobook immediately and recognize the Machiavellian intrigue and humor Lois Bujold breaths into her stories. Having read the excellent novel, this audio edition holds up extremely well. The reader, Grover Gardner, brings nuance to the characters and expression to the story to make for an enjoyable listen. This is classic adventure story telling at its best. The pace is brisk. Miles is a reluctant hero, at times arrogant, who drags himself and those close to him through near fatal scrapes and adventures. As always, he must overcome his physical handicaps, convince others to follow him, and solve some tough puzzles to win the day. Yes, he does talk to himself frequently...this insight into his psyche is both humorous and enlightening. Frankly, I think this helps endear him to his fans. Audible should make the entire Miles Vorkosigan series available so listeners can hear them in sequence and fully appreciate this fantastic universe Lois Bujold has created.
Excellent and varied stories, great readers and audio quality, gripping science fiction. No fluff in this collection. I've found these medium length stories to be perfect for my iPod listening. I was moved and emotionally drained by the gut-wrenching 9/11 story of one man's redemption and final understanding. Perhaps because I was at the Pentagon when it was struck on the morning of 9/11. Highly recommended listening for any fan of good fiction.
Having no experience with Chinese, I bought this to listen to on a flight to Beijing last week. First, I know one can't learn a language or even learn to get by listening to a tape for 60 minutes. But I'd need a photographic memory or previous Chinese instruction to get anything out of this tape. Problems abound. The tape begins with long sentences, all spoken by native speakers at full speed with no repetition. Whew, this was hard to listen to. A few minutes into the tape, you are trying to tell Customs at the airport you have nothing to declare or asking how to find a hotel. It's just too much, too fast with no repetition (except numbers). So I listened and relistened over the 17 hour flight. I did learn how to say yes, no, and thank you, and did get a feel for the overall sound of the language. I was very surprised so many Chinese spoke English and were willing to help me with my Chinese. Save your money and buy a longer Chinese course.
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