This was my first Silva book...and to be honest, I chose it from the New Releases because the best narrator in the genre (or almost anywhere), George Guidall, read it. I was very pleased with the story and will definitely be checking out more of his stuff over time!
I truly love much of Ted Dekker's writing. He's given me scores of hours of listening pleasure. While this one didn't suck, it also just didn't resonate with me. I found the story to lack action and intrigue and even dialogue...mired in thoughts and observations. The general premise is interesting, but I didn't find the whole story to hold my interest (although I did slog through), although there were definitely places where it was pretty good. I wouldn't be interested in hearing more from this series...but based on his track record, I will still buy most anything Dekker releases.
Regarding the narrator, Philip Hodges has a decent voice and is a somewhat capable reader, but he's very inconsistent and sloppy. He needed a producer holding his feet to the fire to make his performance what it should have been. As it was, I found his sloppiness distracting and felt that it detracted from the story...whereas a narrator should at worst be transparent, if they are unable to enhance the story.
I have heard Lustig interviewed before on Jimmy Moore's low-carb podcast and by Alec Baldwin. I find him to be very credible. I found the writing style very informative and engaging, and I thought JT Ross was a very good narrator...striking just the right tone for the book overall...however, his mispronunciation of the word "satiety" (just Google it for the correct pronunciation) was pretty distracting, as the word occurs often. Of course, we all bring our preconceptions to a book when we read it, and I was really hoping for more practical advice on "what to eat" than I ended up with. Yes, the essential information is there...but it would have been much more helpful to me personally if there had been a section along the lines of "here are sample menus which would be supported by Lustig's presentation of science". It might be that it came across better in reading the book visually...but I didn't pick up much of that here. I think people writing for this subject often don't realize that many of us just "don't speak the language of food" and really need someone to "paint a picture" for us. I must say I did feel like he really did a tremendous job of busting stereotypes and explaining both why we are where we are with the obesity epidemic and how best to proceed as a society. I liked the way he went thru all the popular diets and explained both their strengths and weaknesses. So I found the book quite enjoyable overall and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to people who are looking to get their bearings on the myriad of varying opinions about diet and exercise.
Even though I have previously listened to (and enjoyed) Rosenberg's work, and even though I am an evangelical (and therefore would likely be the target market for the book), I too was disappointed that this was Christian fiction after not having been billed as such. If I wanted to hear prayer and scripture references, I would have bought books on the subjects (as I often do). But that's not what I thought I was getting. I gave this one several chances, and it just couldn't hook me...while at the same time pushing the Christian angle very hard. This felt like Christian fiction written with a Hal Lindsey mindset. Just not something I was interested in. Disappointed.
James Lee Burke is one of the most beautifully visual authors I've ever read. I am not a traveler, but I confess that I've thought more than once that I must visit New Iberia, Louisiana. He makes the listener so "right-at-home". The characters are familiar now, and the style is comfortable. But after listening to 6 Burke books (5 featuring Robicheaux), this may have been the best. And just a word about Will Patton: PERFECT. I am a fan of great narrators, and Patton is as good as they come (and I've had the opportunity to hear him do 2-3 others in addition to the Burke books...including Deliverance). He absolutely OWNS the voices of the characters in these books. His range of delivery while still staying tight and true to individual characters is simply amazing. I would put him alongside anyone, including George Guidall (generally my favorite) and Roy Dotrice (a true tour-de-force on the Game of Thrones books). I would give this audio book my highest recommendation!
This is my second Berenson book. He's an excellent writer. Very knowledgable, and weaves an excellent tale. And George Guidall is simply the best. Totally at ease, completely consistent. I have made multiple purchases over the years just to listen to him read. This is a great pairing and gets two thumbs up from me.
This is my 4th John Wells book. I've obviously enjoyed them, or I wouldn't keep buying them. This one is no exception. I'm enjoying hearing the origins of the series.
Unfortunately, I don't think Robertson Dean is the proper narrator for this story (and yes, I know it's too late to go back and change it now). This is the kind of thing George Guidall simply OWNS (and is no doubt why he is now doing the series). Dean is not terrible, but his voice sounds somewhat forced (trying to sound deeper than his natural range with his standard reading voice), and his characters are very weak (all of them, but especially the females). I'd rather hear him read it straight than try to deliver characters that he can't handle. So, for me...the narration is distracting, and detracts from the experience. In much the same way that I'd listen to George Guidall read almost anything...I would likely not listen to another book by Dean.
Still...this is recommended on the strength of the story alone. I find Berenson a very solid writer.
Obviously, this is a continuation in the BoM series. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. Ted sticks with his tried-and-true blood/life-corpse/death formula (goes back to his original trilogy) and it still works for me. On the critical side, I felt the writing was just a bit sloppy in places (although they were little things I would have expected an editor to pick up on, rather than the author). And I find Henry Leyva a bit of a disappointment as a narrator. He's both overly-precise and a bit mushy, if that's possible. And there were a number of noticeable mispronunciations (for example, the word "inauguration" is used extensively in both books and he just never gets it right). I prefer my narrators to either be a big plus (George Guidall, Will Patton or in the case of someone who has done several of Ted's other books...Tim Gregory), but I find Leyva to be a bit of a distraction. Still, enjoyed it tremendously, and will certainly be listening to the third in the series when it's available.
Wonderfully-crafted story. And narrators don't come any better than Will Patton. Definitely worth the credit.
Superb story & narration
Pug Henry. The story is told thru his eyes.
No. He's not the very best I've ever heard, but he kept a very long story enjoyable. Other than some small mispronunciations, I'd be hard-pressed to criticize his performance. Very strong.
Was planning to wait quite awhile before listening to the sequel before I listened to the first one. Loved this so much that I will probably get it in the next few days.
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