I bought "Wizard's First Rule" based on ratings (might have gotten a deal too, can't remember).
Read the low-star reviews carefully - they're pretty accurate.
If you have low standards for what pleases you, then by all means. But this is your standard "clueless yokel turned hero" with a linear plot, tired characters, lots of unnecessary repetition, stereotypical bad guys ("Darken Raahl"? Really?), and predictable "surprises."
If I hadn't sunk 18 hours listening to this already, I would have stopped. The killer was a stretch during this last third of the book (I have a few hours to go) where the main character gets tortured for two hours. Not two story hours...two hours of having to listen to different forms of torture. Frankly, I just wanted the main character to die and for the author to say "THE END." But you know there's some way he gets out of it. Surprise. That whole stretch represented at least an hour and a half of unnecessarily abusing your readers.
Now I just want to see how it ends. I will NOT be buying any more of Goodkind's books. I'd suggest Lois McMaster Bujold or Jim Butcher - great authors, far more creative, and characters you actually give a hoot about.
Listening to Goodkind story was like reading a story dumbed down for 12-year olds - except for the endless gratuitous torture.
I bought this based on the reviews, and am 3/4 through it. Pity it's so short.
Others have it right: if you liked Dresden, you'll really like this as well. The author is clever and the narrator is great.
For the record, I've been an Audible member for around 14 years, and probably have 250 unabridged titles in my library, around 200 of which I have "read."
Four stars for story, one for production.
William Dufris is a good narrator - I thought he did a pretty good job in Anathem.
However, coming in as the narrator of the third book here was a DISASTER. He clearly didn't bother listening to the first two recordings, *nor had anyone with editorial authority*. He butchered the protagonist's name all the way through the book, mispronounced names that had been presented repeatedly in the first two books (e.g. "Innanen," though as an audiobook listener I have no real clue as to the spelling), and for my money, after listening to the other narrator, he just didn't have a manly enough voice to narrate Tak's voice.
I also found the 'higher pitched,' worry wart male voices he did just fine in Anathem, but for this book, it just made some of the male characters sound like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.
His voice also sounded different by the end of the book - mildly improved over the beginning, but little consolation.
And as others have pointed out, the use of the "hollow" echo/reverb sound to reflect flashbacks or virtual conversations was utterly ridiculous, confusing, even misapplied in places: there were stretches where thoughts (not flashbacks) were played in tunnel-mode. What justification is there for that?
I've listened to this book four times already. Franken's mission seems to be knocking hypocrites off their high horses. He even takes shots at himself. But the main thing is, he's funny and has great delivery. If you don't like intellectual humor or don't believe in personal freedom AND the common good, however, don't bother...you'll be disappointed.
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