This is ~really, really bad~ science fiction, from writers who are Cuisinarts of mixed metaphors and perpetual motion generators of scientific impossibilities. But there are enough scenes of graphic violence, enough different venues, enough subplots (most left unresolved, to be taken up in the inevitable next book) and enough characters (badly drawn though they are) from Frank Herbert's notes to have kept me listening for 23 hours. I'll admit, though, that part of what I enjoyed was the number of times I got to say, "Oh, that is just so stupid," and the number of times I got to laugh at some ridiculously bungled turn of phrase. And I'll admit I'm glad to be done. This book is worse than "House Atreides" or "House Harkonnen" -- and they were both pretty dismal. I suggest victims of this "Jihad" listen to the Arthur C. Clarke collection after this book. The excellent science, superb plotlines, and sound psychology in characterization of which Clarke is such a master will help said victims recover any damaged faith in how inspiring ~good~ science fiction can be.
I've recommended this book to more people than any other in the first days after I started listening. I bought a hardcover copy for my brother on day 2. The book is wonderful.
Really, though, I want to comment on Will Wheaton's reading. He's a great reader for John Scalzi's books but he outdoes himself here, demonstrating serious geek chops. He has no trouble with the with the names of transuranic elements, with really huge numbers, with terms and names from geology, geography, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, technology, or with mathematical constants and equations. I think he got the Latin names of some moles right. Couldn’t tell you. He even manages to read Wikipedia-style superscripts so you KNOW they're Wikipedia-style superscripts. I don't know how, but he does. It's one audiobook triple Lutz after another and Wheaton makes it look (well, sound) easy. He reads with flair and with an enthusiasm I've only seen in my truest geek friends. Best of all, he knows what's funny -- and why it's funny -- so well that he can emphasize -- perfectly -- the right parts of the sentences in the right way. Like I said, he's a great reader for John Scalzi, but beyond great here. I just don't know the word for "beyond great" that fits. Or I'd use it.
The performance has a number of retakes that should have been removed before publication. The content is very basic, almost too basic to be useful.
And fun. Worth a listen or even two to change how we can relate to other people in societies too big for our brains.
Each lesson is a single patient from the doctor's point of view. Each is presented as a mystery with the clues and thinking behind an eventual diagnosis. This keeps the lessons very engaging. The overarching theme is how doctor's think and how patients can help them. One of the best Great Courses I've heard.
I got the "first" book -- Skin Deep -- free from Audible and realized within fifteen minutes of listening that I needed -- and would enjoy -- Book 1 of the series, "Legion". The main character is unique in all I've read, and Sanderson does a great job with the gifts and the tensions and tells a good story in the meantime. Oliver Wyman handles the difficult material very well. A real pleasure to listen to these books.
After reading Leviathan Wakes I immediately purchased the other available books in the series. I recommend them to all my friends who like hard sci-fi. I'm excited to see the next book is now available, and will buy that immediately, above anything else in my wish list.
Excellent descriptive writing, good dialog, convincing and deep characters. Almost a series of vignettes describing the ripples caused over a year by a gentle, generous, haunted main character. There are spot-on portraits of depression, love, self-sacrifice, loss, grief, and extraordinary kindness. What's different and surprising, and in Gold's hands works very well, is that the novel's world is one of gay furries -- anthropomorphic animals -- complete with hot sex scenes. In Gold's other novels, he uses the variety of animal species as a proxy to meditate on racial and sexual prejudice. Here, he exploits the psychic distance "animal" characters give to let his audience study and understand what can be the best in humanity.
The Iron Druid Chronicles are romping stories full of wry humor, fast-paced action, social commentary, and cameos from the stars of many pantheons. With Princess Bride quotes. But it's Luke Daniels' great performance that really makes these books wonderful for me. His pacing, his sense of the story's arc, and his characterizations (particularly a wonderfully-doggy, somewhat slobbery, thoroughly endearing Oberon) carry the Iron Druid Chronicles to a new level of enjoyment.
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