The characters are absolutely fantastic. The story is a bit difficult to follow at times. The dialogue is engaging and you don't want to miss a single word.
The humor is genuine, very real and after the fact. I suspect there is much I missed.
I think I may have to listen to this one again to get the most from it.
Still I give this book well deserved praise for it's quality of the characters and the dialogue. The information on the limits and uses of technology of the times is fascinating.
This is my all time favorite #1 title. Audio or read.
All were performed to perfection.
I can only applaud. Without hesitation the best book I have ever listened to.
Written 175 years ago. I have a new love for classical lit and have high expectations.
Most highly recommended!
side note: I was surprised when I learned Dumas had a co-writer with this and many other books.
CM - probably not, but I'll snoop it out
JL - absolutely
John Lee is one of my favorite narrators. Simply put, he is great at what he does.
With this book however the sound engineers or Director may be to blame.
Lee's voice is very stacato and choppy. Like the SNL's parody of Obama. Each of his sentences start with an abrubt loud bark and trail off to a whisper.
The trailing off to a whisper forces me to turn up the stereo (and I have a good stereo). Therefor the ensueing bark at the beginning of the next sentence actually hurts the ears. Overall it was a very diffucult book and I was copmletely unable to enjoy it.
It got to the point where I would wince in anticipation of the next sentence.
I'm sure Audible knows alot of the books are enjoyed in cars(small spaces) or with headphones but maybe overlooked this when they signed a sure bet like John Lee to this title.
Ever hear of Opposite Day? Or Wear Your Pants Backwards Day?
This book has about as much creative genius.
The author just pulled a slightly abstract idea from a hat and ran hard with it.
Hard enough to write an entire book!
To be fair I should have done more research beyond the Hugo website, but I was in a hurry. The book is a runner up for the 2012 Hugo's. Hugo's are Scifi awards, but this book was contemporary fantasy. Which to be fair is a category of scifi (really?).
The story is set in an otherwise completely normal modern day Earth. With the exception of some small part of the USA that contains a large city. Superimposed on this city is another city where inhabitants must un-see and un-hear and completely avoid one another. They share the same streets and sidewalks. Sounds like the next big screen comedy right?
The book is not a comedy. If you get caught seeing or hearing a member of the other city you will be taken away by an agency called Breach. Breach is an agency that no one person or government has ever seen. They hare a myth, but everyone knows they are real.
Anyway. It was all just a bit too ridiculous for me. So much so I could not follow the story one bit and the audio portion pushed me into returning the book.
By the way. The book is police proceedural.
Exactly what i expected! 5 Stars!
A book about the history of gadgets used in spycraft.
Lots of excellent little side mission stories within. Also a few of major events explained from a different point of view. Explained in a such a manner that no technical aptitude is required to understand and enjoy.
A fun listen. Very satisfied.
I've always enjoyed history. This is my second book of "The Great Courses".
My first one was "The Other Side of History".
The Professor in both cases are contagiously passionate. They are authorities of thier respective fields yet demonstrate natural humility. World class speakers giving exciting lectures meant for anyone interested in history. Not just scholars.
Extremely refreshing audiobooks after listening to so many bestsellers.
I hope Audible continues to expand The Great Courses library.
I simply could not finish 1/2 the book due to the monotonous narration.
The recording studio was excellent however.
Topics changed without me even knowing we had moved on.
From what I recall. The book is mostly about routine policy within various Government departments on both sides of the pond.
Listening to "The Great Courses" books predisposed my expectations of history books.
In this series the narrators "want" you to understand and "explain" the subject matter as if they are sharing great treasure.
Many of the reviews state this is a book about the building of a cathedral. So I bought the book. Not what I expected.
The book is more about the back room deals required to build a cathedral. Not much of the book is dedicated to the actual building of it or life in ye olden days. The book contains only minimal information about actual planning, construction, methods and life styles. I was expecting something different.
The book is more of a soap than hard historical fiction. About 80/20.
Still. A nicely written big story. Mostly fast paced. Good, but not excellent characters. Good plot twists. The narrator was exceptional.
Not much forethought put into this book. For example. A perfectly usable, well stocked bunker is considered a total loss and abandoned because a few feet of burned 2x4's are stacked over the man-hole entrance. I've happily cleared worse than this simply for minimum wage. Yet peoples lives are on the line and no attempt is made to gain entrance to life saving supplies.
The actual writing and performance are not bad. The story lacks imagination and is very weak and very lazy.
The scenario has potential and the book starts off great. It falls completely flat after about an hour. It's missing so much of what I wanted to see in a survivalist book. ie: details and realistic solutions to problems.
It ends very abruptly in a "to be continued" manner. Persuading the listener to buy the next in the series.
I will not be pursuing this series. Book 1 was enough.
A great adventure. Characters are easy to follow but a bit shallow. Most of the side plots are predictable. If it were not for the girlfriends and wives needing rescue, the Courtney boys would have little to do besides their manly pursuits of hunting, sailing and riding stallions.
I remember reading the book when I was a younger man and enjoyed it more so than listening to it now.
The adventure is what holds this book together. It may have been better if the women were not always so helpless. All the male white characters were virtually identical as were the male black characters. There seemed to be no depth of individuality that separates the characters.
I was glad when it was over. Still, I enjoyed it enough to not ask for my money back.
Some say his books are sexist and racist. They must consider the book is set in early 1700's. This is what made me glad the book was over. I don' t think I'll listen to anymore W.Smith. (Take Master and Commander for example - much better)
The story is fiction but the tech is not. Based in the near future maybe 20 years from now. All the hyper-technology described exists or close to it and is very cutting edge.
The story involves NASA, a stranded astronaut and a crew of astronauts in space on the way home from Mars.
We have what I can only describe as a tight NASA procedural. The story and the technology alone make this book excellent. No unrealistic "feel good fluff" or melodrama is represented or required.
If this ever gets to be a movie the director should be Paul Greengrass. He is the same guy who directed United 93. One of the best directed movies out there despite the tragedy. If you watched the movie you will know what I mean.
The narrator R C Bray is now on my choice list of voice actors. He fell into the roll perfectly. He does not sound fake or forced. The humor is offhand and you don't see it coming which is a mark of an excellent narrator. I gave performance a 5 because he and the sound crew deserved it. Well done people!
Can't wait for more from Andy Weir!
I missed a few key points here and there throughout the book while daydreaming. The book does require more than your passive attention to enjoy.
The WW2 part of the book was fun and I enjoyed the characters. The present day characters were far less realistic and shallow. The main story / plot could use some condensing and organization (sorting out).
There was more than one time when I thought to myself "hurry up and be over". It seemed to carry on in places. Maybe the abridged version would be better.
Performance was great. Audible producers seem to have a big stable of some very good talent.
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