As always, Thursday Next is a tough and tender character and the crowd of zanies around her bring humor and craziness to the world. It's best to listen to the series in order as there are many references to earlier books.
I put off getting this because the 80's isn't my era and I've never played video games. However so many people recommended it and I have loved Wil Wheaton in everything else I've heard. It turned out it didn't matter that I'm not the target demographic. I found myself glued to the headphones, rooting for the hero and his friends. Underneath the technology is a sweet coming of age story and a classic hero's quest. One experience I do have is working in call centers and his satire of that was darkly hilarious.
Wil Wheaton is perfect for the part. I 'm sure I wouldn't have been as emotionally involved if I read this in print.
I was so looking forward to this recording. I read Wool Omnibus, which is the first part of the saga in print, because listeners had a poor opinion of that reader. I found it compelling and devoured hundreds of pages in a few days. This recording has Tim Reynolds, who I've loved in other books, so I figured this would be even better. I was disappointed in both the book and its narration;
In contrast to Wool, which takes place over a few weeks, this one takes place over centuries - and it feels like it. There's way too much detail of various characters endlessly enduring in grim environments. There's a plot in the middle that I think was totally unnecessary, apparently to give an idea about the Uprisings mentioned elsewhere. Finally at the very end, the story starts to overlap with the first part of the saga, but by then my interest had waned considerably.
A strong feature of Wool was the opportunity for the reader to figure out what is going on. This one tries to explain it, starting in the 21st century, and I felt that made it less believable. Again there are way too many details of ordinary life in the near future, trying to show how what we have now could lead to the silo world. The whole construction and rationale just doesn't make much sense. Leaving some mystery would have been better.
Some people felt the characters in Wool were flat, but I found them interesting and cared about what happened to them. In Shift, the characters are mostly one-dimensional and mostly passive. My overall feeling listening to this was depression. I had to avoid listening to it before bedtime. Sure, it's a dystopia but the characters could have some human connection and some agency, there's very little of either.
As I said ,I loved Tim Reynolds reading the works of Michael J Sullivan, where he has a mainly English accent. In this one, he tried to sound American and sometimes just sounded weird. For instance, he pronounced "palm" as "pam". You'd be amazed how often that word came up and it jarred me every time. He did a decent job with the various characters but Howey didn't give him a lot to work with.
I rarely regret the hours spent listening to an audiobook, even if it's not the greatest, but this time I did. I will probably read the 3rd installment in print so that if it drags I can skim through it.
The idea behind the book is terrifically original and the setting is creepily isolated. But every time suspense is building, the author breaks away for a review of scientific theory. i understand this is supposed to add realism but it could have been done with much shorter sections.
The narrator does a good job with a very limited cast of characters.
I've read all the Lord Peter mysteries by Dorothy Sayers multiple times. This book is both a sequel and a prequel. In 1950, having survived 2 wars, Peter recounts to his beloved wife Harriet his first solved mystery. We get to see him, Bunter, Parker and others in their youth. Then this same mystery turns out to have repercussions in modern times. Walsh does a great job of using the style of Sayers and reassuring us that Peter and Harriet lose none of their sharpness or their affection over the years, come what may. The narration is good, could be a bit more forceful, but seems to match Lord Peter's personality.
atmospheric, foreboding, emotional
It had to be Tess even though I wished she could have fought more for the things she wanted. She was a pure soul and a hard worker at the same time.
Simon Vance is always good. Here he rendered dialect excellently and even made the descriptions of rural life interesting
I was so relieved that I don't have to spend the winter digging up turnips in the rain and snow, and that women have more choices and control over their lives today.
I am a fan of 19th century fiction such as Dickens, George Eliot and others, so it was interesting to compare this. For someone not familiar with the era, they might find this slow going.
I am probably not doing this book justice as others have loved it. I was sure I would like it as I have read Ellen Kushner in print and enjoy this type of fantasy. I found the plot intriguing, but was put off by the radio play format. There are multiple actors as well as sound effects. I'm sure many people will enjoy this, but I found it artificial and distracting, as if it was getting between me and the story. Strange as it sounds, I found it harder to tell the characters apart with different voices than with one narrator, that is with different voices coming in and out, I couldn't remember which was who. Maybe just my quirks.
The story is great on its own, but I could never conjure up the personalities the way Tim Reynolds does. His tone of voice for Royce and Hadrian is always perfect.
Fans sometimes call themselves Team Hadrian and Team Royce, I'm torn as I adore them both. I especially liked seeing Royce fall in love in spite of himself and have no idea how to cope with that.
I think his performance of Hadrian, with his genial attitude, is most distinctive.
Yes, if I could have, although I also wanted it to last.
Thank you, Audible, I doubt I would have discovered this author in print or appreciated him half so much. The whole works of Sullivan are probably my favorite listens of the year!
I would recommend anyone listen to the whole series. Even if you are not a dog lover to start with, you will fall in love with Chet. The way he interprets the world is refreshing and often hilarious.
Chet in a totally new environment, with water, boats and alligators.
As usual Chet becomes separated from Bernie at one point and I was glued to the headphones waiting to hear how it would turn out.
Let the Bone Temps Roll - since story is in New Orleans area but of course Bon Temps would have to be changed to Bone for Chet.
Jim Frangione makes this series unforgettable. I never even considered reading it on paper after I heard him narrate the first book.
Katherine Kellgren totally is Jacky. Her narration makes the series!
I can't help comparing it to the other books in the series. The events, which I won't give away, seem harder to believe than in previous books, even those where Jacky commands a ship. They also might be more disturbing to young readers as the threat to Jacky and her friends is more graphic than in other books.
Interactions between Jacky and Clarissa show the development of their friend/enemy status. Clarissa gets to steal the show a couple of times.
Never underestimate the power of girls!
You need to read or listen to the series in order to really appreciate it and you have to hear it by Katherine Kellgren. Print would be a poor substitute!
Yes, Frank Muller is one of the all-time great narrators. I especially liked how he voiced Jack, the self-taught sailor, making him seem like a real person, when he could have seemed just a stereotype.
There were several times when it turned out Keith wasn't such a nobody as he thought he was. This book is about the "six degrees of separation" and how all around the world we are more alike than different.
Frank Muller is always outstanding. It was a shame that he died early from an accident,
It took me a few chapters to get into it but then I was engrossed, even though I know nothing about engineering or sailing.
Something I would never have picked up on a bookshelf. I don't remember how I got it on Audible, maybe some kind of special. It's always great to find a surprise like this.
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