Goodyear, AZ, United States | Member Since 2015
Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" in Audiobook format is nearly 43 hours long. I'm fairly convinced that everyone who has recommended it to me over the years merely skim-read the print version. Thirty minutes was dedicated to explaining how one character eats Cap'N Crunch®. A single business email took 45 minutes. The prose is clever to the point of exhausting, but good golly this fellow needed an editor who wasn't afraid to use fisticuffs to settle disputes.
I've never, ever said this before, but an abridged version might be considerably better than the original.
This is Day 1 of the Kingkiller chronicles, where Kvothe is dictating his life story to Devan Lochees, the Chronicler. In Audiobook format, the reading takes 27 hours. Either Kvothe talks considerably faster than the narrator, or Rothfuss has a much deeper sense of adventure than time.
And for me, that's indicative of what you can expect. Rothfuss doesn't mind taking a long path for these stories, but they are a rollicking good tale. This really does come across a Kvothe's memoirs, a series of almost discrete tales that show how his legend was building, doling out tidbits here and there to give it some sense of cohesion and movement that hopefully will pay off in the last book of the trilogy. Hopefully.
Indubitably. The book has aged surprisingly well and the prose is wondrous. I'm not sure it will ever be required reading in schools, but perhaps it should be. You can tell a tale that's bizarre and people *will* keep reading (listening) if you make your characters engaging and your prose hypnotic.
Better than average.
Several, most regarding Molly. Case may have been the protagonist, but Molly's tale intrigues me more.
When I was a young juvenile delinquent, I used to break into buildings. Some were abandoned houses, others were businesses (abandoned or not), and still others were structures of unknown use (a friend of mine and I stumbled upon a bizarre underground bunker once). I didn't damage anything and wasn't a thief, but I really desperately wanted a place to explore.
Cline's '14' describes the building I always dreamt of finding. The apartments aren't even close to uniform, there's a door with 4 padlocks on it and another that isn't really a door at all. The basement seems to have a hidden room with a staircase going *further down* and the machine room on top of the building is way too large to operate the single elevator (which isn't working). All the neighbors seem slightly damaged, but most of them are friendly. Most of them...
As Nate, the main character, explores the building and starts uncovering some of the secrets, the questions only get more interesting.
Ray Porter brought this book to technicolor brilliance. Both the general narration and the dialog were done to perfection. Highly, highly recommended.
I kept waiting for this to get interesting. And, sure, Steerpike's ambition was vaguely entertaining, but the story seemed highly dependent upon everyone else being frightfully self-absorbed and dim-witted. I've heard the Gormenghast series referred to as a "Fantasy of Manners." This kind of Fantasy story differs from normal Fantasy tales like 'The Lord of the Rings' or 'The Chronicles of Narnia' in that instead of being exciting, it's unrelentingly boring and in place of highlighting the nobility or redemption of characters who struggle through epic battles, it holds all the characters in sneering contempt.
Maybe books two and three get better, but I won't risk it.
On the plus side, while listening to this, my mind wandered far from the Groan drone, and I realized what I should buy my wife for her birthday (tickets to a Mystery Dinner Theatre) and she really loved it.
It's nice to read novels that don't utterly jar my suspension of disbelief by having a poorly researched, errant scrap of technology thrown in. With 'Daemon' and 'Freedom™' and now 'Kill Decision,' Suarez shows truly remarkable knowledge and effective research. His tech is uniformly near-term possible, which makes the stories plausible and engaging. The story in 'Kill Decision' is well crafted, with tension and movement. Also, I discovered a really great place to get Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches while listening to this, so it has that positive association going for it.
This wasn't the best in the Odd Thomas series. 'Odd Thomas' and 'Brother Odd' reach the "rollicking good story" level, and the others fall off to an enjoyable, but not quite as engaging 2nd tier. Still, this was better than a sharp stick in the eye, or a dull knee to the groin, or a ham fist to the gut, or an angry badger down the shorts, or a collect call from your daughter from jail, or finding out the promotion went to that jerk-wad, or getting run over by a steamroller, or being blackmailed by that treacherous little weasel, or losing your super powers, or reading through a pointlessly long sentence in a review. Maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.
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