Fforde has written a humorous book in his quirky and other-worldish style on a serious topic. First I thought it was a critique of the British aristocracy but decided towards the end that it is Orwell's "1984" done in a far less dark style. It is very entertaining and will keep you glued. It is a love story and a David against Goliath story in the style of his character, Thursday Next, (from other books), as she battled against the Goliath Corpoaration.
I finished this book and then immediately listened to it again. I had missed so many clues to what would happen and got a lot out of it the 2nd time. Clearly Fforde has written a 3 part series and couldn't release the first one until he was sure that he had set things up properly.
This has the potential to become a literary classic. I cannot wait for the subsequent books.
John Lee is also recognized for his outstanding ability to voice different characters.
One thing that I've learned about reviews is that not everyone likes the same things. Why ask a rock music fan if he likes opera and vice versa. This is historical fiction that explores a people in southern France, the Cathars, who dared challenge the early Catholic Church. If that is of little interest to you, then move on.
This book was one of my favorites because it had good character development, suspense, fluid story, and it taught some very important history about the early Catholic church. The Christain religion had started to go down divergent paths and something had to be done to get it back on the straight and narrow. The story at the very end does get a little fanciful with some connections to Egypt mythology. I think that Mosse was making the connection between ancient Egypt and some of the basic beliefs of Christainity. (See also books by Crossan and Pagels.)
Don't misunderstand - this isn't a faith or spirtual book. It is cultural history told through a pretty good story.
I learned a great deal about the culture of southern France and northern Italy. I realize now that some place names, like the Col de Bonne Homme (Mt Blanc area) is a reference to the native Cathars. Further web searches showed me that Mosse had been pretty faithful to history. The last stand of the Cathars was at a famous castle that became an object of study for the Nazi's (a la Indiana Jones) because of the Cathar connection. Go figure.
As for the narrator, I enjoyed listening to her presentation. She has a good range of voices to use for the different characters. I am not in agreement with others who were less enthusiastic.
Bottom line - it is a sophisticated story that is well worth the listen.
OK, here's the point, environmental groups are a business, like any other business, and will twist the facts to get more members. All data is suspect and most news is speculation.
Now you don't have to read the book.
Oh, there are two good parts. Someone gets eaten and the book is continuous lawyer bashing.
Every sentence in dialog ends in "he said". It really gets annoying. Crichton never once varied with "he replied" or "asked Sarah". Even the narrator gets annoyed with this poor dialog composition.
Crichton uses the book as one long diatribe and then makes it more annoying by adding a writer's epilog to restate and then an appendix to restate the restatement.
If this were my first book, the publisher would have never even returned my calls.
Mike, you can do better.
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