I haven't seen the movie yet; I wanted to finish the book before doing so. Also, I'm going to make the assumption that you understand the basic nested-story premise of the book. Each individual story is excellent: well-narrated, solid story telling, a joy to listen to.
The challenge, however, for me, was in listening to it, as opposed to reading it, I fear I may have lost some of the subtle nuances that connect each "novella" to each other, and to me, the big mystery of this book (and why I downloaded it) is that almost invisible structure that connects one story to the next.
I've downloaded and listened to a lot of audiobooks. I'm a big fan of them, but this may be the first one I've listened to where, despite the solid writing and the solid narrations from ALL narrators, that I may have been better served reading it.
However, if you want six, very interesting stories and are not as concerned about what connects one to the other, then please download.
Bottom line: very good listen, but the audio format may not be best for the subtleties in the text.
Enjoy, either way!
I wasn't sure if I would like this book or not, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it. After a mildly slow start, the story kicks into high gear when it begins its focus on the three high school kids, who are the heroes in this book.
Anyway, my daughter and I listened to this on our car rides to and from activities, and both of us were hooked. We were both appreciative that the books's focus, while having three teen heroes, didn't settle for kid-like dialogue or plot lines.
While we both loved this, and we both look forward to book 2, the ending was a little disappointing. It's ending is an obvious continuation to book 2, which while fine for picking up the next book, left us a little unsatisfied and wanting a bigger, more explosive ending.
But, overall: a great listen, and a great book, enjoyed thoroughly by an adult and my young teen daughter.
Dan Brown novels are not high literary masterpieces, nor do I think that's why anyone reads them.
If you are looking for mild escapism peddling through a predictable (sorry) story that pretty much follows the same Dan Brown outline of his previous Robert Langdon novels, then you'll enjoy it, much like rediscovering a pair of lost, but comfortable shoes after a couple months.
The narration was so-so ... I've heard better and I've heard worse ... and some of his vocal characterizations, made only worse by very wooden language on the part of Mr. Brown, would make me cringe, but after awhile, you get over it.
I think my biggest pet peeve of this book is the dialogue. Stilted, wooden, I'm actually surprised as to how poor it was, or how lazy Mr. Brown was in its construction. It really turns the characters into archetypes -- perhaps they're real people, but all that gets through is the veneer of any of them.
BUT...it's a summer listen, and like I did, if you're in need of something while walking a stretch of beach, this will do, and it won't tax your mind greatly,
This is the first book I've listened to that, I think, probably works better as an audio book. Much of this comes from the enjoying the exploits of Keith's life in rock and roll, and kudos also needs to go to narrator Joe Hurley, who does such a wonderful job in capturing the spirit of Keith in his narration -- I simply loved it. Yes, Johnny Depp reads two sections within the book, and it's nice for him to lend his star credo to this book, but Joe Hurley is the standout and brings much of the life to Keith Richard's words.
And, I have to say, beyond the narration, this book has given me a new appreciation for Keith Richards, moving him beyond the two-dimensional perception of him as a junkie musician and really catapaulting him to newer heights, after gleaming his appreciation for the blues, music creation, and simply playing in a band.
A great book, written by a legend in the industry, and narrated primarily by someone who really captures the spirit of the book: I think this is the first time I've recommended to people that they LISTEN to this book, and not READ it.
Very, very enjoyable.
This book meanders. It's in need of a stronger outline, to truly direct the reader from chapter and a narrator that doesn't sound like somebody's docile grandpa.
This book, as well, may be better intended for those on the periphery of dog interest and not someone who's truly into dogs and has developed his or her own perspective of canines. As I am of the latter camp, I found the author's tone at times to be off-putting and annoying, frankly.
Can you pick up nuggets of info? Yes, but because of the outline (or lack thereof), and because of the narrator, and because of the author's voice (tone), I found it to be a huge disappointment in what I was hoping for.
This was a very enjoyable escape; I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. Not only is the story itself wonderfully engaging, gripping, comic and tragic, but the narration itself, by Vikas Adam, has to be one of the best readings I've ever heard -- and I've heard many. Vikas' command of the characters, and their voices -- amazingly in childhood and adulthood -- is superb. I can only hope he reads other books that I have an interest in.
As for the story itself: it's a fairy tale, a modern-age fairy tell in an urban environment that grabs on tightly to its roots in the netherworld. I have a hard time describing it, and the only thing that comes close is to think if the Brothers Grimm time-traveled into our present age, to write a fairy tale that intermixes the beauty and harshness of the fairy world with the beauty and harshness of present-day urban America.
My only hope now is that if AMC were to ever make this into a series, please consider Steve Buscemi as the Fallen Angel Bertrand. :)
I enjoyed the plot of Kill Decision. Very gripping. Daniel Suarez is at his best in describing techologies of our day and the extent that they could be used to horrific effects. He is a master at this, and this plot is very, very engaging. His characters in this book tend to veer to the two-dimensional side, so you will get the "stoic hero", etc...as much depth as a set of Star Trek characters, but that's not a slam, so much: sometimes a story is gripping with thin characters going in. It's simply "light" in this area.
Aside from characterizations, I'd say the weakest thing is the narration: the narrator is not bad, just generic. He has all the charm of someone reciting the fine print of the side effects in a prescription drug commercial. His accents are odd and confusing and takes one away from the story line.
Should you get this book? Sure, if you want a taut, gripping thriller with a believable yet fantastic way one is using current tech. Just understand the light characters and the lackluster narration.
Between the voice of the narrator and the plodding of the narrative, I just couldn't get through this book. Ugh.
That's my review for this book: Ugh.
This felt not so much like a novel but a long treatment for a proposed television series, ala something from the JJ Abrams universe.
The story was interesting, but there weren't any early hooks in the first part of the book that would make me want to care about what happened. Perhaps an early partial reveal would have helped but would have been, by far, much better, was an investment in character development. I don't care about what happens to any of these characters. I don't know their back stories, and so, I don't care. We're given caricatures, instead of actual characters: the underachieving lead, the former secretive CIA type, the nerdy woman of Indian decent... these and the others are all two dimensional, but they didn't have to be.
As for the story itself, yes, it is somewhat entertaining, but it's only carried forward by narration and dialogue. And, while the dialogue can be witty and fun sometimes, it's not enough to carry this story in a form that would make me want to care about it.
But, I've heard worse, and this by far is not that. If you want a brainless candy bar, then this could be your next book. And,there is nothing wrong with brainless candy bars. You just don't want to eat them as your sole sustenance. Such is, I guess, this book.
Whereas the The Passage seemed sprawling and meandering (in a very good way), The Twelve is, equally epic, is much tighter in terms of the novel's overall goal and how it gets the reader there. Like the first book, this book is filled with wonderful characters: the old ones from the first book return, along with characters only lightly mentioned in the first book and some brand new ones as well. And, it's the characters -- their development, their interaction, their growth, that makes them so compelling. Combine this strong sense of character development with a gripping plot structure, and you have what makes for an excellent audiobook. And, with Scott Brick as narrator, well, the guy could read the White Pages and make it a gripping listen. Scott Brick knows how to narrate.
So, there you have it: gripping story, fantastic sense of character development, and a narrator who knows how to tell a story (not as easy as it sounds). The total package is, well, one helluva story. Enjoy!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.