This book is certainly a classic. However, now that I've listened to about half of the audiobook I remember that when I originally read it, I would often skip over the singing, finding it a bit much.
I actually think the best variation of this classic is the extended edition of the movies. The audio version is just annoying.
Apart from Professor Garland's jerky manner of speech, which grew on me, this audiobook series is absolutely fascinating. I appreciated the integrated history of Greece and Rome from all angles, including other groups like the Etruscans and some mention of other tribes and the Egyptians. I had a fuzzy picture of what these cultures were like and how they fit together, but did not understand the big picture until I listened to these excellent and well researched lectures. The biggest aspect I appreciate by Professor Garland is his storytelling ability and charm. I love how he organizes the courses. Highly recommended for history fans!
I was so stunned by this course I listened to all of the lectures twice! The course lectures are well researched, enjoyable, and absolutely fascinating. I feel so fortunate to be living in the age of showers, antibiotics, and anesthesia!
I returned this book because I found it scattered, difficult to follow and disorganized. The author is enthusiastic, which is great, however in his enthusiasm he tends to talk quickly and wander. Terrible.
I miss the character from the first book. Sure, it is natural and also good to have an interesting character progression. I always appreciate that. However, the author chose to move Bloody Jack into a ridiculous motherly role on the ship that is laughable, sad, and most unfortunately boring and predictable. What I had thought was going to be a fun series about an interesting young woman turned into a bland story that I've read zillions of times in various forms. Ho hum.
Unfortunately I am going to return this book. I found it a disappointment. Ken Follett's characters in his WW1 book, book 1 in this series, The Fall of Giants, were introduced in a way that was well written, enjoyable, rich and engaging, leaving me wanting to find out what happens next.
In this second book with WW2 as the backdrop, we are left with the children of those original characters, except this time barely any ramping up at all before jumping into their story arcs. I was left feeling very unattached them all, not caring one bit about what happened to any of them. I basically yearned to know more about their parents and felt cheated by the direction of the book. I also found the sex in the book way too over the top. At times I felt like I was reading soft core porn.
Too bad. Even so, based on the reviews and the success of Fall of Giants, I'm going to listen to the Pillars of the Earth next.
This is an enjoyable book for those who also like to read tidbits of trivia, in this case about poisonous plants. I listened to this while I ran on the treadmill during my workout. Lots of neat stuff to learn about without being too weighed down with specific scientific speak. For the casual nerd who doesn't necessarily have to be into plants.
I had no problems with the narration. I did have problems with the content of the book. I found the main character and supporting characters to be whiny teenagers, depressed and unmotivated who also seemed more adult than their ages. Also, if you are into "furry" sex, this is the book for you. Bizarre.
I agree with all of the negative reviews here. Wish I had trusted them before I bought this and found out for myself!
I love this book and have read it before. I thought I would download it to listen to while I'm at work since I enjoyed it so much. The narrator is awful. He reads with a strange slowness and sounds like he has marbles in his mouth, or something...I keep picture him foaming at the mouth. yuk.
Have Derek Jacobi read this and I'll buy it again.
1Q84 is the second book I've listened to in a month that has two "star crossed" lovers who's love is so powerful it alters the world in some sort of supernatural way, The Night Circus being the second book. I feel like if the author is going to build a story around powerful love, there needs to be something that makes me understand it other than just saying what it is. The two lovers, Aoemame and Tengo hold hands briefly when they are ten, after which she moves away. We join the story when they are both in their 30's and both are having empty and unfulfilled lives, feeling that their hand holding was the most pure true love they ever had. Sorry...maybe things like this do happen, but for this story I need more development.
Other problems include the supernatural elements. What the heck? I totally don't get what their function is in this story. Seems useless other than to add mystique.
The book was building toward a finish with what I thought was going to be a resolution with the two lovers, and then in the last third of the book (Act 3?), Murakami introduces a NEW character, a private detective to puzzle out the murder of an important character. This simply does not work and was of absolutely no interest to me as a reader because I had just spent the previous 2/3 of the book reading about what took place! Maybe Murakami wanted to write a mystery thriller. If so, he should have started there and nixed the previous 2/3s of the book. ugh
I also agree with the other reviews about the constant repeating and reviewing - does Murakami think the readers are not paying attention and needs things to be explained over and over?
The narration was also a problem. Allison Hiroto has a baby like quality to her voice that is very distracting. She reads very clearly, however the baby voice grated on me. I also thought some of the dialog she read was a bit flat. The male narrators were fine but not stellar.
Overall, this book did not work. It has some interesting elements but seems to be mostly a mass of information and character development with not enough focus to make it work.
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