I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with the characters. The narrator captures teenage sarcasm perfectly. The description of this book doesn't do it justice. I picked it up at the recommendation of a couple friends and loved it from the first word. Listen to this book.
I really liked the story. The main character is something of an AI, and the story deals with the idea of identity for a being that has multiple bodies. I liked the universe Leckie created, and the story had a good amount of suspense.
Ciulla's narration has been harshly criticized in some reviews. I will say that she does talk a bit like a computer, but the narrator of the story is an AI, so I don't think it was a bad choice. However, the narrator of the sequel is different, and I do think the narration of the sequel is much more pleasant to listen to. So, I don't think Ciulla does a bad job at all, but I do think it would have been an easier read with different narration.
...but I don't, so it just seemed like a long list of all the reasons why I don't. And an homage to his wife, who is apparently perfect. There were a few lines that made me smile (not so much laugh out loud though), but overall I expected something funnier from Gaffigan as I'm a big fan of his comedy.
This book was recommended to me (a small business owner) VERY HIGHLY by someone who was once a very successful small business owner and now has a high level job in the corporate world. So maybe my expectations were too high. This book is really aimed at people in the corporate world, and a lot of the examples of people finding their "true north" actually happened after they were already extremely successful. I felt like the examples were often too clean cut, and the lessons seemed pretty basic. Towards the end I did feel like some of the things he was saying were useful, but up until that point the main messages are: 1) be yourself, 2) be a good person, and 3) when your boss asks you to do something immoral, follow your "true north" and you'll end up fine. Oh, and not only will this help you in business, but also in your marriage and friendships. Surprise.
So maybe I'm missing something? George is extremely successful, and the people interviewed for the book are also interesting. Maybe one day I'll hit a moment in my career where I have a decision to make and suddenly everything I listened to in this book will become more profound. But until then, most of the things he said are things we already know anyway. I guess it never hurts to get a reminder.
I loved this audiobook. The first part, before the codas, was very clever and funny, especially if you're a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series. The first and second codas were good, but I didn't think they added that much to the book. I loved the third coda, though, which was very moving.
Wil Wheaton doesn't really do voices, so it's hard to tell people apart. However, the emotion is his voice is fantastic.
The Japanese internment camps were a fascinating time in American history, and the idea of telling this story from the point of view of a Chinese adolescent is very unique. I loved the Seattle history and the glimpses into the events of the time and the camps--even if they did feel forced into the story.
And that's really my problem with this audiobook: it felt too perfect. The main character always seems to be in the right place at the right time to see a historical event occur or just run into the school bully. I found it to be very predictable and extremely cheesy. There were several times that I literally rolled my eyes at the cliche dialog. I found the two main characters unbelievable -- they are 12-year-olds with the maturity and worldliness of 70-year-olds.
I'm torn on the narration. On one hand, the accents are pretty well done (usually--there were a couple times when the narrator seemed to slip the "black jazz musician" accent into the middle-aged Chinese American man's words, but generally they were pretty good), but overall the narrator sounds like he is reading a book for children rather than talking about a serious time in history. In fact, I would have thought this book would be labeled in the young adult category, but REALLY young adult.
Overall, I did want to hear this listen through to the end, but I put the narration at 3x to get through it faster.
This book is your typical thriller, which isn't a bad thing. I like thrillers, but often I have a hard time choosing one, and the fact that this book won Audiobook of the Year in Audible's annual tournament made my decision easy. And it was a good, fast-paced listen. The narrator was excellent, portraying a strong female character without losing her femininity. The main character is interesting, if a bit one-dimensional. And I admit, I did not predict the ending. But mostly I enjoyed hearing about Africa--even though this book doesn't show much of its good side. I ended up pulling out a map to follow the characters around.
I didn't listen to every story in the book, because I was too distracted by the narrator. He was talented, but just not the right person for the book. It is hard to explain exactly what was wrong about his voice, but it was awkward hearing him talk about mature topics. He should limit his narrating to young adult books, and some nonfiction.
I liked some of the stories I listened to. Others were forgettable. I would recommend reading it instead of listening.
This is a thriller along the lines of The Millennium Trilogy. Like Steig Larsson's books, this one was suspenseful and good listen overall, but it had some of the same flaws: 1. While most of the characters are believable, there are a few that are just a little too out there. 2. The passion that crosses the line into obsession is hard to buy. 3. I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters. That said, this book had a lot of positives as well: 1. Excellent narrator! He has the voices down perfectly, and when he does his WWII nurse voice, it actually felt like a flashback scene. 2. It's a fun read. I enjoy the main characters, and I liked trying to unravel the mystery. 3. It takes place around 1999-2000 Norway and the Eastern Front of WWII, neither of which I know much about. I found the WWII info especially interesting. I do plan to listen to another of Jo Nesbo's books.
I couldn't stop listening to this book. The Gun is about the AK-47 but it covers much more, starting with the first machine guns and how they were used and/or misused by the world's armies when first introduced on the battlefield. All this leads up to the development and deployment of the AK-47. Of particular interest is the section on the Vietnam war, how the North Vietnamese with the AK-47 outgunned the US with their new M16 and the politics that followed. An absolutely fascinating history, I plan to listen to this again in the near future.
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