Let me open by saying this book is excellent to listen to, but it is far from Pratchett's best. Pratchett, like we all hope to, has only improved with each effort. And I'm wondering if the dissappointment of a silent some, who began at the beginning, is the reason why such triumphs as Night Watch, The Monstrous Regiment, Reaper Man and Thief of Time aren't highly ranked.
You see I made my introduction to Terry Pratchett's Discworld with Thief of Time. I'd already been sincerely disappointed with the with audio adaptations of Asprin's Myth series, and was beginning to think that Science Ficton & Fantasy literary humor died with the passing of the great Douglas Adams, hallowed be his name.
After listening to Thief of Time, I found Carpet People, his first novel published, Colour of Magic and Weird Sisters to be subtly lacking. When I thought about it, it hit me, what was lacking was the pacing and wit that comes with experience.
So if you find this disappointing, use on of your free monthly downloads to grab one of Pratchett's later releases and you won't be dissappointed in the least.
To be up front this book will not save a bad relationship, but it can make a good relationship even better.
Okay I bought and listened to this book when I was in a bad relationship. About 3 months in things started going south and being an inexperienced workaholic who had never dated much before I was certain it was I was doing wrong. I listened to this book twice, as well as other similar books. A few days shy of 6 months the relationship collapsed.
My ex's brother and sister-in-law then introduced me to a wonderful woman. She and I have been dating over a year and are engaged to be married. With this second relationship, I didn't forget the lessons of this book and those lessons have made things better.
Looking back if the lessons of this book had "saved" the relationship, I really don't think either one of us would have been happy. It just was not a good fit for either one of us.
To put it nautically, this book is not a life preserver to save the drowning, but it is a bigger sail to help people who are already in the right boat.
This book is quite intriguing, but often as I listened I began to wonder about his research methodology. His facts, while compelling seem to be only part of the picture and I began to wonder as to how much picking and choosing of facts was going on to support his points. His determination to support his rather deterministic view is clear throughout the piece.
With sexuality that would make even Anne Rice blush by comparison, political intrigue comparable to Frank Herbert and prose of true beauty, Laurell has achieved something unique.
In addition to these achievements, Laural Merlington narrates this work so exceptionally that I literally forgot that this was not a full cast narration. She achieves unique voices for each of the characters in such a way the listener never looses track who is speaking. It's a rare skill.
Making this book an exceptional masterpiece for both its prose and its narration.
Terry Pratchett's latest Vime's work is a wonder. Somehomw he manages to seemlessly weave parodying Da Vinci Code together with confronting the horrors of racial hatred and classic parental angst to create a story that is truly an entertaining marvel. Although, I can't say this is his best book it certainly is a lot better than some of his early work and follows his consistently trend of steady improvement. Terry Pratchett is a marvel of creative skill and talent and his latest outing is no exception to his extraordinary skill.
Year ago, I had the perfect introduction to the joy's Terry Pratchett's unique vision when I checked out this very audiobook from my local library... and I'll forever be grateful to the author, and cast for truly wonderful performances.
I saw in another review the cry to stop changing narrator's. This strikes me as ignorant as people who complain about the bars on the top and bottom of wide-screen movies.
To shift the narrators as you shift perspective is brilliant. The third person limited narrator is a wonderful tool, and you should read Orson Scott Card's work entitled Character and Viewpoint before you start throwing stones at this masterful manifestation of the tool.
Everything about the performances and brilliance of these actors is to be praised.
Stefan Rudnicki will forever be the perfect voice of Death in my mind and no one can deliver narration with a combination of menace and mischief like Harlan Ellison.
In short, this book is one of my favorites and when I finally made the jump to Audible, I knew I had to buy it and the rest of Pratchett as soon as possible, which I did during the 2004 12 credits for $100 sale.
It's funny. Small market segments generally have one benefit over larger segments. Simply, we're not important enough to be deliberately mislead. The decision of some marketer to create the term "Unabridged Excerpt" actually is indicative of our growth as a market force. That they have paid enough attention to know unabrdiged is preferred to abridged and have gone through the trouble to create this psuedo-term to obscur the fact this is abridged, shows that a few decisionmakers out there thinks we're a segement worth marketing to and worth misleading. All in all, it's almost a compliment... almost.
First off this book is incredible and very much in the "City Watch" realhm of Terry Prachett's Discworld. Regular Discworld readers will know what I mean.
The sense of irony and the parallel between today's phyiscal mail systems and the internet debacles are crystal clear.
You have it all embezzlement, murder, blackmail and the birth of stamp collecting.
Terry Pratchett is that rarest of authors, the one who gets beter and better with each outing.
My only regret is I didn't wait before buying the CD release of this book. After all who wants to both with CD when you can have it all on an IPOD.
Also, please forgive any typos,my screen keeps jumping.
If you're new to Pratchett, than I beg of you reach for the Theif of Time as I did or one of the City Watch books, Wyrrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Monstrous Regmiment or Going Postal as your first Pratchett experience. For while Strata is fair accomplishment, Pratchett has managed to do the opposite of so many popular authors by getting steadily better with each outing. That's not to say that his early works are bad, but they are not his best and Strata as a proto novel where the Discworld concept is first experimented with is probably one of Pratchett's worst. But, that said even is worst is extraordinary
Terry Pratchett is one auther who only seems to get better and better. I have to admit I originally bought this audiobook a year ago when it came out on cassette. Now that it's on Audible, I'll definitely use one of my monthly credits on it. Here as in so many of Pratchett's City Watch Discworld books he pulls off the miracle of sarcasm without bitterness. Unlike WICKED and MOSTLY HARMLESS, by other noted comic fantasy authors, Pratchett lets you laugh along with the characters and at the character, without making any one of them flat or tiresome. Plus, the plot may twist, but you're never lost. The Monstrous Regiment is a monstrous achievement.
First off, the content of this audiobook is extraordinary. Listening to it you get a feel for the depth of the misinformation from the Kerry machine and the feeling of betrayal by the vets who were stabbing in the back by Kerry's false war crimes accusations only to have him now promote himself as a war hero.
That said, the production quality of this audiobook is horrible! Though I agreed with it, it took a continuous decision on my part to continue listening. The reader is a droning monotone and the breaths, normally editted out of the program, are steady and persistent. I recognize that this production was probably rushed to get out as soon as possible in the hopes of persuading voters, but to compromise production standard to this degree is inexcusable.
I've worded with radio productions for the last six year and I have to wonder if the lack luster production might be indicative of the producer's and/or voice talent's true feelings. True the information is there, but the production couldn't have been worse if they tried - assuming they didn't.
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