Salzburg, Austria | Member Since 2010
I bought this version behause it was narrated by Helena Bonham Carter and I truly enjoyed listening to her reading of it. Only too late did I discover that the book was abridged, and very drastically so. The main points of the story are all there, but not much more. This is the reason for the low story score. So much of the magic is gone, of Colin's development into a normal boy, of the transformation of the garden. It was a good reminder of the original book, but not nearly enough.
I heard this book while reading "Escape from Camp 14" by a North Korean Labour Camp escapee. I was shocked again and again at the number of comparisons - the forced labour, the requirement to tattle, the regimented daily procedures.
The level of brainwashing is horrifying - according to Ms. Miscavige Hill there is constant fear of being unworthy and even more constant fear to be better and to be successful and to rise in an organization where this seems impossible. She was actually in a relatively "high" position/organization within Scientology, but even for her there were so many secrets that it seems impossible that anyone could ever rise all the way or even want to.
The narration was okay, the text was occasionally very simple. The story itself was more interesting for the shock effect than for the literary quality and I listened out of fascination that something so abhorrent could be so captivating to the brainwashed.
The first guided question was "would I listen to this again" and I have to honestly answer "only if book 6 takes forever to come out". This book is about Cersei, Jamie, Brienne, some Iron Folk, Elayne/Sansa (and young Robin), Sam Tarley (and Gillie) and a bit of Cat/Arya.
Brienne is looking for Sansa the whole time, Arya has to discover who she isn't, Sam Tarley travels (but doesn't do much else), Sansa/Elayne gets young Robert Eryn to leave the Aerie, Jamie becomes a better person and Cersei becomes a worse one.
Other than a radical fundamentalist religious movement "the sparrows" (they believe in the Seven Gods, but take the dogma very literally) being very thoroughly described, the Iron Born reinventing themselves, and Doorns becoming a more major family, not much else really happens. A few people die and others may (I fear that Dance of Dragons will only cover those people who weren't discussed in this book) and others may be dead (again, my fear with Dance of Dragons).
This book is setting the stage for something, and takes a long time doing it. I don't want to disclose too much of Dance of Dragons here (I've just begun listening to it), but at least some of the characters I was longing for (and missed so much) have reappeared. I hope that the stage-setting of Crows is over by the mid-point of Dragons, otherwise it's just going to be frustrating waiting for the next book.
And if that one doesn't get back to the point, well then I just may give up.
I'll get back to you soon regarding whether or not Dragons is more satisfying than Crows.
Oh, this is a hard one. How to compact 40+ hours of listening into one brief review? Well, I listened to all of it, and enjoyed it all. Kate and Michael read wonderfully (as always) and the story - although only the beginning of another crazy-long series - is gripping. I want to know what happens next, and after 40+ hours of listening I think that's the best review I can give.
To be more helpful to others:
This is a book for fans of epic fantasy. If you get bored by reading how and why people became who they are, this is not for you. If you don't like open ends this is not for you. If you don't mind waiting for answers to specific questions until later in the book, this is not for you.
I am a fan of epic fantasy. I really liked this book and would listen to all of it again.
Narrated by different charachters from a first-person perspective, the novel is interesting from the very beginning. Even if you know nothing about the story, like I did, right from the beginning it is clear that the book takes place in a time when equality between the races was on the verge of becoming a dream. The self-explananatory nature of how poorly some of "The Help" were treated brings to the forefront how much has changed, and how the actions of some courageous people changed the perspectives of so many.
But the story is about more than just black and white perspectives, it's also about belonging. Everyone wants to belong, everyone wants friends, everyone wants to be needed. The lengths to which we will go to be accepted is also a major theme of this book, and the power of popularity and mass acceptance is very realistically portrayed.
Don't expect everyone to get their dues - people's nature's don't change just because reality is thrown in their face. Every character has their own personality, and the different narrations show how differently different people can percieve the same event or person.
The narration is excellent.
Definitely a worthwhile listen.
I quite enjoyed the story. It's about a young girl who loses everything she has but matures into an adult while regaining what she can while defying cultural authority, convention and finds that true love doesn't have to be in the form of a shining knight.
The narration at first was, for my ears, very childish. Before I got used to it the pipey, teenage female voice (albeit very suited to the age and sex of the main character) was quite distracting. But the work was well done and I did enjoy the book as a whole.
The story was also enjoyable, with enough twists and turns and creativity to build suspense and interest for the whole time.
What struck me most about the book was the depiction of the past. Here Stephen King really excelled - the late 50's and early '60s are described richly and there is truly a feeling of being there. The suspense is real and the emotions were excellently portrayed. There was a true feeling of these people being real.
The narrator did an excellent job with his voices - even late revisits to characters present early in the novel were clearly recognizable. Nonetheless, I was not a big fan of the narrator's voice. Not his fault, but it was definitely something that occured to me a few times. Perhaps it was also overemphasis that was placed on some words or expressions.
It's not the best novel of all time, but I definitely enjoyed it and do recommend it.
First off, I have to admit I am not a remarkably political person, and this is the first autobiography I ever read/listened to. I found Blair's journey interesting. His description of politics and how he sees his positions is very clear, frank and secure. He knows his position and believes in it.
For me he was far too glowing of all his personnel. Yeah, they may have been great, but it got a bit on my nerves.
The bits (chunk) about Iraq and the war was quite long - very well explained and he kept returning to his arguments about being for the war and he made his argument very convincingly. But in this as with in other parts of the book I felt myself thinking, why does he need to explain so much? Is this usual in an autobiography?
I will now choose another autobiography to listen to and then perhaps edit this comment. I really oughtn't critisize what I know nothing about...
I bought this audiobook because I wanted something new and the reviews were quite good. It took me a while to get into it because I'd never read anything by Ms. Willis before, but once I understood the premise and how the time travel worked it was quite enjoyable. I won't say that I guffawed all the way through, but I did chuckle out loud occassionally and that actually says a lot.
The narration was at times a bit plodding and slowly spoken, but since most of the story takes place in the Victorian Age that seems somehow quite appropriate.
All in all quite amusing and I consider it a good purchase.
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