The best thing about The Visible Man is Annabella Sciorra's narration of Victoria. Sciorra really holds this audiobook together. The character of Victoria is also better written than the character of Y__, so that helped as well. The four-star rating for "Performance" on this audiobook is for Sciorra's reading and not for Scott Shepherd, who I felt really played Y__ as way too angry; also, I do understand that Y__ is an angry character, but I think Shepherd could have used some restraint. My least favorite thing about The Visible Man is Klosterman's inability to remove himself from the story. I am a Klosterman fan, and I do enjoy his writing style quite a bit, so it is always nice to hear his dialogue, even when it is a flawed story, and The Visible Man is definitely flawed. There are several problems with this book, including character development, story structure, meandering monologues, etc. I think the problem Klosterman is going to have as he continues to write fiction, is removing his all too obvious voice and perspectives from the characters he creates; he manages this much better in his first novel, Downtown Owl, which is one of my favorite pieces of writing by him. In The Visible Man, Klosterman's unique attitude toward pop culture, existentialism, and world views is shoved into the mouths of these characters without a lot of finesse. If the listener is already familiar with other Klosterman works, than they will find these Klosterisms easily locatable in the story.
I would have developed the character Y__ differently to demonstrate more sensitivity and empathy. Klosterman piles a lot of issues onto Y__'s character; Y__ is a genius, engineer, sociopath, drug addict, voyeur, burglar, etc., etc., etc. It is too much for one character in this particular story.
When Victoria is delivering Y__'s joke about the clown.
To be honest, this book just felt rushed, and seemed like it needed for time for development. There is a great story in The Visible Man, but it just takes too many strange, unfulfilling twists and turns. The first quarter of the story is much more measured, thoughtful, and seemingly worked out than the rest of it.
Definitely a book to recommend. The story is constantly moving forward, without a dull moment. There are plenty of intriguing problem-solving dilemmas that lead to great bits of action. The author does a great job of weaving in humor at just the right moments. Finally, the narrator is perfect for the material.
Anytime the stranded astronaut says something along the lines of "I think I'm going f-ing die!," or, "I think I accidentally just killed myself!" Typically, these funny lines pop up after the astronaut believes he has just solved a major problem, only to realize that he may have caused his own demise. It plays into the constant and unexpected threats that drive the story forward.
Bray seems to really understand the playfulness of Astronaut Watley's dialogue, and delivers it well. Also, considering how much complex, technical jargon is in the book, Bray manages it with ease, which allows the listener to follow it without much of a problem.
What do potatoes, disco, and solitude have in common? Mars.
This book moves quickly and I think it is great for summer listening.
This is one of the better audiobooks I have listened to. I think King might be best in audiobook form due to his writing style, which is usually slower paced and methodical.
This slightly reminded me of Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle," although, I enjoyed this much more than that particular PKD book. I suppose it is due to both authors reexamining past events and time.
His best character is Al Templeton; he conveys the sickly nature and age of that character very well.
Jake's first couple of trips back in time are particularly compelling because he slowly comes to understand the "restrictions" and "laws" of traveling back in time, and this sci-fi element is fascinating.
While I think Craig Wasson's performance is totally fine, I do not think that his voice matches up very well for the lead character of Jake. Wasson's voice sounds a bit older than that of the mid-30s character. I think this issue is compounded by the way King wrote the character of Jake as well. Once again, for a mid-30s guy who is time traveling, there are a lack of cultural references that someone who grew during the 1980s would make. The character is not written in a manner that even peripherally connects to Generation X, which is what Jake's age would most closely aligned with; instead, cultural references that Jake does make actually make him seem like he was born in the 1950s. By no means does this ruin the book, but it does seem as though King could not separate himself from the character in order to write from the perspective of someone who would be about three decades younger.
AWOL's experience allows the reader to feel like they are traveling step-by-step with him on his journey.
The narrator did not seem like the correct choice for this story. He had little-to-no inflection about any of the experiences on the Trail.
Any readers/listeners who liked Bill Bryson's "Walk in the Woods" might want to check out this book, but they should also be aware that this is a serious Trail journal. There are humorous moments in the book, but that's not the point of this book. Anyone who is serious about hiking the AT should probably check this book out, it is quite helpful.
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