I'd recommend the book, but not the audiobook. Johnny Heller is probably my least favorite reader.
No. I will avoid his performances at all cost. He has the total vocal range of bad text-to-speech software and annoying enunciation. He speaks in a flat monotone that ruins narration for me.
The narrator did a great job, I could see his potential. Unfortunately, Thor's writing buries any hope of shining.
His incredible use of the passive voice, his inability to engage the reader and to let the plot unfold. I don't know if he's ever been to a writer's workshop, but the first rule of story telling is "show don't tell", and Thor has an almost pathological need to avoid actually showing us the action of the story. The characters are always something, they are never doing something. He glosses over enormous plot developments by simply stating "x happened to y", as opposed to relaying me that actual story.
This book seems to be a chronicle of a story, as opposed to a plot conveyed.
The Diamond Age is in the top five ranking of audiobooks for me. I don't prefer many preferred women narrators, but Jennifer Wiltsie's name on a project will immediately attract my attention. Her ability to deliver both male and female voices, accents and children is astonishing. Stephenson's ability to weave several yards simultaneously make a very long book more like reading several related books simultaneously.
Spoiler alert much? Fine, I'll bite: Chang and Burt's meeting is one of my all-time favorites in literature.
Nell is an easy answer, but I'd have to say Carl Hollywood. For one, I just like the character. For two, her voicing fits my image of him.
I "read" this book at a very distinct period in my life. Wiltsie's narration and Stephenson's prose evoke very strong feeling of nostalgia every time I dig into it, but in the best way possible. I think this is one of those pieces of literature that - if you let it - will evoke an intellectual shift in the reader, which is always memorable.
First, two words: William Dufris. Home-dude is a vocal genius. Every character, Every. Single. Character. is acted to a masterpiece. In fact, his vocalizations are so well done that he probably could have dropped quote attribution (E.G.: Randy said) and I wouldn't have suffered in the least.
Second, two more words: Neal Stephenson. I love Stephenson's work, but this is his best piece. I by no means dislike any of his other books - I love them - but this is Magnum Opus. It's the most literary of all his work, the plot grapevines through about 50 years of time and all of the characters are interrelated. I don't understand why this isn't required reading in high schools.
That it exists. And that I can read it.
Also, that it exists. And he performed it. And I can listen to it. Someone should invent the audiobook Grammy's, just to give him one. Seriously, they'd only need one show that lasts 15 minutes to give Dufris his AB Grammy, drop the mic and walk home.
It's a combination of moments. The evolution and progression of the characters and plot in general. Stephenson's depiction and Dufris' performance of General MacArthur is eff'ing hillarious.
I love how Suarez built an alternative society via the Darknet. Very interesting concept.
Roc - because he's full of awesome.
He has great vocal range, and does a great job of intonating.
Watch this film or you're a gigantic D-Bag full of D-Bags.
So. Freaking. Awesome.
Kayla. I identify with he/she/its paranoia
Her voice was so subdued that I wonder if she narrated this book out of some sort of contract necessity. She has a habit of ending every sentence by dropping her vocal tone which causes vocal fry (growling). Which would be fine ... if it weren't Every. Freaking. Sentence.
Great book, worth looking past my gripes with the narration.
Not with this narrator
The history of one of the most important technologies of the last 60 years
He has a monotone voice and almost no vocal range. It's like listening to my accountant uncle read a book I really want to read for myself.
I seek out books written by Morgan and narrated by Dufris.
The universe the characters operate in.
This would make a pretty good series. I could see Nathan Fillion as Takeshi.
I'll operate as the dissenting opinion here. I've adored Dufris as a narrator since I listened to Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. He has an edgie, sardonic tone that I lends itself well to either very cynical character or characters in disbelieving circumstances (a la Randy Waterhouse in a very Kafka'esque unraveling). Todd McLaren, to my ear, comes off as heavy handed and melodramatic. His female voices come off as characitures and many of his male voices sound so cartoonish as to throw me out of the story. Richard Morgan, on the other hand, composes well serviced cyber-punk'esque fiction, if not some times overwrought. Also, the scenes of sex and sexuality are a bit overdrawn and over-the-top. I am by no means a prude, but these graphic depictions don't do much to push the story forward. It seems like pandering to a particluar (and socially inept) market segment.
Also, I'm not sure if this is a recording issue, but the reverb on this recording is horrific. I was hoping this was a cheesey effect, but no ... it persists.
TL;DR: Great story, great narrator, terrible production decision (reverb).
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