I love dogs and this book started out well. But I found the plot too predictable and the book felt way too sentimental. After a particularly nasty twist in the story (I won't reveal it) I turned it off.
While the narration is excellent, I was highly disappointed by this well-known Jane Austen book. It can't hold a candle to the likes of Pride and Prejudice. I couldn't get through it and gave up after 20 chapters. The plot (if you could call it that) was soap opera like in its preoccupation with who was a good match for whom. These people seemed incredibly lacking in substance.
I just started reading and listening to John Irving. This guy is amazing. I loved so many things about this book. I love how human his characters; and their flaws make you love them the more. My daughter spent the first year of her life in an orphanage so I was super interested to read about institutional care, and Irving's portrayal of the mind of an orphan. Many characteristics resonated from my own experience. He has some unforgettable lines. This book is one of the best among the dozens I've listened to in the last two years.
I liked this book; it isn't a genre that I usually read or listen to much. I learned a lot about video games. I found the references to 1980s culture interesting but almost obsessive in its documentation. I came of age in the 1980s but many of the references were not familiar to me. I found that some of the gaming scenes were overly long, though they did convey effectively how deeply into imaginary worlds the characters had gone.
I stuck with this book for several chapters but finally dropped it. This seems like one of those highbrow award winners that lacks a good story. This may be judged to be top notch in terms of craft (I note that other reviewers admire how the story comes together... but I would have needed to get to the last chapter to understand that). I didn't feel like listening to a whole story I didn't find interesting to admire the job Egan does tying these stories together. I put this in the same category as Franzen's book "Freedom" - too much navel gazing. I read to enjoy and learn. Apart from the opening chapter about the kleptomaniac, from whom I learned a lot, neither was happening here.
The scary part of this book is that the dystopian world is not that hard to imagine. Bacigalupi has drawn on all kinds of contemporary problems and followed them through to create a disturbing picture of life in the future. I've seen footage of children working as ship breakers in Bangladesh; it is not a pretty picture. This is a dark tale; on the other hand, the conditions of poverty, violence, scarcity of resources and drug abuse give rise to some interesting moral questions which the author explores in a compelling manner. The narration was okay, but not my favorite. I didn't find his Caribbean accent convincing and with a couple of the central characters having that accent, it was at times a little irritating. He was otherwise good.
I started to listen to this for myself and soon realised my nine-year-old daughter would like the book. So we listened to it together. We absolutely adored Flavia and her quick comebacks with her sisters had us roaring. She's a compelling combination of witty, smart and ultimately, very human. I was astounded to realise that Bradley was not English, but Canadian. My daughter and I are now looking forward to listening to the next book.
Saul Reichlin does a fabulous job reading this trilogy. The stories are compelling and interesting. A great investment in downloading and listening to all three. I am certain I am not alone in being sad that Larsson died before completing the next book. Knowing nothing about Swedish society I found the books fascinating as a contrast to North American society. Loved all three books!
I like long audiobooks, but this one was too long. Only two of the characters really drew me in, with the others not interesting me at all. I would characterize this as book that is more likely to appeal to guys (reading the list of reviews confirms that the reviewers are mostly male). I did really enjoy the historical bits that introducted elements of the Philippines under Japanese occupation in WWII. This is a history I didn't know much about and I am compelled now to read more.
This book drew me in from the the very beginning and didn't relent until it was over. A beautiful story of growing up and the ties to people that shape who we become. I thought the narrator was brilliant, too, in his ability to pull off the various accents with such authenticity (to a North American ear, anyway). Listening to this story led me to read about Bryce Courtenay,, as I wondered how much of this tale is autobiographical. Indeed, there are many aspects that are. I recommend his website to readers who enjoyed this story. I would rate the Power of One as one of the top five audiobooks among the 100 or 125 I've listened to.
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