Cut out the endless repetition. Likeable characters and an interesting plot would help.
There was not much I liked in this book.
I think the narration was OK.
I was drawn to this book by the Audible's recommendation, the title, and the suggested linkage to Orwell's 1984. Even though Orwell's book is mentioned a few times in this book, there are no similarities between the two stories.
This is a long book, and I think that long audio books tend to be more successful because readers feel they will get more bang for their buck. That is not always the case.
The story itself was slow to develop, as one might expect from a book that is over 46 hours long. However, 10 hours in, I started to suspect that the story would never become interesting to me, and another 10 virtually sealed the deal. I wound up playing it whenever I could, just to get it over with. After an investment of 20 hours, I really had no choice.
None of the characters were appealing. Flawed characters are great, but none of the characters in this story had any redeeming qualities. Their decisions were often inexplicable, and their actions morally ambiguous at best. This brings up the question, what is the moral of the story anyway?
Anyone considering this book should definitely look for an abridged version. I am not exaggerating when I say that the author repeated parts of the story three, four, five, or even more times. I have learned that this was originally released in three volumes, but that doesn???t explain why the author would repeat things, mundane things at that, within paragraphs of each other. If an abridged version were to cut the repetition of story events by half, it could knock 10 hours off of the length of this story. I???m not kidding. Ten hours. Toward the end, I actually repeated events along with the narration to entertain myself. It was that predictable.
The author???s style is, in my opinion anyway, overly descriptive. This increased the feeling that the story was dragging on. The author seemed intent on turning a short story into an epic. The ending of the story was mercifully brief, though very predictable and mundane. I know some people liked the story, some even loved it. To each his own, but for me, the plot was lame and the characters were lame. Even the sex was lame. Hall of fame narrators couldn???t have saved this book, and these were not hall of fame narrators. I???ve lost count of the audiobooks I???ve listened to, but it has to be near triple digits, and this is absolutely within the bottom 3 of them.
"It" was published when I was in high school, and was probably the first hardcover book I ever bought. I loved this book as much as I loved other Stephen King efforts, like Carrie and Salem’s Lot. When I saw that the book was finally in audio form, I didn’t think twice, I grabbed it up immediately.
Time and exposure to other works have changed my tastes to a degree, and I think "It" suffers a little due to its length. King’s writing in this story seems a little self-indulgent, and he spends time fleshing out story lines that an editor might remove from a book written by a writer with less clout. Some plot lines, which have been mentioned in other reviews, did not seem necessary upon my first reading of the book, (and still don't), but the story remains thoroughly engrossing.
As a general rule, I do not give the narration much thought, unless it is very bad, or very good. However, I think any review of this production has to mention Steven Weber’s brilliant work. His characterizations were superb, and he conveyed a great range of emotions, from joy to panic, with power and clarity without going over the top. I see this as a four star story with a six star narration, hence the five star rating.
King puts normal people into extraordinary circumstances and we all get to find out what happens. As usual, he develops his characters well, and you do not come across a character 20 hours into the story wondering who it is. The story immediately draws you in, and I know I never lost the thread through the entire 35 hours. To me, this is probably the most important consideration when evaluating a story. This was a great 35 hours.
This is not a feel-good story. King's stories rarely are. He does not tell the story you want to hear, he tells the story the way it happens. I usually leave a Stephen King story wondering why this character or that one had to die, or why a story line went one way or another, because something bad happens to someone for no perceptible reason. King gets you to love a character, or at least like one, then do something bad to it. This story is no exception, but I have come to understand that this is almost necessary to a good story. Good things have no perspective when there is nothing bad to compare them to.
This is no secret, but Stephen King is a diehard left-winger. His lack of regard for anyone to the right side of the political spectrum comes though loudly in many of this story's villains, but does not detract from the story the way it does in some of John Grisham's books.
In the end, this was an excellent listen. The narration was commendable. I do not think the story was a good as Duma Key, but it was unquestionably worth the credit, and, more importantly, the 35 hours of my life listening to it. The measure of what makes an audio book truly great (to me) is whether I plan on listening to it again, so I cannot call this one great. I will not be listening to this story again, but there are few stories that meet this standard.
Easily one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. It has great characters and a compelling storyline. It was very hard to take a break while listening to this one.
At 9.95, I though this would be a bargain. Wow, was I wrong! Every character was a stereotype, every situation a cliche. Grisham made clear who you should hate and who you should love, but he did not develop the characters enough for you to care either way.
I won't spoil anything, but you can save 12 hours of your life and just skip to his point. People are too ignorant to elect judges. Only panels of experts (who think like Grisham) should put judges on the bench. Those who know what's best for us must rise and save us from ourselves.
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