This is one of the most entertaining books I have listened to in a long time. I listened to it twice, back to back. I rarely re-read books, and never again so soon. It's creative, intelligent humor. It includes social commentary (e.g., about gender disparities in comedy), but without being preachy. Overall, loved it.
The Sanderson formula for many of his works seem to be: take some everyday concept (e.g. metal, color, chalk, glass, etc.), give some of the characters some extraordinary ability with it, build a world around it, and add characters.
But...each story is unique, well written, and engaging. The Rithmatist is no exception (despite some shortsighted reviews I've seen trying to claim it's a Harry Potter knockoff), with an interesting world where science has taken a different turn than in ours, in addition to the elevation of chalk drawings to mysticism.
It turns out to be a fair mystery story, while exploring the implications of the chalk magic system, enough twists to keep it interesting, but does have a few shortcomings in believably (even WITH the suspension of disbelief necessary for this type of story...areas where its own rule system created makes you think, "Really? In 2 centuries no one ever thought to try that?"). But it's still a fun listen...one of the first in a while where I was making sure to bring along my player in the car to squeeze out just a few more minutes.
If you like crass and detailed analysis of celebrity female body parts, then this is for you. If you want more intelligent humor, try Dave Barry's I'll mature when I'm dead, Tina Fey's Bossy pants, or anything by Paula Poundstone.
I love Dave Barry, but this reader is one of the worst I have ever heard. His voice and inflection are incredibly annoying. I recommend "I'll mature when I'm dead" which Barry narrates himself. I wish Barry had narrated all of his books. Not all authors are skillful readers, but Barry is. This reader is terrible. I am halfway through and tempted to get it in print instead.
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