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James D. Hasitngs



  • Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Adam Sims, Ian Porter

    Information is everything in Hard-boiled Wonderland. A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In the End of the World a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants.

    Daniel says: "Classic Murakami, No Ultraviolence"
    "Allegory In a Hard Boiled Shell"

    This novel has the standard trappings of a type of metaphysical/quirky detective story that has become somewhat common since this book was written (published 1985). What separates this novel, though, is that all the setting entirely serves the more important allegorical elements of the text. This is not to imply that the work is obtuse, as a lot of allegorical pieces are, it's actually very easy to get into and follow. If you expect the book to follow the standard course of most detective stories, however, you may be disappointed when the plot does not end in an action filled climax. Rather, the themes are allowed to play themselves out as best serves them, and the novel is far greater for it. Having just finished the book, I think I have a decent grasp on what the book is "about" but there is plenty of room for individual interpretation, discussion and re-reading, without being so ambiguous as to throw off more casual reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Temporal Void: Void Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee

    Long ago, a human astrophysicist, Inigo, began dreaming scenes from the life of a remarkable human being named Edeard, who lived within the Void, a self-contained microuniverse at the heart of the galaxy. There, under the beneficent gaze of mysterious godlike entities, humans possessed uncanny psychic abilities, and Edeard's were the strongest of all. Equally strong was his determination to bring justice and freedom to a world terrorized by criminal violence and corruption.

    Ingwe says: "Make Sure you have read the Dreaming Void"
    "Disappointing Follow Up to the Commonwealth Saga"

    I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 preceding books by Hamilton but this trilogy falls flat. The basic structure of the story is split into 2 parts: One part in the same universe as Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, and one "story within a story" faux-fantasy fable that takes all 3 books to play out.

    In itself, this structure makes it hard to immerse oneself in the story. Whenever one side gets going you are suddenly plucked into a completely different universe and timeline. Even with that doubling of content, the entire series story-line could have been easily developed and resolved in a third of the time. In particular the fantasy section is little more than a basic Twilight Zone plot, yet the basic cliche at its center is dragged out over the full series.

    The primary story-line retains some of what made the prior books fun, but its events are too fractured by the intrusive story within a story, and also feels unnecessarily stretched out. The whole thing feels like a novella worthy concept artificially stretched to 65 hours. Disappointing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "Series Starts To Meander"
    What did you like best about A Feast for Crows? What did you like least?

    A Feast For Crows and a Dance For Dragons were originally one massive thome that Martin decided to split up among characters. Most of the 2 books' action is concurrent, with A Feast For Crows focusing on Westeros while A Dance Of Dragons mainly focuses on the events to the North and in the Eastern Continent. The most disappointing part of both is how little actually takes place in their combined 1800 pages (70 hours). It feels as thought George R.R. Martin has become interested in providing color and nuance to the world he's created than actually forwarding the plot. Color and nuance are great, but these 2 segments took 13 years to write and MAJOR developments promised by earlier volumes seem no closer to occurring than they did after A Storm of Swords. A Feast For Crows suffers much more for this than A Dance of Dragons, but reading both I found myself as fascinated by how easily it would have been to collapse them into 1 book than the actual events that transpire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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