Koontz is a good storyteller, which is why I listen to him (and read his occassional book), but I find in this book he spends WAY too much time inside the subject's head explaining over and over to the reader (listener) such unimportant mind-numbing minutia about him; how decent of a person he is, how sensitive he is, how understanding he is, how patient he is, how wonderful his relationship is with his girlfriend, about his great and godly dog - so much waxing and waning over and over throughout the book. It wouldn't be so bad if it were leading to something, and only discussed a couple times, but he keeps going on beating the same sensitive pony tail crap about the hero into our heads that it drove me to fast-forwarded the ipod. I would hit play to see if I went too far, but would find that he was still talking about some issue that he already beat to death through the previous chapters. Aside from that, the basis of the story is a good one, but the ending is predictable and soft. It is a good time killer, but don't look here for any real literary or deep writing.
Joe Hill claims he uses that pseudonym to write because he wants to be successful on his own merits, opposed to his family, the son of Stephen King. Aside from whether I think King is doing the writing or not, he's probably at least the coxswain. Horns is a solid, gripping novel that has our "hero" wandering around trying to figure out his new reality - who he is, what he is, why he is, and why people do what they do around him. The characters are real and interesting, but a little overdeveloped. Excellent read!
Ok, so the book starts off great - vile, murderous, and cruel. The two brothers are mouthy, muderous, self-centered, self-absorbed, inbred idiots who strongly believe they are pious and wonderful in Mother Mary's eyes. That's the book pretty much in a nutshell. The book moves well, until the slaughter of the demonic pig in one of the many towns they visit (not done in a comedic manner). Right around that time the story falls off into a maelstrom of unnecessary characters and extremely deep conversations that have no relevance or reason for being along the way, except for at that moment. Most of the book is reminiscent of a bunch of stoned, or drunken idots trying to sound educated. I found it highly annoying about half-way through and was hoping for the end to come soon. My sweet release came at the very end, when I thought "good, the characters are all dead and gone;. I can move on to the next book!"
First this is NOT a spoiler!
The main gist is in the title of the book. Or if you prefer, imagine living under a dome with no real law, and the resources are quickly dwindling. Welcome to the story.
THE GOOD: The premise of the book! The introduction and mystique of the Dome! The character descriptions and development! The action descriptions! The realness of the characters!
THE BAD: Read below...
Is Stephen King a great writer? Yes! Is this book his best work? No! I would say it qualifies as average. About 25% of the book is engaging "action," which means people are doing some type of activity, or something is happening to them that makes you sit up and pay attention. The remaining 75% is needless character development and chatter. King introduces dozens and dozens of characters and then weaves the story through and around them, which makes it tough to form a relationship with them. I found myself skipping back to re-listen to bits throughout to try and follow who he's talking about at any given time...and what was important to remember, and what I could chalk up to as blathering. Tough to tell.
There are too many characters with too much attention paid to each one for what seems to be no real apparent reason...so many details. I found myself also being forced to try an follow and connect their stories, and recall conversations - and less time actually enjoying the book. Maybe it would have been easier to read than listen to...?
The final outcome was boring and un-eventful. The lead-in to the ending was being built, and built, and built and then ... plop. So little detail and attention was paid to the ending.
This book would have been WAY better as a short story, or a "normal-length" story...chop out 3 of the 5 chapters and call it good :)
Heck, even King says in his own voice at the end that he loves books with tons of characters and drawn-out character development! Cool if that's your thing :)
This is a good listen, but like the others say in these reviews, it's not for the faint of heart. The book moves at a good pace and the author/reader is incredibly dynamic. She is an actress, for those of you who haven't figured that out already, and she brings these characters to life...almost a bit too realistically at times. The only real issue I had with the reading is that Gemma (the young lady in the book) is read at a super-fast pace that can be grating and annoying; just like a REAL kid! Very few breaths are taken when she speaks as Gemma and that, coupled with the speed wore on me a bit. Otherwise, she did a phenomenal job!
Ok, this book has a massive amount if information and ideolgoies being introduced at a fast pace. Though I don't agree with his "proof" of why agnostics should really give up being agnostics and become aetheists (among other things), the book is full of good stuff and should be read in book format to fully understand its concepts; otherwise you'll be hitting rewind a LOT to get the info to sit in your head properly. This is the reason why I gave it 3 stars. It would have gotten more, but he just moves too fast for the casual listener to really comprehend what he's saying.
Just like most good literature of the past, this book probably scared the heck out of people! The book is well read and moves at a comfortable pace, but I wasnt able to thoroughly enjoy it after being jaded by all the modern horror out there these days. I felt like I was reading a child's horror book, trying to be frightened by a scary coat hanging in the closet (not really in the book!). Excellent for the older crowd who want to bring back memories of better years in writing.
I am a fan of all things Stephen King, but this book was way too depressing throughout and moved very slowly as an audible book. The ending was a bit of a let down with just "ok" closure. I liked the book for the writing itself - it's incredible, but it could easily have been cut in half and been more effecive.
I'm sure the book is good, but I just couldn't stand the reader. He tries way too hard with his "sly" style of reading, which translates to fake and choppy bursts of rapid speaking throughout. He doesn't use different voices well at all for each character, which makes for a confusing listen. It would be nice if he learned how to use natural pauses. Better yet, find a better reader for such incredible writers.
Wow, this is some great story telling! I can only hope he decides to write more novels, as he is a master of his craft. His characters are vivid and full of history. He weaves a tight story and leaves nothing unturned or unanswered for in the end. Beautifully done. The narrator is good as well, but could use some classes on how to use more than the same two tones and voices for all of the charatcers. But this didn't dampen the book or mood at all. I fear that nothing will easily compare to this one in the mystery / thriller category in the near future. Good job.
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