The human mind is so complex, so vast, yet, so inherently primal. Barry Eisler captures this oxymoron in a very ingenious set of ways.
This is the first audiobook that I have listened to that was narrated by the author, so I was a little skeptical at first. Eisler does a good job, not a superb one, but he nailed the protagonist, so in my humble opinion, that's all that really matters.
The way the story is laid out takes you through the mind of an imaginary man that could be any one of us. Half american, half japanese, Eisler takes you through the struggles of being born of two cultures. Although the protagonist is mixed, his struggles are strikingly similar to any immigrant's story of living in two places, and having to adjust to both after living in one place for a while then returning to the land of their birth.
Tons of action in this story, and the storyline has lots of coincidences, that in the end turn out to be beautiful flaws of not just the main character, but mankind in general.
I wasn't sure what to expect of this book going in. I mean it's long, over 17 hours. Yes, I read the reviews and the editor's note, but none of these things prepared me for the wirldwind of new science fiction ideas that are in this audiobook.
I've read a reasonable amount of science fiction books in the last year, and Altered Carbon blows them all out of the water, hands down, no question! You have to truly open your mind to a realm of existence that is entirely plausible, yet so far out there that you find yourself slowly digesting it all, until you just can't get enough of it.
Richard K Morgan does an outstanding job of pulling you into this alternate universe where "normal science fiction" simply is not good enough here. No nanites, no crazy lazer guns, no hyper drives and such. It's all original. Yes, all of it!
It's all so delictably refreshing, you don't even realize it until you stop listening to it and have to adjust yourself back to real life. The book is incredibly detailed, but everything has its purpose, very little fluff. Actually, most of the fluff that doesn't really enhance the storyline, will give you a broader, introspective look at the character in question.
The narrator does a spectacular job. Witty and sarcastic, very non-chalant. I could go on and on, but, in totum: Todd McLaren does an equally exceptional job of delivering this masterpiece.
If you are looking for a new way of experiencing science fiction, and you are tired of the same story being told with a new, but subtle twist, give Altered Carbon a listen, and thank me later.
I've listened to several other books by Ben Bova, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, so I was pretty excited going into this new book. That excitement was quickly short lived when I realized that there was very little detail into the science-fiction aspect of the story. The technical jargon that I have come to expect from Bova was relatively absent. Not to mention that the first hour or so of the book is told through various characters, leaving no clear protagonist. I was slowly getting lost in my expectations of the book when right around the 1 hour mark, the protagonist introduces himself. It's done very surreptitiously, and you almost don't even notice it. However, once the leading character steps to the forefront of the story, that is when and where, the story comes to life!
Well, not the story story, but the backstory. You know, the little nuiansces of events that have already happened, that provide a more comfortable atmosphere for the present tense......Well, not so much here. In a very short period of time, you come to the profound realization that the backstory is so much better than the story itself! Yes, it does make the present tense infinitely more interesting, but the backstory is filled with drama, anxiety, suspense, mystery, politics, and most importantly, the darker sides of human nature. Bova really does a superb job of getting you into the minds of alot of different people, spanning the globe in terms of cultures and habits, and what he shows you is quite intruiging.
Stefan Rudnicki again does a good job in this audiobook with his wide range and his seemingly authentic accents.
In the end, the backstory detailing the human side of the Mars expedition is more compelling than any technical detail!
I listened to the second Moonbase book, MoonWar, first. Bova did an excellent job of filling in the backstory of this book, so I really didn't think I was missing too much. However, it kept bugging me not knowing the full story of how MoonBase got started.
Well, I finally got around to listening to MoonRise, and it is more than what I was expecting! Alot more! The drama in this one is thick. This first MoonBase book is extremely emotional. It seems that every other character has some kind of personality disorder: schizophrenia, physchosis, delusions of grandeur, oedopis complex, bipolar, separation anxiety, and megalomania, just to name a few!
Don't get me wrong, all of the characters are developed with precision, and cunning, and all of the personality disorders makes for some wicked drama! This story really completed the mental picture of the Masterson corporation, the Stavengers, and all of the lunatics up at MoonBase.
It's ironic now, because I will have to listen to MoonWar again, to fully appreciate what I was missing the first time around.
Stephan Rudnicki does a superb job in this one. He nails pretty much all of the characters. I like it when he narrates in the voice of the character at times when that particular character is deep in thought, especially in a high stress situation. There is something quite profound in this type of narration, and I've never realized it before in an Audiobook. It truly places you in the mind of that character, getting you to rationalize hypothetical scenarios, as if you the listener, had a real stake in the output of the reasoning going on in a fictitious character's mind!
In aggregate, MoonRise is a winner, you won't regret it, even though it is very lengthy.
I purposefully waited months to listen to this because I knew it was going to be worth the wait. Vince Flynn does it again with his no-nonsense style of writing: nothing is fodder, everything, no matter how small or insignificant builds on the momentum of the story: which is pure bliss if you're into politics, espionage, clandestine operations, military logistics, not to mention the psyche's of high stress individuals!
Flynn takes you into the world behind the news headlines, behind all of the political posturing, behind all of the allegations and scrutiny around the CIA, and the work that they do at home and abroad.
I really don't even want to write anymore, no spoilers here though. This book is just too well written to really find anything wrong with it. Well, the ending felt a little rushed, but that's probably because I waited a couple of months to listen to the darn thing. When something is this good, you know it's impossible, but you want to savor the memory of the experience forever.
This one is a winner, and George Guidall gets as much credit as Vince Flynn! I know, it sounds absurd, but it's true. Guidall is majestic with his delivery of the narrations of every character, and when he really gets into it, the hairs on the back of your neck let you know that you're into it too.
LOD book 2 is a superb follow up to the first LOD book. Dietz really is a methodical mastermind. I would really hate to piss him off in real life. The way he plants these seemingly insignificant seeds that grow into these vast literary jungles is mind-numbing. I mean, I can't even begin to imagine the imagination that it takes to make up a story that can span several generations of lives and still be captivating, intriguing and profound all at the same time.
It was quite sobering to see a single, but inherently epic story blossom into a still evolving, but very different story that was even more appealing than the first!
I must say that I have a very conflicted opinion about Donald Corren's narration of this series. On one hand, he performs the most significant characters very well. I would swear that it's not even the same narrator. On the other hand, there are so many characters, that the lesser characters all kind of blend in together, and this will sometimes trip up the listener, making for easy distractions that do not happen with the main characters because of the unique tone of voice that he uses for them.
Overall, I loved it, and can't wait to see what Dietz dreams up in the part 3 of the LOD series.
With the first two books in the series, the author really won me over with the journal entry style of the story. While this book is not in the journal entry style, it was still a very satisfying listen overall. Is it as good as the first two books, no, but it is still very good nonetheless.
Thank god I picked it up instead of listening to most of the previous reviewers whine and complain about the change of style and pace for this book! I mean seriously, if you think that you could have done a better job than the author, then write your own book and see what people like you have to say about it.....Anyhoo, obviously this series has stirred up alot of emotions for all types of reasons, the most important of which is what the world could possibly turn into if everything breaks down: communications, food stores and supplies, employment, travel, the government, heck all governments, just to mention a few.
When life as we all have become accustomed to changes for the worse, when survival becomes your most basic need in life, that's what is so gripping about this book. Yes, the book's pace is quickened towards the end, but that is only in the last 2 hours or so. The first 8 hours of the book are phenomenal, and insightful, continuing in the tradition of the first two books.
While I could easily see a part 4 of this series, this book isn't a cliffhanger either. The author, I think, and for whatever reason, gave everybody something to hang onto, and in the end, I felt good about the whole series in aggregate.
The narration is the true reason why I gave this book five stars. Jay Snyder's range really shines on this one: he does everything from little boys and girls to hardcore special operations forces members! The way he performs the voice of the protagonist though is truly amazing. You begin to look forward to hearing his voice through the mass of characters that are in dialogue across various storylines and scenes.
Keep and open mind, and give the author a break if you have read the other two books before this one. And if you have not read the other two books, the author did a great job of filling you on the backstory.
Yep, if I wasn't stubborn, I probably wouldn't have gotten past the first hour of this audiobook. It starts out grudgingly slow, and extroadinary detailed. All of the details seemingly don't mean anything to you, and you realize that you are losing interest, before you can even decide if you like the story or not.
However, my head-strong mentality mixed with my natural stubborness told me to push ahead, keep on trucking, and see if this story is really a wonderful train wreck, or simply a train wreck gone bad.
I was presently suprised around hour 2 when the tide started to turn in the author's direction: the details started to come together, the characters started to make sense, and the story truly started to materialize into something with a ton of potential!
If I only knew what was in store for me at the time. If I had listened to the negative reviews, if I had succumbed to the boring and drawn out introduction, I too would have given up on this gem. It's one of those books you either love or hate. I hated it in the beginning, loved it by end. Well, that's not completely accurate, I loved it way before the end, I just didn't know it yet.
The author weaves a fantastic story that is inherently chaotic with a horde of characters (I stopped counting after 30), constantly switching storylines and scenes (usually across impossible distances), and all the while providing a fountain of information that, as a normally attentive listener, I found myself constantly losing track of some of the litte details that can define a character.
I couldn't imagine reading the print version of this book without driving off a cliff in the process. The style that the book is written in is difficult, but ultimately quite satisfying.
Yes, there is a ton of action and battle scenes of all types. Yes there are cheesy romances, even between cyborgs, but hey, it is science fiction, what do you really expect!
Be patient, listen closely, and feed your stubborness, and you too will appreciate this complicated sci-fi work of art.
First off, let me say that I hate zombie flicks and zombie stories in general! Uggh, the clumsiness and the agonizing moaning and groaning of the un-dead, puh-leeease! The way they walk around and bump into each other and just can't seem to permanently die unless you obliterate their already dead brains, I mean seriously! I just wanna smack the first person that ever came up with this stuff.
Well, after writing that I gotta say that I still feel that way, but boy, DBDA sure makes me forget about all of that when you are listeining to it! I mean, the storyline is just captivating. You're sucked in by the journal entry style of the narration, even though at first I really didn't like it. I thought that the story would be too biased, too one-sided. However, the author does a great job of painting the perfect picture, allowing you to see all aspects of the story quite clearly, and in a very pragmatic, non-partisan way.
It's way too short for all of the things that transpire through the story, and leaves your mind in a lather about all of the events that could happen in the future, heck even in the present.
For a certified non-zomb as myself, I gotta say that the author does a spectacular job with his depiction of a world gone mad. There are parts of the book that are down right gut-wrenching, while others are laugh out loud funny. I loved the balance that the book brought to the table, and in a very random way, nothing was at all predictable.
The narrator was very good, but I couldn't give him 5 stars in earnest because he doesn't really do more than a handful of characters through the whole story, due to the journal entry style of the book.
Overall, an excellent listen and I'm loading up my Archos to listen to Book 2 first thing tomorrow morning!
I snagged this audiobook based on it's highly acclaimed reviews. However, after the first few minutes of the book, I felt like there was an invisible fly trapped in the car with me. It was the narration: the deep, throaty roar that is Stefan Rudnicki. His authoritative voice was truly overwhelming at first, and impossible to get accustomed to. After the first hour or so, I got over it. His range is rather commanding, and at times a little scary to think that with such a deep voice he could whisper a baby to sleep if he wanted to.
The storyline proved to be thoughtful, and inspiring. So much so, that your mind goes off on wild tangents thinking about what else in this futurustic world could be possible. The author throws in a lot of aloof, quirky commentary via most of the characters often. It gives this sci-fi thriller very terrestrial footing, and breaks the characters down to the subatomic level, allowing you to fully appreciate all of the characters in their own special way.
I didn't even listen to the first Moon book by Bova, I just jumped right into this one and picked it up pretty quick. I will definitely go back and embrace the other Moon books with the hope that I just didn't ruin it for myself.
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