Absolutely. The central chapter, written in a Hawaiian post-apocalyptic dialect, is very challenging in print and makes much more sense when heard. The varying readers do an excellent job portraying the varied tone and generations of the sections.
The punchline of sorts to the end of the Somni story.
This book is dense and literary. The audio may make it more accessible. The first six chapters end mid-way, but this is the design of the book.
The perfect book to make you think about relationships, guilt, and commitment. Colin Firth disappears into his performance of the story in the best possible way.
This book was an immediate audiobook download for me the very day it came out, because I love Neil Gaiman's storytelling voice. I did not have any preconceived notions, but was still a bit surprised by the turns taken in this book. He describes it as a book for adults, but it isn't because of the brief moments of gore or horror (not even close to approaching the gore and horror in some of his other works!), but because children and YA readers might not appreciate the sentiment and framework of the larger story - a man returning to his childhood home for a funeral, and going down memory lane (quiet literally.)
The author doesn't make the book longer than it needs to be, and it is definitely nostalgic and a bit sad. I follow the author too closely in social media, perhaps, because I kept thinking of his own life and grief in the past few years (even just the loss of pets) and how that may have impacted the book. There is that theme of the separation between children and parents, and how parents can be used by evil forces without warning, that is also found in Coraline.
It did make me think - What do you remember about your childhood, and how do you know which part was "true?" Do you suspect that you might not remember the most important parts?
To me, I enjoyed reading it very much, but it isn't my favorite of his works.
I listened to this on a long drive to a friend's house. Audible had put it on the 2-for-1 credit sale, where they had offered several second-book-in-a-series books. I read the first book of this trilogy three years ago when it was nominated for a Hugo Award.
In the first book of this series, Caitlin has gained sight for the first time, and ends up also being able to see the world wide web from her implant. Not too long after, she starts communicating with WebMind, an unknown consciousness brought up from the web itself. This book starts with her communicating more with [him], telling her parents, and the worldwide internet security people learning about it.
It is interesting to read a book about internet security in light of recent events. Robert J. Sawyer actually uses Caitlin and WebMind to make the argument that surveillance isn't bad, in fact people do less illegal activity when they know they're being watched. So that was an interesting conclusion, and that idea combined with the multiple narrating voices made the ending very creepy. I'm not sure he meant it to be, but I definitely found it to be. 1984 isn't true! Surveillance makes society better! What.....
The author's info-dumps are a little silly. We learn a lot about evolution during a makeout session. I don't like it when a main character knows everything, is wiser than everyone, or can figure out anything on her own. It actually makes the book less exciting to have everything laid out for the reader that way. Her parents are so supportive! She can outsmart the NSA! Yeah.
For the most part, the audio production by Audible Frontiers was well done. The woman narrating Caitlin was great, but seemed to use accents on a whim (Caitlin and her mother are from Texas but their accents only show up every once in a while), and the two American characters' sections had such low volume that I had to keep adjusting in my car. I don't want to be thinking about production as I listen to a story, and I had to. The other misstep was having the author introduce the story.. usually a good idea, but RJS was a bit pompous about how his 2nd books of trilogies are always the best, and how LUCKY I was going to be to hear this, which might be his BEST BOOK EVER. I almost turned it off right then! I was glad I stuck with it, but fair warning.
On a typical day, I would say I didn't like paranormal romance. I had seen the Parasol Protectorate books before (the covers are gorgeous) but as soon as I saw the words "vampire" and "werewolf," I was disinterested.
But then, Tom and Veronica on Sword and Laser did an Author Guide to Gail Carriger, and had the author over for tea. She was quite a character, referred to the books as "teapunk" which made me laugh, so I decided to give the books a try.
The story was a lot of fun, and the main character of Alexia is an interesting blend of intelligence (the very Jane Austen brand of UNsilly) and incredible naivete. The romance element of the book means that there are some awkward and hilarious scenes where Old-Jaded Werewolf-Detective teaches Awkward-Spinster-Preternatural about... life.
The narrator does a great job with the accents and storytelling. Highly recommended.
Kevin Mitnick's story is incredible, and an exciting non-fiction tale.
Kevin Mitnick outwitting the FBI in their helicopters!
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