Colorado Springs, CO, United States | Member Since 2004
I absolutely love reading Bryce Courtenay books - until now. Solomon's Song starts with a promise to wrap up the fascinating, yet stormy relationship between the two Solomon clans, but it simply ends as a historical description of the horrors of war at Gallipoli and WWI in France, with virtually no follow up or resolution to all of the characters except for Ben, who really is a minor character in the family saga. It felt like Courtenay used Solomon's Song as a bully pulpit to preach his anti-war views, while forgetting to tell a story. You really don't need to go past Tommo & Hawk for the story of the Solomon clan.
I looked forward to this book since I loved Snow Crash. Boy was I disappointed. Not sure if the author was on LSD, or if LSD is required to listen to this book, but it's weird, disjointed and confusing. There are so many strange sub-plots that weave in and out of reality and bizarre fantasy. Don't assume that if you liked Snow Crash you'll like this - I didn't.
The writing is juvenile, the narration boring, the story goofy. The characters alternate between trying to be serious and funny, but achieving neither. Don't bother with this one. Thank goodness I got it as a buy on get one free so I didn't waste a credit on it.
After reading the amazing 4 and 5 star reviews I was expecting this to be one of the best books I've listened to in a long time. Plus - I'm a huge fan of Humphrey Bower as one of the best narrators in the business so I was expecting a great one - two punch of a great story with great narration. Alas, it was not to be - I was unfulfilled. What I listened to was a book that was WAY too long (this might be the one and only book I've listened too that I wished was abridged)., and characters that were enigmatic and a strange contrast between good and evil. C'mon - a mafia don who was a learned philosopher? The protagonist a common criminal / drug addict with a conscience? The woman love interest a former prostitute who teases the protagonist unmercifully for no good reason? It just didn't come together for me. There were too many contradictions in the lives of the characters. The story didn't make me dream of Bombay - on the contrary, it confirmed that I have no desire whatsoever to go there. I don't know - it was just disappointing, and I really can't recommend it to anyone who prefers a more pragmatic story with realistic characters.
By the way, Humphrey Bower is amazing in his narration of the book. Too bad the story doesn't make up for the great performance.
An ending that doesn't include a megalomaniac with a "doomsday" machine. I felt like I was listening to a James Bond movie with an unlikely bad guy who has a doomsday machine that exists beyond credibility. The doomsday machine relies on nuclear weapons launched from satellites that have existed 10 years past nuclear winter.
A bit. I like post-apocalyptic stories, but this one too itself too seriously with a cruddy ending. I kept waiting for a meaningful ending, but it never came. Cliche is the order for day for this book.
Narration was OK.
Not worth the many, many hours it took to get to the end of this book.
I really enjoyed this book. I know there are comparisons to Stieg Larsson, but I really think this book stands on its own without needing a comparison to the Dragon Tattoo series. That said, since it's being marketing that way, I will say that it's not as violent, or quite as detailed as Larsson's books, but it's got great character development and plot. I must say, my mind was twisted up trying to figure out who the Old Man really was, and the revelation of such was thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding. The translation from Norwegian was a tad quirky, but in no way did it detract from the writing. I look forward to reading (hearing) other books by Jo Nesbo.
I was not at all impressed with Harry Hole at the beginning, but he grew on me as time went on. I wasn't expecting a super-hero like Mitch Rapp, but he was a bit of a loser. He needs to lose the beat up Ford Escort.....
The unveiling of the Old Man's diary.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the narration (I love hearing an authentic Irish accent), this story was so depressing and seemingly pointless, I'd have to say that I won't listen to another book by Frank McCourt. I kept waiting to hear some scrap of good news, or hear of some revenge (particularly against Frank's father), or glean some bit of goodness, but it just didn't materialize. For me, great writing and narration could not overcome the bleakness and hopelessness of the lives of the characters.
No. I put this book into the same genre as Bryce Courtney, but I'll continue to listen to Courtney's books.
Uncle Pat Keating - he doesn't give a Fiddler's fart about what people think.
I think a follow up book would be great - if it introduced something besides human suffering, pain and despair. Clearly Frank McCourt must have finally succeeded at something - maybe this is what the follow on book could describe.
Unfortunately I was expecting a book that would engage and entertain me like "The Pillars Of The Earth" did. Unfortunately this one didn't. I found this book boring. It told the tale of several "couples" in the time before, during and just after World War I. Unfortunately, I didn't find any of the couples interesting or worth "worrying about".
I was expecting dramatic descriptions of the horrors of war. This book didn't provide that either. Instead, a few benign battles were described. At one time, the author mentions that 10 million men were killed in WWI. No where in this story did I get the sense of tragedy and horror at 10 million men dying. Any descriptions of battle were underwhelming and uninspired. There were no heros or villains in this story. I finished this book wondering why I didn't just read a text book on World War 1 history. I have no plans to read / listen to any sequels.
OK, so it's not a literary classic, but for pure fantasy entertainment, it's a lot of fun. While supposedly a human wizard, Harry takes many a beating that would easily kill any ordinary mortal. A few of the fight scenes were a bit over the top, but this is, after all fantasy. The plot was not too deep, but the writing was good and the action plenty.
I tried. Really I did. But I couldn't finish it. There are innumerable characters, each with unmemorable names, having tedious conversations with seemingly no relevance to the story or the plot. I think the narrator did an amazing job with a multitude of accents, but for me it was virtually impossible to keep track of all the characters, despite his vocal characterizations. If you enjoy hours of inane conversation, punctuated only occasionally by interesting plot elements, take a shot. But I did not enjoy this book, despite my general like of long detailed audiobooks.
While I can't say I was really bored listening to this book, I can say that I wasn't overly stimulated either. This is a mystery novel where the detective doesn't really solve mystery but more or less stumbles on the solution. The protagonist, VI Warshawski, isn't particularly likable either, so this wasn't a particularly satisfying listen.
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