The Wake of Forgiveness is not a horrible book and it's audio presentation is fine, but I don't recommend it. Machart does a fair job of providing creative prose and witty dialogue, I only wish he had put more effort into the story itself.
For roughly 7/8ths of the book the listener is presented with almost completely irredeemable characters who are uniform in their distastefulness. Then, in the final pages, an attempt is made to turn it all around, but by that point, who is interested in viewing these creatures as the "good guys"? The story drags on painfully while bouncing back and forth through the history of the denizens of Levaca County, Texas. Nothing much happens on the road to the discovery of the novel's mysteries, which are about as mysterious as an episode of Gunsmoke.
There were two specific scenes, one involving a photograph of the Scala boys' mother, and another at the very end where a wet nurse is brought to care for a newborn, that were both interesting, emotional, and well written. Beyond that, this was a chore to finish. If you are a fan of well-written historical fiction in the setting of the turn of the 19th century American West, look to Charles Frazier or Cormac McCarthy.
If you've already listened to all of the good zombie apocalypse fiction (J.L. Bourne, Justin Cronin, Max Brooks, etc.) you might as well give this a try, but don't expect much more than a second string performance.
It's not a BAD book and there are some good moments, but overall it's just not that engaging, nor are the characters at all compelling. The character voices are frequently laughable (the goofy private that sounds like a young Gomer Pyle and the soldier who the narrator voices in dead-on, bad Christopher Walken impersonation comes to mind.).
I won't be moving on to parts two and three of this trilogy because frankly, I just don't care at all what happens to these people or the story.
Let me start by saying that Josh Bazell's first book, Beat The Reaper, is one of the most enjoyable audio books I have ever listened to. Great story, very well acted, incredible action and surprisingly funny in many spots. Essentially, everything that this second work was not.
The story is slow and ponderous with only a tiny fraction of the incredible action sequences that made Beat The Reaper such a dynamic listen. In fact, the main character seems to be an entirely different person, more involved with voicing flights of sexual and romantic frustration than driving the plot in any meaningful way. He might not be completely to blame however since 'the plot' consists of little more than a reed-thin stage from which Bazell spouts his political, environmental, and evolutionary beliefs, up to and including some sort of progressive/liberal/enviro-whacko laundry list monologue at the conclusion of the story.
Overally, a complete and utter let-down. If you're a fan of Bazell, don't waste your time on this one.
This book is long. Very long. And while that in and of itself is not bad, it was difficult to not notice portions that seemed unnecessary and tedious. It is well written by most standards and an interesting story, but Murakami has set his bar so high with previous works like Kafka On the Shore and The Windup Bird Chronicle, that 1Q84 suffers by comparison. Many questions and plot threads are left completely unanswered or simply swept away in a sentence or two. This is particularly annoying because in a novel that is 46+ hours, it seems more time could have been devoted to wrapping up loose ends and less time toward star- (moon?) crossed lovers narrowly missing each other at various moments.
It's good, but not nearly as compelling as past works that I have enjoyed.
The narration is good, particularly the male readers.
Under the Dome is far from one of Stephen King's best works, but it is a fairly enjoyable listen and a decently paced story. Unfortunately for me, there were two almost constant distractions.
The first was with the narrative which often seems to be little more than a vehicle for King to denounce Christianity and evangelicals specifically. I don't know when Mr. King became so enamored of painting such an unflattering and hateful picture of religion and believers, but at times it bordered on being so offensive that I contemplated not finishing the listen.
The second was with the narrator's interpretation of the primary antagonist Big Jim Renny. Since Big Jim lived his whole life in Maine, why on earth would he have a totally over-acted West Texas drawl?
Seldom have I ever gone through a trilogy that got worse with each new installment, but this one manages it. After greatly enjoying The Traveler and moderately enjoying The Dark River, I was UTTERLY disappointed by The Golden City. Talk about an author 'mailing it in'. The book has no energy, does not resolve earlier scenarios, sets up new scenarios that it does not resolve, and ends with one of the weakest wrap-ups I have ever listened to. Overall it was BORING and I forced myself to finish it because I'd already invested the time on the series. Even if you have gone through the first two books, don't feel obligated to waste your time on this one, it is a total let-down.
Post-apocalyptic dystopia is one of my favorite subjects and this book is definitely in the genre. Unfortunately it was really a fairly dull listen although there were some portions that were well done. The book was OK, but the audio rendition was pretty rough. Particularly the male voices which were laughable. If you enjoy this genre, listen to The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It is a masterpiece of literature and audible performance.
I started reading a friend's copy of Company randomly. I enjoyed the first 100 pages so much that I plunked down my money on the audible version. What a mistake. The problem was not the book but rather the narration. The voices are so overdone and ridiculous that the book is rendered unlistenable. All of the biting, subtle, satire is completely lost as the reader hits you over the head with his interpretation of the characters. Save your Audible credits on this one and pick up the hardcopy.
this book was excellent and has characteristics that would appeal to all audiences
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