As science fiction, this book wouldn't challenge a teenager. As fiction, this book gave away the plot within the first couple of chapters. The ending was so contrived it groaned. The characters were two-dimensional and wooden. The overwhelming theme of the book is that conservative religious thought is at odds with scientific practices and theories. I decided to listen to the book to see if the author might come up with some new or novel ideas on this long-standing debate. I could have had a Mars bar and been more satisfied. On whole, I can't find enough value in this book to recommend anyone listening to it.
The narration was clear and competent, but a bit too slow and steady for my tastes.
Not likely. My time is too valuable to waist on dated science.
He should have remembered that an author never subjugates story to exposition.
Disappointment for what he might have accomplished.
In Red Mars, Kim documents in encyclopedic detail his fascination with the ordinary, mundane, and inconsequential details of daily life in space and on Mars. The drama of the first 100 humans establishing a science station on Mars are so completely hidden in the technical details that I recommend you treat their discovery as the books first major subplot. I recommend paper and pen to record the infrequent clues. However, after a second or third reading, the story will become clear. Readers interested in 30-year-old science can skip the story and enjoy what might have been.
My time listening to this book was not well spent. The story moved slower than the Mississippi on a hot summer day and was just a predictable in its flow.
John Jakes could have written a better story by dropping the never-ending history lesson. What background I needed should have been included with the story not “told” to me by the narrator. Further, John seems to despise not only the Sam, but all of the wealthy people in the story. I don’t have any idea if that was intentional, but it lowers the story to a diatribe against the rich and famous. It is more than telling that all of the business ventures of Sam’s partners turned out to be failures. It makes one wonder how they ever got so rich.
None of the characters stand out as particularly noteworthy.
No, absolutely not.
While a good narrator can't save a poor book, Jack Garrett made a valiant effort in this case.
Yes, I loved Codex. I was reading (listening to) a New York Times member one bestseller with a sexy twist when I began reading Codex. I couldn’t stop listening to Codex until I had finished it. It moved along right from the first page. It sucked me into the story and kept me there. I highly recommend.
I liked the way that it kept moving forward without wondering off on needless side trips.
My favorite scene was when Margaret began assembling the Codex.
Andrew Carnegie was a very interesting man. He worked hard, took chances, and became rich. He then retreated from direct management of his operations, drove his managers relentlessly, and became even richer. He obsessed over his fortune, ground everyone including his partners under his heal, and became the richest man in the world. Then as an encore, he gave it all away. I can't say his moneymaking, made me jealous, but I learned that he was the friend and dinner companion of Samuel Clemens, AKA Mark Twain, and that did make me jealous.
David Nasaw certainly went through a massive research effort for this book. I wish he had stopped after he had presented three good examples and then moved on to his next point.
Grover Gardner gave a steady and solid performance despite the length of the book. He deserves high marks for this effort.
I like science fiction. I don't usually like Gothic romances. Deborah Harkness has fussed these two genres into a new hybrid that is very interesting. Stir in the blending of two usually hostile and wary families, a little taboo, and you've got a great story.
Jennifer Ikeda gave a very good performance of this book.
Mr. Easterbrook's condescension of Liberal/Progressive views is so offensive it made listening to him very difficult right from the first page, none-the-less I persisted. However, I finally had to draw the line at his use of fictitious facts that were so blatantly trumped up as to erode the last vestige of his credibility.
If you hold Liberal or Progress worldviews and you don't enjoy having your intelligence insulted, I recommend that you pass on this piece of neo-conservative propaganda.
Any mystery Clive develops in chapter 1-he losses by chapter 4. But first, a small peeve: I know this is an action book, so I don't really expect much more than card board characters. But I would have appreciated at least some character development of Sam and Remi Fargo. I guess he assumed that anything I needed to know about Sam or Remi as people I learned in a previous book.
Now onto the action, we get lots of it. But it doesn't even come close to believable. I'm sorry, but I still think Sam and Remi are bright, but human characters. My problem isn't that they are super smart and that they have one heck of a support team. My problem is that things happen that really ought not to happen. This goes so far beyond good luck that it could only happen in a fiction. The coincidences mount up so fast they are hard to count. For example, let's say you are in the middle of nowhere and things are looking bad because you don't really know where you are going or how to get there. No problem. Poof, an expert on the local area just appears out of nowhere. Further, the guide just happens to know exactly what you need to know and how to get there, gives you gun, and just for good measure rescues you from your next encounter with the bad guys. Or if you need a pilot, one instantly appears ready to not only fly you in, but also risk life and limb to fly a total stranger out of trouble in the middle of the night. Let's just say this book reads best if you assume Sam has super human luck. However, his infallibly good luck deflates any sense of tension. You know that he will always escape every danger unscathed. How boring!
I recommend that you pass this book up in favor of an author who is at least attempting to write a good story.
Scott Brick did an able and professional job of narrating this book.
For a contemporary author of history to write a book of real merit it is required that the author have mastered the material that is the subject of the book, found wisdom in those studies, and most importantly must be able to present his work in a style that renders the material comprehensible and appealing to a wide readership.
When reading a work penned 150 years ago, one must allow for the change in writing styles from then to now. For example just try reading On War by Carl von Clausewitz or even Geoffrey Chaucer or even William Shakespeare in their original wordings. It should also go without saying that when the author refers to now he means his contemporary now of a 150 years ago, which means, his ideology reflect his era not ours.
Thus, Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy like The Prince by Niccol?? Machiavelli or The Inferno by Dante Alighieri needs some knowledge of the era to be truly appreciated. Because of the arcane style of this book, if you don't already have knowledge of both the Renaissance in Italy and the author's 1800's this work may not be the best place to acquire it.
Geoffrey Howard did an able job in his narration.
If you have never lived and worked in a really hot and humid place, you may not be able to appreciate how well Paolo has captured its essence. Paolo soon had me smelling the pungent musk of stale human sweat and recalling how everything does slow down; how the heat and humidity saps the body and fogs the mind. To this environmental condition he deftly adds strange new beasts, the claustrophobia of a closed society, and the paranoia of immigrants competing for a future with the ever present poor. To this setting he adds his characters full of bravado and his Thailand of tomorrow is convincing if not compelling.
Then there is the Windup Girl; a creature condemned to death simply because she lives. I find her intriguing precisely because I can image that during my lifetime someone will genetically engineer new life forms and like her some of these new life forms may be capable of reasoned thought; and even love and hate.
The Windup Girl like all truly great science fiction lets me live in that future today.
I agree with Slow, the narration needlessly drug out this story. When I switched to my MP3 player's fast setting things were much improved.
The "artifact" is little more than a side show in this book. It does little more than exist until the not so exciting conclusion. The only excitement this book delivers, notwithstanding the obligatory half dozen wham-bam-thank-you-mam sex scenes, the gratuitous violence, the travel log to near and distant places, and a short history of the late 20 the century, comes into focus about half way through the book. At this point, it is hinted that there might be a clash of two non-related, super humans. What the clash may or may not be about or what the winner would win is never actually developed because the usual pattern of three clashes is condensed to one quick skirmish of the super humans. Then, just when the long expected clash is finally at hand one of the super human realizes that the parking meter on their spacecraft (AKA the artifact) has expired.
Stop everything! So sorry, we are out of quarters, we'll have to finish this fight at home. Goodbye.
The narration was professional, which is more than I can say for Camouflage by Joe Haldeman.
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