A great story that is a slick blending of the world of a MMOG with a face-paced, international spy adventure. The narration was excellent. Male and female characters of many nations were handled in a convincing way. It was difficult to stop listening to this story and I was sad when it was over (one of my tests of a good book). I just wish Neal Stephenson would stop referring to magazines as "clips" - makes me crazy. ;-)
I purchased this to refresh my memory of the story so that I could talk about it with my son, who was reading it for school. So, I anticipated the need to push myself through it. Well, I was swept away. I kept looking for opportunities to listen. It's a well-constructed epic that will engage most readers and the narration is well-done.
One minor nit-pick with the story might be the near perfection of Edmond Dantes. The man is brilliant. There is nothing he cannot do and there doesn't seem to be a topic with which he's not familiar. He is engineering a sophisticated revenge plot against those who destroyed his life and yet nothing ever seems to confuse his plans. It's not a big deal and it doesn't ruin the story. It just made me laugh a bit and occasionally broke the spell of the narrative.
However, you should get this book. You obvious love to read and, if you're enjoying a story, you don't want it to end too soon. The Count of Monte Cristo won't let you down. I promise.
I made it about a third of the way into the book and just ground to a halt. The book feels like it's been written by your average college student. There's a sophomoric feel to it. The characters are cardboard, the plot drags on, the situations are repetitive. While many have commented on the gruesome nature of the story, that didn't bother me. What got to me was the author's need to string along a series of gross-out scenes, like a literary haunted house. There's no rhythm to the narrative, just monotony. The story lacks space for the reader to get to know the characters. Perhaps this unfolds later in the book, but I found myself listening less and less until I'd actually forgotten that I had it on my iPhone.
I was intrigued by the concept of this book: a girl trying to figure out why she's missing six months of her life. But the weak and repetitive dialog (and internal monologs) wore me down. I struggled to finish this book and actually abandoned it for a few days.
The one-dimensional, male characters add little to the story. The villain appears suddenly at the end, apparently just so that he can partially explain himself. We're left to speculate on the roles and activities of his fellow plotters, following an unsatisfying end of the novel.
The narration by Emily Woo Zeller is well-done.
If you enjoy stories like "Castaway" and "Apollo 13", you'll love "The Martian". The story is told mostly through the the log book of the main character, Mark Watney. This approach keeps things moving along. Watney is presented with interesting challenges almost daily as he works to stay alive on Mars. We also get the perspective of Watney's NASA colleagues as they work to rescue him. I found the science and situations to be realistic and engaging. This is a compelling and smart adventure story that kept me looking for excuses to listen. It's my favorite book of the year.
This is an excellent story that spawned the HBO miniseries (also excellent). But, LISTEN TO THE UNABRIDGED VERSION. That wasn't available when I downloaded this many moons ago.
I recently re-listened to this and I was confused by the HUGE chunks of the story that were removed from this version. There is no reason whatsoever to go with this version. We're talking about a relatively short book anyway folks.
So, nothing to see here. Just move along to the unabridged audiobook. Off you go now.
Sure, "Ready Player One" lays on the '80's nostalgia with a trowel, but it doesn't get in the way of a great story. I say this as someone who went to high school and college in that decade. I missed a lot of the children's toy and game console references as a result, but I related to most of the rest. What wasn't an immediate connection was regularly explained in the story. I didn't feel left out and I suspect that those who recall other decades better won't feel ostracized either.
Cline offers a story that deftly combines the real and virtual worlds. Both environments are interdependent in the plot and this results in a tale that is epic in scope. The dystopian real world is believable and yet not devoid of hope. The virtual gaming environment is really a world of worlds that offers a variety of situations, characters and amusing discoveries. Things keep moving and the adventure is up-beat and exciting.
Wil Wheaton makes this a great listen. The man can read and act and he's just the right personality for the story. Heck, he's even referenced once or twice and it's fun to hear Wheaton reading a comment about himself.
Drop "Ready Player One" in your basket because it's a great story. The nostalgia is a bonus.
This book was a fun diversion that begins with a bang and just never slows the action until the end. It's not deep literature and the characters aren't from a Henry James novel. So what? If you're like me and you listen to audio books to fend off the boredom of yard work and other dull things, then entertainment is a good thing. "Monters, Inc." is entertaining. Try not to think so much.
"Monsters, Inc." treats vampires, werewolves and their ilk in the traditional way. The vampires don't sparkle or distain blood for the love of their teenage sweetheart. These monsters rip out their victim's throats and toss their bodies aside like empty peanut shells - like they did in the comic books you grew up with. The Team from Monsters, Inc. are on call to eradicate such pests from your home, at a price. I like this idea.
Having said that, I've been reluctant to pick up any of the sequels. I enjoyed this book but I think one is enough.
The story unfolds in parallel threads, existing in the past and the recent-present, that reveal the plot in a fun way. Stephenson takes you all over the world and across time while letting you get to know some fun personalities. All of this happens at a brisk pace that will keep the listener engaged.
If you enjoy the idea of cyphers, the pre-history of computers and learning about some contemporary technology this book will entertain you. But don't assume that it's all about the tech. It's full of activity, from diving, combat, digging, hacking and excellent conversation.
William Dufris is a gifted narrator (I rarely encounter anything less with Audible these days) who expertly reads while inhabiting a large variety of characters of different sex and nationality. He's a one-man acting troupe, but you won't be cognizant of his efforts. You'll just enjoy the narrative.
The bottom line is that I looked for opportunities to listen to this whenever I could and I was sad when it was all over.
Perhaps you're staring at this book and thinking, "I don't kow if I feel like reading about the Kennedy assassination and I'm just not sure about Stephen King anymore." Rest assured that this book is a well-conceived and expertly-written time-travel adventure that is its own story that's filled with romance, suspense and wonder. That infamous day in Dallas is the MacGuffin. This book is no more about it than "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was about the Ark of the Covenent. King does deal with the assassination eventually, but in an inovative and exciting way that will keep you reading when you're supposed to be doing something else.
I enjoyed how King handles the mechanics time travel and its implications. He manages to include the fun parts with the ethical issues and brings the reader along with him to the fascinating world of the past. This book is a great fish-out-of-water story that puts a man from the connected world of 2011 back in the United States of 1958-1963. You'll have fun exploring the practical challenges while following an exciting story.
King sprinkles this story with fun references to his previous novels. So, be on the lookout for Christine and the town of Derry (inlcuding references to "IT").
Listening to this book brought me back to Stephen King after almost two decades of avoiding his work. I'm happy to say that I rediscovered what I admire about his writing. It's easy to pidgeon-hole King as a horror writer and forget that his stories are about people, love and friendship. His stories spring from human weakness and strength. I think this is what keeps me interested.
"11-22-63" deserves to be considered as one of his best. It stands on its own as just a great novel. I suggest that you download it right now.
This story is well-written and well-performed (hence the stars for story and performance), but it's an awful misery. No kidding. If you listen to this you'll be dropped into a terrible situation between two insane individuals. The story will be interesting and stressful, but a nightmare from beginning until the author grows tired of telling you about it. Justice is not served, evil prevails and the innocent suffer.
I wish that someone had warned me away from this because it will likely take the rest of the day to get this dark feeling out of my heart.
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