Armstrong's picture of Islam is illuminating and insightful. Her discussion of fundamentalism in general is valuable.
Unfortunately, the recording suffers from a reader who didn't bother to learn to pronounce either the Arabic or the religious vocabulary. Apart from that annoyance, I would give the book five stars.
S. Treloar, M Div
I would recommend this book to anyone. The story is great on so many levels. It is full of lighthearted humor made even better by the author's narration. (Love the British accent.) Yet, it is a book with serious thought behind it and a point to make.
Gaiman's style is similar to Terry Pratchett's. They've even written together. If you like Discworld, this book is for you. In tone, if not in subject matter, it's also a lot like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Believe it or not, the author is not always the best choice to narrate his own work, but Gaiman is fantastic. He knows exactly how to read the dry humor to make it work. His knowledge of the characters and the story helps him make the plot crystal clear, and he never muffs the proper inflection of a single sentence. His British accent is bright and cheery, very easy on the ear.
I did not want to stop. I annoyed my husband by listening to it constantly (and ignoring him, I'm afraid) until I finished it.
This is just a great listen.
The narration made the story fall flat. The reader's voice had such an unvarying tone, rhythm and inflection that it became difficult to listen. Scenes that were meant to be exciting were read with the same dull tone as the explanatory bits. Attempts to differentiate between voices had every young person sounding drugged and/or air headed. It seemed like the narrator was extremely concerned to pronounce each word very precisely, but had no feel for the flow of the plot.
Since the story was only moderately good to begin with, a poor narrator made the whole thing not worth even the sale price.
No. I could not recommend this narrator to anyone. I think she could make my favorite book sound unbearable.
Actually, the story could have used more fleshing out. It went rather lightly on actual characterization. The whole plot line about the auctioneer who was crooked and fired Will was extremely weak. It could have been dropped and Will could still have gotten that good job in Europe as an excuse to dump gray girl.
Overall, extremely disappointing. I'm not sure why I actually kept listening to the end.
Bujold is a highly versatile writer, and Miles Vorkosigan is one of her strongest characters. This action adventure set in a future world of space travel and interplanetary intrigue is often tongue-in-cheek, refusing to take itself too seriously. Miles is a not-so-heroic hero who manages to overcome physical handicaps and long odds to do what needs doing. Great fun, and highly recommended.
Even though it was obvious that I had unknowingly plopped into a book at the tail end of a long series, I found "Book of the Dead" to be clever, well written, and intriguing. A classic mystery.
The only thing that made this a tough thing to listen to was the narrator. Apparently unfamiliar with Southern names, she pronounced, "Lucius" as "luscious" (as in delicious) instead of like "Lucy" throughout. It was like a Chinese water torture, the more it happened, the more it wore on me. She often missed the natural reading of a sentence, and gave a peculiar inflection to the words that had me rewinding to make sense of what she said.
This is an enjoyable story, marred by the reading.
This is a wonderful trilogy, imaginative, well-narrated and delightful. But be warned, although it does not say so anywhere, this recording, unlike the recordings of Book 1 and Book 2, is incomplete. This is only the first half of the book. It seems the second half isn't out yet. I wouldn't have bought something half done, and have to wait until who knows when to finish it, had I known it was not complete.
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