When I started reading I couldn't find the thread in this stream of consciousness narrative. But after a couple of chapters I understood that there was no traditional "storyline" per se. Instead, from the very first paragraph, the reader simply materializes beside a young man who is trying to survive in an incredibly hostile environment. We watch as he randomly encounters various threats and opportunities. The images are horrific, but feel authentic. The writer uses archaic language, the kind one finds in letters and journals of the period. That and the graphic descriptions of atrocities committed paints a vivid and shocking picture for the reader. Not unlike the shock viewers of Deadwood (HBO series) first experienced at that depiction of the Old West, so in stark contrast with our shared cultural myths (ala Gunsmoke). We don't often talk about the atrocities perpetrated against the native population here, and when we do we don't talk about what those atrocities really were. We more often talk about the atrocities committed by natives against settlers. Here we see clearly it was a tit for tat escalation, an apocalyptic era with no limits on cruelty and brutality.
I think it's brilliant. But it's certainly not for everyone.
I might listen again just to hear Ms. Mulgrew's performance. Her voice is wonderfully rich and her characterizations were perfect. I went out and searched for her other titles. But to be perfectly honest, I think I might be willing to listen to her read the phone book, she's that good. Of course, I realize she is a brilliant actor and I know her from television, movies and the stage. But I hope she does more audible books.
I would compare his work with that of Stephen King. Like King, he has a unique, rather askew, world view. I loved Hill's "Heart Shaped Box" and "Horns" was utterly amazing. This follows that tradition. I must admit that NOS4A2 did not *grab* me the way his other work did. With "Horns" I was hooked with the first page. NOS4A2 did not engage me like that but I stuck with it and sure am glad I did. I'm looking forward to Hill's next opus.
I've listened to a lot of audible titles but this is the first one with Mulgrew. I've already purchased another title (anthology of short stories) she performs part of, just because this listen was so extraordinary and such a great experience.
Have yourself a merry vampire Christmas.
The way the author unfolded this story was unconventional and brilliant.
Every time you think you know what's going to happen, the tale took a 180. I highly recommend this one.
The story concept was unique and facinating. From the move-in scenes near the beginning, the questions start piling up. The answers were unexpected, especially the reveal about apartment 14. I love steampunk anyhow and pulling in elements of historical figures like Tesla was a brilliant move.
The discovery of the power room and its energy source, a vivid mental picture.The reveal of the wood paneled apartment as a "control room".
Never listened to Ray before this book but I'll be looking for him now. He did a wonderful job.
I wasn't as impressed with the alternate dimension scenes. It was ok, and of course was intended to be spectacular, but this was the only place where my suspension of disbelief collapsed. It was just a little bit silly in my opinion. Had a hard time taking it very seriously. Perhaps it would play better in a good sci-fi movie interpretation.
This book caught my eye because I'd heard of the Morro Castle but knew just the basic outlines of the tragedy. I knew a lot of people died when the ship caught fire off the NJ coast, that's about all. I'm about halfway through it now and it's one of those selections that makes me look forward to my commute. The writer carefully paints a vivid picture of the events leading to the tragedy, and from many points of view. We are assured the author based the narrative on testimony, letters and other solid evidence. Trusting that's so, we see yet again that truth truly is stranger than fiction. Who would have thought a captain would choose to never have a fire drill because he didn't want to inconvenience the passengers. Even though it was routine throughout the industry and the passengers actually found the experience rather fun, an exciting little adventure, a comfort to know everyone was prepared in the unlikely event of fire. And who would think it so important that all the woodwork throughout the ship be polished to a high gloss that they regularly soaked all the wood surfaces in an inflammable concoction. And the constellation of events that conspired to leave the ship in the hands of a rookie who didn't think to send out an SOS at the first sign of trouble or turn the vessel out of a 20 knot headwind that was fanning the flames. If this were a movie of a fictional account, I'd have walked out by now. But this is all historical fact. I recommend this one to history buffs.
This is it. I am now officially giving up on Patricia Cornwell. Although the case at the center of this novel might have been reasonably interesting, most of the book was taken up with Scarpetta's angst, anger and self doubt bordering on paranoid fantasies. It was a profoundly irritating and repetitive read. Basically, this is a criminal case worthy of perhaps a short story or possibly a novella. Cornwell pads it with a lot of needless organizational and personal diversions. Don't bother, folks. This is not classic Cornwell, it's more of her recent drivel.
This book is 4 novellas or long stories. The first one, about a 1920s era farmer, wasn't worth the time. It went on too long and there was no significant reveal at the end. Man kills wife and screws up son. Yawn. Good prose though (as usual with King). The one about the writer was splendid, as was the one about the woman who makes a truly horrifying discovery in her husband's workshop area. That leaves the last story and I would have given it a more favorable review except for the abrupt ending. The most interesting aspect to a Faustian bargain is the bargainer's comeuppance, which we never saw. I did enjoy the author's post script, concluding comments. I agree with King, what most interests me is ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. He's a master at that. Can't wait for his next work!
From the ominous opening passages that introduce us to Snowfield through to the climactic shootout at the hospital this book had me from beginning to end. The narrator was perfect, I didn't notice him at all (which is my measure of a good narrator, unintrusive). The "Ancient Enemy" seemed a bit of a rehash of the 1950's thriller "The Blob" - but it was a worthwhile rehash, for sure.
If you can put up with Scott Brick's delivery this isn't a bad listen. But it seems to me like a variant on the I Am Legend storyline - a hero struggling to survive in a world overrun with mutants. The author devotes just a few paragraphs to barely hint at the genesis of the virus. I would have enjoyed more details. Regarding the narrator, I've listened to many of his narrations and he's gotten more breathless and melodramatic with each one. Listen to a sample before getting into this one because his style drives some folks to distraction.
It's not very often that I don't listen to a book I've selected but this one is an exception. The narrator is pompous and the material is ponderous. Maybe it's worth the tedious slog if you have the patience to endure, but I'll never know. So many books, so little time - and I don't have time for this.
In my opinion, this is one of the best in the Modern Scholor series. As a long time Audible user, I've never heard of downloading my selections chapter by chapter. They are always delivered in ~ 8 hour increments. I was puzzled by the other reviewer who downgraded the entire course because of unsupported functionality. I don't think this has anything to do with the course itself. This is a good survey course.
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