Dramatisation is certainly more fun than a single reader's voice. Reader's chosen well and great material.
King is the master of characterization, suspense and tempo. This is a wonderful book, full of believable characters who we identify with in spite of their myriad flaws. Then we get to the punchline and it is so extrinsic it feels like it an escapee from another genre. As if el Diablo got a wrong number.
Engaging, exciting, devastating.
Why is it that both zombie tales and porn written by women are so much more satisfying?
Far right ideology rolled into a novel. Less subtle and literary than Ayn Rand. ("There's no government like no government.")
What is good
You will learn how to prepare for a societal collapse: what to buy, what to learn, where to make your stand etc.
What is bad
This book is horribly racist. The only black character winds up dead with his fingers chopped off after a few paragraphs. Hispanic women might be alright but the men are brutal, dissipated savages, raping and looting and too drunk to fight.
In order to qualify as a hero, you gotta be 6'2", blond, ex military and a strong believer in Jesus. (The only Jews that get a mention are the kind that believe in Jesus!! The only Muslims are suicide bombers. Israel and Utah collapse, etc.)
Not particularly well written either.
But judge it for what it is: a pretty comprehensive how-to manual that won't put you to sleep.
A little happily ever after for the girls, a little nasty for the boys and a little story to string it all together.
"Erotica" is allowed to be trivial. A classic of modern pornography it ain't. None the less, I enjoyed the drive home from work more than usual.
Holly Hackett. I know it's a tongue twister but you can't narrate this kind of book and pronounce it sphincsta!
A redemption tale for an un-involving, one dimensional character.
This jumps from being a not very good book about an eighteen year old who discovers that he is a first class hitman to being a very bad book about one man's quest to save the Jews of Norwich in the thirteenth century.
The Jews are so pious and persecuted and so in need of Rice's rescuing that I found it insulting.
The final straw was brother Toby discovering that it wasn't a dream after all and that his angel needs to take him into another time again - opening the way to make this abysmal story into a series.
When an author credits wikipedia for his/her research, you know its gotta be fluff.
I had hoped for something between Lestat and The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. No luck.
Also, the narration was preachy and irritating.
Right off, this is not my genre. This book had as much characterization as middling pornography - but wasn't as much fun. Unhappy wives turn into murderous monsters on the basis of a chance encounter with an ex lover turned animated skeleton trying to escape from a hell he chose by mistake... Puh lease!
Not frightening, not imaginatively gory and to top it all, predictable and moralistic.
I am the wrong tree for this Barker.
Arthur Morey's Tom Waites voice narrates this first person, garbage man come passionless killer come unlikely hero novel with a convincing mix of insight and resignation.
This book was unexpectedly well written. Rich references give a back story to a man and a New York both devastated by a dirty bomb. The violence is imaginative and sometimes shocking. The characters carry their own motives and complexities. We bond with uncharming people.
If I have a criticism of the book it is that it has two distinct trajectories in it. Part one is futuristic noir. Part two is dystopia conditioned by an imagined technology. Part one is anti-hero, part two is the unlikely redemption of the hero. It works, but I preferred first half Geiger counters to the second half's "lymnosphere."
Suffice it to say that I really look forward to Sternbergh's next.
Engagingly written - and read. This is about so much more than war.
Truth in fiction is a hobbyhorse of mine. O'Brien's insights into truth vs authenticity and the relationship between identity and memory have altered my understanding.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to "get" war without having gone to war and prescribe it for anyone thinking of writing their own fiction.
Read by LaPorte, much of the otherwise too cute vernacular is completely authentic. It is intimate, insightful and far less fluffy than I had feared. (Starting a new business? LaPorte's most important advice: "Go and fetch the money." At the same time, she frames how much is enough.)
The text is peppered with apposite and unusual quotes. She is generous to those whose ideas have influenced her, giving acknowledgement and thorough references in case you want more background.
I am precious about my listening time but this one will get a second listen.
Zoo City floats your boat or it doesn't. The essential idea of emotional baggage being carried around in the form of an animal as well as conveying a special sensitivity or power to the damaged person is interesting. The characterisation is light. The descriptions of South Africa are perhaps less remarkabe if you live in Johannesburg - as I do. Personally I found the end too neat and convenient and the final redemption unconvincingly complete.
I had a much bigger problem with the narration. It was shocking! The accents were inconsistent and poor. Like listening to an Austrailian actor doing half a dozen accents he has heard for an hour each, all you hear is ham Austrailian. Nobody speaks like that. As a consequence of having a non South African reader, words were seriously mispronounced - in three languages! Slang words especially lose their impact and emotion when said incorrectly. There were five or six moments when I almost stopped listening to this audiobook because listening to it being read so badly detracted from the writing.
If this is your genre and you are intersted in Zoo City, I recommend reading it.
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