Wow, I've never read this story before and it was the first time I've finished a long story of Clarke's. What great stuff!
Yes, the narrator is rather dry and has a tempo that can be boring on a long drive but it worked well enough.
You might think you know about the Yugo but chances are you really don't know the half of it. I was surprised how much actually was going on behind the scenes. For instance how much politics, American and world had to do with both its success and failure. It's also an interesting exposé of sorts on Malcolm Bricklin, the man who brought the Yugo to America. It follows the ups and many more downs of his career. By the way you don't need to be a car nut to find this book enjoyable. Narration is great too.
This book feels unbelievably long and seems to take forever to get going. It really isn't until the very end of the book that it picks up a lot of steam and became quite enjoyable. The end is very good but I'll admit you have to suffer through a lot of filler with important bits sprinkled about to appreciate it. Otherwise the significance of the ending would be diminished greatly to skip ahead. Unfortunately it seems almost like Card was rushing to the finish line as the end goes by very quickly in comparison to the drawn out pace of the rest of the story.
It is very difficult to believe that children of this age, even highly advanced children as these are would speak with each other or to adults in the way they do here. As is the feeling that Ender will ultimately succeed no matter what. It is the same feeling you might get when you watch a James Bond movie; you know he'll live to see the credits and the bad guys will get their due. Both are major hurdles to the overall enjoyability of the story as a whole.
I also had issue with the female narrator who reads for Valentine (Ender's sister). Her vocal tone was difficult to listen to for long stretches at a time. Most of the rest of the narration was suitable and Card himself plays a role (so he says at the end of the book but doesn't fess up to who he played).
I found the book a lot of fun. It probably doesn't touch on as much Star Wars tidbits as some may hope for (with cover art like that.
Like many books by celebrities there is a fair amount of name dropping and ego stroking yes, but I don't think she's as deliberate as some other reviewers have said. I do agree though her narration can be overwrought and annoying at times, especially when she raises her voice. Perhaps it would have been wise to have found someone who knows her sensibilities to have narrated instead.
Inane but hilarious as always. If you are new to The Ricky Gervais Show start with the earlier seasons to get a feel for the format. It started with a podcast so it's not quite like a book-on-tape or a radio show. The worst thing about the show is that there is never enough of it.
Though I think the book has aged poorly in some areas (such as the language used by the main character and his father) it holds up pretty well. If it were a movie, I would lovingly call it a "B Movie With Brains". That isn't to disparage the story in any way. The narration is well done and non-intrusive too.
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