I have to explain that I only give this 2 stars because the production isn't even fully edited. There are flubs, re-reads, etc. by the narrator. Most occur in the last 1/4 of the book. I guess they figured you might get bored of listening to a self-help type book by then, but I didn't. Dr. Henry Cloud has written another excellent book addressing relationships from his unique perspective of psychology and spirituality. The content gets 4 stars, the production gets a 2 stars.
The story dragged on far too long and left the interesting role playing game twist far behind by mid-story. It became an afterthought in an implausible thriller with more last second escapes then found in batman comics. Cutting out two hours of this wouldn't change the story a bit...which sort of just peters out at the end anyway.
Probably the next installment of a Harry Bosch novel by Connelly.
Okay, w/inconsistent accents. But that didn't bother me nearly as much as the bad material he had to work with.
The idea of real money making by players and a manhunt ensuing due to a massive multiplayer role playing game was intriguing. Some characters were well developed and a bit likable. Just not enough to care about the numerous characters followed throughout the story.
I had not read anything by Neal Stephenson before Reamde. I have to say that based on his writing style in this book I doubt I will ever read anything else of his. I am not opposed to crude or vulgar language in dialogue for realism, etc. However, this author uses crude language in descriptive passages leaving me with the feeling I'm reading a first novel written by an uneducated teenager. For example, he describes used toilet paper in a forest as "used bum wads." Very crude and it adds nothing to the imagery, it takes you out of the story instead. He also uses the phrase "ass crawling" when there are so many other ways that could be described. It's not like either of those things are commonly used phrases. These are small things, but these and many others distracted me from the story.
Also bothersome was the way some unimportant incidents are described in agonizing detail and then repeated from another character's point of view in order to transition from one group of characters to another. This was just painful to listen to. This can be done well, but was not here. The imagery of the scene was complete halfway through the detailed description the first time and then you are forced to realize it is the same scene from anther POV with further unneeded descriptors or character insight.
The book has some very interesting chapters early on but later it dragged on for so long, with so many characters I didn't care about, it was difficult to finish. As I forced myself to complete it, I was even more disappointed by the predictable ending and forced dialogue to wrap up a mediocre story.
All in all, a wasted opportunity to create a heart-pounding thriller around a clever idea. What a shame.
Sound quality is excellent and acting is top notch. I re-listen to these over frequently and they are always enjoyable.
The Sci-Fi element is what attracted me to this collection and the setup for each story did not disappoint me. However, in many of the stories, the ending tends to leave things unresolved or the story just ends as if the author's creative energy ran out. Not true of all of the stories, as some are from famous authors like Isaac Asimov. But don't expect to be blown away by a surprise ending or great revelation at the end of most... seems to be a theme in this series. Stories just don't have the zing factor of Twilight Zone, Suspense!, Inner Sanctum, etc.
Overall I like this series a lot and it's great that every single episode is there. However, I have heard one of the episodes of X-Minus One in another collection and discovered that the one contained here didn't actually have the entire story. It's as if the last part after a commercial was just left off.
The story was intriguing, once past the first few chapters which are very dry. I found it very difficult to keep track of the characters because of the odd, yet similar names. I'm sure this is due to the Swedish origin and also might have been less of a problem in written form. However, the narrator was excellent! Worth a listen, just not on the top of my list.
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