The author either had a page quota or a fascination with historical detail that exceeded mine.
This book tells a fairly interesting story, and provides a lot of the background information about the Chicago Fair which was also interesting. In my opinion, though, a good editor could have greatly improved this book by cutting out around 25% of it.
It was an OK read -- and I didn't have anything else -- but many of the long and rambling introspections of the main characters could have been omitted. I kept saying to myself, "Get on with it! You've already told me what they thought and how they felt. I don't need to hear it over and over again."
Not a bad book. Not a good one, either.
IMHO, Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies (The "Altered Carbon Trilogy") are still the best hard, dark, violent, fun, and thought provoking sci-fi books ever written.
I've listened to each of them around 5 times. Then Richard dropped Tak Kovacs and the whole altered carbon theme and wrote a sappy fantasy story. Then he disappeared.
I couldn't believe how bad the fantasy book was after the *great* other books Richard had written. I didn't even finish it. I got about halfway through and then threw it away.
Maybe Richard was burned out? Or ashamed? Or maybe the other books had been ghost written?
Whatever it was, Richard, do whatever you have to do and start writing about Tak and Altered Carbon again. I'm sure I'm not the only reader who loved those books and misses them. So if you start writing about Tak again, your readers will be happy and you'll make lots of money. Better than a sharp stick in the eye, right?
You found a winning formula Richard. Most authors would kill for one. Why did you abandon it?
Bring Tak Back!!!
This is a feel good story and it made me feel good.
I enjoyed listening to it once, but I wouldn't want to listen to it again. It held my interest all the way through -- more than a lot of books these days -- and the end was interesting. But that's it. One time was enough.
This review made me think about how I "star" a book for the "overall" category:
Would I want to listen to it over and over again? That's a 4 or 5 star book.
Made it all the way through one time but that's all? 3 stars.
Put it down before I got to the end the first time through? 1 or 2 stars, depending on how far I got and what else I didn't like about the book.
So Micky and "Warrior's Heart" gets 3 stars overall. The performance was very good. I gave it 5 stars. But performance can't replace story. And for me, the book overall can't be better than the story. So if the "Warrior's Heart" story gets 3 stars, then the book overall gets 3 stars, too.
There's nothing that stands out, got me excited, or makes me want to tell you about it in this review.
I'm guessing it will be sitting on my hard drive for a long time before it gets played again. Maybe when my kids are older they'll enjoy it. I'll probably save it for them.
I'm retired, so I have time to read a lot of books. Sometimes the stories and authors kind of run together. Then there's PB (and a few other authors**) whose books and stories are in a whole different class.
I think PB is a genius. I'd bet his IQ is right up there with Einstein's. These days, PB is my favorite author. My only complaint is that I haven't seen any new books from him for a while.
Most of the other "Drowned Cities" reviews nail the specifics of this book. There's no need for me to rehash what they've already written, so I'll just add a few comments:
Great character development and story arcs!
Grabbed me and held me all the way through.
Not always fun to listen to. Some of the suffering is pretty graphic, but it's necessary and makes the rest of the story work.
Tool and Sgt. Ocho were my favorite characters.
I cheered when the bad guys finally got theirs.
It's from Paolo Bacigalupi! Read it!!
P.S. I kept seeing "dystopic" in the other PB reviews. I didn't know what it meant, so I looked it up. It means a society in which there is something frightening or undesirable, like depression, oppression or terror. OK. Now I get it. And I agree. Most of PB's stories are set in dystopic societies, including "Drowned Cities".
** The lists of my other favorite authors are in my reviews of "Tough Sh*t" and "Winter of Frankie Machine".
Interesting listen. Held my attention all the way through, but I don't want to listen to it again, which is my way of distinguishing a good listen from a great listen.
I don't know what this book is missing. It's good. Anyone interested in how films get made should buy it. It's just not a great listen like the ones from some of my favorite authors like Michael Connelly, Alistair Reynolds, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ken Follett, Michael Crichton, Peter Hamilton, Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon trilogy), etc. The books they write I can listen to over and over again. And I do.
So 4 stars, Kevin. And good luck on your next projects.
This is an understated but GREAT story. Also a subtle and insightful look into the people who make up "organized crime".
I enjoyed this story all the way through, but I only realized how good it was after I finished it the first time. It kept coming back in flashbacks to this scene or that scene, as well as the overall mood and feel. Winslow says a lot without saying it all the way through the story, and for me, that's one of the marks of a good writer.
I've listened to "Winter" 3 times now and plan to listen to it again soon. I've also read all of Winslow's other books and keep watching for new ones. If the values of people who live on the edge bother you, this isn't a book for you. Otherwise, enjoy!
P.S. I don't know whether I'd put Don Winslow at the top of my favorite writers list, but he's close. Maybe other people would enjoy listening to these writers, too. Here's a short list:
Don Winslow (everything),
John Grisham (before Theodore Boone),
Peter Hamilton (complex and interesting hard sci fi),
Michael Crichton (books like "Prey" make learning fun and scary),
Nelson DeMille (especially "By The Rivers Of Babylon"),
Christopher Reich (especially "The Big Short"),
Greg Bear (long, complex, fun hard sci fi stories),
Alastair Reynolds (great hard sci fi),
Richard K Morgan (Altered Carbon trilogy and Thirteen. After that he seemed to lose it.)
Paolo Bacigalupi (Windup Girl, Ship Breaker, Pump Six etc). Paolo is great!
Michael Connelly (just about everything he's ever written).
Lee Child, Lincoln Child, & Ken Follett
Hope you find some authors here you enjoy. And hope I got my spelling right. :)
I thought I knew something about ecology and whaling until I read this book. I didn't. I had no idea of how brutal whaling is and how much we've already damaged the oceans. But the author lays it out clearly. "Gripping" is kind of overused, but it's the word that comes to mind when I try to described this book. After finishing it, I looked up the Sea Shepherd web site and became a supporter. I hope other people will enjoy this book and perhaps also become supporters of Captain Watson's organization.
"Woken Furies" is the best book I've read. I've listened to it 3 times, and each time there's more to enjoy and think about.
I think the author is a Philosopher-Poet -- and great story teller -- with provocative views on religion, God, politics and philosophy, and he expresses those views eloquently through the voices and comments of his characters.
His dark visions of the Universe of the future will fascinate anyone who has thought about what the future might look like when we link computers directly into our nervous systems, and that technology meets cloning and advances in molecular biology. They definitely fascinated me!
Read this book!! (And all 3 books of this trilogy!) It's great fun, it tells a great story, it will make you think, and it will give you grist for lots of interesting discussions with your friends. I'll bet they want to read it, too.
Please, Mr. Morgan, write more books about Takashi Kovach. Don't leave us with just three!
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