American Gods has rested firmly in my all time top-5 list of favorite books since I first read it 10 years ago. With this in mind, I admit a certain amount of trepidation going into this book based on some of the early reviews of the full-cast performance. All doubts were cast aside the moment I heard the voice of Wednesday as it seemed to sound just as I had imagined. All in all I felt the performance was quite good and certainly did not detract from the story.
As for the story itself, Gaiman's imagination has never let me down and this is no exception. Just like when I read it, I simply could not stop listening, hanging on Shadow's every word and finishing the book in less than a week.
The bottom line here is simply that it's a fantastic book in any format and for my money a must-read. Normally the genre's Neil Gaiman contributes to are not my traditional taste, but his use of language combined with his awesome imagination make for quite a force that has yet to let me down. If you haven't already, you need to try a Gaiman book at least once and experience it for yourself.
I'm not sure I have the proper words to express how much I enjoyed this book.
Having just recently finished two of the best series I've read/listened to in my lifetime, namely George R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" and Patrick Rothfuss' "The Kingkiller Chronicles", I simply wasn't ready to be so overwhelmed and basically blown away by this listen.
Brandon Sanderson has one of the most unique imagination's of any author I've come across and Michael Kramer more than does his part to present the characters and situations in the perfect light giving a perfect reflection of the overall mood of the story.
You can't help but to feel for the Skaa, a society that has been so beaten down through the centuries that they've forgotten how to stand. They are a people who's only way out is to find a hero who will fight for them in what is a seemingly hopeless fight as their opponent is God himself or at least a representation of God.
The twists and turns of Mistborn, leave you constantly craving for more. It is an addiction to be pulled into the story of Kelsier's band of thieves and the timid young Vin, who has talents that just seem to keep surfacing and some I'm sure remain to be found.
Quite often I find the first book in a series, especially a trilogy, to be more about developing characters and setting than immersing you in action; Mistborn accomplishes both with a flourish. I was able to find a connection with almost every character as portrayed by Michael Kramer and really couldn't wait to get my hands on book 2.
Mistborn is worth every bit of the three credits you'll ultimately spend, because you'll simply have to continue with the series once you've heard "Book 1: The Final Empire".
Patrick Rothfuss has revived an entire genre in my eyes. The exploits of Kvothe have contributed to a large amount of insomnia in our household and almost beg to be explored more than once. As a matter of fact, I appreciated this fantastic and sprawling book even more after the second time through, something I've only ever done with a handful of other books over the years.
Adding to an incredible story is the equally fantastic performance of Nick Podehl. Every character stands out on their own, and it doesn't take long to begin identifying characters based on their voice.
Along with telling Kvothe's story, an entire new world is being laid before our feet and I feel all the detail only helps paint a more complete picture. The prose is gripping in its detail without being dry and at the end of the day you can really imagine traveling the King's Road through The Commonwealth or encountering The University (ie. the Stacks) for the first time.
If you want to be completely immersed in a fantastic world done in a way that is both new and fresh and get every bit of value for your credit or dollar, listen to this book. I promise you'll be buying the second book in the series real soon.
Do not pass on this simply because it is Stephen King!
For all his brilliance, Stephen King has never seemed able to gain acceptance as one of the truly great authors of our time. A lot of this is mainly due to the genre he has plumbed for the last several decades being considered a niche and people writing off his work never having given it the respect or attention it deserved. This book may finally change a lot of those views.
King has taken a topic that many have tackled over the years and spins it out in a whole new light. Quite frankly, this story is just too darn believable when you consider we're talking about time travel here. The subject alone is enough to believe it would be a complete work of fantasy, but the way it is handled makes it seem not almost plausible.
Jake is one of the most likable and real characters I've ever encountered and the perfect companion for this trip. His exploits via the "rabbit hole" will make you laugh and maybe even cry, and always keep you hanging on his every word. A lot of this can be credited to Craig Wasson's reading which is both passionate and believable and stays fresh through the whole length of this 30 hour production.
This definitely makes my top 3 all-time Stephen King list along with "The Stand" and "Under the Dome" and is probably a firm contender to crack my top five of all-time. The bottom line here is to make sure you have a lot of free time for the next several days because once you start listening to this book, you are going to find it very difficult to stop.
You don't so much listen to The Help as get immersed in it. The three characters narrating the story just feel real, I can't think of any other way to express this. Everyone in this book is so well developed that any one of them could be a novel in themselves and combined give one of the best audio-book listens I've ever had.
Honestly I had no intention of listening to this book when I bought it for my wife, but her reaction and subsequent insistence changed my mind and soon I couldn't put it down. The only complaint I can come up with is that I didn't want it to end. If there is ever any kind of follow-up to this story, no matter the character or perspective, I'll be all over it.
Don't pass this one over - years from now it may be one of the defining works in audio-book production.
This book saved me a trip to the taxidermist!
Alan Alda has always represented one of the good guys for me. M*A*S*H is an institution spanning several generations that will live on forever (thank-you syndication) and Hawkeye Pierce an institution to M*A*S*H, synonomous with laughter and a maybe even a little morality sprinkled in for good measure.
In the role of this character, I've always felt Alda transcended acting. With Hawkeye Pierce, he was re-acting to the situation in Korea, and this is where the separation can be made.
Of course this only represents a portion of his career, he's played many roles both big and small, in movies and in theatre and also found plenty of success as a writer along the way.
NHYDS is a solid and insightful view of Alda's journey and is sure to have you laughing out loud more than a few times. You'll respect both the honesty as well as the modesty in his recounting of events and most likely, as others have commented, just wish that Alda himself had done the narration for this unabridged version.
Finally, the advice is sage and sure to be a revelation to many: Never have your dog stuffed!
How about the hamster?
Given all the controversy that now surrounds this title and this author, I was very skeptical of First Into Nagasaki, but also very curious.
I could not stop listening to the first part of this book, it was simply so engrossing I could not stop. The second part of this book does lag, but after hearing some of the remarkable accounts, keeping the momentum would be a difficult task at the best of times.
This brings us to the controversy surrounding these accounts. It now appears that Joseph Fuoco never existed, or at least not in the capacity claimed by Mr. Pellegrino. What I find very interesting about this revelation is that the supposed accounts of Fuoco stand out from the others as somewhat of an anomaly. His recollections just seemed to have a delivery that stood out from the rest as sounding less than believable.
The moment I heard the Fuoco description of the ruins he could see from his vantage point aboard the third plane, I decided his account was totally fictitious. Simply, it was the fact that he was describing details that would not have been visible immediately after the detonation of a nuclear device.
This is not the place to find an education on the subject, there are other more authoritative and substantiated accounts on the nuclear bombings and subsequent aftermath in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Listen to this book as if it were playing out as a novel or better yet, a docu-drama on the Discovery Channel. Taken from this standpoint, it can be a very enjoyable listen.
This was an absolutely fantastic listen. Like many other reviewers, I had grown somewhat dismayed with King's writing over the last several years and had all but dismissed him when looking for a good read.
This book had me gripped from the opening chapter and really never had a lull in the story. I found myself experiencing a range of emotions that truly felt real and just couldn't leave this book alone.
Raul Esperaza's delivery brings true personality to all the characters and helps grip you even tighter to the plot. Multiple characters play very important roles and his voices alone help in keeping them all straight.
This is the first fiction audio-book I've listened to, generally preferring biography's, but this book has left me hungry for more.
Hopefully this marks King's true return to form and represents a must-read for all his fans young and old. It would not surprise me to see this one hit the big-screen in the near future.
Mesmerizing and eye-opening from the first chapter right through to the end of the book. It was presented in such a manor that I was almost cheering for Richard at points during the book, not particularly something to be proud of. As loathsome as I believe the man to be, I cannot hide my fascination for this. The things he did and the way he did them still send chills down my spine. I feed my lizard a RAT once a week and I look at it in a whole new light now. Thanks Rich!
Seriously, this is well worth the trip it will inevitably take you on even if the editing could be a little neater, the story outweighs the prose.
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