If you enjoy this genre of British naval fiction, you will love this book. Sometimes bawdy, sometimes grizzly, but always entertaining. I started with the first book, and I am now on the 4th. Besides the story and narration you always learn some history. While listening, I looked up geography of book on line.
I read The Passage and was engrossed. I bought the audio sequel the day it was released at audible. I had a difficult time following the story line. It jumps from past to future and back like a game of ping pong. If you lose attention for a minute you find yourself entirely confused. In a print version you can flip back to find the time transition. In audio format it's difficult.
Although I love Scott Brick, the story is just too complex with too many characters. I expect the print version would be better format to consume this book. Normally I almost always like audio more than print. After 12 hours of listening I just put aside for a later date. Maybe when I am sitting on a beach with nothing else to do I will pick it up again.
I read all the hype from Audible regarding this book as it being the "new Help". I was very disappointed. First, I listened to The Help, and recommended it to my teenage daughters. They read it before movie came out and loved it. However, The Help would be G or PG, while this would be a hard R rating. There are numerous descriptions of sexual acts that add little to the story, including visits to brothels by the main characters. Second, all except one character have few redeeming personality traits. Most are drunks, drug addicts, womanizers, and home wreckers. Even the major character Dee sleeps with a married man and gets pregnant by him.
In The Help, there were characters of courage who took a risk to tell their stories. But none of the characters in this book show any bravery whatsoever. Most are battling with addictions and just stumbling through their lives getting drunk and committing adultery. The major character, Dee, survives just because she is so pretty. The other main character, an Italian innkeeper, while of deeper moral fiber, has his own major character faults.
I also found the ending to be rather contrived. Dee learns Italian ( but never returns to Italy for a visit?) and the Italian Innkeeper seeks her out after 50 years (after only knowing her for 3 days.) It reminded me of the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, where just because you are in Italy everything is 10 times more romantic.
Just before this I listened to the Count of Monte Cristo. Although a classic, I would rate it much more highly than this book. It also spans decades with a story of revenge, loss, and redemption that is much more believable. If you are going to use an Audible credit, then purchase that instead.
I liked this book but had a problem with basic premise. It is set in the future where the world is basically depopulated. The remaining people spend the entire book killing each other. Man is basically a social animal. There is no benefit to having the entire population working to eliminate each other when there are unlimited resources. The main characters are lonely but spend the entire booking shooting everyone who comes within miles of them. Where everything else seems limited they seem to have an unlimited supply of bullets but limited supply of coke. There is interwoven a theme of drought caused by global warming, but 99% of the world has been dead for a decade. So who is causing global warming?
Maybe not. I have read everyone of his books and he has been my favorite author.
This sounds so much like a prayer for Owen Meany. The whole setting is almost identical, a single mom, a private school in New England, the plays, etc. His Books are always similar, but this was way too close to what I consider his best, Owen Meany. Maybe he should cowrite a book within Steven King to spice things up. This could have been titled Owen Meany, the Sequel.
Good reader, and liked his performance. The issue is the material.
I have been a big fan of John Irving for decades. I have read all his books and this by far is the best. The story is great and the narration excellent. This is my #1 favorite book I have purchased from audible (out of almost 100 books).
I listen to 2 books a month, and this was one of my favorites. Great characters, story, and narration. The historical aspect (siege of Leningrad) adds he benefit of learning something. Would recommend along with The Help and Under the Dome as my recent favorites.
At some times this was a disturbing book, and I wanted to stop listening. But I couldn't. This book will stay with you long after you listen.
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