This delightful ASCII-to-Audio book is a whimsical, often laugh-out-loud-silly, sequel to "The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime" (which in itself should be regarded as a diversionary sub-sequel to "The Well of Lost Plots") and although it takes a chapter to get used to yet another new narrator, he's also very good.
The story line is no less complex, but it does tend to be a touch more farcical than the previous entries by Mr. Fforde. Worry not, this author knows how to tie up loose ends as no other author of speculative fiction in the English language. Well, he does tend to have a lot of ends in his hands compared to most, but it's a fine juggling act. Don't worry, just get it. It'll be over way too soon.
When Mr. Fforde steps out of the story to address the listener/reader directly for the first time in his books that at least I can remember, he does it quickly and well. And he does leave a broad hint that a certain favorite Spec Ops character is heading our way again.
The Toad, 2006
I mourn the early loss of Stieg Larsson, whose books seemed to appear at least in the U.S. after his death. While the trilogy (which must absolutely be read in order, at least the first time around) is complete within itself, the work itself was so good that I can only pray the warring factions of Mr. Stieg's family will reconcile over the $$, and allow the potential, rumored fourth book that is said to remain on his laptop to be completed by his most devoted and qualified author-friend, edited, translated, and read for us by the incomparable Mr. Vance. As I have noted in the past, I generally read the book first, then listen to it on long drives, and if I love that book well enough, repeat the process, although not necessarily in the same order. In this case I had a lot more time on the road before I was able to read the books, but found no problem with this reversal. Of course the pronunciations, multitude of Vance-voices, phrasing were already at hand by the time I was able to sit down with the published hard covers, but I don't think it hurt at all. When Mr. Vance reads to you, and I think that most Audible members will agree, you are always in for an unusually good treat, no matter what kind of book you are hearing!
This trilogy is one of those works that will resonate within me for years, and I have no doubt that I will read it a number of times in the future. If you are a re-reader, you will know exactly what I mean. If not, well, you might want to suspend your disbelief a moment for this brief commentary.
I leave the summarizing of story lines to better qualified reviewers, as my comments are generally inspired simply by how emotionally captivated I was by (in no particular order) story line(s), character depth, use of language--hats off to the translators here--and the ferocity of my need to read/hear every word and not let go until I am done. Carpe litterae!
into thinking there are only 3 books in this series. With a number of exceptions, characters from Chris Moore's 3rd book show up in discreet, nearly unnoticeable cameos throughout Moore's oeuvre, making the process of reading his works in the order in which they were published that much more enjoyable. A number of reviewers are reading them in a rather spotty fashion, jumping from this title to the next two obvious ones, rather than savoring the entire prix fixe from this delightfully humorous (but not, as some say "light") auteur. The reason for this is simple: if you start with his first, which admittedly is a bit bumpy, then alight upon the magical "Coyote Blue" which I am reading for the second time now, & then this novel, proceeding through his work as he published them, you will find a depth of feeling and meaning that the casual one-nighter might miss. That would be a shame, really. When approached in my suggested manner, honoring the guy's train of thought, you just might find that his work is not just a Tweet's worth of commentary. Instead, his stories and characters (Lamb is an outstanding highlight which I will never stop reading over and over!) begin to resonate, reverberate and enrich your life. You just might find yourself chuckling at an image from one of his books several weeks, months or even years after you read it. I know it happens, because there have been times I had to explain, as best I could, that I was remembering a scene, a line, a moment from Chris Moore's work and just what, if anything, had triggered the memory. Thank you, Mr. Moore, for your generous gifts, and I hope you never, ever run out of steam! Susan Bennett is perfect. So has been Fisher Stevens, among others who have done the Moore canon great justice for those of us who either are unable to read for any reason, have horrific commutes to/from work or, like me, enjoy reading the book first, then hearing it!
I've been a fan of Davina Porter's excellent work bringing Ms Gabaldon's stories to life. I got this book in error, as no unabridged version exists yet. This book read like a bunch of short stories with all kinds of holes keeping them from flowing together. It was so dissatisfying that I found a used hard cover immediately so that I could wipe out the only bad reaction Ms Gabaldon's work has ever left me. I do not know why they bothered to make this an abridged version, but all I can say is this: if you do not have the time or energy to read her books in full, you probably would be better off with a less prolific and gloriously detailed author. Don't waste your time with this hodge-podge. Wait for the unabridged one or go analog on this 877-pg delight.
Fun ideas, perhaps a bit overblown narration. This is the 2nd in the series I've heard, so it's a nice piece of offbeat fluff among the weightier books I usually prefer. I like that the characters are developing throughout the series (even though my first listen was out of order, it was not disturbing to know what was coming later). If pixies, witches, vampires (dead, undead and alive[?]) and the occasional demon working together in usually disastrous events and learning to get along with each other in the process is your cup of tea, have a go at these books.
This book is so poorly written that I doubt the narrator and producer had much opportunity to gloss over its weaknesses. If you like 2 dimensional characters reeling among various states of hysteria and sadness with 1 dimensional boogeymen (and women) yammering endlessly outside, go for it. This is the first book I could not tolerate enough to finish, giving up maybe half way through.
I've read all of Gibson's works and have loved them equally. This book is beautifully written and, IMHO, made even more appealing by Shelly Frasier's narration. At first I was missing Robertson Dean's voicing because I had just listened to Spook Country (which I consider a sort of sequel--also a great listen--to this book because of overlapping characters and motifs), but as the hours slipped by I began to marvel at the quality of the narration. I don't want to compare the two narrators, as I feel they are equally good, but something about this book and this narrator affected me strongly. There are powerful images throughout, such wonderful use of language, and differentiation of voices, dialects and characterizations that left me nearly breathless, and craving more. More Gibson, more of both narrators. Sorry for the inclusion of Spook Country, but the two books make a great pair. Listen to this one first. If you like Gibson's books these two downloads should be true 'ear openers"!
Not my usual kind of book, though not so distant that I didn't enjoy it quite a bit. I'll agree with the 2 preceding reviews in substance but wanted to sound a significantly different reaction to the narrator. I found her range to be distractingly narrow for the number of characters she has to portray (males are just slightly lower in register than females for example). A gross mispronunication of the Mackinac Bridge (it's "mac-ki-naw" for people who aren't familiar with Michigan) crops up too often not to distract wildly each time, along with an apparent inability to transition to first person voice quickly enough; a quote in one voice is followed by a "he said" in what sounds like an engine winding up or down to the narrator's character. Weird. But I am being a little too picky, I guess, for this kind of fantasy writing. Perhaps it's an alternate reality bridge in another country altogether that is spelled Mackinaw and pronounced Macinack?
Anyway, I do look forward to hearing another book in this series, and would love to hear how someone else might narrate this endearing cast of characters.
...because I love the narrator and loved this author's previous book in handheld form.
I found listening to this bleakly comic tale of woe and glacial coming to terms arguably too much like being imprisoned and forced to watch a sitcom that you just do not like.
Maybe I'll pick up a paperback of it in the library someday and see if my hunch is right: the book probably does not survive even masterly narration, unless one enjoys squirming in discomfort for hours at a time.
Maybe it's this book, maybe the narrator, but I've always enjoyed reading Hiassen's books. Listening was just not fun. I'd have to try another of his books by a different narrator to know for sure. I'll get back to you on this pressing matter. Meanwhile, go listen to something I liked.
...and what an intro! As a painter, lover of art, love, and literature, I found this book, read so extremely well by Simon Vance, to be both darkly hysterical and deeply moving. I do not say this lightly. This writer and this narrator make a very potent brew.
Drink it in, savor it, dash it down and reach for more.
It doesn't get this good too often. Highest praise. I'm just finishing My Life as A Fake in analog format and am equally sorry to put it down. Well, there is a body of work ahead of me from Mr. Carey. Hopefully he's been done justice just as well as he has been here.
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