The subject of the novel could be a trilogy unto itself. The focus on a half dozen characters from all over the world, all connected by blood, marriage, or friendship, and their connection to big historical events should have been blunted. I wish I did not have the feeling I was watching a HIstory Channel enactment.
Not made tying all the characters and history together with a neat bow dominate the narrative.
I liked him better in the first of this series, and other of his Follett narrations.
I listened to this after just listening to Cpnnie Willis' sci-fi dyptich about the blitz in England, a similar kind of WW2 historical yarn. Her depictions were so much more vivid, characterizations so much more realized and compelling, that I could not help but be disappointed by contrast. I usually like Follett, but this seemed to skim through events rather quickly, each being sketched rather than fully realized. And the book had the annoying Forrest Gumpisms (without the comedy) of seemingly being witness to every event of major note possible, while all, Brit, American, German, and Russian somehow being interrelated, sometimes by blood--both plot devices, a bit heavy handed for my taste. The first of this series was a stronger effort.John Lee was fine, though the plethora of voices and accents did not always serve him as well as in other readings by him.
Wonderful characters, wicked and heroic, sympathetic and pathetic; great setting--time/place, outlandishly detailed and delightfully grisly adventures, an against all odds kind of derring do that wins the day, and so on.
Well for pure over the top, hard to beat Exodus Jerusalem, the fire breathing evangelical charlatan, a character out of Dickens for pure disgust and villainy.
Certainly Corbett's scenes with his mentor and the woman he falls in love with and sets out to save from the massive injustice facing her.
I have read the whole series up to now. Books 2-4 are all good, but I do not know if I would have picked them up without reading the first one, which predated the author's success with this character. Many found the length of it not to their liking, but it was precisely the length and loving detail that for me makes this book far and away the best of the series (each new installment has been progressively shorter, and suffers as a result), a book that really does stand on its own, a great, long, rollicking delight of an adventure, whether or not the author would have pursued this character (HBO--this would be a natural for you guys) with new episodes in his life.
Um, nothing that I can think of. It would have to be a different book.
Erikson comes highly recommended all around. But having read an enormous amount of fantasy myself from trying to start this book, twice in print and once in audio, I don't really get it. The language has all the overwraught quality that flaws much of the best fantastic writing, but without the plot or characterization insofar as I could get to. The whole thing reminded me more of a romantic era epic poem in which the characters were more demiurge than human, and demiurges who were hard to care much about. The battle scenes were full of pyrotechnics and magic, but the first was, in the age of cgi, so what, and the latter not realized, but rather simply imposed upon the narrative. Suspension of disbelief would demand interest; my interest began waning from the opening bell.
Not particularly, but then he did not have much in the way of characterization to begin with.
I believe there are those who love the challenge of Erikson's in medias res style of scene. I would be more willing to put up with that in the third book of such a long series. This was a young author more filled with ideas than fleshed out characters. If you are an idea person, then go for it. He kind of reminds me of David Lindsay, the early twentieth century, Brit author of A Voyage to Arcturus, but with many of Lindsay's flaws, lacking Lindsay's stupendous imagination.
I have heard that the books in this series get immeasurably better after the first one. At the same time I have been told it is necessary to get through the first one to go on. Well, there you have it. I have tried and tried again, but it always puts me to sleep.
N/A--unless a book I listen to is extraordinary or vice versa, I don't also read the text.
Marnella. The villain.
I was caught up in the plotting.
This was a well done suspense novel, plotting especially. The reader did a great job. I loved the book for what it was until the very ending, the final twist struck me as either gratuitous and extremely unnecessary or meant as a cliffhanging intro to another novel, which I most definitely hope will not happen. Mysteries often turn on the endings. No matter how good everything is up to the very end, if the very end does not deliver, and I did not think this one did, even though I am referring to the anticlimax, not the climax itself, which was fine, then some of the work was compromised. For this reason I gave the novel 4 not 5 stars insofar as the sum total and story were concerned.
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