While not "high literature", this was well put together story that entertained me on my commute. The setting was unique, although the underlying thread could have been set in any time period. The narrator is quite good and I would listen to more of his works. I will check out more in this series.
First up, the performance was excellent. I wish I could have seen the stage production after listening.
As for the story, that suffers from the time constraints that a play imposes. It seems like the book is just getting going when it ends. The subject matter itself is a little on the week side. It highlights the cut-throat atmosphere of high pressure salesmen, but this is a segment of society whom with anyone would have a hard time empathizing.
A short listen, I recommend you give this version a try even just to experience the full cast performance.
This book/series is not for those easily shocked, especially those with a pious background. If, however, you enjoy stories of the touching on the occult then this should appeal to you.
The hero of the story is indeed a dark hero. How else would you describe a character that is basically the spawn of Satan? This brings me to second observation: familiarity with Christian concepts and mythology is almost a must. I can't see someone from Tibet understanding the religious references in this book.
The irreverent part is the dry humor suffused throughout. This was one of my favorite aspects of this book, as I have a bit of a penchant for dark humor myself. Some one liners are true "groaners", but there are also some pretty good ones in there. The book is a bit silly in places, but hey, this is a story about someone who returns from hell and moves into a video store.
Give this a try if you enjoy the fringe. This is like a dark adult version of Harry Potter that is centered around Christian lore, but with much more humor.
What can I say about a Zombie story with comic book super-heroes? This is pretty rough material to make a masterpiece out of. What is surprising is that the author pulls off an entertaining story that kept my interest up.
One of the better aspects is that you actually have super-heroes that perish. This isn't all that usual in this genre, and it helps keep you engaged as it is something you really don't expect.
So, if you liked comic books as a kid, and enjoy the recent trend of zombie fare, this book should appeal to the kid in you.
Refreshing, as the main character and hero, Alex Verus, relies on knowledge, albeit knowledge gained through divination, to survive and defeat the villains. Imaginative, as it expands the magical worlds created by works such as Harry Potter, the Dresden files, etc.
Others have compared this to the Dresden Files series (the author even alludes to the main character of that series in this book) and that is a fair comparison. I found the two series compatible as opposed to comparative. Perhaps the two main characters/authors can collaborate in the future?
If you have a good imagination and have enjoyed some of the other works I've mentioned here, you should really like this book. I found it well worth the credit and will continue with the series.
I have read McRaney's other book "Now you are not so dumb" and found the two almost identical. In fact, some of the topics and examples are the same. This being said, there's still enough new content to keep you thinking, even if not too deeply.
Don't get this if you are expecting deep thinking on any one subject. If, however, you are like me and the other 95% of the population, the presentation and information makes for an entertaining and thoughtful book. There is enough here to grab your attention and make you ponder without making you think your in a university psych class.
In summary, recommended, especially if you want to educate yourself as to some of the things you may be doing without realizing it.
I'll start by saying that I enjoyed this book. The narrator did a good job and increased the listening pleasure. The story was well crafted and aimed at the YA audience. There were topics, however, that put this in the mature YA category.
I think the author may be Canadian. There were many emotive and "touchy-feely" scenes. The fact that the hero's version of vengeance included a group get together in the desert illustrates this. In the end, though, I guess this is a positive observation. Not every story has to see the bad guys blown up.
In summary, recommended for both male and female young adults, and for older adults who realize there are many good stories in this genre.
I was a bit hesitant to try this book; a new author and, unfortunately, reviews that were perhaps too good.
I needn't have worried. Pierce Brown crafted a well paced story that kept my attention. As my review headline states, I couldn't help but keep comparing the work to Enders Game. This is unfair, as they are definitely different works, but the basic premise of young adults being trained for conflict is the same.
One interesting aspect of this novel is the more in depth concepts of various leadership styles. It also refers to the Roman Empire frequently, which this future society borrows from in various aspects of it's social structure.
Of course, there are a few annoying facets. One I commonly encounter with the "Young Adult" genre, is the amazing abilities, abilities normally requiring a lifetime to master, these teens have. I do overlook this, but it does jump out at me from time to time.
If you liked Enders Game, Hunger Games, or other militarist sci-fi/fantasy, then this will be worth a credit. Even if this isn't your normal genre, you should give it a try.
The story was bit slow to get started, and even a bit to cheesy at the beginning. It did, however, start to move along a bit faster and it slowly drew me in and entertained me on a long drive.
Although it reminded me of a Dungeons and Dragons saga, there were some novel concepts in the story, but I felt they we a bit undeveloped. Perhaps those parts were sacrificed to editing.
If you like the Fantasy genre, you should be pleased with this book. It's nothing earth shattering, but it is entertaining enough to warrant a recommendation.
God no, please don't make me listen to this anymore.
I finally found an audio book I just couldn't finish. I really did try, but couldn't do it. Maybe I'm to blame, having never heard of Penn Jillette before. I should have done more research first.
I purchased this book thinking it would be an interesting discourse on issues surrounding religion and atheism. Having investigated the works of Richard Dawkins, I was excited when, during the prologue, Mr. Jillette referred to Dawkins work. Unfortunately, this is as deep as this book went in it's discussion of religion and atheism.
So, what is this work? From what I could tell, it was a vehicle to tell outrageous stories about Mr. Jillette's outrageous life experiences. Profanation and uncomfortable situations were used to express atheism. It all started to become clear when the author described how he was a regular on the Howard Stern program. Even then, I kept trying to move through the work.
In the end, I couldn't take anymore of Mr. Jillette describing yet another "amazing" story he was part of. Having this playing in my car was like having an overbearing blowhard join me for my commute.
Save your money and get a book written by someone who can put together a cohesive argument.
I found this book a bit too predictable in it's story line. Maybe it's because I'm looking at it from the perspective of 2014 and when it was written some of the concepts presented would have been revolutionary.
The narrator really assisted this book. With the story just keeping my attention, the narrator managed to bring the characters out so that I was more engaged, thereby making a very long drive more pleasant.
Can I recommend this book? Yes, but don't expect too much. It will entertain you, and maybe even give you a laugh as you contemplate how things have changed since this was written.
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