Never so emotionally involved in a book. As I write this review a news story on TV shows a kid walking through a mall with a gun which he later uses to kill himself. We all have to worry when the weird part of a Koontz story becomes factual. Let's hope this Koontz plot is impossible.
There are loads of "don't open that door" scenes in this book. Normally I can read or watch through that type of scary movie action but for some reason Koontz really got me in this story. The bad guy is way, way bad. The good guys are a bit too good.
Koontz drops several paragraphs of exposition in the middle of nail-biting, "don't open the door" scenes so your mind has to stop your visualization of the action as a still frame. While it can build up the suspense, you can't help but scream that this pause is letting the good guy get killed or the bad guys get away. But that's what good writers do. I'm not sure I would get as scared in a movie. Koontz does good suspense.
Koontz regularly gives the protagonists of his books some supernatural gifts. In this book the scary, bad guy uses technology that may or may not be approaching reality. Science of the mind is great fodder for fiction books because all you have to do is up the known capability of a function like mind control and you are into fiction. As mentioned above, mass suicide killings and unexplained cruelty are becoming all too common in the news. Suddenly this book supplies a scary possibility of a cause with a bit more credence than the usual space alien scapegoat.
In the top 5 of audio books I've listened to so far.
I didn't know what to expect from Peter Clines so the building of the plot from an everyday world to the massive sci-fi crescendo was a wonderful surprise to me. Koontz mixes his weirdness like chocolate ripple all through a vanilla cone. But in Clines, as you eat your vanilla cone you find the last few licks lead to a bottomless pit that pulls you down. I loved it. I am now off to buy another Clines book.
Ray Porter is the kind of actor/narrator who makes going to the movie version of a book unnecessary. Between his masterful application of personalities to characters and the author's perfect descriptions of the scene, I already saw this book on my imagination screen. I applaud Ray Porter for making every character in the book come to life in my mind. He was able to vary his voice just enough to differentiate each individual without over doing it. His talent made this audio book one of my favorites. Even the monster voices were great!
I don't want to see a film of this book. They would never match the images my imagination created from Mr. Porter's reading.
Once again I have to claim that a good actor/narrator can be the best imagination catalyst for the full enjoyment of an audio book over regular reading.
Being addicted to audio books and an old radio announcer I am super sensitive to the quality of Audible readers. Although Mr. Hill has won a lot of awards and has a great voice, he should never pretend a female voice. And for all the physical strength and prowess written into Jack Reacher's character, Mr. Hill's 1940's tough-guy pretense makes me imagine a over-the-hill detective with a bit of a wheeze. No. I wouldn't want to listen to this again unless the reader was different.
The story has lots of great twists and curls but Mr. Hill insists on dragging every fast moving sequence on the same slow pace of the wise-guy cracks.
I said enough above.
I love the plot and wanted to keep listening but not with this narrator.
I'm sorry Mr. Hill. You have a great voice but Reacher shouldn't sound like Colombo.
I would be particular to whom I recommended this book.
No. But this book is an example of someone turning science into a belief system or in support of a believe system.
The author starts out as a scientist and then makes monumental jumps in logic and belief. What is mentioned as a scientific possibility early in the book becomes a premise for spiritual assumptions later in the book. Quantum theory is a squishy basis for concluding that the universe is a mind. I love the idea but Mayer is making so many twists of language and scientific theory to make his idea a truth that I find his logic faulty. There is a lot of wishful thinking in his statements.
You can't jump back and forth from the invisible quantum world to the field of ethics and morality so easily. I would have enjoyed it more if he continued on the scientific side. Actually, he was doing a pretty good job trying to describe quantum theory - - if that's possible.
Adventure, fantasy and fun
Gaiman word-paints the London under-world with the emotion only the author could present.
I am overjoyed the author read his book. One of my general loves of audio books is the possibility of the reader being able to use the accents of the characters. With Gaiman reading his own words you get the emotion he wrote into the story and characters as well as their accents. He is quite a good actor and enriches the story in ways that a silent book read could never produce. I do hope he alway reads his own books because I felt his presence during the whole story.
We've imagined what is in space above. Now it's time to hear about the mysteries below.
Living in Manhattan, NYC I just couldn't imagine the same wonderful characters living below me. London has the edge on this kind of fantasy.
Narrator kept me from enjoying the plot.
This narrator's speaking style made me dislike the main character. Scott Brick spoke like a preacher..overly dramatic all the time. He reminded me of a Capt Kirk impersonator; i.e. putting pauses in mid-sentence for no reason. He seemed to be over acting all the time.
More narrator, less actor.
OK Nice twists and turns and guesses.
There were times when the narrator was extra loud when the sound booth seemed to be poorly insulated against echo or bounce.
Either would keep you enthralled.
Charlie - what a ride.
I would have liked the mix a British with American accents to make the international flavor of the characters more obvious.
OH YES. This is an old fashioned mystery with science as the tool. My favorite kind of mystery whether Sci-Fi or 1920s.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes to follow the process of investigation through the application of science and imagination.
Even the paranormal should have rules. This is bad fantasy.
NO. "Dresden Files" is my standard.
No better, no worse
And suddenly the big tree saves everyone!!!!!! What the .....
Lots of folks would be really angry if the scientific community said human beings were no more than very exotic machines. Yet as philosophers team up with neuro-scientists they are explaining the formerly unexplainable (perhaps spiritual) with measurable physical processes. To equate feelings with a chemical reaction in the brain is hard for some of us to believe. Yet what many humans believe about reality is also hard to believe. And so I found this book reached out to meet some of my own beliefs by treating philosophy and science less like oil and water.
It's hard to envision that all your reality is going on in your brain/mind based on a model you have evolved there from the many, many stimuli you've accumulated since birth. I can't share in your model but it's there in a tangible form of chemical and molecular configurations. But in very, very, very tiny ways neurobiologists are beginning to be able to read your mind/brain.
The Ego Tunnel reminds us that we are really living inside our heads because the flow of sights, sounds, feelings, etc. all end up in our brains where we manage it all into some sense (a model) of who we are, what is all about us and how we relate to it and them.
At this point in the book it's pretty easy to say, "So what." and switch to a murder mystery to listen to. But what I take away from this book is that you don't need more than a mixture of chemical elements to build a senescent being. This shakes up a lot of philosophical and spiritual thinkers who always added a non-material item to the physical ingredients that make up human beings. Can chemistry do what only spirit was supposed to be able to do?
Perhaps I am reading too much into the Ego Tunnel but I kinda like the ideas it is investigating.
I would not have appreciated the Australian atmosphere as much reading this book. The narration brought everything about the story up to 10. It helped to be Irish but more just to be able to appreciate the range of love and hate we humans can express. I really loved this book even though there were parts that I had to skip about the war in the Pacific that hit too close to home. But in total the whole story about familial love with quite a few hot spots thrown in. You will like it.
I just loved the interaction between the family priest and the mother. True.. true...true.
The reader and the book are forever connected.
Beware - life ahead.
Sometimes words are as strong as a thousand pictures.
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