Titus Groan is unlike most novels that rush to get to the end. Peake treats his story like life, that it is not so much getting to the destination that's the real goal, but the journey itself that's the real fun of it all. And what a journey it is! He writes in silvery images on moonlight that creats a portrait of fine art, not just a story.
The Gormenghast trilogy is (like Carroll's Alice in Wonderland) a satire on British society which is both funny and tragic. It explores a marvelous wonderland of its own behind the endless sprawling walls of the Groan's castle and puts the reader inside the workings of a stuffy upperclass and into the shoes of the working class peasants, all the while making us laugh at ourselves.
The Gormeghast books are a masterpiece of 20th century literature. The environment Peake creats IS the point of the story, a world that can immerse the reader and make you hope that you don't get to the end too quickly or you might miss the roses growing along the way.
I have been reading Whitley Strieber's books for 35 years when I first picked up a copy of "The Wolfen". I have followed him through fascinating books such as "The Hunger", my personal favorite "Billy", and the Lilith vampire series. I found his "Communion" novels fascinating and enjoyed his return to fiction with "The Grays". Thus I had high hopes for "2012". It is a mess.
"2012" is a tale of parallel universes with various characters moving from world to world, changing names and allegiance, all serving no real purpose. Following a cohesive story line is nearly impossible. It's as if the author took every cliche he could think of, tossed them in a hat, and picked a new theme for each chapter. Therefore we are presented with a tale of aliens, zombies, mutilations, psychics, right wing conspiracy, auto-writing, Mayan myth, religious ideology, ecology, ghosts, and cannibalism.
I really wanted to like this book, but poor editing and improper tenses make the non-sensical plot hard to find. One of the charecters in the book is writing a novel because he needs "a book that sells in order to put food on the table." That book is finished by his adolessent son. One wonders if this is too close to the truth for "2012 the War for Souls"
As a longtime reader of Douglas Preston's books, I found this to be one of his best reads to date. I would give the book itself five stars, but the barely adiquate reader would only merit a three. Like his previous efforts, Mr Preston mixes cutting edge science with enough fiction to create a great ride that is hard to put down.
Dispite its title or some other reviews, this is NOT an anti-Christian book or an anti-religion book but it does have some charecters that behave in very stereotipical ways which actually add to the fun of the novel.
If you are a fan of Preston/Child or Michael Crichton techno science, give it a try. I went out and purchased the hard cover to read on my own without the reader and enjoyed it even more!
This book seemed to have everything going for it... Lots of action, romance, and Scott Brick. Unfortunately it had no soul, no passion, and no excitement. There was nothing to make the reader want to take the trip with these charecters and it quickly became boring and dull, even with the James Bond like battles. After each cliff-hanger escape it's just a ho-hum, what's next. What promised to be a great read turned out to be a poorly prepared book that tried to put everything but the kitchen sink in with snippits of plot from every action thriller he could steal. The result is a miss-mash of sequences with nothing much to make it exciting. Well read by Brick which is the only reason it rates two stars.
This is a great followup to Frankenstein: Prodigal Son. This installment has a little less dective work, a little more action/adventure, and a lot more humor. I did miss the fantastic narration of Scott Brick from the first book, but John Lloyd does an adequate job in giving life to some of the best characters that Dean Koontz has created in a long time. If you enjoyed Book one, you've probably already anxiously awaited this volume. Other than the narration, it doesn't disappoint. If you haven't started this series yet, you're missing one of the best sci-fi-horror-police-mystery series to come along in a long time.
I have read most of Mr. Koontz books over the years, and dispite several disapointing recent books, I believe that when he is "on" there is no better writer in the country today. With Frankenstein, Koontz is definately on! Presented as the first part of a series, this is the volume that lays down the backround and introduces it's odd but believable characters. Read with emotion by Scott Brick, we are treated to a modern day, historical, science fiction, horror mystery, police detective story with just enough humor to hold your interest all the way through. Plan on listening to this title in one session, because you won't want to put it down.
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