I've been an audible member since at least 2004 with a few hundred books in my library. But I haven't been listening to many books recently, and even considered whether to continue or not.
That was until I listened to Ready Player One, with Wil Wheaton as the narrator. This reading reminded me of the magic that happens when exactly the right reader handles a book. Wil was born to read this book. As a book based on 1980s geek culture, Wil (through his character on Star Trek: The Next Generation) was part of that geek culture. But since then, he has really embraced his inner geek. In fact, as he was reading this, I had to keep reminding myself that he was not simply doing his autobiography. He clearly has a feel for this world, and his intonation is spot on. I cannot imagine anyone doing this book the justice he does.
Beyond Wil's masterful reading, the book is a delight. The characters are perhaps not as 3 dimensional as one would want, but the world they live in is fully wrought, and a natural future for the world we live in. Part dystopia (the real world) and part utopia (the online world many choose to live in), the world is believable, scary and appealing, all at once.
So, sign me up for another year: I have refound my enthusiasm for the magic that happens when the right book meets the right reader.
Unlike Jacobs' previous books, this one doesn't have a single "experiment". Rather, each chapter is an examination of single effect, like a month of full honesty, or trying to live like George Washington. While I prefer the depth of the "single themed" books (reading the encyclopedia or living the Bible), these chapters are lots of fun. I particularly liked the chapter where he outsourced his life, and (among other things) paid someone in India to argue with his wife.
The only downside of the book is its length: at under seven hours, I want more!
Wildly entertaining and humorous. The short sections also make this ideal for listening to off-and-on. The narrator (who is also the author) has just the right tone for the book. While most of the book is a romp through the Old Testament, the final discussion of how this reading affected the author's faith was insightful and thought provoking.
While the hook is "What happens if you try to follow all the rules in the bible", the author really is a man who want to be a better person (just like he wanted to be a smarter person in his previous book) who uses the bible as a guide. Note that the author begins relatively non-religious, and he does not really "find" religion, so this is not a devout handling of the material. The book is generally very funny, but is poignant in parts. It took a bit to get used to the author's reading (I had liked the reader on his first book), but he adds the right touches without feeling like he was acting the book.
My only regret is that it is abridged: I enjoyed it enough that now I either have to get the book to see what I missed, or wait for an unabridged reading and go through it again.
Commander Vimes and the watch are back, sorting out an explosive situation between trolls and dwarves. This book shows Pratchett's characteristic clever word-play and has an underlying social commentary on fundamentalism and conflict. I enjoyed the reading very much, but cannot recommend this except to those who have already read at least six or so of Pratchett's books. The cast of characters is large, and it helps to know a lot about Vimes, Colon, Nobby, and the rest before tackling this book. This book also has an unusual lack of "Diskworld" aspects: there is a bit of magic, but the world seems a little less weird than the world in most of Prachett's novels.
As another reviewer wrote, there are hundreds of reviews of Pride and Prejudice about. It is a classic of English literature. But it is also an extremely humorous book! From the exasperation of the daughters towards their father to the awkward unexpected meetings, there is humor throughout the book. And the reader has just the right touch to bring that humor out. The timing and the tone is perfect and adds greatly to the words.
Since Patrick Tull's reading of the entire 20 book series is available, that edition is, in my view, a much better choice. A matter of taste, of course, but Tull adds depth that I find missing with this reader.
I thought the reader was delightful! While I am a big fan of Nigel Planer, Ms Imrie provides variety, and definitely provides her own spin. As for the book, the humor is a little subdued compared with some of the others in the series: I found my interest was more in the details of the world, how it works, and how people fit into it. One of the delights of the series is how it veers from slapstick to fairy tale, with this more of the latter.
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