Well I've read/listened to Chuck's other books and I really like his gritty style. I'm not a prude nor do I have problems with his graphic content. All of the other reviews are correct when they warn you about the vileness and depravity of the characters and the over-the-top grossness in some of the stories. This doesn't bother me. That being said, I loved many of the short stories in the book, but there is an overlying story that tries to bundle it all together into a "novel" and not just a book of short stories. That part was tedious and so totally unbelievable as to be insulting. I was frustrated because of these stupid characters and probably won't recommend this book to anyone, even folks who have liked other Chuck Palahniuk novels. I can't say that I liked a single "person" in this book. There wasn't a single character that I felt anything but contempt for. If this were a book of just the short stories, I would have liked it much more and recommended it to others. The "writers retreat" portion made it hard to listen to and I almost didn't finish it on several occasions. I plowed through to the end to see if there was any reason to do so...there wasn't <sigh>.
By the way--if you aren't familiar with this author, this is NOT the book to start on. Try a different one and see if you like his style, then you can try this book if you really want to.
I love fantasy and sci-fi books so I was excited to listen to this Clive Barker creation. It was rated so highly here on audible I was enthusiastic to try it out--but I just couldn't get into the book. I didn't really like any of the characters. I didn't care of they lived or died. I found my mind wandering, even during very key scenes and battles. That has never happened to me with any other book (and I've listed to well over a hundred). The writing is a bit simplistic. The dialog between characters seems trite. The story doesn't go anywhere. It took me 3 different attempts to finish the book (restarting from the beginning each time) since I just didn't care. Finally the reader is not well suited to this type of book. His voice is low and gravelly and he doesn't have much in the way of different voices for different characters. He definitely isn't a good pick to be the voice of a young girl either. I can recommend "Snow Crash" if you want a good adventure with great writing and an excellent reader.
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