Okay, there's nothing technically wrong with the author's writing style or story-telling ability, so, I'll give it that.
I just didn't enjoy this story. The main character seemed toadying and priggish. The values in the book didn't jibe with recent events like the economic meltdown and Occupy Wall Street. Getting to the top of a company by being in good with the boss just turned me off.
I also did not enjoy the dysfunctional family which is most of the story of the book. It's a 1% family with 99% dysfunctional behavior. I could not sympathize with them. I'm tired of reading, hearing, or seeing families who hate each other or who seem to have no social skills, especially rich ones, with all kinds of deviant, antisocial behaviors, or mental illness issues.
This story was too negative for me. I work as an elementary school teacher in an area that used to be middle class, but is now a devastated, low socio-ecomic area. Everyday, I deal with cruel poverty, broken homes, stressed out desperate families and all the consequences it brings on a community.
So, when I want to listen to something, I need an uplifting or thought provoking story, not the depraved antics of a dysfunctional, selfish, clueless rich family.
Learned a great deal and the lecturer had a pleasant, easy to listen to, speaking voice.
For quite some time, I've desired a consistent, somewhat objective rating system for the audiobooks so that customers don't have to do so much gambling with our time and hard-earned money to have an enjoyable or satisfying listening/reading experience.
Currently, for the listening customer, Audible categorizes the books, and customers rate the books on a one to five scale, and they can write a review. I think there are more ways to rate the audiobooks that would be helpful.
Perhaps we could also consider....
Use the ratings we have for movies, podcasts, music, video games.
For example, this book would seem to be rated: R-17, for Graphic Violence, Torture, Explicit Sex, Drug Use.
This type of rating could be one of my first steps or filters in making a decision.
I think the five star ratings of story, performance, overall, try to cover areas too broad to be effective. We could use a number or star rating system to rate by characteristics. We would have a Story Score, Performance Score, and a Listener Satisfaction Score.
The rating scale could be used to rate the story by: characters, setting, plot, dialogue, conclusion. Performance could be rated by several characteristics of voice quality, pronunciation, ability to create voices for characters (if fiction).
Listeners could also give a rating from their personal reactions. These could be believability, held my interest, thought provoking, satisfying, no fluff, compelling characters, good dialogue, liked the ending.
Finally, there would still be the written reviews for people to express their personal thoughts and feelings about the books for others to read.
Personally, I do not care for the orange words at the end of a review where people can click on, "# of People Who Found This Review Helpful. YES NO" I think that's too judgmental and has a potential for being misused. I want to encourage people to write about a book and not be worried about how they'll be judged.
To summarize, I've suggested adding the use of a movie rating to books. I'd also recommend using of a "click it" rating system to create a Story Score, Performance Score, and a Reader Satisfaction Score. Finally, continue using written reviews without being told if you're opinion is "helpful" (a vague and misleading term).
So, what did I think of Altered Carbon? I really wanted to like it more than I did. I liked the creativity of some of the ideas about the future. As I was listening to it, I thought if they made this into a movie, it would require a lot of editing to make it something that would appeal to a wider audience.
I hope we never actually have a future that bleak. I would like to think we could evolve and improve so that we do not have such divisions of wealth and poverty. I don't want a future world that is so violent, dark, and has so much suffering. I would like to think our future could be better than this.
I found if hard to finish. It didn't "flow" easily for me. I had to listen again to several chapters. The characters were not as well-developed as I would have preferred. I had to fast forward through some of the events in the book that were too uncomfortable for me to listen to.
I would have preferred an abridged version. I felt sleepy a lot while listening. The author's voice was trying to have that "noir" sound which puts me to sleep when I watch the old detective movies. The story also got too wrapped up in what I thought were unnecessary details which made me lose my concentration. Instead of so many details, I'd hoped it would be a more thoughtful book.
Everyone has something different they want from a book. I really appreciated reading all the reviews for this book that have been submitted. I read all the reviews for this book on Audible. I read a lot of the reviews and ratings from "goodreads", Amazon, Barnes & Noble, New York Review of Books, and others.
I probably won't read another book by this author. The reader seemed okay.
Be inventive. I didn't appreciate the obscenity and sexual content.
A good story doesn't have to rely on obscenities and gratuitous sex.
The general idea of the story made it seem like it would be a good book, but I was disappointed.
Smart. They're all super smart. Big. Google is big. It's very big. Everyone at Google is smart. It's very smart. Big and smart.
Did I mention they're all smart? Yes, it's smart. And it's really big.
There were elements in this book that were highly interesting and enjoyable. It had so much potential. It drew me in anticipating a suspenseful detective story.
My enthusiasm waned when I encountered long passages that were tedious and boring. Then, there were several sections that were cliched and formulaic. This made it difficult to come out with an enthusiastic recommendation.
Finally, I was glad when it ended. Based on the reviews, I expected more. The reader was good, but it was not enough to significantly change the overall experience.
This clever story is further strengthened by a superb reader.
An appealing aspect of this book is its talented use of the expositional technique of "incluing". Throughout the story, the technological information we need for effective comprehension is skillfully positioned and presented to smoothly maintain the action and storyline without sudden stops to explain or clarify.
Hang on for a riveting experience.
I absolutely loved this book. It's creative and intelligent. The reader made it a wonderful listening experience. The story contains no unnecessary violence or cruelty. It flows at an excellent pace with amazing events. The characters were well-developed and realistic. The dialogue and vocabulary were engaging and never simplistic.
At first, I was skeptical because I had not come across a science fiction story in quite awhile I enjoyed. This book just blew me away. I couldn't wait for an opportunity to get to my iPod so I could keep listening. It made me like science fiction again.
Recently, I'd been so disappointed by having gone through a period of having some books that made me regret all the time and money I put into them. This book jolted me out of that and encouraged me to keep trying more, and different kinds of, books again.
As a result, I've put all the other works by this author into my Wish List. They all have the same reader! I can't wait to try more books by this author and reader. I hope this will be an enjoyable book for you as well.
Normally this would not have been a problem for me, however, the constant details of Catholicism interfered with the story line. The continual references to Catholic life, ritual, and belief actually drowned out the story. The writing became too cluttered to enjoy.
This is a "feel good" story. Enjoyable to the end. No moments of boredom.
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