Five hours in the car and I was truly sad to hear the last of him, even replayed the ending. Death is around us and changes us but not until it feels real enough. The story is a little movie-structured, but feels honest enough. It's not action packed or even startling with big changes - it's just, well - "true" feeling. The read from John Shea feels spot on and really let's you feel for the guy despite his obvious issues. I confess, I didn't think I'd like it. Then I found myself liking it enough to want to keep following him and find out how he made out with the rest of his life. Nice.
Much as Wallander is not advertising for Sweden tourism, this story reminds us how harsh and brutal Iceland was in the 1800's . It's a little confusing without the advance knowledge that Denmark was ruling Iceland then and the overlap of religion and governance... but mostly, it's dark and moody and brutal with a bit of overly formal language (or so it seemed for people living such peasant, in-the-dirt-lives). Yet it felt realistic enough. .I was left doubting her long confession at the same time pitying her potential innocence - which is after all the real force of this story. Having said all that, I'm pretty sure it might not have been as enjoyable in print... Morven Christie's narration really made it come alive.
Really. Nothing not already beaten to death everywhere. Just reformatted old news. Which I suppose just goes to show you what you get when a topic is popular on the web.
I just finished Agent to the Stars and found it amusing enough to give Scalzi another dance. But gee, somewhere in there I just lost interest. I don't know (or care) if JS is scientologist but the taste of the lingo is there and the storyline feels soooo redundantly familiar and meh. I suppose I've mined the space sci-fi market too much not to find it growing stale. Maybe it's just me. It was narrated nicely, I just really felt like it was more of the same old story.
So yeah, maybe I've been too serious lately . And it wasn't Heinlein- but it was pretty good. A little shameless Hollywood, a little alien humor, a little holocuast history...very little. Let's call it a driving to the beach book - in a nice way. A better time than some other downloads I've had- I'd recommend it.
If there's one thing I love more than time travel- and arguably reincarnation is that as well...it's death theory and WWII. I confess I'm not done listening to this for the second time yet- and I suspect there may be more...after all...that is the point...I doubt in print I'd be half as emotionally invested which is everything. I'll tell you more next time through.
So, yes- I recommend it. But it's not a side listen while doing too much, it requires some attention. Beautifully performed though my download had some issues...I blame iPhone there....for me the British can only be understood in their own accent but I'm funny like that.
Having said that, good is still pretty good. The basic premise seemed a bit oversimplified for a neurosurgeon to let himself fall into and there was a lot of repetition near the end to where it felt a bit like today's favorite genre "the gaming puzzle" format. Usually, her wit and writing take the mechanics in hand, but here, I got a little worn out from the layers of puzzle/literal twists/maps/clues format versus her usual good banter/hints of relationships. I could have cared more or sensed closer relationships among the main characters... but it's nitpicking. Overall, a good read and a superior performance. I'm not complaining really - this was better than MANY books I get, just not better than some of Connie Willis's...which is a little unfair.
I'm also a sucker for near death and /or time travel. So she was playing right into my hands here... and I realize not every single book can hit on all fronts. Go ahead, get it. I'm not sad about the purchase at all. I mean I didn't really expect her explain life after death (I did have hopes...). It was just more TV than movie - but sometimes, that's okay.
Not my usual genre. But a good read for a long drive and overall a nice setup. Since the book starts with a murder, the end does take some time to unravel (which is nice). Most of the story is about this girl finding her strength amid serious domestic abuse. There were times when the plot was a wee bit thin on "why don't you get out," but mostly it's a good yarn and well read.
I enjoyed this book on a few levels. The basic premise has less to do with birth rights and more to do with expectations and disappointment. You screw up, you can be recycled. As terrifying as that is, it's the growth the kids experience that was missing in their former lives that makes a poignant truth arise... you reap what you sow as parents as much as anyone being punished for failing to meet expectations. Interesting.
All in all, it was a fun listen. Closer to romance than sci-fi but still, fifteen hours is a long time to hold anyone's attention and it got me through a long drive and back. I'm a sucker for time travel/alternate reality to begin with... I think I'd have enjoyed it more with less of the fantastic "I'm a wealthy rock star/spice girl" set up and just a regular person however. But that's nitpicking. Overall, it's a beach listen. So don't expect more and you won't be disappointed.
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