These are ok. They are better than some "thriller" writers that I've read. I have to say I'm not a big fan of Rudnicki's narration, as I've stated elsewhere he seems to be a little too proud of his deep voice and reads too ponderously for me, as if he wants to emphasize his voice even more and I wish he was more fleet of foot with his narration. The others were fine as far as I recall. The last couple stories may be the best. A little Stephen King-ish at times, which is not a good thing, in my opinion; and like King I think there is an urge to be prolific, getting a story out, instead of working hard on the style and plot. Overall a good mixture of story types, mainly "suspense", a little supernatural tossed in.
I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed Asimov's Robot set from I, Robot through the 3 Olivaw/Baley novels, but I have trouble with other Asimov. I was looking forward to this classic of time-travel & I think Time-Travel stories are incredible when done well, but this one lacks something for me. For one we never get to see the affected worlds, all of the "action" takes place basically in a rather sterile bureaucratic office environment composed of the Eternals (the ones affecting time change etc.) Finally at the end we get to a point where something interesting starts to happen, but by then I didn't care and it was over. There are a couple of neat ideas that I think should have been followed up or become the novel's direction and maybe it needs to be restructured and rewritten along different lines, but of course that's not going to happen. I found Benford's Timescape, Clarke/Baxter's Light of Other Days, & Finney's Time and Again pair of novels to be more interesting.
this is an excellent alternate history type novel in which a "police procedural" type story set in the oppressive environment of a Nazi controlled Germany which "won" at least the European part of WW2 and ousted England's Churchill to hiding in Canada and controls much of western Europe although they still are in the 20+ year of war with Russia. Without belaboring certain issues, Harris's novel benefits from external baggage we bring to it's world concerning Nazi Germany. Many of the characters are real and simply have moved on an alternate timeline. The layout of the buildings etc is based upon Speer's actual designs for massive structures to be built in Berlin. though these are not vital to the plot, descriptions of them do point I think to the desperate grandeur Hitler and others yearned for to "legitimize" their political horrors. & many of the documents quoted are also real. A wonderful mystery. A friend suggested elements are rather analogous to the current NSA surveillance issues, which again, brings up 1984.
Walter Tevis is a great and overlooked writer, look at his work: Man Who Fell.., Mockingbird, Hustler, Color of Money, Queen's Gambit. I wish all of his work was available on audio so he could be more widely appreciated. He is an excellent writer, both stylistically and thematically with some wonderful imagery and symbolism. This is one of Guidall's better narrations, before he got too enamored of his own voice, and though I'd like to hear another version by someone, I can and have listened to this numerous times. & I always find a little more in it than I remembered. think about characters who fall to Earth, Superman, Christ, Lucifer, and of course Icarus and then think about an existential take on that idea and you'll see much more in this. i was struck this time by the anti-superman idea and a loss of identity theme and remembered a line from Vonnegut's Mother Night, "we must beware what we pretend to be, lest we become what we pretend to be."
This starts well, but then it just slows way down for the next few hundred pages. I like the concept behind the story, but it just needed to move more quickly. I think some points get a little belabored. The narrator is fine and has been for all of the Le Carre I've listened to, but it may be that after the Smiley series which I enjoyed so much I need a break. Overall I didn't feel that this was as well written stylistically as the Smiley's, nor quite as well plotted and convoluted. It does give a sense of both sides of the issues, but of the non Smileys so far I'd say Constant Gardener is by far the best, that was an amazingly good novel, impressive enough that it seems like 2 different authors. And it is not that I don't like female protagonists, as I think DuMauriers Rebecca and Brontes Jane Eyre and Atwoods Handmaid are 3 of the best things I've read/listened to.
first i have to say that I do enjoy this type of thing more than some, not just the Moby connection ( best novel written, with Lolita close 2nd ) but the critical essay type thing. though this is not a critical essay as such it does touch on many aspects of various interpretations and origins etc., but mainly uses the chapter structure and headings of Moby for jumping off places to talk about some aspect of the novel regarding the chapter and it's contents or the novel as a whole, focusing in general on how pervasive Moby is or has become in society ( art, comics, film etc ). Much of it I am already aware and there is much that he has missed, though it would be hard to be all-inclusive, but I do have to say that while there are aspects that started me thinking along new lines regarding a topic, his overall veracity is undermined by 2 questionable chapters, one of which is ridiculous. 1st, in chapter 84, Pitchpoling, he draws what can be at best a tenuous connection between Flaubert and Melville and I suspect that Cotkin simply wanted an excuse to include Flaubert and Madame Bovary because he likes them. But the most egregious error occurs in chapter 89, Fast Fish and Loose Fish, wherein he recounts the use of Moby in (one of many films he could have discussed) Star Trek: Wrath of Khan (valid). He completely fouls up the end of the film to the degree that either he didn't watch it, or he's relying on someone else's recounting without double checking and how this glaring error got by him, his editors, a proofreader, a fact checker etc. without anyone catching it is befuddling. And as such an error exists, it calls into question the validity and fact checking of all of his contentions for all the chapters. In reality much of the info is familiar to me but details and new areas now require validation. and the narrator is completely uninspired in his readings of quoted passages and sections from other works.
sorry but this is not very good. the narrator is rather bad, slow ( i speeded up and had no trouble following ), monotonous etc. the style of the writing is not very literary and though author may know the physics behind his ideas ( hard to say, though there is much polysyllabic word dropping ) the overall story is very derivative of a much better novel, LeGuin's Lathe of Heaven, for it's overall story, plot etc., ( structurally it even shares many elements with Lathe ) and the ending reminded me of Clarke's Childhood's End. I would have to say get those 2, much better written and carrying more symbolically than this.
though this is the novel from which the American with Clooney came from, it is rather different. in the film they tried to slow things down from the conventional bullet ridden films and to show a more quiet, meticulous, thoughtful man without a lot of dialogue and it almost works ( i like the film ) but there is more inner monologue in the novel that of course couldn't come out in the film without the often hamfisted "voice over" which is hard to do well, especially for this much soul searching. I like the novel very much though be warned it is not a run around shooting things up type of novel. it reminds me of Graham Greene, especially if you combine his Catholic novels (there is some religious discussion with a priest) with his serious thrillers, like Human Factor.
i read this long ago as a kid, it is in fact one of the earliest things i can remember reading and it stuck with me but it took many years for me to find it again. this is a great story, funny, touching, very visual. it is a story i always recommend to others, (after i re-discovered it years ago) and it is in my list of best short stories.
this is very much a pre-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel. it has much in the way of the odd ball events and satiric jabs at society etc. that pop up in Adam's work. while i found it very much like HGG and enjoyed it, i did find myself wishing for a little more of the manic Adams movement and wordplay etc. Hodgman is passable as a narrator but could have read with a little more gusto. still all in all good and i do like the ending but a couple scenarios perhaps go on a bit too long. can't give it more stars simply because it is done better by Adams.
While I have to admit the narrator was rather stiff and even mispronounced a few things and didn't read the quoted passages from the shows with much ability or gusto, I still found myself giggling in remembrance of the show and the skits. I did like the personal history info to see where the Pythons came from etc., and while some of the "academic" interpretations of Pythonesque elements may have been pushing it at times, it did give me some ideas of things to look for on next viewings. All in all, probably more for MP fans and narrator doesn't help.
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