i loved the voice of the noir-ish smart aleck early on and laughed at the quips. the story starts good and fast and continues on in the same manner. a lot of fun that gets a little serious as it goes on, with some great "moral" issues to think over and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way. great thriller that could only have been better if Laurie had read it himself. very talented man, nice writing as well, i recommend it.
I tend to avoid pop culture as so much of it is derivative or poorly written, but this is one that stands out. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and fast paced page-turner of a mystery thriller and a lot of fun.
The rotating narrators is a technique that works perfectly. Hard to say too much without giving something away.
I liked the "voices" of the characters, especially Amy after the halfway point. I did have a couple of issues with the dialogue in the first part in regards to Nick, both from the author, and from the narrator, that didn't fit, but not worth going into here. If you're listening to this book you're here for exactly what it will give you and not for stylistic/literary crit, and there was nothing here so egregious that I couldn't overlook it and have fun with this.
Now and then you run across something that is done so well that it's tempting to call it an unrepeatable performance and genre changing, like Hunt for Red October, or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and other standouts. Recommending this to many people.
Only caveat would be if you're put off by some explicit sexual moments and language.
I get what I want from Shakespeare, and I got what I wanted from Flynn. Not that this is a literary masterpiece, but it is standing rather tall on the thriller shelf.
It may be that Flynn is a far better writer than most of the pop mystery stuff that pours out daily and I may look at her others. Hard to beat this one though.
this is one of the best novels I've listened to. it is less scifi to me than i would have thought, and not dated and reads more like Pynchon. while it may not be of the poetic density of Moby, this narrator coupled with this material, makes for a superb listen. Great narrator, one of the best. Wonderful slang and word play. This novel is a scattershot type structure, with multiple blasts of images and ideas--more ideas than a dozen current pop novels.
the story itself involves our near future (written in 1968 it predicts 7 billion people by 2010 and we are near that) and concerns to an extent overpopulation and corporate greed with side stories involving genetic engineering and sterilization and computer intelligence but don't get caught up in arguing whether he got all the "predictions" accurate. He's much more concerned about people existing in such a possible world and what they might go through. Poverty, drug abuse etc.
it will be helpful to know that it is structured with "rotating" sections, i took this from wiki entry:
"Continuity" – Most of the linear narrative is contained in these chapters.
"Tracking with Closeups" – These are similar to Dos Passos's "Camera" sections, and focus closely on ancillary characters before they become part of the main narrative, or simply serve to paint a picture of the state of the world.
"The Happening World" – These chapters consist of collage-like collections of short, sometimes single-sentence, descriptive passages. The intent is to capture the vibrant, noisy, and often ephemeral situations arising in the novel's world. At least one chapter of the narrative, a party where most of the characters meet and where the plot makes a significant shift in direction, is presented in this way.
"Context" – These chapters, as the name suggests, provide a setting for the novel. They consist of imaginary headlines, classified ads, and quotations from the works of the character Chad C. Mulligan, a pop sociologist who comments wryly on his surroundings and in one chapter, actual headlines from the 1960s.
a key line from opening: "A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding." Marshall McLuhan: The Gutenburg Galaxy
loved it. going on my list of best novels. hoping for Sheep Look Up and Shockwave Rider now, definitely interested in Brunner more.
i have always liked the alien evolution idea and this is well researched and while it is not ALIENS but rather alternate evolution on an isolated island here on Earth, it is a rather complete ecosystem he's created. I personally liked that aspect of it the best and even though it devolves into the requisite bloodbath & stereotype race against time it is at least fast paced and with enough of the creature elements that it is enjoyable. it may make a good monster movie but much of the actual scientific basis for the creatures would probably be lost. this could very easily have been an alien planet survival type adventure. and if you check Fahy's website you can see drawings of the creatures. in the book some drawings are included as naturalist type diagrams etc.
this is a great book, very well researched and presented. I remember when this first came out there was a web link to info regarding her research and it was rather disturbing how little she altered things. she said she took existing conditions, (like religion in Handmaid) and extrapolated some possible progressions in the near future regarding food and genetic engineering and the internet etc. She was rather accurate in some ways and this is a great book, with lots of excellent word play too regarding names of companies and games and websites and many related developments have actually occurred recently and are becoming of concern. best of the trilogy.
my favorite part of this is the Earth religionists and their sermons and songs. & actually I would rather Atwood had lifted that element out and produced a completely unrelated novel of nature religionists, or survival of an isolated cult or something & I think she very well may have given us another masterpiece like Handmaid or Oryx. Unfortunatley it is tied to the Oryx story, which was great, but all we really have here is that same story retold from different characters perspectives until it reaches the same point at which Oryx ended. OK fine, but aside from elements like the religion, or the nature artist who may be my favorite in this book, it is basically the Oryx story but from the city view. If you like Oryx, I think this is worth doing just for the songs and sermons.
i'm sorry but for me there is little or nothing salvageable from this one. I had high hopes being Atwood, a writer I have respect for, but unfortunately she is rehashing ground already rehashed to an extent in 2nd one Year of the Flood. Had this novel not gone backwards yet again with the Zeb backstory in detail it may have been better. I had hoped that she was going to go on after the events that ended Flood/Oryx and present the world she created in the next stages. Alas, no. I would much rather she had channeled her efforts toward something unrelated and given us another classic.
it's billed as a search to discover what actual Shakespearean language sounded like, and while there is a small bit of it, in actuality it is more a short bio of this Fromson and his attempts to put on plays in the original. while it is interesting regarding that, and in the right hands might make an interesting documentary, that is not why i got it, and there is actually very little of the recreated "sound" of the dialogue. and no large scenes from the plays or speeches at length for comparison.
a little like a Sherlock as thief idea. he has a cohort who helps much like Watson and who may have written their adventures down later in life. the episodes are fun and suspenseful and having done it shortly after To Catch a Thief found some similarities that make me think Dodge had read this, but both are very enjoyable nonetheless.
tried this since I was a fan of the Hitchcock film and wanted to hear the original. & actually this is very good and very well narrated and after I finished I rewatched the film and found the book to be far superior, sorry Hitchcock fans. this is a lighthearted (for the most part) mystery/caper love story and i enjoyed it start to finish.
for a book presented as a "swashbuckling adventure", "raucous...rank...beguiling", "ridiculously entertaining", i was thankful that this boring book was so short, and even then i was tempted to ditch it. I didn't find the tale to be exciting at all, nor the style to be "sumptuously written". & to draw comparisons with ERB is not really a compliment as, apart from ERB's imagined worlds, (Barsoom Pellucidar Tarzan etc.) , ERB was a terrible stylist. & Braugher is rather uncompelling as a narrator.
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