I had the misfortune of selecting, as my first Christopher Moore book, A Dirty Job. I say "the misfortune" because that book is narrated by Fisher Stevens and he does such a wonderful job that any other reader was bound to suffer by comparison. My second Christopher Moore book was Bloodsucking Fiends, and that book, although not as well read, was also truly enjoyable. It led me to the mistake of buying this book without first listening to the sample.
I have now tried to listen to this book 3 times. Each time I have gotten a little bit further and will probably try again later, but this last time I only got past the first 30 minutes before giving up. It is not that the book is not well written. I am hear passages that ought to have me laughing out loud, but the reading is so flat that it passes, for me, without the laugh it deserves. Others apparently feel differently, but I would strongly suggest that people listen to the sample before downloading the book.
I gave it 3 stars because it is typical Christopher Moore, but it deserved a better reader (and, with it, more stars).
I read this book in paper format more than 30 years ago, but I had forgotten how good it really is. When I saw it available in audible format I jumped at the chance to listen to a previous good read.
Some of the reviews I have read are very hard on the book, but I believe that the are looking in the wrong place. What makes this book so interesting and unique, at least to me, was the idea that humans could encounter aliens so different that all of our assumptions would be wrong. How do two species interact when one is general and adaptive in nature and the other is differiented. That is at the core of this story; at least for me.
The process of meeting, all of the mistaken assumptions and the final realization as to just how different the species are is, I believe, a very interesting story with, for new readers, an unknown conclusion.
But listeners should know that this story is from 1974 and hence some of the story line is 35 years out of date. I believe that to be the cause of some of the bad reviews. Perhaps those listeners did not know the copyright date and might have been more charitable to the male-centered character of the story.
All in all I think this is a nearly great book with more than adequate reading.
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