Impossible to categorize this huge work. A beautifully written historical novel of the Russian aristocracy, woven together with a carefully detailed examination of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, battle by battle, and lastly Tolstoy's theories on how and why these events occurred.
The scope of this book is stunning, the characters unforgettable. Although more approachable than I anticipated, the exhaustive historical detail and Tolstoy's emphatic philosophical discourses make this more than a little challenging.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, absolutely recommend it, and will probably revisit it sometime in the future. Right now, however, I'm ready for some mindless escapism!!
This book just never engaged me; interesting historical information on the ethnic, racial & social structure of post WWI, primarily Boston, but the characters & dialogue get lost in the author's effort to educate.
I read fiction to be entertained, and if I'm fortunate enough to learn something in the process, excellent. But this book sacrifices entertainment for facts.
Lots of history, but no soul.
Slow & tedious. And the science fiction aspect was neither convincing nor believable.
Although enjoyable, this sequel was inferior to Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo. The plotline wasn't nearly as gripping, the characters seemed less engaging and somehow flatter.
Still, above the curve, and worth the credit.
Cleverly written thriller/love story that was great fun to listen to.
Lots of atmosphere, rich characters, & mysterious events, laced with supernatural undertones.
Engaging & entertaining!
If you're a John Irving fan, as I am, you might want to tackle this extremely drawn out book. Long essays of information (reading of entire bible passages, historical minutia of VN War battles, etc) that have no real impact on the story, make it a challenge to stick with.
The reason to read the book are the quirky characters Irving so capably brings to life, particularly Owen Meany. (Although the books narrator, & Owens best friend, is bland and forgettable.)
There were times while listening that I just wanted the book to be over, but because I became so intrigued with Owen Meany, I was compelled to finish it.
That being said, there is a poignant story buried in this book.
I sincerely wish Audible would indicate titles that are written with an adolescent audience in mind. This book was clearly written for young teenagers; I cannot imagine an adult finding it to be of interest.
Silly plot lines, juvenile dialogue. If you're over 15 you'll wish you hadn't downloaded this book.
I'm a big Courtenay fan, but I didn't love this book. The melodrama is over the top, he threw every tearjerker device under the sun in here, and IT IS incredibly sad.
The protagonist faces horror after horror with decency and stoicism, so much in fact that both she and the story loose credibility. The end, in fact, is just plain silly.
Silly & a bit tedious. A lot happens, problem is you won't care.
Meticulously researched and elegantly written story of a young woman's life in 17th C Persia. Rich with sensory experience of every kind, this beautiful story seems to be woven in pace with the carpets that form its background. Lovely.
The first of two books in the series focuses on a universe where a far flung civilization is in decline. Seven disparate people embark on a reluctant pilgrimage to an ambiguous and malignant entity.
During the journey they tell their stories in an effort to puzzle out why they've been chosen, and how they can use their shared experiences to achieve their individual goals.
Wonderfully written characters make this bleak, intense book worth reading. But be forewarned, the experiences they share are dark! This is not a joyful read, but an extremely memorable one. Definitely a must for Sci-Fi fans.
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