I am a huge fan of all of Neal Stephenson's work and this book is no exception. Much like Anathem it did take a little time to get into the story but once your in it takes off and I could not stop listening.
I loved the His dark materials trilogy. I cry at the end every time, so it was nice to hear a new story from the same universe. I only wish that Mr. Pullman would do more stories in this universe.
The book was a great read. I think the only issue with it for me was the break between the first and second section. It most likely worked well on paper because you can see the cut and switch, I thought for a bit there was a section of audio missing. However, that is only a small unimportant complaint to an otherwise amazing book.
All the narrators do a wonderful job and the fact that you have a different person for each section makes it easy to follow the story.
For people who have been following Kevin Smith work outside his movies this book has a mix of old stories you have heard and new ones. It is a wonderful look into his past and what he did to get to where he is, and why he did it. The stories he tells are very frank and full of passion and the audio sounds like he is speaking to you directly.
Mr. Foer does a wonderful job of describing the underground world of memory sports. The story of his journey to become the US memory champ mixed in with facts and other anecdotes just give this book an extra dimension. The narration is well done and the narrator himself sounds excited to be reading this book.
I know allot of people praise this book and series. The main thing is the story was written for young adults and so the plot and characters are not to the same level as other dystopian tales written with an older audience in mind. I think the characters other then Katniss were a little under developed and could benefit from more time being spent on there back story. The teenage angst love triangle was just comical, the girl is fighting for her life but is still weighing if she likes Peeta or Gail and how they feel when she kisses Peeta. It is a good story, but better execution could have made it so much better. As for the ending I think it was not the original as it just does not flow right in my mind, like the idea for a trilogy was thought of later and so the original ending was scraped and rewritten to allow for books 2 and 3.
As for the narration; I think if I had control of the treble on my mp3 player it might not have been so bad. I had the regularly stop listening to the book because my ear started to hurt from the woman's voice. I also had a hard time distinguishing characters at points she did ok overall but there were to many conversations where I could not tell who was suppose to be speaking.
I think for a younger reader this is a good book, and the idea and story are good but it is not a game changer.
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