This is a series of short stories all tied together with some of the same characters popping up as we are taken forward into the future. This story is told from the perspective of African American's living a future where it is very rare to own more then a few personal possessions.
Corporations own almost all real property. Gifted children are taken from parents and sent to special schools where their gifts can be developed "for the good of society." Prisons are run by corporations that make their money by performing medical and psychological experiments on prisoners. Work is rationed out and the unemployed are banished to underground ghettos.
I am not a fan of stories that carry a "social message." I read and listen to books to be entertained, not lectured. The message carried all through out this book is that working people, even in the future, are still being held down and abused by rich people. If that is your cup of tea, this book is for you.
On the technical side, I found the narrator's heavy use of poor southern dialect and slang very hard to understand in the first part of the first short story. However, that got better after the first few minutes.
This is a well told story of science verses the Bible. The characters are well done and keep you interested in the story. Alas the ending left me a little flat and kind of depressed. The author could have put a little more work into wrapping it up.
It is worth the listen and makes the miles go by quickly.
This collection of short stories still plays well 60 years after it first hit the shelves. While delivering a look into some of the attitudes and morality from the 1950s, we can see that people have not changed all that much through the passage of time. This one made the miles go by quickly.
Grisham takes on the world of capital punishment in this one. An innocent man is facing execution. The appeals have all but run out and the clock is down to the final days. Grisham does a masterful job of weaving this story of a wrongfully convicted murder awaiting execution. One may also take away some life lessons for anyone that finds themselves having a serous conversation with police investigators.
This one is worth the listen. The narration is excellent. The miles go by fast while this one is playing.
There is one caveat here. Once through the book there can be no doubt in anyone's mind Grisham has no love for capitol punishment. This is especially true for the way Texas carries them out.
Having been a part of the media circus outside the Walls Unit in Huntsville, TX for several executions (Karla Fay Tucker for one.) it is clear the Texas judicial system is nothing like the system Grisham described in this book. As a lawyer, Grisham knows this.
This is a work of fiction. License will be taken in fictional pieces. However, throughout this story, Grisham never misses a chance to slam the State of Texas and the way the state executes condemned prisoners. In my opinion he did so excessively, beyond the point of offense.
It is annoying when an author takes away from a powerful and moving story solely to insert their own politics. So for that reason what could have been a five star story, drops to three.
A young girl going through some troubled times is sent off to visit her uncle Mort for some time out and a maybe some correcting of her ways. But while there she soon discovers that she has a gift. From there she begins training for her new career as a Grim Reaper. But there is more to it than that. She finds that her career is not without hazard to herself and those around her.
This one is well worth the time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It really made the miles go by fast. The book has more then a couple laugh out loud moments as well as some suspense to keep the reader well engaged.
A tip of the hat to Gina Damico for a job well done.
Combine time travel with feudal lords, knights and brutality and you've got the situation this book drops our not so ready for medieval times heroes into. This is not one of Crichton's best. But is does hold your attention. It is worth a listen.
This is not Ender's Game of Ender's Shadow. The performers did the best they could but this work was dull as a box of rocks. I gave up on it toward the end of the third hour.
Odd Thomas finds himself in an estate that seems to heal itself of all defects, even falling leaves. The few people that live there as residents and staff are more then a little different from main stream society. And occasionally the estate is plagued by creatures that are far less then friendly.
This book took forever to get through. We all know we are reading fiction. But at some point it is nice to forget that for a while and get into the story. But this one pushed the limits of fiction and fantasy beyond my ability to suspend disbelief.
I made it through to the end. But unlike Odd Interlude, the ending was a bit flat. Unless the next book, "Deeply Odd" gets some really rave reviews from other readers or listeners, this one will end the series for me.
Odd Thomas finds himself in a peaceful ocean side town looking for a change from his previous monasterial existence, Alas, the town seems to be filled with people bent finding some way to kill him. From the thugs on the dock to the chief of police, Odd is up to his earlobes in bad people. But as with everything Odd, there is lots more going then we can see on the surface.
This one took a while to get to get to the end. However once at the end, the story picked up nicely and held my interest. Not the best of the series, but still worth a listen.
This is a tale of capitalism gone nuts. There are no taxes. Except for a small token government, everything is private enterprise. The schools are "sponsored" by businesses like Mattel Toys and McDonalds. The police sell their services through slick brochures including murder for hire. Businesses resolve their differences with armies of lawyers and sometimes all out warfare.
People no longer have family names. Their last name is that of their school or their school. It is a high shame to be unemployed and have no last name.
Jennifer Government works for what is left of the government as an investigator. If an aggrieved party has the money to provide a "budget" her department will conduct an investigation and arrest the bad guys. She is also really gifted at bucking that system.
I enjoyed this one. It is worth the read.
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