La Seyne sur Mer, France
Though a little predictable (what post-apocalyptic book isn't?), this was an excellent book about the possibility and power of the human mind. Sometimes irrational to the point of amusing other times horrifying, it was a good, thought provoking read. Very entertaining and one I couldn't wait to get back to. Le Guin always knows how to suck people into her stories and envelope them within.
I have to agree with many of the other listeners on the reader. Sometimes I found the flatness of the voice fitting - especially with the psychologist character - other times I found it jarring and out of place. Overall, a good performance, but not the best, it could have a bit more variation.
For me, this book was just enjoyable, nothing more. It was easy to get into, fun to listen to, I didn't think it dragged out, though I did find the constant mention of Debussy, when the composer had nothing to do with the story, kind of misleading. Overall, I enjoyed listening to it as something to read when I didn't want to think to hard. A fun book.
The end I found to be rushed and kind of tacked on when the author discovered she might not have known how to close the two stories, but it still worked for me, I just would have liked to relish the ending as much as the opening of the book took to develop.
As for the performance, it was mostly fine, except for one thing: the fake French accents. As an ESL teacher in France I can safely say no one has the French accent made famous in movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So it was enervating to listen to the accent at times and I found myself wishing the performer would stop and read normally.
Though the book was an average book, I gave it four stars because, despite some flaws, I did find it a good, easy read.
The best part was the end after the volcano erupted and the best character was Pliny. Otherwise the story was alright. Entertaining enough to keep satisfied on my morning runs, but it wasn't ground breaking. A fairly accurate description of ancient Rome with a cast of characters that had the right mentality. But I wasn't moved by the story or the development between the lead male and lead female characters. Good if you like historical fiction and want something entertaining to listen to.
I picked this up during one of Audible's "at the moment" sales - the ones that show up randomly when you sign in and at first, once I'd purchased it and realized it was a children's book I almost didn't listen to it.
But I'm so glad I did. So well written with wonderful characters and great descriptive settings. An entirely original idea, and every time I stopped listening, I couldn't wait to get back to the story to hear what happened next. Bod, the main character was entertaining, believable, with a great voice, as was his guardian Silas. There was no overblown sentimentality here, no underdevelopment either, just good storytelling.
Gaiman himself as the narrator was wonderful to listen to. His pacing, his tone were both wonderful and I found myself getting lost in the story and his voice.
Even if children's books aren't your preference, I highly recommend this one, it will leave you with warm fuzzies.
A fairly well written book that doesn't try to overwhelm you with big dramas or unexpected plot twists. While on occasion I found the characters to be slightly on the whiny side, they were pretty well developed and mostly believable. Their individual spiritual journeys are more important than the historical events that surround them and I think that is what makes the story unique. It's not the best historical fiction I've read, but entertaining enough.
Found the female readers voice a little forced when reading the male characters, but for the most part she was pleasant to listen to.
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