The first half of the book tells a sci-fi/fantasy story that is ok. I was puzzeled why the second half would re-tell the same stories just from a different point of view. Then, Orson Card himself explained it. This is a collection of his attempts to tell a certain story. So, unless you are interested in the somewhat arbitrary collection of variations of the same story - save your book credit for something else.
The book starts out with a description of the Pharaoh's court as seen through the eyes of Nofret, a girl who was sold into slavery. I found the beginning somewhat interesting, although, with the exception of Nofret, the characters never quite came to life and the description of places and events lacked detail.
The surprise came with part 3 of the book when it turned into a retelling of the biblical story of Israel's Exodus from Egypt, complete with parting of the sea, etc. Where is the suspense in that?
The narrator's attempt to give color to the characters did not help either, especially with the male parts. All in all, its so, so. I've had better.
Shantaram is one of the best books I heard in years.
The author manages to paint a rich picture of human life, transcending cultures, conventions, good and evil, right and wrong. It combines descriptions of every day trivia with grander ideas of philosophy, human weakness with heroism and character.
A bit violent at times, Shantaram is a declaration of love to human mankind. Great read!
Grotesque or bizarre doesn't begin to describe it.....
If the quality of a book is determined by its ability to emotionally engage the reader/listener, then this is a good book. However, in order to like this book, you better like selfish, arrogant, power hungry, heartless women who speak of but are unable to love.
The book's main character, True, turns 43, is widowed, and a successful business woman. When she recognizes that she needs a husband and a father for her 10 year old boy, she approaches the problem like she does as Founder, President and CEO of her company "12 Times Blessed". She picks a man who is significantly younger, less educated, and finacially less secure. Incidentally, virtually all her personal friends and relationships are either employees or, like her mother, financially dependent on her.
When her husband, Hank, makes a questionable decision, she predictably seizes the opportunity to establish her supremacy in their relationship. The book culminates in her blissfully dictating her terms of endearment to her husband, her mother and her brother ... and everybody else.
The book is classified as a romance, however, I find nothing romantic in the story at all.
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