Several frineds of mine have been trying to get me to read this for a few years now. I actually started reading it, but only got about 100 pages or so in before I gave up. When I saw it on Audible, I decided to give it another try just to shut them up. Boy, am I glad I listened to them!! One you have all the characters straight, the story is quite engaging. some things which may seem superfluous at the time end up being critical later on. One thing that Martin does much better than the master himself, Tolkien, is write interesting female characters. Whereas the females in The Lord of the Rings seemed "tacked on," the females in this book are well-written, deep characters who are critical to the story. Also, you never really seem sure whom to root for. Characters you may dislike at first soon become your favorites. I'm not a big fan of fantasy overall, and after reading this series, I doubt I'll be able to read anything else in this genre, because nothing can top this! I'm now listening to the second book, A Clash of Kings, and I hope the third, A Storm of Swords comes to Audible in the next few weeks, because I'm seriously addicted to this series! I must also comment on the narrator, Roy Dotrice. I love the different voies he uses. They are clear enough that you know who you are listening to even if he doesn't tell you right away. The only negative is that he sometimes changes pronunciations of names (Joffrey become Jeffrey, for example) but that is hardly enough to detract from his otherwise excellent narration.
My young son loves Thomas, so I grabbed this to play for him in the car. The audio quality could be better-it isn't really CD-quality, but the content is very good. The books read here are some of the earliest books in the Railway Series by Rev. Awdry. There is some music mixed in with the reading- if you have watched the TV show, then much of the music will be familiar to you. I like the reader- he reads slowly enough for the story to be understood by younger listeners, and he has very good voices for the characters.
This is no substitute for buying the books and reading them with your kids, but like I said, it is great for the car. It is also just the right length to fit on one audio CD, which is very helpful.
I have only read a few King novels, but each one I read/listen to brings me closer to being a Stephen King "Junkie." This book seems to be semi-autobiographical at times, and this is only reinforced by having the author read it himself. Because it doesn't neatly fit into any category, there are plenty of unexpected turns. What would be seen from a mile away in a straight ghost story comes out of left field (or center field, as it were) in this book. I liked the legal aspect of it, although I thought it ended too neatly with the death of a particular character. The only other (very minor) quibble I have is the way the final details are wrapped up in flashback format, rather than simply continuing the narrative to its conclusion. This is not enough to deduct a star, however. Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it highly to even casual Stephen King fans.
Not really a sequel, but you will not get nearly as much out of this book if you haven't read The Talisman. It follows the main character from The Talisman, Jack Parker, as an adult in Wisconsin. I won't rehash the plot; others reviewers do that much better than I can. With the number of characters that King and Straub introduce, of course there are going to be ones that seem superfluous and under-developed, but there are many others whom they develop quite nicely and you really begin to like. And sometimes the so-called "superfluous" characters end up being more important to the story than the ones whose stories seem more important! Like most books of this length, there are slow spots, but I feel that they are in good balance with the exciting parts.
Frank Muller has narrated most of the King audio books I've listened to, and he once again does a masterful job. Like most good narrators, he doesn't go out of his way to make up a thousand voices, but you know immediately which character is speaking.
I am by no means a Stephen King expert- this is only my fifth book of his, but I can say that I am on my way to becoming a big fan, and it's nice to know that there is a wealth of material for to choose from. I highly recommend this book, but definitely read (or listen to) the Talisman first. This will make a lot more sense if you do.
This is only my third Stephen King book, so I'm no expert on his writing, but I very much enjoyed this book-for the most part. There were definitely stretches where it felt like King was being paid by the word, i.e he wrote in 20 pages what could have been written in two or three, but for the most part I was very interested in what was going on and what was coming next. I thought the relationship between Jack and Wolf was reminiscent of the relationship between Nick Andros and Tom Cullen in The Stand. That's not necessarily bad; at least he was influenced by his own work. There were other similarities, but I won't give too much away. In the end I did not feel cheated by this book. The ending was satisfying to me. I'll definitely keep reading/listening to Stephen King's books.
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