I was hopeful then I started A Thousand Splendid Suns as I liked Kite Runner a lot. And start was indeed promising, and then suddenly full story fell apart. It was mix of different stories, mixed with dates and historical events, spiced with tragedies ... and I could not care less.
I do believe that described things could happen, it's plausible that such characters could have lived in Afghanistan. I understand the horror of this but it didn't touch my feelings. Unlike in the Kite Runner there was no story to captivate your mind and keep you thinking.
It's wonderful book and very well read, although terribly bad sound quality. First hour or so is specially bad, it gets a bit better later. It's very well written story with interesting structure and thought-provoking characters but it really deserves better quality copy.
If you care about good storytelling grab this book right now as there is nothing better out there. It's amazingly good storytelling, with wonderful bitter-sweet story in entirely enjoyable language with few pinch of good humor here and there.
Maybe some books just can not be made into audiobooks? I tried to start it few times just to find that I could not follow narration. I have one hour rule - if book can not attract me in one hour I will not try to listen it more. In this book I could not care less about what's going on.
I found Golden Compass to be very fresh and interesting writing. It got a bit boring in Subtle Knife, although still bearable. I could not manage to find energy to listen for the second part of The Amber Spyglass. The story kept spreading far and wide and countless new characters, monsters, worlds and magic items kept popping up, whilst very little space for story and characters were left. If you enjoy authors flow of fantasy there is plenty of it. If you want to know who are Will and Lyra, what they think and feel and how they change, there is very little to look for.
I used to read quite a lot and now I listen audio books quite a lot. I have my own very tight favorite books list "Master and Margarita" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude". These are books that are very close to cover large part of magic called life. This book made it into the list - it's terribly complex book and not easy to read. Under the cover of extreme violence and morbid landscapes it opens much deeper core.
I have to admit, I put it aside once as I just could not read on, I could not let it go either. So after few weeks I picked it up and listened on. Once finished I started it immediately again, something I rarely do on books.
It's real masterpiece, although a bit hard to access first.
While "Ender's game" was excellent reading and "Speakr for the Dead" was still fairly good one Xenoside falls apart quickly. This book makes it hands down to top 10 of most boring books I have ever read/listened. I think I am now scared away from Orson Scott Card for good. Stick to first 2 books and unless you find something charming of his style don't bother with rest of it.
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