When I download a book, I listen to the whole thing no matter how bad it may be. If this wasn't a habit that I had gotten into, I would have missed an amazing story! While the beginning wasn't awful, it crept along a little too much for my liking. The daunting task (25+ hours) that lied ahead had me considering abandoning it. Little by little, I started to enjoy it. Before it was over, I fretted about it soon coming to an end as I had grew to love the story and the amazing Owen Meany character. The other reason I fretted over reaching the end was because in almost every book I've ever read, the ending cannot live up to the story that was weaved; it seems most authors believe that all the entertainment is within the story and can't tie all the loose ends together and the ending is an after thought. Not only was the end very satisfying, it brought everything full circle and was the reason the story had to be told! I immediately started the book over again. For those reviewers, lambasting the political "whining" and the views on religion, don't take it so personal, it was just a book (and low and behold the reader becomes aware that the character's -- yes, character's, not author's -- political and religious views are an integral part of the story and ending.) The Owen Meany character will live on with me forever, literally, as I expect to give the book frequent listens in the future.
Stephen King was once my favorite novelist; I devoured his first novels, read The Stand in 3 days, enjoyed the Bachman books, and bought the Green Mile in six separate paperbacks as it was originally distributed. I'm not sure if my tastes grew or if King's writing didn't, but there came a time (right after The Dark Half?) that once I started a King novel I wasn't able to get very far before putting it down. Some 20 years later, and searching for a good audio book, I gave Under the Dome a chance...then a second chance...a third...While the premise is promising and could have been spun minimally into an adequate good vs. evil stand off, King instead chose to introduce upwards of 100 characters. I found it grueling, boring, and confusing trying to keep track of so many characters. Making matter worse, is that I King wasn't able to develop any of these characters and make me care what happened to them. The hero wasn't heroic enough; the villian wasn't evil enough. The drama wasn't dramatic. Enough with the sidestories. I don't claim to be an able novelist, but every book I've ever read on the novel writing process stated that if it doesn't advance the plot or develop a character throw it out. The story set itself up for what could have been a great vehicle for betrayal, power, or even horror, but limped along telling a 5 hour story over 30+ hours. No spoil alert here. You weave a tale so out-there as King does, it is hard to wrap it all up in a neat, little satisfying bow. Not surprising, he doesn't. The ending, much like the rest of the book, was unimaginative and unsatisfying.
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