First book I've read by this author and I am definitely give him another try. Great innovative approach to a murder mystery! You learn right away whodunnit, but why is a long story full of interesting twists and turns.
On the negative side, none of the characters were particularly likeable including Detective Kaga. I guess the murder victim was likeable, but he died in chapter 1, and we didn't find out what he was really like until the last couple of chapters.
Japanese names are not very hard to pronounce, yet Mr. Woodman had trouble with them, and it was distracting. Overall I didn't really respond to his tone. Maybe it was his reading that made every character to seem to be somewhere on the scale running "meh" to "buffoonish" to "downright evil".
I read A Prayer for Owen Meany many years ago, it must have been shortly after it was first published. What an experience, coming back to it after all this time, especially because I was born around the same time as Johnny and Owen and remember well my feelings about events of the times. It is a deep and wonderful story that everyone should read but especially liberal baby boomers.
Joe Barrett does an amazing job with an extremely challenging set of characters. He captures Owen's weird voice probably as well as anyone could (and if he captured it any better no one would be able to stand to listen!) and also handles singing (male and female voices) and everything else.
This audiobook has been a real joy!
I have loved this book since it was first published. I was in college in Colorado, and my friends and I used to go regularly to Utah to jeep and backpack in Canyonlands, Arches, etc. and also to Arizona. I have read it quite a few times, the first few times during trips to the canyon country, where we would do our best to trace the footsteps of the Gang. If you love the desert and have any anarchistic tendencies, The Monkey Wrench Gang is for you!
The audiobook is pretty good. The narrator was OK but nothing special. He pronounced "pinyon" (a word that occurs many, many times) as "pin-YOWN". I think this might be one of the acceptable pronunciations, but I have never heard anyone in the Southwest say anything other than "PIN-yuhn" so I found it distracting. Maybe I'm being unfair, but I found it distracting. Hayduke never would have pronounced it that way, and I doubt that Ed Abbey would have either.
It is a great story. In places I just had to skip ahead a bit because it was so relentlessly comprehensive, and I just couldn't take any more detailed descriptions of horror and suffering. It ended a bit abruptly. The redemption and recovery must have had more to it. (Maybe I fell asleep during the last chapter?) It was epiphany - altar call - pour out the booze - and we're done. But a great story about a great man and well worth listening to. The narration never got into the way; I'm sorry that we have lost Mr. Herrmann, a terrific reader.
Lacks the wonderful imagery of The Night Circus and the Harry Potter books. The characters just aren't very likeable.
The story is OK until the cast graduates from magic college, then the protagonist turns into a total ass, and they all just sit around getting drunk and doing nothing useful or interesting for a long period of time, so that by the time they got to the magic land I hated them all!
The best thing about this book is the narrator, who never gets in the way of the story. Too bad the story is so bad.
I didn't understand it all, but the book really grabbed me, kept me awake three nights in a row until I finished it! (I usually listen for 30 minutes while I fall asleep, but I kept resetting the timer!)
Like others, I found the phony accents distracting. And the narrator couldn't even consistently pronounce the protagonist's name, pronouncing it "Turuku" instead of "Tsuruku" 2/3 of the time. Also, if the Finnish husband was speaking "fluent Japanese," then why was he read with a goofy fake Scandanavian lilt?
This makes me want to read / listen to more books by Murakami, just with a different narrator.
I can't believe this novel won the Man Booker Prize, it has to be one of the most tiresome, depressive books I've tried to read in a long time. The descriptions of Dorrigo's feelings and relationships are endless, pointless, and incomprehensible! I found myself skipping ahead chapters just looking for more about the railway, but every chapter started with another endless, pointless, incoherent description! The monotonic reading didn't help.
I couldn't even get halfway through before I deleted it.
Everyone should read this book, it is really excellent and balanced. Read it, whichever side of the argument you are on.
I am getting so sick of narrations with fake foreign accents and overly dramatic reading. I love great performances - for example Gerald Dickens narrating Charles Dickens. Just not guys adopting heavy fake accents. In this case it is really distracting.
I can't imagine anyone could do all these accents! The reader did the African voices well, but the Americans - especially the men - sounded like Munchkins. And no American would say "Mary Land" for Maryland. I found that distracting.
Absolutely the wrong reader - Marco and Celia are young adults, yet he makes Marco sound like an elderly man throughout the book. Celia no better. He isn't a bad reader, just not for these characters.
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