I loved Tom Hollander's performance because after a while it was nearly invisible- his voice so embodied the characters- young and old- that I was listening to *them* not a man reading a story aloud.
This is not a book like her previous ones, and I would never, ever recommend it as such.
What it is, though, is a beautifully wrought character piece about the people in a town. It made me think a lot about George Elliot's Middlemarch. The characters you like, and the ones you don't and watching them revolve around each other- it is funny, sad, shocking, kind and all of the things that people really are. The book lost my boyfriend almost instantly, but slowly drew me in, bit by bit, till now that I am at the end of it I feel like I know those people and what they would be like now that the story is over. Ever feel at the end of a long classic that you miss the characters? This is one of those for me. These are not pretty people, this isn't a fantasy. I loved it!
Highly recommended to the right reader- be sure you are clear about the book you are getting!
Listening to a book, vs reading a book, I become aware of how many hours a writer is spending on one section of a story. There are 4 parts to this book's download, and the first two draw out one part of the story to the point of boredom. 8 hours that could have been a nicely edited 3.
If you can get through the first 8 hours it has much better pacing. Like so many books it has a looooong build up and then a summary for the end. The wait is worth it, the quality of descriptions of the people, situations and art are pretty spectacular.
For me this book was a combination of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a William Gibson novel. But don't worry, you will love it even if you don't love the idea of that mash-up. I don't often get out-geeked, and I joke about my useless knowledge base of 1980s trivia. This book was an extended fun-fest of fond memories combined with an engaging storyline. The setting, both futuristic and nostalgic, housed characters I identified with and the story pacing was spot on.
The narration was wonderful, with Wil Wheaton's familiar voice taking on each of the characters and embracing the joy of someone who absolutely LOVED reading this book. It all added up to a wholeheartedly fulfilling listening experience. Highly recommended!
This is the first book in the series to read/hear and I am thoroughly impressed. I wholeheartedly disagree with the other reviewer that said the author was a dry reader- I think he is great! He put the inflections where, as the author, he wanted them and the humor really came through. There were passages so poetic, the first chapter especially, that I listened to them twice before going forward. I was a fan of the TV show, but now I am totally sold on the books and will purchase the whole collection!
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