So I'm finishing up listening to Miss New India and it's just great! ♥ Believable, compelling characters! Farah Bala's narration is endearing and sweet. The comments about her "high, whiny voice" have to do with her Indian accent, which is to be expected. She confuses "condescension for "condensation" at one point, and far from being annoying, you can still tell what she means but it highlights the problem of Indian-American communication that the story tackles. I bought this one on a whim and am not disappointed. You find the characters behaving in refreshingly honest ways, from filching shampoo to losing their tempers in just the normal way. This one is worth your credit, as long as accents don't trouble you. If they DO trouble you... well... this one may not be for you.
I can't answer this one, as I don't read books anymore. I've been an Audible listener for 10 years come this August, (10 years man!) and my friends and family swear I CAN'T read. Well. I can. I read to my 2 year old each evening! (She's not old enough for audio-books JUST yet... but soon... soon...)
Wil Wheaton. He's a fantastic narrator! I have to admit a childhood crush on Wheaton (Gordie Lachance not Wesley Crusher) and I'm glad to see him diverge from acting to lend his voice to John Scalzi's work. He's by turns funny and somber, and he reads quickly, not stumbling over words and carrying the story faster than an inattentive mind may be prepared to accept. But the inflection and pitch keeps you listening and interested, and the characters are believable, male and female. His narration adds to the novel, guiding the story well.
Ah, but you asked about the STORY.... Fine.
The story's just great, and picking a "best" part is difficult because it's good entertaining fun from beginning to end. I love the way that the themes are serious, but the treatment is still light and irreverently optimistic. The story examines the rights of sentient species, international (inter-species, interplanetary) conflict, exploitation of those too weak to object, the true horror of war and the idea that we will continue to die in war as individuals long after we have escaped the solar system. Religion and faith, artificial intelligence, and life after death are ALL tackled head on and explored with great insight and sensitivity. But there is none of the "morality tale" feeling that you might observe in say, Orson Scott Card's treatment of similar broad themes. (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide)
While Card's books are also excellent listens, (once you finish this, use your next credit for Ender's Game and you'll be glad you did) there is much more real humor and joy in the overall feeling of The Android's Dream. I found myself laughing aloud more than once.
I loved the scenes in which we reveal the true nature of the sought after Android's Dream, and in which each character responds from their various points of view. Without spoiling, there's a plot twist that doesn't wait until the end, and it's excellently crafted. I found myself laughing until tears came to my eyes, and then the tears were real because I was moved by the way that Scalzi shows us how fragile our perceptions of what is "normal" what is "real" or "legitimate" can be. Suffice to say that the way in which he prompts questioning the nature of our identities is masterful... are we a collection of cells and a slave to our genes? Or are we something more?
I was moved by the friendship between Creek and Brian, and by their loyalty to one another. I think that the idea that a friend could be eternal, and that maybe all that makes a person could be preserved and then expanded is really a neat one.
I've also read Redshirts by Scalzi, and I really enjoyed both! Worth the credit and worth the hours.
A well written and well read tragic love story wrapped in a comic masterpiece. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it's been added to my list of "listen again" books. Don't be discouraged by the Indian narrator, he reads beautifully and with great expression. A few small pronunciation slip ups do nothing to hinder the story line and endear you to the character, and the pace and pitch are just great.
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