This story has both a decent plot arc and a compelling cast of characters. Howey does a really good job of describing emotional situations and settings alike in painstaking detail. I feel like I was there.
A lot of folks complained about the performance in these reviews (at least recent ones). I see what they're referring to - Goode does "do" voices in a way that can sometimes seem a bit forced, but overall I thought she did a really great job of portraying a wide range of characters. Either gender reading the opposite gender is frequently a challenge, and I've heard it done really badly. Goode's method is risky, and sometimes it fails, but it didn't grate on me like it apparently grated on some listeners.
So, I gave this 3 stars, and that's not very good. That said, I think this book is probably amazing, but it's just so complicated. Mieville bit off a lot with this exploration of language using aliens. You need to be a reader/listener who can listen to an audiobook attentively enough that you do not miss details. Because I promise you, if you zone out or lose focus, you will have to rewind! For that reason, I feel like this is not a good choice to listen to as an audiobook as opposed to reading as text.
The performance is a little tough for me. The reader is British. I am not British, but I've certainly listened to plenty of audiobooks narrated by British people and enjoyed them. However, in this case, the performance seemed a bit of a British accented drone to me, which made the complex material all that much more difficult to follow in audio format.
My husband and I had long talks after both listening to this book, so despite my negativity here, it is an intellectually stimulating book. If you like Mieville in general you may enjoy this book, but it's not an easy listen.
This was recommended to me by a friend as a fun summer read, and she was right! Fast-paced, a little weird (a compliment from me), but not too deep. The reader was pretty good and switched between characters well enough.
This is Flynn's sophomore effort, and it's the best of her 3 books, in my opinion. You really get pulled into the setting and the thoughts of the main character. It's unapologetically gritty, and sometimes cringe-worthy. But in a good way. The main character is not likable, but as in Flynn's other books, the characters are somehow simultaneously unpleasant and engrossing. You're pulling for them in the end, even if you wouldn't want to necessarily spend any time with them. There's an unusually large cast of readers, but they do a great job, and I actually had a hard time telling some of them apart. I like it when the reader doesn't distract.
This is worth a listen! That's all I'll say here so you can enjoy the twists and turns for yourself.
Flynn really writes broken characters well. Her main characters all (so far) have a dark twist, and this is no exception. This book is noir at its best. Quite modern but also timeless. I want to say it's a fun read, but I guess that really depends what you consider fun! If you don't like dark topics or deep explorations of people who are not very happy, this is not for you. But if you do or you think you might, Flynn is pretty good at what she does. The performance on this one is also quite good.
I liked the fearless exploration of taboo topics, and [SPOILER] I liked that it didn't have a happy ending.
I like a reader that fades away and allows you to feel immersed in the story. This reader did that very well. She did males without being hokey about it (a common pitfall), and she conveyed the bleak attitude of the main character very well without turning me completely off or boring me.
Maybe not in one sitting, but I did listen in two days.
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