For an acclaimed, "literary" novel, this (audio)book is incredibly entertaining. It is a confident, engaging blend of mystery and human/social commentary. The writing breezes along and furthers a top-notch plot, but manages to slip in ideas about people and their relationships in such a crisp, fresh way that it actually helps validate the who-dunnit aspect. I like the way much of the narrative is by and involves some compelling and memorable female characters. Great narration, too.
Very disappointing if you are expecting anything close to a thriller or even a mild mystery. Nasty unlikeable main characters whose bad qualities just get worse. Some surprises, true, and some interesting commentary on modern tabloid entertainment. The writing is good, very descriptive, and the inner dialog is very well done. I just wish the characters were saying something that was of interest to me. I got tired of saying "I cannot BELIEVE these people!"
This may be even better than the first book. With the Nazis out of the picture, and Britain's enemy now the Soviet Union, the focus shifts to activities in the UK instead of jumping back and forth between Germany and England. The Nazis were comic-book evil, and the soviets are largely unportrayed, so the Eidolans can successfully emerge as the main antagonist. Gretel remains a mystery, but gets some really good scenes, as does increasing sympathetic brother Klaus. While I'm not sure I completely follow the discussion of timelines, which twist and are twisted like Gretel's braids, I do like the ending and haven't a clue where the story will go in Book 3.
While the characters and their relationships were developing, the book was very good and held my interest. Once the characters became involved in politics and social issues, it ceased to be original and the people just ended up getting jerked around by historical events. There was very little to differentiate one downtrodden lower class kid from another .... Billy or Grigori, not much difference between these hard working good guys. I wish the author had spent more time on the nuances of the characters and less on the politics of the day. He had nothing new to say on the subject of the Russian Revolution. He should read Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna and see how to write a novel about human beings and their place in historic events.
I was constantly cringing at the silly romance and hoping for something to happen. Alas I was disappointed. I wish iTunes/Audible had a jump forward button so I could skip the lame scenes. The setting was promsing -- a world of vampires and witches and demons, mixed with some academia -- but it all seemed secondary to the author's need to play out these incredibly cliched romantic scenes. Yuck!
I'm surprised at the bad reviews this book has received. I found it much more compelling in terms of an interesting narrative than half of what I download here on Audible. Though it got a little out there during the last 1/4, I found the rest of the storytelling top notch. I liked the symmetry between the worlds, and there were other nice devices as well.
Supremely entertaining with loads of lovable characters. Though Pratchett is technically working in the realm of light fantasy, he certainly doesn't shy away from complicated ideas. In this book, for instance, someone has built a physical contraption with tubes and liquids that mirrors financial factors at work in the Ankh-Morpork economy -- that pretty much blew my mind! I wish Bernanke had one of those!
An excellent and entertaining tale that blends fantasy with modern reality. Gaiman has an imagination that really appeals to me because his extravagantly colorful concoctions are always nourished by a genuine affection for human foibles. What really surprised and delighted me was his rich narrative voice -- he does lots of subtle accents and has a warm musical tone. I was disappointed not to find more of his books self-narrated!
Compelling story that really moves quickly. Do you miss the X-files? I sure do, so this excellent book is almost nostalgic. Extremely cinematic in terms of action and dialog. Kind of believable in its own special way, and the real-ness of the human emotion portrayed gives the UFO story punch. After I got done walking the dog, I kept listening until the iPod's battery drained!
Wonderful characters. A great send-up of the absurdities of war and fundamentalist religions. Full of surprises and laugh out loud funny. A brief appearance by Sam Vimes, but it's the new characters that steal the show. This book is An Abomination Unto Nuggan, and I don't think I could pay it a higher compliment!
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