This is a real gem. Julia Sweeney manages to be extremeley funny while talking about her own journey of spiritual and religious discovery. She conveys more insights and fundamental truths in just over two hours than most of the other "popular" atheist/agnostic tomes out there that are many times longer. Unlike many of those other books, she is able to do it without being depressing, disrespectful, or taking herself too seriously. I have listened to it twice already and will likely listen again.
If the subject matter and approach of this book looks interesting to you, then I encourage you to get it. You will not be disappointed!
The Passage was a great read and to me they felt like some of Stephen King's longer works. There is certainly a horror-ish element to it and some fairly intense action sequences, but at the same time it feels unhurried and Scott Brick's terrific narration adds to that feeling. There is a pretty diverse and wide cast of characters but most of them add nicely to the story's mosaic - sometimes in surprising ways.
Do note that there are jumps in both timeline and perspective of the storyteller (including a couple of alternate narrators) but it works out well, adds to the story, and is not hard to follow.
Overall I found the story every exciting and unpredictable and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a great read. Yep, there may be "vampire-ish" elements to it, but they are much more Stephen King than Stephanie Meyer.
This is actually my second time through the book (in preparation to enjoy the sequel, The Twelve). I loved it the first time but I think the second time may have been better as you can see how seemingly innocuous events early in the story really play out. Enjoy!
I thoroughly loved this book. I don't normally seek out these "true-life adventures" but the other reviews were so positive that I decided to give it a try. It was absolutely tremendous. It was so unbelievable that no one would even think of putting half of the things that happened into a novel. I literally spent every night during the time period I was listening to this book reflecting about the trials and tribulations of the men of the Endurance and wondering how I would do in similar circumstances. It was a profoundly emotional experience with this book.
The writing is quite good and the narrator keeps the story moving along while keeping the "you are there" sense of the book.
I highly recommend this book.
I was looking forward to this book quite a bit. I love a good series and one focusing on clever wise-cracking criminals could be great (Ocean's 11 anyone?) and it had really great reviews.
AND this is the first of a long series and it was written back in 1970, so you have to give it some slack. But not this much slack. The dialog was inane and repetitive and the "capers" weren't even all that great. I think if you read this many years ago (or saw the movie) there would be some fun revisiting it in audio form, but coming in new I didn't have that basis so I just took it on its own terms. Even though the book was pretty short it seemed much longer to me (but to be fair, I did want to see how it turned out).
Bottom line is that if you have fond memories of the book or the movie from decades ago you will probably love it. If not, maybe skip ahead to some of the more recent books in the series and see what you find.
I loved this book. I listen to a lot of audio books and only a few have me eagerly anticipating my commute so I could continue the story and this was one of them. It moves along briskly. The story is fun, a bit scary, and the characters are interesting and actually evolve as the plot progresses. It is self-aware but still makes you cheer for the heroes. I really enjoyed how the spookiness and intensity grew chapter by chapter by chapter. I kept thinking this would make a great movie, but given how often movies utterly fail at depicting the right mood I think I will have to be satisfied with the book. Enjoy!
I am a long-time Stephen King fan and generally love his longer books (I would have been very happy if The Stand, It, and even the Dark Tower series could have all been longer). I hate abridged books and only ever get them if I really want to "read" the book and there isn't an unabridged alternative. Despite both points, this book really could have been 40% shorter and not have lost anything in the translation. It seems much longer than it needs to because the descriptive passages drag on until they seem more like creative writing exercises than adding to the tapestry of the narrative, and, as other reviewers have noted, characters seem to say the same point over and over again - we get it after the 3rd or 4th time!
Ironically, even with the dragging out of most scenes, I was still left wanting to learn more about other areas of the book that didn't seem sufficiently explored - e.g. more background on the "Territories" and how it really did intersect with our world.
Even though I thought about stopping 5 or 6 times, I finished it and was rewarded with a thoroughly predictable ending. It wasn't bad, necessarily, just about average, which is OK but not what I look for in Stephen King (maybe it was Peter Straub's influence? No idea)
One of the saving graces to me was the narration of Frank Muller. I know other reviewers have knocked the narration but I really liked it and his ability to have distinct voices for all the characters kept the book going for me.
So if you are a Stephen King fan and want to experience all his works, then go ahead by all means - it is still better than most books out there today. Just don't compare it to King's top books and you will be just fine.
I have read several Preston/Child books and this one, like the others I have read, is certainly enjoyable. The storyline was interesting but I did figure out the "twist" about 2/3 through. My only complaint about the Pendergast novels that that the characters follow their tropes just a little too closely and it was hard to identify with them. Pendergast is just a little too detached and cool, the criminals are just a little to omnipotent at the beginning and silly at the end, the sidekick is just a little too impulsive, etc. Once I decided that Pendergast was just a reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes (at least in my own mind) then I could enjoy it more.
While this book works as a stand-alone, it is actually the first of a trilogy and the second and third books are better - the characters get more humanized and started to surprise me just a little.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was very well written in a style that differed from traditional modern prose just enough that you knew you were experiencing something very special, but at the same time the story is very clear. When I finished the audiobook I felt like I knew exactly what the audiences of Shakespeare's day probably felt like when they finished viewing the initial performances of this play - they didn't have to deal with the barriers of time and language like we do know - they could just enjoy a powerful and well-told story. Like many others have mentioned, the narration was spectacular and I really loved the witches' characters. Yes, the story is overly dramatic in a few parts - but hey, they don't call it a tragedy for nothing, do they? I encourage you to listen to this book - you will feel like you have accomplished something more substantial that just completing a novel. Frankly, I wish they would do the same treatment on some of Shakespeare's other plays - there are some terrific stories just waiting to be told in this way.
This book is amazing and I highly recommended it for anyone with even a passing interest in WWII history. Shirer is able to alternately provide a big picture view of the Third Reich while providing the intimate "you are there" perspective that is constantly engaging. It is certainly helpful that the Third Reich was overflowing with characters, both terrible and farcical, that make for fascinating listening. It is equal parts political, social, and military history. Personally, I found the political and social aspects the most interesting parts of the book.
It is hard to believe that after 57 hours he could have left things out, but I wish he had done more writing about the social "on the home front" history of people in Germany after the outbreak of hostilities to match the detail he put in to the effect of the Third Reich leading up to the outbreak of war on ordinary people's lives. But that is just a small complaint within the larger work.
It is interesting some of the things that an author is allowed to do in a long book like this that are not possible in a traditional history book. You get to experience the almost supernaturally charmed life that Hitler led up to 1942 and his amazing ability to make just the right decision at the right time during the rise of the Third Reich. You also get to experience the slow descent into madness that Hitler experienced over the last couple of years and how he took an entire society down with him.
Yes, some of Shirer's attitudes are a bit dated (especially his attitude regarding homosexuality), but frankly what makes the book even more amazing is how smoothly the narrative flows over 50 years later. If all history was written in such an engaging style we would all be much better off. I found his undisguised disdain for some of the German leaders to be very effective in making the story ring even more true.
Finally, I can't say enough about the narration of Grover Gardner. He never lagged and did an absolutely superb job!
The last 20% of the book is very exciting but I'm not sure it is worth the buildup. There seemed to be two (or three?) very disjointed stories within this book and only one of them is interesting. The first story dealt with "Comet" Parker, a very interesting powerful female character dealing with working in a macho Latin American environment. OK, that could have been fairly interesting for a chapter or two, but it goes on and on and on and (amazingly enough) doesn't really reach any sort of satisfying conclusion.
The second story is the massive space battle seems to just happen toward the end of the book and Comet and her storyline mostly fades away. During the battle the story shifts abruptly to Butch, the space welder introduced in prior books, for a bit and then... ends.
I enjoyed the first two books enough that I am OK that I listened to this one and will certainly try out the fourth book - I assume there will be at least one more book as this in no way wrapped up a trilogy.
The narration continues to be first rate and made it OK to just exist in Ringo's universe for a while, but I think one more strike and I might need to close this "gate."
I have enjoyed the entire Legion of the Damned series and this was a worthy addition. Unlike some of the earlier novels, this one was a similar to Book 5: For More Than Glory as it focused most of the action on a single planet and single quest - but there is enough intergalactic geopolitics to keep it interesting. The transitions can be pretty abrupt as the focus narrows and widens but luckily there is a smaller cast of characters to keep track of than in earlier books (though given some of the earlier novels had dozens of humans and aliens to track that isn't saying much.)
The plot is a bit contrived to get the protagonists and antagonists on essentially equal footing but once it got there it was a nice back-and-forth that never got boring. There are more than a few cliches running through the entire series in general and this book in particular ("it felt like ball of lead just landed at the bottom of his stomach") but it is easy to get past that and enjoy the story.
Generally speaking the bad guys are rational characters (with one notable exception) and their motivations make sense. There is a good mix of dialogue, technology, and battles to keep it going and there is the one (seemingly obligatory) sex scene that is present in all the novels so far.
You should read the other books in the series before listening to this one but if you liked the others then you will thoroughly enjoy your time - I know I did.
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