First off, the narration by Derek Jacobi was very good. No complaints there.
My problem is with the portrayal of Holmes. It just wasn't Holmesian. I've read the originals, loved many of the adaptations on TV and film, but this story just didn't cut it. Holmes is much less than his marvelous self. Not terribly quick witted, or even very bright. When he does trot out his expertise it's done in the manner of a side show magic act. Certainly not the way Holmes would have done it.
Many of the actions Holmes takes in the book just aren't things Holmes would have done. For example, Holmes went into an opium den, as himself, to find facts. Never in a million years. Holmes would have disguised himself and infiltrated!
I tried to separate the Holmes that I know and just read the story as a mystery. I didn't have much success. Part of the love I've had for the Sherlock Holmes stories is his wit, near infallibility, and clever ways of uncovering facts. All of these are absent.
If you want more Holmes, as Holmes himself, try the Laurie King books.
I don't know why it is, but it often seems that the YA genre is able to express the poignancy of human experience and emotion in ways that adult fiction rarely seems to grasp. That is definitely true for "The Fault in Our Stars." It doesn't take much to make a story of teens with terminal cancer sad and miserable, but in John Green's book there is joy, happiness, love, friendship and more for the taking.
In the story teens meet at a counseling session at a church that seems to be of much greater benefit to the parents sending them there than for the kids. But relationships form, and they all seem to know the score, and take their losses as well as their illnesses as a part of life.
Adventures happen, relationships are formed, love happens and throughout there is honesty, sincerity and just plain humanity. I've got a few favorite quotes by the characters that are well worth remembering and sharing such as "We are all just barnacles on the container ship of consciousness." Much wisdom from the mouth of teens.
Much to love, laugh and cry for in this story both well written and well read.
I realize that's an odd title for a review, but it pretty much sums up how I feel about the book. This is less a review than a compare and contrast to similar books in the genre, so beware there are some serious spoilers. I found it hard to do otherwise, which is probably one reason I enjoyed this book so much.
I've read a lot of post-apocalyptic novels, from On the Beach to The Stand, to The Postman, War of the Worlds, and many others. There is something about this "sub-genre" that appeals to me, probably the idea that anything can be overcome if a few good people will step up to the challenge.
What strikes me in Earth Abides, is the difference between a novel written in its time, vs the novels written in the present. Today's novels are filled more warring factions and pillagers, murderers and rapists, while the books written in the past are more about the individual's struggle to come to grips with the loss and how to cope. Frankly I would wish for humanity to behave more like the earlier books, and less like the latter. I hope I never have to find out the real answer to the question though.
A common thread in most of these books, take S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series for example, is to rebuild civilization including technology and the societal structure. In Earth Abides, the population is generally content to live among the ruins, and forage from the canned goods and have few worries about tomorrow. Although personally I was frustrated about their choices, on the other hand isn't it possible a better civilization might come of it? The children grew further and further apart from the past as the generations continued. They knew little of the past and saw no reason to emulate the ever acquisitive and technologically advancing society of the past. They evolved more into hunter-gatherers and, if it continued, would have been much more like Native Americans than any other society I can think of.
I suppose, more than anything, my review proves the book is thought provoking and interesting. After pondering the differences, I have to say that it's a kinder, gentler, and perhaps much better society than emerges. But that's just one opinion.
It is amazing to me how Robert A. Heinlein can continue to be so relevant, in a genre that is about the future, in books that were written in the 1950's. I may have an advantage over younger readers, in that I've lived in a world before silicon became embedded in our lives. But I think that it's more than that.
In Citizen of the Galaxy Heinlein has created interesting and sympathetic characters, throws in greed in the form of slavery, and fashions it into a wonderful story. There are good guys and bad guys, but no superheroes, and no evil villains. They're all pretty much human, although I have to use that term loosely. This is science fiction after all.
Lloyd James also does a wonderful job with the narration.
For the most part, for a little light reading I'm happy to put common sense and reality aside. In this case it was stretched to the breaking point. Oddly enough the characters were believable enough to enjoy in their interactions.
What drove me crazy was the implausibility of the outside world. A large vet practice without a vet tech, but with a helicopter (there were extenuating circumstances, but I just can't believe it). An animal rescue picking up a pack of stray dogs and putting those dogs and a small pet dog into the back of a car and expecting all to go well. Raccoons causing an entertaining ruckus stealing eggs, but not killing and eating the chickens.
I realize that I do let a lot of reality go by the wayside when reading escapist fiction, but in this case it felt irresponsible.
If anyone actually attempted to run a kennel and rescue the way the main character did in this story there would be injury and more.
Read it for a little light reading, but be sure not to take anything in the story as a reflection of reality.
An enjoyable ride with a few laugh out loud lines. Slightly off the normal track of the vampire romance, which made it a lot more fun.
Often when I've picked up a science fiction novel that I enjoyed in the past, I find it's just too dated both in technology and in character that it no longer works for me. I've read this book before, but probably at least 30 years ago. I loved it then, and I was pleased to find that I love it just as much now, if not more.
Lloyd James performs the narration narration extremely well, with just the right tone for all the characters. Although written in 1966, it wears time well. You can understand the references to nation states and political thought of the time, but it's also as easy to just go with the story without reference to the past. Of course, even the expectations of technology weren't on the mark, it doesn't matter to the story, in spite of one of the main characters actually being a computer.
Well written, wonderful characters and story.
Stranger in a Strange Land, also written by Heinlein, has long been one of my favorite books. I think Moon has climbed up that list after this listening.
A lovely story, well read by Andrew Peterson. Charles Martin tells a story of love, sacrifice and family that is both painful and heartwarming. It's a story of a lost child found, and a found child brought into the warmth of family. Martin has created characters I wish I knew.
It's rare that I find a book this enjoyable. Quirky, yet believable, characters at the leading edge of today intersect with yesterday's kindle, i.e. the printing press. . I don't want to delve into the story and give away any spoilers, if you're excited by technology, and a fan of the written word, enjoy a bit of a quest without the blood sports, then this is your book.
The reader was also excellent.
I think I had a grin on my face, not to mention a few laugh out loud moments, throughout the story. Once again, loved it!
Of course if I'd read the description I would have known this before I purchased it, so that's my fault. On the other hand the majority of the stories just didn't grab me. You do get to learn some of the back stories of some of the characters, and the final story is definitely the best of the bunch, as someone else had noted. But all in all, unless you're a fan of short stories, and are desperate for a Kitty Norville fix, I'd take a pass on this one.
I enjoyed the series' premise, but it seems Kitty is just too involved in the supernatural. In other words every possible supernatural or godly creature is now fair game in pulling the storyline. It's just too much.
Stay in Denver for a while, and interact with something at least close to human -- please!
Usually I enjoy the narrator, Marguerite Gavin's, interpretation of the story. I don't know what was happening at the beginning of the book, but she seemed like she'd had too much Nyquil or something. The narration seemed slow and slurred. Things got back to normal before the end, but it really put me off at the start.
Maybe it was a hint of things to come. Maybe she's a little sick of the storyline too.
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