At Home is informative and educational in quirky sort of way, but doesn't deliver on the humour evident in some of Bryson's other works. Well researched, this book explodes the myths of the refined and gentile times of old. Bryson does a good job of narrating the book, although at times seemed lacking in expression, making the narration a little dull. If you've got a desire to learn all sorts of factiods of life in centuries gone by, then you'll probably enjoy At Home.
Cryptonomicon is a rambling story that rewards the listener in many ways. Neal Stephenson has a great imagination and is a very good story-teller, if not concise. Cryptonomicon jumps around between eras and characters at a steady pace, making keeping up difficult at times - especially as sometimes a character tells their story retrospectively. There are many laugh-out-loud hilarious moments which make this an enjoyable listen. Overall if you like techno-thrillers you will probably love this story. Final points: Cryptonomicon is not SciFi as described by some people. The narration is excellent, enhancing the story.
This audible version of the story is well narrated and well paced. Abagnale certainly lived a colourful early life. The book has more depth and feeling than the movie, making it entertaining and enthralling.
One Minute After revisits the post-apocalyptic scenario. The story has a transparent political agenda; to raise awareness of a little know annihilation threat, and to educate the western world of what life would be like in a situation when most modern technology was not operating.
For much of the story this agenda dominates, and it reads/listens as though the concept of the threat and resulting breakdown of food/medical supply chains is more important than the characters - who are just there to experience the impact. Consequentially some of the characters seem clichéd and shallow. Later on in the book the characters have more depth and authenticity and the story more feeling.
If you liked novels from this genre like Alas Babylon, The Dog Star, The Road, you'll probably enjoy One Minute Afer. Forstchen has done a good job of this novel, but it lacks the difficult to define x-factor of a classic. Very good narration made this book a worthwhile listening experience.
As a fan of McCarthy's other work I was looking forward to Suttree. Suttree is an unusual book as much of the content (every second or third sentence!) is comprised of beautiful descriptors, poetic metaphor and simile, most of which is irrelevant to the "story". Which takes me to the big problem with Suttree as a novel. There is no story to tell, no plot. Just a guy wondering through his alcohol-addled version of life. Not much happens. Yes, we do gain an appreciation for the particular subculture that Suttree finds himself within, and for that you can appreciate McCarthy's efforts. The narrative jumps around, reducing any coherent semblance of story that may exist. The ending isn't really an ending but just the point where the author decided to stop writing. I really tried to like Suttree, but this is not anywhere near McCarthy's best work. It comes across as a vehicle for exercising his creating juices, but unfortunately that creativity didn't extend to plot.
Rounds-off of the story started in the Lion's Game. This series of books are reasonably engaging for the type, but lack the depth of characters or beauty of writing to take them beyond the standards of a commercial thriller.
The Lion's Game is a commercial detective / thriller. The story is engaging enough, and I particularly liked the NY culture aspect that the main character brings. Unfortunately too much of that character is a cliché; the anti-authority, go by my gut rather than the rule book, macho, street-wise.....cop type character that turns up in dozens of such stories. At least Demille gave his character a sense of humour and plenty of one-liners to add some levity. Scott Brick did a good job of the narration.
Plenty of action, good characters, fast passed but detailed. Reamde is an enjoyable listen with very good narration.
Will Paton is an audio-book legend. Paton's narration of Deliverance is superb. Deliverance is a classic story that is ageing very well. Enthralling and disturbing at the same time.
The Woodcutter is an enjoyable mystery novel with a strong English flavour. The characters are interesting and varied, plus the pacing about right. Best of all, the narrator does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life.
The first ten hours of this book were very slow going, but eventually the beauty of the story and characters unfolded. For much of the story I couldn't fathom why the author gave her characters from the year 2054 the dialogue of English people from the 1950s. Eventually it became clear that it was all part of subtle humour, which probably failed to hit the mark.
What saved this book is the depth of the characters, and the emotion of the situation they faced. The author deserves praise for the research that obviously went into establishing the context of the story. Overall a worthwhile listen, although it was a ponderous story for many hours.
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