Virtually no plot movement until the final two hours of the book. You know that the author has nothing left to say when four characters engage in a contest to tell the best story (for what it is worth, none of the stories were good). Too much metaphysical nonsense; far too little closure.
This is a great book. I had read it years ago, and listening to it was pure joy. Irving is a wonderful storyteller, weaving threads to form a tapestry rich in pattern and detail. It is a book for the nonbeliever who wants to believe as well as for the believer who wants to believe thoughtfully.
I am a huge fan of Asaro and especially her Skolian Empire series. This book, chronologically the first of the series, fills in some detail but offers little new and, at least to me, little that is exciting. The narration was fine but the plot was slow. The coincidental timing used by the author to solve the major thematic crisis was predicable and, frankly, far too easy. Perhaps I would be more charitable had I not just listened to Tale of Two Cities.
Probably the finest tragic romance written in the English language superbly rendered into the audio format. Six stars.
I had never listened to a short story before, so I did not know whether the format would work as an audio book. I was captured almost immediately, and found myself surprisingly sad when it ended: the author intended (I think) for it to be an up-beat ending, but I could not see it that way. Very moving, ultimately very sad. A great story that stays with you for years.
Perhaps I was insufficiently careful reading the description, but I thought I was buying a history book. Instead, it is a fictional narrative about the young Genghis Khan. Since virtually all of the detail in the story is unknowable, it is best described as historical fiction with more fiction than the usual history-based narrative. Very recent archeological discoveries give us much more information about the Great Khan than we used to have. For me, the truth is much more interesting than fantasy.
Excellent wordsmith, excellent narration. The story, of course, needs no review. Ungodly long audible book but well worth the investment.
It is an older book (I read it decades ago), and it does not hold up as well as many others (such as, for example, The Forever War). Simak ultimately is an optimist, and perhaps such optimism seems particularly naive today. But the coincidences needed to resolve the central story are just too far-fetched.
This books falls in line with the works of Jack McDevitt in that it really is as much mystery as science fiction. Much of the book (it is written as a tale within a tale) neither advances the plot nor adds to the depth of the essential characters but rather allows the author to turn an interesting phrase. While enjoyable, I prefer more plot-driven stories.
One of the great strengths of Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead was the relative absence of fictional science in those stories. Card's strength is storytelling and morality, and Xenocide depends far too much on science that simply cannot be true and whose details make little sense. And, as others have said, the moralizing is too heavy-handed: in Xenocide, he tells rather than shows.
The accents of the readers did not bother me at all, but I can understand how some listeners might have been offended.
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