Okay, so this isn't great literature, but it's okay for a long flight; however, I really wish that they'd drop those truly cheesy sound effects.
A different book and a different narrator — I should note that the narrator was far from the biggest problem with this audio book.
Wouldn't wish this book on anyone!
Luckily, I only spent $4.95 for this book. Had I spent more or used a credit, I would have felt cheated. I probably would not have finished the book, but I was traveling and had finished everything else. I was able to make a game of guessing the next step in the plot. It wasn't hard!
I listened to the whole thing, but that has more to do with the amount of traveling I've been going lately (several trips back and forth across the Pacific) than the book. I think that this book can't figure out what it is trying to be.
I'd write more, but don't want to waste any more time contemplating this book.
Admittedly I only saw the movie once years ago, but as I recall it was quite funny. The book, though, gets old quickly as all we see (hear) is a whiny Ivy League graduate who seems to think that the world owes her success as a writer. (We only see any evidence of any talent in that area in the last chapter or two). The Miranda Priestly characters (the evil boss) in the book is simply a cardboard cutout with all the depth that suggests. The character that Meryl Streep played in the book was not so narrowly (shallowly) drawn and, as such, obviously had made a Faustian bargain to gain success. There is little sense of that in the book.
So, unless you're in to whiny, entitled college grads, skip the book and watch the movie. You'll thank me.
I think that most of the positive reviews were, in fact, thinking of the movie.
First, there is the book. Suddenly Dan Brown's books look tight, well-written and plausible -- by comparison. The language is painful, the leaps in the story incredible. When I though it couldn't get any worse, it did!
Then there is the narrator. I hope this was his first effort. In any case, I'd suggest that he not quit his day job. Of course, with material like this, I don't think anyone could do very well.
As I said in the subject line, this book deserves a negative rating. Save your money and time, give this book a miss.
I listened to this all the way to the end, so it was better than the few that I've abandoned mid-way. That said, the writing is pretty sophomoric and more than a little embarrassing.
I have several categories into which I slot audio books. One of those is "airplane books." These are fast-paced, keep-you-awake-during-a-trans-pacific-flight books. Well, this is one of those, it is fast and action packed. You really don't want to think about this book as it falls apart pretty quickly. And it's politics are well to the right of Attila the Hun and Dick Cheny (water-boarding is considered the most reliable of interrogation techniques. Every now and then the author puts words into the mouth of some character that you think just must be ironic. Alas, I don't think that Ted Bell can spell irony.
Anyway, if you can just think of it as an over the top, swashbuckler, it is okay.
I've listened to a number of Connie Willis' books before and really enjoyed them. My experience with these two books was decidedly more mixed. Much was very enjoyable; however, I got sick of the interminable self-recriminations about whether one action or another had changed history. Also, one character or another would go haring off on some errand and immediately the others would wonder why he/she was late in returning despite the fact that all their experience told them that delays in travel in war disrupted England were business as usual. It also seems to me that time travelers would have standard strategies for making it easy for their retrieval teams to find them. Gawd! Don't we tell our kids to either stay put or go to some previously specified place if lost. These people would have made the task of finding them very difficult indeed.
I guess the main complaint is that the same two or three devices were used to excess. This is one book (or rather one pair of books -- they must be reviewed together as they aren't stand alone books) that lends itself to abridgement -- and I don't listen to or read abridged books! There are extremely tedious passages as they moan about whether or not they have changed history by some action forgetting, of course, that not acting can have ramifications, too.
Still Ms Willis paints a wonderful picture of war time England with only a few major historical mistakes.
If I hadn't been on another cross Pacific flight without anything else to listen to or read, I would have abandoned this loser. As if was, I persisted, but got more and more irritated. I don't know what was worse, the book or the narrator. I suppose you could say that the sophomoric writing was paired with an equally sophomoric reading.
Save your money and time. Don't buy this dog.
I really recommend this book. Some complained about the narrator and the slowness of his speech, but, trust me, his accent and pace is right for the time and place (well, except for the Irish wife's accent, he'd have been better off not attempting that one and missing by such a wide margin.
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