I am writing this review on the first of this series because as you consider beginning a multibook series you'll be wondering if the commitment is worth it. After having listened to all of the books now available on Audible (10 or 11 and the story is still not over) I am telling you to GO FOR IT. It took a several chapters to get my bearings with the material, but after that I was hooked in a terribly engrossing world of fantasy that I would never have thought would interest me. Some other reviewers have panned the narrators, and maybe with the first book they hadn't yet found their bearing either, but throughout the series they are outstanding in my opinion. I couldn't get enough of this story. I'm thankful that I came to it late, when there were already more than 10 books to enjoy. I admit that I have expected the author to wrap up this saga before now, but in reality I am thankful that he kept the characters and their world alive. I recommend this series with no reservations.
This is by far the lamest novel I've listened to. The narrator sounds like he is from the Jay Ward school of cartoon characterizations. It sounded like Dudley Dooright and Snidley Whiplash (and a little bit of "Uncle Tanoose") had grabbed the microphone. Seriously, I never could get absorbed into the story because of the over-the-top reading. I found myself constantly debating (while the story is continuing) if the book is horrible for its sophomoric writing or the terrible characterizations by the reader. I have stuck with it only so I could fairly write a review. But I've got to warn you, as you near the end of part 2 and are thinking that this monstrosity will finally end in part 3, that there is a PART 4!
The plot in this book is criminally predictable and plods out at a glacial pace. The characters are equally shallow and detestable; even the main protagonists. There is absolutely no reason to care that they succeed in their "epic" quest. The only "epic quest" involved in this book is making the effort to listen through to the end. Giving this book anything higher than 1 star is doing a disservice to all the quality fantasy titles that can be found on Audible. If you've got a spare credit burning a hole in your account and want a good laugh, go ahead and download this book. But don't say I didn't warn you!
How wonderful it is to hear an author's words read they way he heard them in his own head. Gaiman's narration is right up there with the best readers in audio books, no doubt about it. I loved the book, but have to caution parents that, although it is presented as "Children's Book" it is not for young children, and it is certainly a fantastic book for adults. I wish more authors had the ability at characterization, inflection and pacing that Gaiman has, but alas, his is a rare quality. I enjoyed this book so much I immediately bought "Neverwhere", which is every bit as good. I can't wait for more from this author/performer.
I've read every Jack Reacher novel, so was pleased to see the newest available so soon on Audible. As most Audible veterens know, the narrator can make or break a novel. The same book read by two different people can "feel" totally different. After listening to Bad Luck and Trouble I've concluded that my disappointment is not with the story, but with the narration. The voices and dialects just seem all wrong. Reacher isn't Reacher. O'Donnell, an ex-Army MP, is made to sound like some smarmy Atlantic Seaboard Socialite. And the women don't sound like women. The discordent characterizations kept getting in the way of a great action story. I am going to get the book now to read, as I recommend to you.
Le Show is the only reason I've continued to subscribe to public radio for 20 years...the ONLY reason. While Harry has retained a Liberal edge, while I've gone more conservative, I still love and respect the guy. He is one of my all time favorites. I first began hearing Harry when I was a kid in school (I'm 50 now) and he was part of the Credibility Gap group. They would do a news cast on a local Los Angeles radio station that lampooned current events as he continues now on Le Show. The Credibility Gap would skewer (the then LA mayor) Mayor Sam Yorty and anyone else that attracted their sites. Hilarious then and now. Previous reviewers have mentioned his skits about the Bush's, but Harry kept pace with the Clinton's as well. Even though I was a huge Reagan supporter, it didn't keep me from listening to his outrageously funny series, "Hellcats of the White House", when he found a new way every week to look at the oddball side of politics. Harry Shearer is a rare talent and an acquired taste. For those of you that have been left scratching your heads after a single listen, I encourage you to continue. Harry's take on world events grows on you and you find yourself scheduling your day not to miss his show. With Audible, now there is no reason to skip an episode. Go Harry, you've given me a lot of laughs over the past 40 years!
I am coming to realize that for audio books, even a great story can be undermined. Looking back on it, The Color of Death has a good story. Conflict, an interesting world of precious gems, love and violence. What made this book less satisfying was the inability of the reader to provide distinct characterizations to even the main protagonists. During dialogue I sometimes lost track if it was the man or the woman that was speaking, and I'm not sure the reader knew either. The main character is a woman, and there is one other woman in the book, while ALL the other characters (and there are a lot of them) are male. I'm not sure why the producer chose to use a female reader in this case; she had a lot difficulting coming up with multiple male voices.
Reviewer "sharol" is right about Ms King as a narrator, but wrong about "To the Nines." King narrarated that book as well. "To the Nines" was the first Evanovich book I listened to or read. Ms King's characterizations made that book very entertaining and had me wanting more. Unfortunately, my second Evanovich book was narrated by Debbie Mazar, and while she is not bad, she doesn't hold a candle to Lorelei King. Evanovich's stories are solid. Listen to those narrated by King, read the others.
This book was an exceptional "history" of the CIA. I don't know how much is factual, but having been born in the early '50s I lived through most of the time and events and this book's story has the ring of plausability. I enjoyed it very much. My only complaint, and just a small one, is that it took a long time to get through. I judge a great book by how dissapointed I am when a great story comes to an end. While I was engrossed in the story, I also started to feel like a Marathoner at the 20th mile...exhausted. The scope is grand and the personalities built in the book are great. The narration is above average. I recommend the book, but don't be surprised if you need a few breaks along the way.
Okay, so you shouldn't play this around small children (you'll have a lot of explaining to do), but I Gomez cracked me up. Yeah, there is a lot of lesbian related material, but not all. There is solid talent behind the material and her delivery. Recording quality is not great, but I've found myself keeping this one on the iPod for an occasional laugh.
An author can write a great tale, as Stephen King has done with "Dreamcatcher" but a an audible book relies on the narrator to bring the story to life. Mr. DeMunn has done a great job with this book. King is not always great; he is the epitomy of prolific. But this is a great story (ignore the movie) and made all the better for DeMunn's characterizations. At about 20 hours of listening, I thought it was too short!
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