Bogart, GA, United States | Member Since 2010
Maybe a person who studies anatomy might enjoy this book. Maybe.
Maybe. I know he's definitely got better work than this out there, but I'm afraid this book might have shown me a side of his writing that turns me off, which I might never be able to unsee if I try to read his other work! Maybe I'll find out if that's true, once I forget about this story enough to come back to him.
Exasperation and frustration, disbelief...not only were there maddeningly bad examples of the writing techniques he used, but I also wanted to take his lead character and shake her! What a push over she was.
The author had the makings of a really cool and creepy story here, but botched it with bad writing. This is an example of a writer overusing a gimmick in a story. At first, when he used the explanation of the anatomical features of a human face to help the main characters "recognize themselves" again, it seemed like heavy detail overkill, though I got the point and acknowledged that this gimmick had some poignancy to it. Later, when Chuck continued to use that same gimmick to describe the expressions on the characters faces in long, laborious detail to show how they felt (in a "deep" way) over and over and over again, it seemed like the whole story was becoming a massive waste of time. Then when the story was wrapping up, the heroine's complete powerlessness and inability to do anything but go along with her own demise complicitly, and her unwillingness to recognize that her daughter was a complete sociopath and have her thrown into a mental institution so she wouldn't hurt anyone else, well; those things just made the whole book even more soggy for me. It's not that I need or rely on all my heroines to be the newly stereotypical "strong female role model". It's just that this particular heroine was so completely subdued and resigned that she wouldn't lift a finger to help herself out of an increasingly bad situation. The story just continued to play out all around her, while she passively accepted it all. It all seemed highly contrived and was boring and frustrating. Waste of time!
VERY eloquently roguish dialogue, characters, and narration, which can be somehow totally crass and artfully constructed at the same time! The way alchemy and "magic" replace science in the world of this story is understated enough to let the life events of the main character, who gets by with only his wit and the dedication of his friends, shine. There are a few key aspects of this whole other world which Scott Lynch has built to be the setting of Locke Lamora's tale which I admire a great deal! The people of this world seem to be in a relatively young phase of human advancement on their planet wherein much is still unexplained to them, and they often call the unexplained "magic", though you get the sense that their unexplained phenomena might ACTUALLY be magical! This culturally familiar, yet physically alien world is altogether highly creative and very well developed, but it's subtly presented as not really a focal point of the story, but rather an essential part of the journey of the characters involved, and its a vast and mysterious place, full of very marked and differing cultures, and is both frightening and beautiful. In the societies Lynch has built with this story, I've noticed that bigotry of all kinds, like racism, sexism, etc., are pretty much non-existent. Reading this series has given me a surprisingly refreshing opportunity to be engaged in a world where people are raised, employed, murdered and robbed with barely any consideration for whether or not they happened to have been born women or men, light skinned or dark. Really the only time birth makes someone superior here is when they are born into money. Life is harsh there as most everyone seems to be in desperate financial straights and living with the daily threat of being captured and sold into slavery or killed in the street and dumped in the river (except for the few extremely wealthy dukes and duchesses, and the small merchant class, of course). The absence of bigotry does not play an explicit role in the plot or dialogue, it's just a part of the way things are in this particular world, so it doesn't seem preachy or distracting, yet lends some undertones of social depth to the civilizations the story is set in, adding to that pleasant feeling of escape and catharsis which a rich and well written story can offer. This book really has everything you could ask for from a great fiction read! It's all too much for me to write a complete review on! Scott Lynch deserves a lot of acclaim for this series, it's really shown him to be as skilled as any best selling fiction author on the shelves, and better than many! It's a really fun, engrossing book, and the next one in the series doesn't disappoint. Get it!
This is a story that includes a large comedic cast of characters and is set in San Francisco. The tone Moore used throughout has lots of witty, quirky realism to it, but in a non self conscious way that just plucks right along through coming of age, embarrassing erections, new love, stonerism, a little gore, and the real-life technicalities of vampirism, in a city full of homeless people, gay fortune tellers, trend obsessed youths, and upper crust yuppies.
I would describe it not only as adventurous and magical, but also a little dark, a little tense, and really fun and funny as hell. The series (3 books) does not wear its self out for the sake of endless sequels. All three books are necessary parts of the same story, which pans out over the interrelated lives of a group of people who do not have any contrived motivations, or wasted lines or narratives. It's a good time.
If you listen to this book and don't love it for some reason, try "Fool: a novel" by Christopher Moore. I think that's got to be his best!
This is a narrator who knocks it out of the park. She gave all of the characters a righteous approximation of their rightful voices, she never missed a beat of satire, she let the funny parts stay funny and the serious parts stay meaningful, all the while maintaining the nonchalant rhythm that Christopher Moore brings to his work.
Many people seem to like a lot of brooding depth with their vampire tales, and though this story does have just a touch of that, it is a funny book which NEVER takes its self too seriously. Enjoy!
This reimagining of the story of King Lear is just so witty, so funny, so well written that I had to listen to it three times. I wish I could get amnesia just so that I could read it for the first time again. Highly entertaining stuff!
This is one of those "study in irony" books that examines the dichotomy between our ideas of good and bad and right and wrong, and reality. It was VERY lengthy, and I thought that much of that time could have been filled with more direct and reasonably ordered writing, but the writing was also very impressive in it's imaginative inventiveness and high, regal wording. I can't imagine an average person having the skill or patience to create such a work!
I'm more of a fan of sci-fi and fantasy-realism than cerebral questionings of reality, so I may be slightly biased in my review of Wicked because it wasn't QUITE what I expected it to be, even though it was still close enough to my favorite genres to impress me with its depth. I think that just a little more of a witty comedy edge would have rounded this story out into a less bleak and tedious whole, as was masterfully accomplished in a new rendition of the story of king leer, and I just know I'm not spelling that correctly, but the great new twist on that story is called "The Fool" (FANTASTIC read there, go drop a credit on it, you'll more than likely be pleased, no matter what you're into!)
All in all, I'd say that you should only buy this book if you really, really liked the play, just love a good long story that entertains And makes you think, if you're highly appreciative of fine use of the English language, if you have an aversion to genre fiction but want some fantasy in your life, or if you've got an especially long trip ahead of you and you're looking for some distraction.
I liked the movie version of this story when I was younger, so I gave the book a try with high expectations. Although the story was interesting and dramatic, and mostly lacked the usual kind of totally worn out, harlequin romantic, childish elements which plague the genre of contemporary fantasy, I thought the writing could have done the story a lot more justice, and, truth be told, the definitely Midwestern American accent of the narrator turned me off just a little bit, though she did a fine job.
The way the author expressed the passage of time throughout the book made it feel like she was really trying to just fill in the necessary back story so she could get to the good part, even though the majority of the book was spent examining back story, in the coming of age and subsequent adulthood of three generations of a family. That made long stretches of the text sort of boring. There was a lot of seemingly disorganized temporal back and forth with a lack of emphasis on details that were necessary to make the reader understand what was going on when, and exactly what the author was trying to say, and some seemingly incomplete and vague ideas and events.
The unreality of some of the things that happened as a result of the influence of the witches natural power made the story less believable and cohesive for me. A plastic counter top boiling under the elbows of a man who was so in love that he gave off too much heat, or any and all butter in a house always being in a melted state because one of the daughters under the home's roof was so in love, for example, these seemed to be narrative stabs at a childlike sense of superstitious wonder, and that could have worked really well.
But to me, those playful details were always too obvious and dramatic, and took a lot of potential for immersion away from the story, making it more difficult for readers to believe in it. I mean, wouldn't a boiling counter top in a diner burn someone, or raise an eyebrow or two at least? Not to mention, that dude would have been dead from overheating! Most of the other elements in the tale had more of a base in reality and tones of seriousness, so lines like the above just seemed out of place.
Another problem was the dominating emphasis on romance. A little romance in a story is good, but there are PLENTY of other stories where it's the main event, especially in this genre. A little more about the witches' magic and a little less about what men they were dealing with would have been more balanced. I liked the story, but that's partly because of the potential I saw in the ideas presented in it which didn't really pan out well, and because it wasn't just another desperate genre formula full of nothing but love and sex and outlandish paranormal creatures with thrown together, unlikely motivations. This wasn't THAT bad. All in all, it was okay.
First, this book is so heavily abridged that it's not even worth listening to anymore! The many parts that are deemed unnecessary, for the purpose of editing, are summarized here and there in a very condensed, heavily detailed, and confusing way, and those summaries are read by a man in a voice that sounds like a TV commercial, while the bulk of the story is read by a woman who makes everything sound ridiculously melodramatic and over-acted. She sounds like an actress in a low rent soap opera. The contrast between the two voices and going back and forth between them makes listening an annoying experience, with no potential for maintained immersion in the story. I haven't been able to find an audio rendering of the story that's more than three hours long, so considering the fact that the unabridged version would be MUCH longer than that, maybe we should just stick to the old fashioned way for the witching hour!!
This book found a great balance between fantasy and sci-fi, it was fantastical and imaginative without being full of fluffy, childish make believe, yet it was also futuristic and gripping, without being full of nerdy technology worship. The tone and essence of the book were somber and bleak, but not to the point of being whiney or melodramatic and overly heavy. The narration really played that up well, I think the reader was very well matched to the story.
It reminded me of the hunger games in its futuristic, dystopian vision of a concentration camp for human beings who had evolved into various forms of clairvoyance, and the new oppressive governments of Britain and Europe which sought to become prison empires. The author was descriptive and imaginative in her creation and detailed definition of the diversity of this advanced world and its neighboring dimensions and species.
The only issues I had with this authors first published work were her tendency to rush the story just a bit, and the rare, yet still sometimes present bit of seemingly unpolished, flowery prose which seemed to be thrown in to break up the concentrated pace of the story telling ("the night was so dark...so cold"...blegh). Yet, altogether it was a skilled attempt without too much emphasis on romance and no reliance on worn out narratives.
This is a really great read in my opinion, and I think it will appeal to a lot of different tastes. I really can't wait for the sequel, you hurry up and gimme it, Shannon! I need it!
The story reminded me of Neil Gayman's "American Gods", because of its smooth and cohesive, yet gripping flow and because the final "battle scene" and the lead up to it were so quintessentially epic, yet creative and surprising.
The narrator really seemed to fit the story and the main character well, and he was skilled.
This sequel to the shining, in my opinion, was better than the shining. That's partly because the antagonists were people rather than one stationary and somewhat inanimate (yet freaky) haunted hotel. Though it's mostly because a lot of time passed as the main characters journeyed through their lives to meet each other, discovering their gifts and dealing with their demons, addictions, and family problems along the way to become the people they'd have to be, and forming the relationships they'd have to have to stop the evil forces working to destroy them. It was much less claustrophobic than the shining and it was one of those that I could not stop listening to! It never wandered into useless detail or gimmicky prose, yet featured rich, realistic, and well rounded character and story development. After the end, I felt SO gratified, and a bit emotional! Not all of kings books are hits, of course, but this one really is. It's a perfect book for October too!
The narrator puts way too much emphasis on the first syllables of her words, and on the wrong words, in a kind of blind, "I'm reading at a poetry slam" kind of way. It sounds like a kid telling a ghost story which they think is "really scary" and compelling around a fire at church camp. It makes the whole story seem even more childish and false, and distracts you. The narrator is unskilled.
The motivations of the bad guys out to get the main character were total garbage, and so were all the convenient inconsistencies that helped the story along. There have been some inconsistencies in the writing of these books before, but it's never been a big enough road block for me to begin to dismiss the story completely. This addition felt rushed and poorly thought out.
The narrator does a good job with the voice and accent of the main character, bringing the sultry and traditional elements of the south out in full color, though the voices and mannerisms she used for many of the other characters sounded unrealistic and stereotypical. Sam always sounded like a goofy little boy with a crush on the main character, not a grown man from Louisiana.
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