A delightful mix of fantasy and Victorian England, at the same time fresh and wittty. The quirky mix of characters is great. The action and adventure have the flavor of the "Wild, Wild West" storyline, with crazy gadgets and wacky heros and villains--and steamy love interest. Great chemistry among the characters. Don't be fooled by the outward simplicity, Carriger walks the walk of both the erudite and urbane.
I wanted to like this. I tried. Great topic, interesting situation. Maybe it was better as a book. For me it felt like reading a map or 14 hours of "A +B-W= h and then Q\W".
Hours and hours.
Don't let the length scare you away! I'm an inveterate audiobook fanatic in scope and range of genre yet as a reader and professional writer, I maintain a pretty high bar---more is not better and this is a long listen. Shartaram is definitely in my top five.
Roberts delivers an amazing literary three punch with memorable, heartfelt characterization, an intriguing, magnetic storyline and painterly visual descriptions.
What puts Shantaram at the top are the deep moral and philosophical conversations woven into the characters and the story's exotic cultural journey. I will recommend this book to several constant readers but as an audiobook, Humphrey Bower (I would say his best work) makes Shantaram a stellar media performance experience.
Ok--I read the first couple Outlander books--Once a philosopher twice a pleb-- 44 hours later all I could think of was Paul Sheldon and some pscho fan demanding a sequel--add shitty high school revolutionary war history and stir. Claire--Jamie the bottice-ripping has been exhausted--wait for the TV series.
The music and sound effects are nearly annoying, definitely not a contribution.
Blair Brown is amazing and I enjoyed the bonus of having Rose, the main character work as an audio narrator.
Stephen as Norman. I have had the pleasurable distinction of only reading King in audio; hundreds of hours. The words read by the author in his understanding of Norman's mind turn up the chill to epic.
(Consider that I am a fan, he could crap in a bag on my doorstep and I'd love him).
"She looked like a woman mentally counting the choices of a lifetime, discovering the wrongs ones outnumber the right ones, and not by only a few either".
Anyone who could create this understanding deserves a five star salute.
You could put that on a pillow.
I am a late Stephen King lover, but a lover no less. He makes people. He puts someone you know in an extraodinary situation. But what's more, he puts them in your head and then takes them on a macabre ride. While the words may never be topped, Steven Weber is the vehicle that makes the story come alive in a way that would NEVER have happened tn any other medium. He enriches the experience. He creates an expression that enhances the literary language in a way that becomes its own valued genre. I would kiss his head if I ever met him. MWAA!
Even with a most ardent suspension of disbelief, this series is amazing, yet I???m still not sure which of the following reasons impressed me most:
1.That (except for the huge difference in quality) the series should be more fantastically categorized with "Lincoln the Vampire hunter" and more appropriately re-titled " Trixie Beldon and the Marquis de Sade."
2. If a key word search removed "body wash, "oh my" and any references to wardrobes or meals you'd have maybe 25 pages (12 pages if you excluded interior and architecture descriptions).
3. That immature, whiny, annoying and constantly questioning would be attractive to anyone, especially a devastatingly handsome bejillionaire.
4. That anything slightly prurient outweighs a need for (any) literary integrity.
5. That this ever made it beyond the bodice-ripper section.
My biggest fear is that the popular success of this drek will spawn more of the same.
Oh...the narration is the worst by far of hundreds of audio! The worst.
Where do I begin--the story is a stretch even for the most ardent sci-fi fan, the plot is predictable from the very beginning, the narration is "high school drama club" with a touch poorly rendered "Boris and Natasah" and the final testament, I fell asleep in the last three chapters and didn't even care to rewind. Not for anyone over the age of 12.
Not a big King follower but a great fantasy with some very profound "meaning of life" undertones--especially for those who appreciate good writing. Story and characters just the right mix of fantastic, well-defined and interesting. George Guidall gives it his gritty touch of perfection in all characters.
Be advised: This book is not for the "faint of intellect". I've had this selection for over a year, unable to get by the first 30 minutes. It is deeply poetic, highly literary and makes continuous reference to classic literature and academic literature frameworks and devices. That being said, the book is a mesmerizing portrait in language, visual imagery and human connection, painted with poetic metaphor. Definitely an instance where the audio lends value to the written novel--Leisham not only excels at character portrayal but her voice breathes life as masterfully fluid brushstroke. Byatt's command of multiple writing genres is nothing less than amazing--will be one of my all time-favorites. BTW, it also happens to be one heck-of-a romantic tragedy with a bittersweet ending (spoiler)! (tear)
Described as "exotic", "enchanting", "dazzling"--I'll give it an "A" for wonderfully descriptive with interesting characters and a dab of Shakespeare. But the narration is a bit too, melodramatic and the back-to-back labyrinths get to be a little much. Overall, it missed that one ingredient that could have made it great. My first instinct-- there was very little turn-of-the-century structure--could have added richness. Then it hit me. The reason Summit picked this up so fast is not for its comparable literary quality (Harry Potter comparison) but because it reads more like a screenplay than a novel. When you take a step back, the chapters are simply set directions injected with dialogue. Final answer--Like a good piece of chocolate, it's worth the diversion but don't expect a gourmet meal.
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