I just put my finger on why I find Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book and Neverwhere so enchanting. As a kid (roughly age 10 to 13) I used to love reading books like the Sword of Shanara, Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Circle of Light, Elric of Melnibone, Chronicles of Amber, Grey Mouser and Fafhard, The Dragon and the George, The Compleat Enchanter, etc. They were books of a different world with with rules of magic I could believe were real. They had not only villains and heroes, children who became men, and powers discovered, but they made me feel like I could be part of battles between order and chaos, mages and warriors, gods and men, monsters and me.
Somewhere along the line in the thirty years that followed I gradually lost the desire or will to escape the rules of nature. I gradually lost my passion for fantasy and got drawn more to hard science fiction or murder mysteries or at least stories with a hard basis on reality, even if a reality poetically described.
When I hear Neil Gaiman's books, however, I am drawn all the way back, full force, into a world of all new rules. Everything becomes possible, and it all feels real.
I noticed that most of the negative reviews for this book are by people who bought it for their small children. This book is no more for small children than a Tolkien book would be. What it is, however, is for grown ups who miss the magic of childhood.
This book is magical.
I'm a big fan of the Iain M. Banks, especially his sciencie fiction books including Look Toward Windward, Algebraist and the like. I've listened to a few of his non-sci fi books now, but this Surface Detail (Culture Novel #9) is the first sci fi I've heard narrated.
And it's absolutely fantastic. The writing is as good as the best of his science fiction, and Peter Kenny is phenomenal as a narrator. I've listened to hundreds of audio books over the last several years, and this is definitely one of my favorites. I love this audio presentation.
Warning to casual listeners: this has fairly complex plot, so you'll have a hard time if you try to multi-task your attention while listening to this book.
I'm so grateful to Iain M. Banks for writing yet another complex, moving, intelligent and well told story and for Peter Kenny for doing such a wonderful job narrating it. Transition is a book worthy of the this same science fiction author who wrong "Look to Windward" and the "Algebraist".
Please be aware that Iain M. Banks tends to write very richly crafted villains as well as heroes, so if you're squeamish he's not for you. I'm not squeamish, of course, and love his style.
Finally, part of what makes Transition so rich is that it ties itself obliquely yet solidly to problems we face in our world, and he lets us make judgements for ourselves without telling us what to think. This is a great book.
This isn't just a book that has many moments that made me laugh out loud. It's well told narrative with suspense and twists.
If it was just a comedy I wouldn't give this five stars. But it's clever, passionate, well narrated and beautifully sarcastic.
I had as much fun listening to this as I had 30 years ago reading Bored of the Rings or in the 80's and 90's reading Good Omens or the first few Xanth novels by Piers Anthony. Also, if you like passionately fun novels like Infected/Contagious you also might like this, too.
I enjoyed listening to this tale. Last year I actually took a train to some of the towns mentioned in this story (towns so rural my gps listed 15 of the top 25 points of interest as cemetaries). The narration was perfect, and I estimate that 85% of the writing was perfect, too. But approximately 15% of it digressed pointlessly, and that's why I only give this 4 out of 5 stars. Still, the tale was entertaining and sometimes educational.
In the early 1980's, almost 30 years ago, I read the four books of the new sun as well as its sequel The Urth of the New Sun. Of the hundreds of books I've read in my life, this series has stuck with me, forming me in many ways.
I just finished listening to the four books of the new sun, starting with The Shadow of the Torturer, and I listened to 48 or so hours almost non-stop just pausing when I must to sleep or work. I loved this reading and still love the books the second time around.
This is not so much a plot driven book, though it has a strong plot that it follows in its patient, winding way. It's a book of stories, allegories, compassion, growth and hope. It's a story of pain and loss and change but of humanity and our hope for a better world. I am a richer human for having read the series and richer for having heard it again now that I am older.
I can't wait for Audible to come out with the fifth book, and I hope they get Jonathan Davis to read it, too.
I very muched enjoyed this John Steakley "Vampires Inc." story narrated by Tom Weiner. The other book "Armor" by the same author and same narrator is one of my all time favorite books and audio books, and Vampire$ brought back that same kind of excitement (perhaps only 90% as much as Armor, but 90% of best is still better than almost everything else).
I was particularly grateful to John Steakley for bringing to life another incarnation of his Jack Crow and Felix characters. I view them much like the Champion Eternal characters of Michael Moorcock where Moorcock made several incarnations of the same anti-heroes (Elric, Corwin, Hawkmoon, etc.). Vampires is basically a new incarnation of the same wonderful anti-heroes that Armor had but in our world instead of the future.
At first I thought, "Gosh this sounds a lot like John Carpenter's Vampires" but with much more character development. I looked up imdb and saw that Steakley wrote John Carpenter's Vampires. But as I progressed in this book I was grateful to learn that this is not only more complex, it's a totally different story (and way better). For one thing, John Carpenter's movie doesn't even have the Felix character, and for another thing the this book takes advantage of Steakley's strength which is character develpment and battles with ones self rather than with evil.
The first half of the book was mostly historical, explaining several things that we've been taught wrong. Due to how old the topics were they were interesting to hear but not inflamitory.
The second half of the book, however, hits closer and closer to current day; and Jesse and Dick cover items I knew in parts (hence know are true) but go much deeper than I ever suspected.
Thanks Jesse and Dick for writing this.
For weeks after I listened to this book it stayed with me, haunting me like a true work of art.
This book is a masterpiece.
Haruki Murakami is a master of surreal mystery moved forward with interesting characters and dark humor. Rupert Degas is a master of bringing them to life with an enthusiasm more exciting and delightful than we probably would have done even if we read the books ourselves. Haruki and Rupert make a magnificent duo.
So far I've listened to Kafka on the Shore; Dance, Dance, Dance; and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I really love them all. Dance, Dance, Dance is probably the lightest heart of the three but fun in different ways than the other two.
So far I've of the Haruki Murakami novels I've listened to Kafka On the Shore; Dance, Dance, Dance; and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I love them all, and I love the audible presentation of them by this narrator.
Haruki's novels all put character development in front of action, and the action builds up so artfully and surreally that it's always moving and suspenseful at all the right times.
Haruki is a master author, and Rupert is a master narrator. I honor this book and its narration.
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