I am listening to it again, and making notes.
I found the material fascinating, but more important to me, it gave me a major insight on how to continue the plot-line of a novel I am writing. Just as the study of perspective and dimension in art is useful to artists, I think this book would be very useful to anyone who writes fiction because it provides a foundation for how to accomplish misdirection and suspense. (It's all in the MIND, right?). It also gave me some very useful thoughts around character development and setting. (Good Continuation is necessary in the mind of the reader too.)
Overall, it also gave me more food for thought about how the world works and how people interact with each other. I have long held the opinion that "reality is virtual" (our sense of smell is the only one that provides direct contact with our environment). This book explains that notion in a much clearer way than I had previously thought out. But beyond the illusion created by the senses (think Plato's Cave, or Maya, the veil of illusion), this book really illustrates the illusory nature of the day to day lives we lead, and helps me think about what more is possible.
I really don't know. The author mentions some attention experiments (that showed that the "subconscious" may be driving, and that the consciousness has only veto power) which I once read about in another book, but it wasn't anything like this book.However, that reminds me - I Googled the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and discovered that their website has a wealth of studies on various aspects of mind research. There is more than will satisfy the most avid curiosity about neuroscience.
I read this book more for useful information than entertainment. I think of it more in terms of threads than scenes.
Not plausible. However, having said that, a note to those who thought the narrator took too many pauses - just adjust the narration speed to 1.5x normal. That should take care of it.
As a non-magician, I now feel a need to design some of my own magic tricks
Evokes the Classics
The A.J.Raffles stories, written by E.W. Hornung. Montmorency is somewhat Raffle-ish, and also not unlike an inversion of a certain Society burglar that Raffles snares.Hornung was the brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose characters lend some tang to Montmorency as well. The character development and use of coincidence also reminds one of Charles Dickens.
Mastery! One of the very best narrators there is. Impeccable narration and voices bring the story to life.
No, I just enjoyed it.
This is a very smart book that provides a new and original revival to the classic London mystery genre. The splitting of one person into two characters by disguise and persona was very well done, as was the portrayal of the schism between classes. And the ending was very satisfying. As a first novel it is hard to criticize. The book could have been a little longer and still made a fast read, which would have allowed the plot events to develop at a more leisurely rate. This would also give some more space between the Dickenson-type coincidences that helped move the story along.There were a few "continuity" items, including a couple of minor language neologisms that could have been omitted, and one pervasive olfactory sensation that was conveniently omitted after the first mention, but hard to overlook in its absence, as it would have provided a pervasive and powerful clue. Perhaps the overly proper Police and perpetrated parties were just too polite to mention it.None of these impeded the enjoyment of the story, and I am sure that the sequels are to be at least as much fun!
I didn't read it in print. However, listening to a narrator as polished as Simon Vance brings an extra dimension to any book.
This narrative is so detailed that I might have scanned parts of it if I were reading it.
One wonders, however, if Mr. Vance needed to be debriefed about the fictional nature of vampires after he was done recording this work.
The power of this book is not so much in memorable moments, but rather the cumulative effect of the world that it creates.
And the title was so compelling that I had to try the book.
See answer to first question.
No movie could do this book justice.
It would take a BBC Masterpiece Theater miniseries like what they do with Dickens novels to tell this story on film.
This question and answer format is not helping me to describe the book.
This book is so very detailed that at times I wanted to stop listening. Having said that, I found myself determined to get to the end.
Without spoiling anything, what I discovered was a story that gradually grew into a much broader scope than I had imagined.
The fact that it is written in the style of the period in which it takes place makes the narrative both enfolding and dense.
There is a point about forty percent of the way through where the narrative comes to a climax and that could have been the end of the story, except for one loose thread which, if the protagonist were not such an incredibly decent, long-suffering victim-hero,could have been ignored. (Did you like that sentence? Then make a commitment to finishing this book!)
After that the story sort of noodles about for a little while, like a sailboat trying to come about with no wind to fill its sails. Then it takes off again and expands greatly, like putting up a spinnaker.
Eventually one wonders if Tim Powers doesn't know more about vampire lore than all other writers in the genre put together. One starts to dream of weird people-creatures that inhabit the sleeping world. DON'T invite them in!
The ending, however, is a sweet surprise. If you like to read at the level of Harry Potter, this book will be a challenge for you. But if you enjoyed a novel as long and complex as Ken Follett's "Pillars in the Earth" (for example), you will probably like this, unless you abhor the supernatural genre.
I am not a fan of vampire fiction myself. However the "proto-vampires" in "The Stress of Her Regard" are far more compelling that the garden variety blood-sucker. And I love stories that embed historical figures in fiction.
The narrator, Nigel Planer, is excellent- so many voices executed brilliantly.
The story itself is a wild romp through space and time with ancient myths (such as "the world is flat" and "the Earth sits on the back of a giant turtle...you know very well it's turtles all the way down!") as fictional assumptions to create a world on. Then there is the insanely simple and lucky tourist who is followed everywhere by his murderous and protective luggage - many travelers have had their luggage follow them from destination to destination, but never like this!
Behind this one discovers the organized mind of an author who drops an innocuous detail that later becomes a pivot point in the story.
All this is very stimulating to the imagination. I may have not ever read one of Pratchett's books, but this is a great one to listen to.
In some ways similar to Douglas Adams, yet very different. They both use absurdism, personification and a degree of metafiction to create humor. Both, of course, are modern British authors.
Planer's narration brings it alive. He has many distinct voices. I watched part of the tv series of "The Color of Magic". Aside from the editing and effects issues, the soundtrack just didn't hold a candle to Planer's narration (although I understand he has a small role in the tv show).
Don't compare us to the real thing!
I plan to listen to book #2 soon.
I believe so - I don't think I ever read the print version, but I read part of "Restaurant at the End of the Universe", and I enjoyed listening to "Hitchhiker" more than reading "Restaurant".
It's almost in a class by itself because it is so funny and inventive, yet at the same time almost a satire of Science Fiction. I could compare it to the movie "Galaxy Quest" but that's not a book.
If I ever get a book published and it goes on audio, I will insist on Stephen Fry as narrator. He's the best! His characterization of Jeeves in the TV series of Wodehouse's stories was perfect. Fry WAS Jeeves!
His voices in "Hitchhiker" were all fantastic. I listened to an audio version years ago narrated by the author, and I was a little hesitant when I discovered Adams was not narrating the Audible.com version, but I soon forgot all about that.
Stephen Fry is a master.
I have no idea. Maybe: "DON'T PANIC!"
This story is so creative, and the characters so well done, without ever getting serious, that it is a model for humorous writing of any genre.
- Less description (WAY less description)- Less pretentiously kinky/amorphous/incestuous sex- A much more straightforward plot (It might have been cooler to have the female lead's "alternate world" turn out to be a parallel universe created in a book the male lead wrote (or edited), but somehow she crosses over into his "universe". (This has been done before, but not overdone, and probably not in this context.)- A shorter story: I stopped caring how it was going to turn out. It no longer seemed to matter. I may have missed some great revelation; I read a couple of critic's reviews, and got no inkling of one.
Actually, I just listened to a short story collection that had one of his stories in it (which I did not know at the time.) It was gruesomely bizarre and morbid.Probably not, intentionally.
see above answer.
Blah.It did create a bit of a mood for a while, but not strong enough to wade through all the unrequited subplots. More BLAH than anything else. For a while I thought he was going to make a pitch for convincing the reader that there really are "Little People" in the world. But then he veered away from that in favor of more pretentious amorphous kinky sex.Reading about the Little People reminded me of a memory from when I was eight that must have been a dream. (Seeing evil Leprechauns outside my basement window). I should write a story about it.
Can I get my credit back?
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