First, let me say that I will download and listen to the sequel, Judas Unchained. That says something about how engaging the story line and characters are. Having said that, not since 19th century British lit have I read an author who loves to describe everything in excruciating detail. I would often speed up the playback to race through long descriptions of an apartment or an office chair. I generally hate abridged versions, but halfway through this novel, I longed for one.
Hyperion is that rarest of SF novels -- one that combines believable character you care about with galaxy spanning elements of science fiction. Everything in this book was pitch perfect, including the excellent narration. I highly recommend this Simmons' offering and its sequel.
First, I must disagree with many reviewers who liken this King offering to "The Stand." It's not. And if you believe it is, I suggest that you go back, like I did, and listen to "The Stand" again. However, it is Stephen King and that is enough to guarantee a good story with compelling characters. My major complaints are that the narrator gives a southern accent to the antagonist, a Maine used car salesman, and the author's new found penchant for using his novels as platforms to espouse his political beliefs. All that said, it's a Stephen King novel, which means it is a credit well-spent.
I am finally giving up on Peter Straub. After reading "Ghost Story," I thought that he was the next best thing to Stephen King. Alas, nothing he has written since comes close to GS, and much of it, like "A Dark Matter" is almost unreadable. It did not take long before I did not care about the characters or how the story would end. One can suspend disbelief only so far, and the author takes us about a light year beyond that point in this book. It is amusing that the nickname of one of the book's charactor's is Dil and that at one point he and the main character try to remember the name of the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird." Mr. Straub should have taken Harper Lee's cue and quit after his first masterpiece.
While I enjoyed the storyline and the main character(s) were intriguing, the narrator ruined the experience. Other than the dialogue, which he read reasonably well, he read much too rapidly and mechanically. It reminded me of the voice on my Amazon Kindle and, believe me, that is not a voice you want to listen to for long periods of time.
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