This book and its sequel are the most captivating that the author ever wrote. I absolutely recommend this book and it's sequel for anyone who enjoys fantasy novels. I think very highly of the first Covenant series, but for purely enjoyable story telling this is his best.
First things first- this book has a lot going on. The main character is involved in lots of plots and sub-plots and had many very interesting interactions with many vivid characters. The book is a fantasy/mystery. The climax is absolutely great.
My only real complaint about Donaldson is that his characters are so damned frustrating. In other books, after restating every problem a hundred times they often do little or do something weird or simply wait for someone else to do something. This book has some of that, but I believe that he handles it much better than in the Covenant novels. As I said, there is a lot going on and many times the character has good reason not to act.
Unfortunately the reader is the patron saint of frustrated narration and I think he was a terrible choice for any Donaldson novel. Technically he's is very good reader, but for my money he was a bad choice here.
This is not an audiobook. I grew up listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and this play made me immediately nostalgic for the gold old days. Its a fast moving thriller with good voice acting. I docked the story a star, but I'd have to give out some spoilers to tell you why. It was totally worth my money in any event.
I really liked Hyperion, but I didn't believe that the author could tie all the sub-stories together and bring it to a satisfying conclusion. He pulled it off in a way that was good enough for me. In the final analysis there may be some dropped threads or inconsistencies, but I'll never know. I was swept along at a fast enough pace to not really notice or care. This book did the impossible.
It kind of goes without saying, but listen to Hyperion first if you intend to consume this. They are both worth a credit.
This looked "just okay" to me when I was perusing. I didn't know the author. The description sounded dubious. I think I bought it because it was on sale. Well lucky me because this was easily in my top-five for 2014.
This book is quirky and totally enjoyable. It took about two or three chapters for me to get into the rhythm, and it was a roller-coaster of humor from there to the end. I will definitely seek this author out in the future.
I love this kind of true story. I wanted to love Harry M., and I sort of managed to, but it would have been a lot nicer if he'd had an editor with his best interests at heart. The story gets sidelined with an awful lot of Harry's feelings. He should have left himself out at least half the time and told the riveting story of the investigation straight. It's a great story, and he'd have come off better in the end.
This isn't a horror novel. It's a feel smug about yourself if you're a Christian novel. Start with William Blatty if you want religious horror fiction. The Exorcist is terrific, and it shows infinite more understanding of our relationship with God than this book. I can't believe I made it to the end.
I wanted to like this, but got turned somewhat off when the author went nuclear pompous in the first chapter (or maybe the prologue?). To his credit, he didn't maintain that tone, but for me the flavor lingered. There are a lot of interesting stories compiled here, and many involve science, but it is the sort of regurgitating facts kind of science and not any kind of trye understanding that you'll get out of this. It reads (mostly) like a series of fun stories about booze and the booze industry made to fill 2000 words of an in-flight magazine. The author use of generalizations of the "physicist think so-and-so" variety.
I enjoyed the first half. The writing is beautiful, the explanations are elegant, and Mr. Murray reads his own work really well. I recommend it to my step-daughter and all other young people.
The second half gets all metaphysical and feels self-indulgent. Quit before you get there is my advice. Do that and you probably got your money's worth already.
These aren't brilliant literature, they're pulp stories. If you never read one, they might be better than you think. Taste vary. I'd love to give 5 stars for being classics (in my world) but pulp is necessarily pulpy.
I had no idea what to expect from this story. The title seemed far less than promising. I picked it up because it was enthusiastically recommended to me by a Russian friend. In my opinion, this should be considered one of the classic science fiction books of all time.
The story is captivating. The characters are phenomenal. I think that the translator deserves some sort of award because it comes across as if it were originally written in English.
The first half of this book is a sort of autobiography. I can't imagine why it was included. I did learn that his brother is a super-genius or something like that. I am sure he is a wonderful guy and I admire King a hell of a lot, but I just didn't have much interest in the beginning of this book.
The rest is, as the title says, more of a memoir on the craft of writing. I do not believe that it is particularly helpful to a writing student. It isn't much in the way of instructions on how to write (for that see Lawrence Block or, better, Sol Stein) as mostly just what King does. But what works for King might not work for others.
King has an amazing talent for characterizations that draw readers into his stories. I think he could write a book using any technique imaginable and it'd come out pretty good because of his characters. I was hoping to learn something about how to do that or at least get a glimpse of the master at work, but I don't feel I got that.
For anyone interested in writing, I'd recommend this. It is always interesting to see the creative process at work, a topic about which writers are traditional secretive when it comes to the details. On the other hand I have gotten more helpful writing advice from online writer's blogs than I did from this book. That doesn't mean it wasn't a good book, but my expectations were at odds with my experience.
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