I would listen several times over, savoring the culture of the 12th Century, but particularly because John Lee has the voice of God. Do not miss this book.
The women were the best characters, especially Ellen and Aliena. Even in the 12th Century, a strong and smart woman could grab power and change an entire nation.
Courage and hope in the face of unrelenting injustice
I read the book and interspersed that by listening to most of it on Audible. Isn't historic fiction a very best way to read about history? The Pillars of the Earth is cultural history around the 12th Century -- rulers, religion, regular people alongside supremely powerful lords, "witches," architects and craftsmen, strong women, evil warlords, saintly and sinful priests. Contrasted with life in the 1100s in England, the Great Depression was a cakewalk. After a while it seemed that each week of peace and happiness had to be purchased with months of attacks, abuse, blood-letting, injustice, and pure evil. The book ends with the martyrdom of Thomas Becket inside a cathedral -- the type of ediface the reader gets to know intimately. Cathedral construction is the star of this story.You will want to buy an illustrated coffee table book about cathedrals before you finish reading. Better yet, you may have bought airline tickets to both London and Paris so you can see and touch as many cathedrals as you can find.You can choose between nearly a thousand pages of reading or forty-plus hours of listening. In either case, you want it to go on forever.
I was immedialy engaged with this story about a second generation Asian man, but got quickly turned off by the poor writing. Lots of self-talk addressed the protagonist's reactions to people, but we rarely get to feel what he felt based on behavioral or locational descriptions.
The best character was the father, complete with a Chinese accent that evolved as more and more authentic as the book progressed. For the other characters, David nailed voices for age and gender. Watch for him in the future as serious writers discover his clean, crisp and engaging voice.
You can't cut characters if there is little character development to begin with.
Authors probably should not do everything themselves. For me, the three most crucial people to spend money on are editors, narrators, and studio engineers.
This is a morality play, a script idea for a low budget Lifetime Channel movie. The language is abstract, not concrete -- telling us instead of showing us. If I were allowed to be a "masculinist" with a political agenda, I would rant about women continually portraying males as insensitive and selfish sociopaths.
No, but I WOULD listen to anything by narrator David Dietz again!! The author lucked out with him. Hopefully David will be discovered by serious writers in the future.
If the book was saved, it happened through the narrator's voice -- crisp, clear, engaging, professional. Voicing gender and age works well for him. David Dietz will likely get hired by writers on the New York Times Best Seller List one day, so stay tuned, everybody.
To the writer: The reader needs to see, feel, touch, and smell the characters; sit, stand, and walk around in the settings. None of that was possible here with all the tortuous mind gymnastics, the "shoulds," the guilt trips, the morass of "morality." In future books, let's get real. And pay serious bucks for a content and style editor. It's worth it.
This book was made to be read aloud. A superior listen! No endless lists of details. The story keeps moving and the pictures that Louis paints of his characters are vivid to eye and ear.
No spoilers here, so I struggle to offer opinions without giving the story away. This book is about male fear, male courage, and male stupidity. Louis can write. He focuses on people, their looks, their personalities, their speech, their place in society. You will find yourself saying at each plot turn, "Holy crap...you gotta be kidding!"
The flawless part of the audiobook The Wrong Man is the narration by Robert Neil DeVoe. DeVoe is destined to be recruited by today’s best writers and to win Audiofile and voiceover awards. If the successors to Grisham, Wouk, Dahl, and Poe do not scoop him up, then the world is not right. DeVoe’s voice is clean, masculine without pretense, and trained to dig up visceral interpretations of the young, old, accented, gendered, emotion-ridden requirements of the most challenging authors. I could not pull out my earphones until the last few words of the epilogue. You will probably agree that the story seemed to contain a live cast of actors, not just a narrator – the college-guy protagonist, his druggie friend, the girlfriend, the local Mexicans, his grandparents, and others. Each character should make you react as emotionally as the lead character must..
Louis’ main character, Sam, is highly opiniated and politically incorrect. I like that. My own world depresses me with hordes of easily offended people and The Wrong Man gave me delicious escape. Sam is equally disdainful of small-town people, Mexicans, middle-aged women, and old people – just for starters.Unfortunately, protagonist Sam’s thinking does not jive with his behavior. I think this problem could have been fixed if the entire story had been told in the third person instead of the first. How does a guy who spins words like Ian Fleming make such idiotic decisions?
Author Matthew Louis just started writing novels and should continue writing. The storytelling and imagery grab you in this novel and probably will for decades to come.
I could never listen to Michael Beck enough. He is a force of nature.
John Grisham probably ought to retire. There were zero surprises and an overabundance of repetitious details. He actually gave away the ending in the early chapters.
Beck's ability to transform his voice for gender, age, dialect, etc. is incomparable. Whatever he is paid cannot possibly be enough.
No follow-up book. Just listen to the abridged edition of this one. Nowhere near enough twists and surprises, nowhere near enough character delvings. It would have been nice to know more about the people related to the main character.
My favorite books are The Partner and Playing for Pizza. When Grisham goes international, he is on fire!!! I am really fatigued with the lame brains in Mississippi.
Move the story quicker, develop the characters deeper. Do not overdo one storyline.
Do multiple storylines to keep it interesting. For now there's too much detail and redundance around one timeline and one unendimg, grueling investigation.
Comoron and Robin in the dress shop.
To aim to write beautiful prose.
I gave 3 stars instead of 1 because the language is so beautiful. It is elegantly, artistically read by the narrator at Audible.com. Just when it seemed J.K. Rowling had created the new Sherlock Holmes and Watson, the story deteriorated into tedious detail no more exciting than watching grass grow. Yes, the mystery is important, but story movement and character development are far more important than finding only one new clue to the mystery every 50 pages or so. I hope the author reads this and brings the progagonist and his assistant back for another try in the sequel.
Among biographies, this has inspired me more than any other in my life.
On the scale of important biographies, compare it to Leonard Bernstein's or Sargent Shriver's.
Hey, it's Billy Crystal. Just say thank you.
Get the Audible version of this book right now. Of course it is funny. It's Billy Crystal! More importantly, it's the most inspiring biography I've ever read. He is 65. I am 68. I enter my next part of life right now with the Billy-inspired mantra: I have yet to create and perform my best work.
Folks, you will laugh and cry throughout the book. If you lived in the 20th century, you will visit favorite people, places and events. You learn about idols from Mohammad Ali and Joe DiMaggio to Johnny Carson and Sophia Loren. You re-learn that it takes character and discipline to be great. Nobody is born great.
I don't want to spoil it for you. There are many reasons to buy the audio version...to begin with, Billy's imitations of Ali and Cossell.
No, the audiobook cannot -- by the very design of the book -- be better than the print version. I listened while on a 7-hour drive then immediately ordered the print version. APE is one of those books that even Kindle fanatics will want the print version of. The reason: lists, lists, lists...references...contacts...a roadmap for five years of training and work. Smell the book, write in it. bend the pages over.
If you have already published an e-book, half the book is old hat but, believe me, you will learn who the big boys are and how to play better than you might have thought you could on your own. We are easily lured into Amazon's publishing wonderland and that may still be an option, but we learn plenty about good options for printing, distribution, marketing, etc.
Lloyd Sherr mercifully read at a fast speed so that this data-heavy book stayed interesting. Loved his voice and upbeat tone.
I am starting the next book with the best outline ever. I am mounting the biggest campaign of my life to engage a large crowd of supporters, influencers, editors, and buyers. The steps outlined in the last 10 chapters provide a roadmap for success. I can feel, taste, and fully imagine what success looks like.
I love stories with multiple simultaneous activity. Threat Vector has all that -- in spades. What I don't like is endless jabber about computer programming, especially on an audio book. We should be warned. When reading a book, you can happily skip past the five pages of geek language and get on with the story simply by skimming and scanning. With sound, all you can do is stay with it. When you fast-forward, you have no idea what you are missing. I like to have some control over the reading. I want to skip pseudo-technical bullcrap, long chases, endless descriptions of firearms construction, etc. I'm one of those guys that prefers relationships, character development, and a story that keeps moving forward. This audiobook is a case where the unabridged edition would have saved both time and money.
Most interesting was the scary possibility that governments have to outsource spying and killing. Least interesting is the highly improbably brinksmanship of the Chinese government.
Lou Diamond Phillips might be the best reader in Audible.com history. He nails gender, accents. One truly forgets there is only one narrator. So clean. So clear. I probably can't afford him, but I want him on my next book. My name, Lou, is Jack Dermody. Find me on the web.
No movie -- too much violence, too many chases, too many improbable outcomes.
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