I was curious when other reviewers commented that the book was good, but had a bad ending. Never having read or listened to SK, I wanted to try it. Compared to other audio books, I have to say this was one of the worst, both the book and the narrator. I have never critiqued a reader before, but I can see why people do now. Book- I'm not offended by language, graphic images, political or religious messages so that does not slant my view, but if you are sensitive to those things, this book is not for you. SK is skilled at describing people, places, and things with immense detail to create a picture in your head, but, like all good things, it can be overdone. This book was slow and boring and as I mention in the title of the review, it's an age old plot. Big fish in a little pond who's an opportunist ego-driven scumbag wants more power and control and uses the isolation of the dome to further that cause. Throw in a little Rambo for protagonist "Barby" and the plot is completely old and boring. You really just want to find out what the deal with the dome is, and yes, that is a pretty weak explanation that may have been better created while SK was still on drugs. SK's repetition of people voiding themselves when dying was rather odd. I've read many books where characters died, and as a clinician, understand the loss of bodily control when a person dies, I've just never had to experience it so many times in a book. Once or twice for effect, after that, just redundant.
Narrator- I don't envy the job and couldn't do it myself, but have listened to many audio books with fantastic narration, this was not one. Southern drawls in a Maine based story did not work for me, teenagers sounded like stoned surfers, women sounded like children, many characters sounded like they had either speech impediments or were developmentally delayed...what a mess!
Bad book, bad narration. "His best work"? Hope not. Going to try the old stuff.
Having Salander stuck in the hospital for a majority of the story was a real drag for me. The first two stories were full of new people, new twists, new places, etc. I found the third was slower and seemed to be just a wrap up of the second. Good, and maybe even necessary, but I don't want a book/story that is needed like an I needs a dot. I want to want to read the story, and not feel like I'm just reading to wrap up loose ends.
Ok, I see that women love these books, and I also read a review from a guy warning these were just glorified romance stories. A friend of mine (guy) says to me, "yeah, they've got some romance, but they're really good". I'm going to land somewhere in the middle. I like the concept, and the stories are well-written. The narration is good too. I do find that there's a bit too much flirty interaction between the male and female main characters to a point that it slows up the plot. Sure, that's part of the essence of these stories, but it gets old after a while. They go one place and have sex, then they go to the next place and have sex, etc. Not enough action for the average male reader. The sci-fi and time travel parts don't come fast enough. The little bits you get along the way are less teasers, and more disappointments not making you anticipate the explanations, but more wanting to just skip parts to get to there.
Here's one more take-away stated by my friend...as a guy, if you can stand a little too much romance and can make it through, you can then tell women you listened to a Diana Gabaldon book, and your stock may go up quite a bit!
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