I love this book. I love the story, I think it's told perfectly, a wonderful balance between the life of Chris, his family, his friends, his rides, the people Chris was likened to, and Krakauer's own experiences. To the previous reviewer who questioned the need to include Krakauer's own experience: The story could easily be told without that section, but it would have suffered for the omission. Among other things, it helped bridge the gap between "what we think we know" and "what a near-death in the frozen wilderness is actually like".
So why three stars? Well, the title says it all. This book is all but ruined by the narrator. In the book there are quotes all over the place - from Chris, from people Krakauer spoke to, from Krakauer himself. And yet the narrator does not change his voice at all for each of the different parts. I found myself getting confused - is he still reading from Chris's journal or is he back to Krakauer's voice? It completely wrenches you out of the story, and stops the heart of the story coming across.
Add to that the audio-sin of dodgy recording... a repeated line or two due to someone not worrying about listening to the final product before releasing it (probably in too much of a rush to cash in on the movie success to worry) makes this an audio book I would not recommend.
As to the actual book - do yourself a favour, buy, beg, borrow - find a copy. Remember your young ideals. Remember the times you've done stupid things that could've ended very differently. Enjoy this book.
This book is not for those with a casual interest in the “survivalist fiction” category, but judging from other comments it doesn’t seem to be for the “true” preppers either.
If you’re after a good, fun, interesting read on a topic that you find intriguing but haven’t really looked into too much – keep searching, this book isn’t for you.
For me this book wallowed in detail and smacked of Mary-Sue narrative. I struggled through 10 hours of this book before giving up. In that time there was probably only1 hour, 2 max, of actual story, the reset is bogged down on painful details about equipment, drill instruction, gun descriptions and random preaching about God which had little to do with religion or faith really, but were just a clumsy narrative tool used to try to separate the “good guys” from the “bad guys” in the shortest possible way.
When he introduces a new character, be it a “baddy” or a “goody” he again takes a short cut to force them on the reader – instead of letting us discover the character he makes them go into a massive monologue explaining their entire life story and the history of how they ended up where they were and why they were prepared for the disaster. Call me sceptical, but if a group of people ambushed me and pointed guns at my face and asked “What are you doing here, don’t worry we’re good guys” I would not be giving them my life story, complete with whimsical quips on my childhood. I’d be keeping my answers short and trying to get away from the people with guns as soon as possible.
The characters themselves lacked any depth at all. Each character was essentially the same person with a different appearance. All the “good guys” had identical ideals, identical speech patterns, identical vocabulary, and any decision making was really just an excuse for the author to (again) use a cheap ploy to try to force depth onto a character and to show off about his own knowledge on the subject (which he seems to be very pleased with himself about). Sadly the conversations tend to go like this: “I think we should do this” “but this way is better” “Oh you’re right that makes much more sense you’re so smart let’s do it that way”. It’s more like verbal self-gratification than a discussion.
The bad guys are just your stock-standard “look how inhumane these people are they are cannibals and child abusers and rapists – they make me physically ill, I’m trebling with rage at them”. It’s another cheap way to definitively separate the good from the bad – there is no grey in this book, not bad guys with redeeming features, no good guys with stains against their honour or internal struggles. This post-apocalyptic landscape is populated with 2-dimensional characters strewn about in a highly constructed “narrative” which is really one man’s idea on what he would do if the world ends (and was surrounded by other versions of himself). The author has written this for people already absorbed in the “prepper” mentality hoping that they will project their own life onto the characters, saving the author from having to go into the nasty chore of giving characters any depth himself.
I’ve marked the narrator down also – if you’re still keen on this book, please listen to a sample before committing to your purchase. He garbles the words in a way that I can’t articulate. It’s like he’s having something painful happening to him while he’s speaking, and his pattern and pitch and rhythm is all wrong. Or like he’s holding in a burp and still trying to talk. Very distracting (especially his female voice!).
I wish I could get those 10 hours back!
You love the series, and you'll buy this... but do so with this warning...
This is purely a comment on Roy Dotrice and the producers of this "mummer's farce". He hasn't even shown enough respect for those of use who have invested over 100 hours listening to this series to even review the pronunciation of the characters we've come to love. The accents of the characters have changed so much it's confusing to follow a conversation.
Catelyn is no longer "Cat-linn" but "Kate-lyn". Petyr is not "Pet-ire" but Peter.
Any narrator worth their salt keeps track of the accents and voices they lend to their characters, when working on a series. It's a slap in the face to hear this second-rate reading of a fantastic tale.
Arya sounds like a shrivelled old woman... Jamie sounds like Arya of old...
Not happy Roy, I wish Audible gave refunds for unsatisfactory purchases.
There are points where I was hoping the story would move a little faster, but for the most I found this incredible compelling listening! My only real complaint is the weird chimes and random sounds at the end of certain passages and chapters. It completely threw me out of the story whenever they happened... I've never encountered anything like it in an audio book before, very strange.
I was pretty disappointed with this one.
When hearing Morrie at the end, in his own voice, I can understand why people were so impressed with him. If Morrie had written a book himself I'm sure it would've been a very interesting read. And then there's Mitch.
Mitch seems very self-involved throughout the book, and I couldn't help but get the feeling that it was really Mitch's personality that shone through, instead of Morrie's. Mitch decided which of Morrie's life-lessons were worthy of the book, and thus shaped Morrie's ultimate message. This could be seen in Mitch's reference to his own past to explain some of the lessons - I did not feel this was required, as life lessons are like song lyrics - it's up to the individual to identify with them and take their own meanings from them.
Less Mitch, more Morrie. In fact, Mitch needn't be in the book, having him narrate only added to the narcissistic tone of the novel's delivery.
Zombies v. Super Herpes - what more could you want?
This was a good, fun listen. I liked the back story, and although at first the multiple narrators through me, I was able to get used to it quickly. It would make a great film, I don't know if some less-imaginative types might struggle with the action scenes.
A nice change from the disappointing rubbish I've been downloading!
Another nice and easy fiction purchase. An enjoyable way to kill time, and one the teens in your life will enjoy with you.
Just about everyone who has never lived in New York likes to imagine what it might be like. I found the book just the right balance of obscure and mundane to be believable. It's easy to imagine a person such as the main character existing in NY in the 80s.
Don't let my title mislead though, this book isn't boring. It's just got the right amount of day to day normality to make it believable.
When the book finished I initially thought "What? Where's the ending?". But after more thought about what the book was trying to achieve, I'm pretty satisfied with it. It's not a big morality tale, as I started to expect it would be. I was disappointed with some of the character's actions, in just the way I am sometimes disappointed with my actions or those of friends. But that's what makes this book endearing. It's as just life from the eyes of just another person.
The more I think about this book the more I'm glad I read it.
Final note though: At 5ish hours it's a fantastic quick read. Easy to follow, easy to visualise. I bought this on sale, and am glad I did.
Werewolves like to have sex. Oops I just spoiled the book for you! Seriously, that's all it is. Sex, sex, sex. The "C" words get a lot of use, I've never heard "Male Rooster" so often in such a short time, as well as the "C bomb". Seriously, one or the other would be on every single page of the physical book, I'm willing to bet.
When it got to the point of likening a woman's area to "a feverish baby's mouth" I stopped listening. Like that's an image I want, a male roster and a baby's mouth... That was right at the point it was starting to get into bestiality, so I'm pretty happy with where I stopped. I should've figured it out at the beginning when they mentioned a granddad getting aroused when the grand kids were on his knee. I had a "What the?" moment when I heard that, but the story was interesting at that stage and the reference was fleeting so I forgot about it quickly.
The story line is interesting (for as much of it as there is, think 10% plot/90% dirty novel), the last werewolf deciding whether or not to live or die. There's a hook about the origin of werewolves, but I really couldn't keep listening to it. It would probably turn out to be something like dogs having sex with dead humans, or humans having sex with dead dogs.
If you are into furry-fantasties maybe this'll do it for you. It was one huge Ick-factor for me though.
On a positive the narrator had an excellent voice and did a great job. I'll be looking out for more by him.
Oh, and as far as graphic violence - there isn't a lot, so if you're squeamish about that sort of thing don't worry. He likes to use the word "gobbet" but it's rarely about violence...
There were some really great parts in this book, and especially when laying in bed and starting to drift off there were some moments that I'd call scary. I did enjoy this book, and listened to it quickly, eager to hear more.
One thing that bugged me, however, is that it was very obviously written by an active alcoholic/drug addict day-dreaming about what sobriety must feel like. Only an active alcoholic can imagine sobriety would be such a horrible place where every corner looked like a bar, and every drink smelled like a whiskey.
A decent listen, worth getting if you're running out of books to listen to.
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