I loved the way this book was written and the narration (by both readers) was excellent. Very thought provoking and well-paced, though I am guessing that some will find the pacing too slow and the book too long for the story it is telling. But the plot is only a very small part of what makes this book good - the writing style and character development, and the gradual way that facts are revealed to the reader, all added to my enjoyment. I'm back on Audible right now looking for my next Sturgeon book.
Yes, Ron Perlman was not the best choice of narrator, but I've heard much worse. He does not excel at voice characterizations (except he does a good job with the old Romanian vampire hunter), and he speaks in a bit of a monotone (but not completely). For all that, I got used to his performance and was able to enjoy the book. As to the story itself, it's a bit formulaic, but the idea of a plague of vampires in New York City is novel enough to me that I was carried along by it. If you like the vampire and/or zombie genre, give this a try. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
I'll get my one complaint out of the way first: Christopher Hitchens should have had assistance with his narration style. I say this because the speed and somewhat monotonic way in which he reads makes this challenging book unnecessarily more so. I would not go so far as to say that he should not have been the narrator of this work, since I always prefer that a writer read his work if he or she can pull it off, since you know the emphasis you are hearing is the author's and not a fee-per-page professional actor. And really, after one's brain becomes accustomed to Hitchens' cadence, it's not really so bad. In fact, I think he may have improved hour by hour as he went though this eight hour masterwork.
Having said what I had to say about his narration (and really, what I want to say is, please put the effort in in spite of your feelings about the reading style), what's really important is the content of this important book. Hitchens had a sharp, deep, and powerful intellect, honed by years as a scholar of literature and a far-travelled journalist. His knowledge of culture, history, and religion is quite breathtaking as he weaves together a picture of religion as cultural poison through the ages. Like a top courtroom attorney, he produces a broad scope of evidence damning to the defendent, calling expert- and eye-witnesses from throughout history.
Not an easy listen, To someone who might quickly find themselves out of their depth here (no shame in it, as Hitchens holds the bar fairly high), I would recommend Richard Dawkins stimulating book "The God Delusion" and Sam Harris' pull-no-punches indictment "The End of Faith."
Hitchens contribution to this conversation is right on time and I hope it brings new minds to this growing backlash against the rising tide of religious fundamentalism in this and other countries. Bravo to Christoper Hitchens, and may this work help in the very real mortal struggle for and against Civilization that is going on around us.
This is a great book. Well-written, excellent narration. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to hear the next in the series!
This is an important work from a pioneer in the field of animal welfare. It is very understandable for the lay person, and I would recommend it to anyone interesting in animals.
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