I did not see the film, but saw the press ooh and aah over it without reading a summary. I expected one type of book and came away with a very pleasant surprise in addition to what I expected. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the film, having received the full surprise and intended effect from the book.
Sounds like it was originally recorded on a grammophone, converted to tape, and then converted to audible format. There were passages that were literally undecipherable even in format 4. The book itself is quite good, feeling like a true Jeeves novel, with an appropriate laughable ending. But find another recording and save your poor ears.
Considering how little I remember of history class, and especially for living in the areas where these things happened, this was an interesting and moving way to discover why all those towns and places I knew growing up were known in history books. The story-like retelling of these events was refreshing in a topic that I usually have trouble paying attention to. The narrator was superb.
As a fan of McManus' humor, I found a great deal of fun in this tale, even though it was so different than the things he usually writes. There was plenty to chuckle at, some long-prepared gags, and still a fun mystery to be solved that was not at all spoiled for the occasional bits of lightheartedness. I really had a great time with it.
The narrators were excellent, as they so often are from Scott Card books. I found the story hard to follow, as I couldn't see where he was taking it. I felt like the first chapter(s) could have been easily dropped off the book or at least shortened a lot and still gotten the point across as easily. Even then, I didn't especially care for the way he delivered the point. I find this odd, as usually I like his books so much.
Some great action chapters. There were a couple places you could feel that the book could end and not upset you terribly, and yet there was more coming. Definitely not a book I would have around for the younger set, but someone over 12 would be able to handle it. The characters seem a bit thin (as they do throughout the series), but it's consistent and fits within the world they've developed well enough.
The narrators were sufficient, but some of the material was somewhere between uncomfortable and frustrating.
Her take on time travel is quite fascinating. The unraveling story of a couple collecting shared memories in different orders was quite fun. Some of the memories themselves I could have lived without, and I don't just mean the unpleasant memories, but some of the episodes were either pointless or vulgar and could have been rewritten more to my taste than to hers. Not done poorly, but not to my preference.
One of the main characters does things you don't want or expect hero characters to do, which to me really spoiled the book, even after all the good in it. I would love to see a PG or PG-13 revised version of the storyline with those segments removed, which to me would tighten the story a bit.
I've seen the movies with friends, but decided I'd take a break from more serious book topics to go through this one myself. I like the narrator and the subject matter is light, which makes for a pleasant break. The chapters are short, which also makes it nice for dishes or cleaning duties.
I was pleased how he was able to work in a significant amount of naval warfare and strategy into what ultimately is a spy/escape story. There are some wonderful moments: one with Jack mistaking another character's identity because of a common name, considerable development of Steven as a spy including a tremendous chase sequence that remains clearly in my mind to this day, and a satsifying and thunderous ending. Knowing that if you enjoyed this you can follow the characters on further (and previous) adventures is really a plus.
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