I bought this without seeing who the narrator was and then pressed 'play' at the beginning of a long trip. When I heard that the narrator was Wil Wheaton, I told my wife to switch to one of the other audiobooks because I had no desire to listen to Wesley Crusher for 8+ hours. It turns out that I hadn't plugged in my iPod since my last 3 purchases from Audible so this was the only audiobook available. I resigned myself to the fact that I would need to deal with it, but I was quite presently surprised.
The story is good, with only a few plot holes I won't get into. Wheaton does a very good job with the material. Every now and then, he tends to emote at times when it is inappropriate, but those instances are few and far between. Overall, he does well by the material and made me feel like a schmuck for being so reflexively averse to him as a narrator.
I also have The Android's Dream read by Wheaton and I'll be listening to that in a few weeks.
The novel itself seemed like a short story that Scalzi decided to turn into a novel. There are several attempts to more fully flush out the world but they don't really go anywhere. I think it would have worked much better as a short story without all the fluff. The introduction of a whole communal housing arrangement seemed like a very long way to get Tony into the story; he could have been an outside consultant for the FBI or something and saved an hour or so of listening.
The novella that came attached was better paced and more interesting. Perhaps this is the part that should have been expanded. It works well with World War Z-style treatment. Maybe if the novella were broadened to include people not connected to the president it would be a more satisfying novel.
The second-person thing is really tough to get used to. It remains annoying the entire time.
I like it even more than Snow Crash. The narrator does a fair job, but he reads Bobby Shaftoe as an imbecile and keeps mispronouncing 'eruditorum' as 'eruditorium' for some reason. Besides that, he does a pretty good job.
I think the book is altogether excellent. The only quibble I have (and it is minor) is in the final act, which maybe Stephenson tries to hew too closely to Snow Crash, i.e. crazy action/adventure for the sake of action/adventure. It isn't bad, it just seems to go on a little too long and a little too intensely (if that makes sense). Still, excellent book and well worth the listen.
I really didn't like the first book of the Culture series, but a buddy of mine told me that Consider Phlebas is not representative of the remainder, so I gave Player of Games a shot. It's really good. The narration is excellent and the story is excellent. I'll check out the third book in the series next.
This was a bit expensive for such a short story. The stories are good and Gaiman is always a good narrator, but I think some of these stories are on other Gaiman productions.
While the story was good and Gaiman always performs well, this was definitely too expensive for so little product. Not only is it short, there was a 16 minutes instrumental track at the end for no apparent reason.
I usually like William Dufris. I've listened to him read books by John Scalzi, Neal Stephenson, and Mark Twain, and given him high marks for each effort. He's just wrong for this book, though. Something about his treatment of the material comes off as an attempt to be humorous where it doesn't really belong or over-emotional when Takeshi Kovacs wouldn't really react like that. It doesn't help that he mispronounces the name 'Kovacs' throughout the book, even though the proper pronunciation is almost a plot point in the first two books.
Todd McLaren does a much better job on Altered Carbon and Broken Angels, so the difference in quality is that much more evident listening to Dufris trying to perform the same type of material.
Other than that, it's a good book. The story is good while still remaining as confusing and wide-ranging as the first two.
The story is pretty good, although somewhat repetitive from The Last Colony. It is pretty obvious that it is a middle age man projecting himself onto a teenage girl, but it still works relatively well.
The biggest problem with the audiobook is that the narrator has a serious case of vocal fry that becomes more and more annoying as the book goes on. It is most evident when she portrays female characters but is present throughout. Other than that, it is a worthy listen.
This is my favorite science fiction short story of all time. The audiobook is well worth the money, but at times the narrator does a poor job conveying emotion without going a little over the top, which tends to distract from the story.
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