Pratchett started out writing unusually good satire, began to develop character and story, became better and better at all three. With Thud! he goes beyond satire to allegory, makes characters breathe before our eyes and tells a story that is both painful and triumphant.
This is not the book to start reading Pratchett however. Go back to Men at Arms, then on to Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, and after going through the power of Night Watch you will be ready for Thud. Of course there are many other Pratchett stories to read in addition, these are just the ones that concentrate on Sam Vimes.
Reviews always mention how funny these books are. They are funny. But they are a great deal more than that.
I'm not sure why I like this one so much. Reading an Agatha Christie, especially Poirot stories, is more like going through a ritual than actually reading a novel, but it is a ritual I enjoy and I really enjoyed this one. The characters are more or less standard Christie, the plot simple enough. There is nothing to make this stand out, but I find myself re-listening to it far more often than I do some others. Fraser is, with the exception of Duchet, the best reader of Poirot and I do recommend him.
The hero of this book at 17: "He understood only two things, and he understood them far too well: the MacIntosh computer and samurai movies."
Now Hiero is in his late 20s, and has been just drifting for a number of years, until.....
You can't go wrong with a samurai ronin (look it up) and 15 yr old skater fighting the Anti-Christ (in a form that is not immediately recognizable) with the help of the Mafia, and using Sumerian mythology and neurolinguistics... and a pair of samurai swords, of course.
I've seen some of the reviews and it is clear that many could not get past the beginning, with its non-sequential story line, and no hint at what is to come. It is true that there are places where he spends too much tie harping on a single subject (bureaucracy), but hell, it was the guy's first book, at 20.
Sorry, I have to agree with the others. The publishers need to fix this for the next one. Some effort should have been made to sound similar to established characters in previous books. When Terry Pratchett's books got a new narrator, he stuck to the established way of talking like dwarves, trolls, and people.
Mispronounced words (or at least not pronounced like the first 5 books)....sorry there is no excuse for that. I found myself actually insulted by it. Note to narrator: Jenks is small, but he is not a baby girl inhaling helium.
As for the story? Curve ball hit WAY out of the park. I LOVED it. I love the way Harrison has embroidered her world adding more detail in each book; , I love the direction she is going. That's why it gets 5 stars even though the narration was so bad.
Keep it up Kim,but get your old narrator back.
I really enjoyed this one. The world Carey creates is nicely conceived, and unusually well written. The characters have nice depth. The narrator does a nice job. I am really looking forward to the next one. Especially considering the ending.
I am a big fan of Allingham and Albert Campion. That said, this one is not my favorite. That said, it's still fun, definately worth listening to, especially since Francis Mathews is a wonder to listen to. His Lugg, in particular is a treat. Mathews wins the book an extra star from me.
That 4th star is for Shaara not for Steven Hoye. If you are stunned with the brilliance of this novel you MUST go out and purchase the version read by George Herne. His performance, with all the subtilties of the many accents, is up to the entire passion and beauty of the work. It's not that Hoye is bad, but my old cassette tapes made me cry every time while Longstreet struggles with his knowlege of the mistake that Lee is making and his realization that he must go through with it anyway. This version did not. If this were the Hearne reading I'd be giving it at least 10 stars on this scale.
By far the best part of this version is Jeff Shaara's description of his father's efforts to get this masterpiece recognized. Today we have to wonder how ANYONE could not have seen this book for what it was.
His interpretation of character will not please the more rabid fans of Robert E. Lee, but will make unforgetable heroes of Longstreet, and especially Chamberlain. If you ever get a chance, go to Gettysburg and stand up on that line on Little Round Top, where the rebels had to climb up that hill for the fourth or fifth time, and Chamberlain's men were waiting for them--half of them dead and the other half out of ammunition.....
Near the beginning Bryson states that he knew almost nothing about the only world he would ever inhabit. Most people seem to be in pretty much the same state. If you listen to this you will join him in not being quite so ignorant.
That's great, but what I like best is that while he presents our best current understanding of how our universe works, he also provides a series of wonderful profiles of the very human men and women who have slowly and painfully (and in some cases arrogantly) built up the framework of what we know -- and upon which we will continue to built our understanding. It is an ode to science and scientists. As far as I am concernerned this should be required readling...or listening!
If there was ever an audio book that should not be abridged, this is it. The novel is a masterpiece, the performance is a masterpiece. I think it's one of the top two or three audio books ever produced. I suppose an abridgement is better than nothing, but I think Audible needs to provide a copy of the unabridged version, and let customers choose.
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