I have always enjoyed the novels of Jules Verne. While not a scientist by training, his writing includes enough technical detail (perhaps too much, at times) to make the story very believable. What I enjoy is being able to listen or read stories from this era. I feel it is important to keep the story in context. Although published nearly 20 years after the U.S. Civil War, Verne does a good job of portraying the public face of civil behavior at the time. The caring yet always appropriate relationship between the main characters does not fit well in a RAP society where caring has lost its meaning to many.
Having said all that, Verne's story lines can become tedious when he does into detail on botanicals and phylogenetic classifications. Even so, that is his style and his work influenced many scientist.
As for Mr. Clark, the narrator, I felt he did an admirable job considering that Verne's writing (originally in French), is a struggle in translated works.
I read this book several times in the past and was curious how it would work as an audio book. I enjoyed it -- more than I thought I would.
Black ships really intrigued me and it was the first story of Jo Graham's that I had purchased. The period of time in this story has long been an interest of mine, but I was not aware of the historical background Graham had completed relevant to this story. Names and places sounded almost right, but it was not until after I had listened to the entire story and then listened to Graham's explanation, that the dots were connected for me. After hearing the author's comments, I will go back and listen again. An engaging story with a most interesting main character.
Many people are aware of the story of Cleopatra and her relationship with Rome and some of her leading men. I know something of the background of this author, and she spends a lot of time in researching the background of her stories, which are based on historical fact, although the stories are themselves fiction. This story is not told from the perspective of Cleopatra, but rather from the viewpoint of one of her "hand maidens," and I found that interesting.
The author plays with the main character's ability to foresee future events as well as remember past lives, which was sort of interesting, but the information and its connection to the main story was not always apparent.
My primary problem with this story is that it meanders in many areas, losing some of the cohesion of Graham's later work. I enjoyed it, but even though the story had a lot of blood and guts and violence, it really seemed more like a very long Sunday stroll through history. I do not know if the passion was lost because of the performance or the story itself. A little of both, I suspect. It is worth the listen, but it is not as engaging as Black Ships, which I enjoyed far more.
I did enjoy this book. It starts with great action and continues throughout. I could not help but see the close similarity to the Jason Bourne stories. The narration was great (kudos to Shapiro). The story structure was excellent until we neared the end. While there was tremendous activity, it became hard to follow and did not always make that sense. I enjoyed listening to the book and will have to think hard about another Tom Wood adventure.
I do not want to take anything away from this performance, which I thought was excellent. However, the full audiobook was a better investment. It has been years since I listened to the original Neverwhere story, and I loved it. You need the time to understand all the complexities of what is going on -- and this is one of the most complex stories around. It is also a little hard to understand everything in the beginning due to the thick British accents, so you miss a bit of the set up.
This would have been a great adaptation from a Marvel Comics theme. The technology and science really get in the way and you have the feeling that you are reading more about gravity mirrors and positron guns that they story. The story really does not make a lot of sense if you think about it -- so don't. It is a comic book kind of story with unrealistic but remarkable high-tech toys. If you like such toys (even though they are unrealistic), you will love this. To convince the reader as to the reality of these toys, the author spends too much time on the technical aspects and not enough time on real character development. It was OK. The narrator did well, considering what he had to work with.
I liked the way Anderson introduced the characters, then circled back around and kept bringing us up to date. The cycle of characters repeats throughout the book. This adds a lot of continuity to the story. My problem was that the story never seemed to end, and even when it was supposed to be terribly tragic, the story just felt melodramatic. I do not know if that was the story (suspect this was the case) or the narrator. Actually, I felt the narrator did an adequate job, but you could not tell from his voice if someone was about to die or go swimming. This story had the epic feel of a James Michener novel, and it felt like it would never end, but then it finally did end, leaving everybody in limbo until the sequel. I do not like books that do that, so it is unlikely I will buy the sequel.
I mostly enjoyed listening to this story, but was unhappy with the ending. There was a lot left unsaid or unexplained. It would have been nice to bring all the information together.
The Narrator was very even toned and quiet. She spoke well, but mispronounced a few words. I felt the story was more dramatic than her reading, which was always very even.
It was a worthy read, and I stayed to the end, but felt unsatisfied when it concluded.
This was one of the more painful experiences I have had with Audible books. Since I did not have the written version, I could not be positive if it was the writing or the performance. One thing was clear, however, that the performance/narration was terrible. At times, I felt it was like a high school audio production.
The story line stretches credibility. The ultimate kicker, however, was that when the story gets to a pivotal point, the reader is informed that you have to buy another book (sequel). That's not going to happen.
My goodness. It is hard to know how much of this is the writing and how much is the performance. I suspect the latter is the bigger issue. You have two groups of mercenaries, but the lead characters spend so much time feeling sorry for themselves, whining about their fate, that the story gets painful. The purpose for the story gets lost in the whining, self-loathing, and complaining. I realize these are fictional stories. We expect the merciless, gun-toting, never-miss killer. When these characters start to whine, you lose me.
I listened to this story over a period of a couple of weeks of travel. I was really intrigued by how the story started. It was clear that the author has a good grasp (or at least the appearance of a grasp) on computer technology. There was a struggle between the ethic undertone of the story and the sheer overwhelming technology involved. I really tried to suspend my disbelief. I am a tech guy, so I was intrigued. However, the story ended in such a way that I almost got whiplast. it was if the author just said, "OK, I"m tired of writing. Here is a mystical pathway to follow. Adios" Very unsatisfactory "conclusion to a very convoluted story.
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