Quite disappointed in this one. The narration is fine, the production good, but the novel itself is Mogadon in print. I'd never read any leCarre before, and thought this would be a good place to start. Oh dear... They say that real spy work is mostly just long-winded and boring, and to that end, this novel is probably quite realistic. Not a lot actually happens, and when it does, it's usually related by a third party or in a flashback. I got through to the end, but that was just sheer determination. I don't think my senses have been dulled by the usual Hollywood-style thrillers we get these days, but still, I was expecting something a lot more engaging than this.
I read this in print as a child, and it has always stuck in my memory. Listening to it again now, it didn't disappoint. I'll confess to being a lifelong Clarke fan, but somehow I never got around to reading this one again. You need to allow for the fact it was written over 50 years ago, at a time when people were still dreaming about ever getting to the moon. Once you can do that, it becomes a good space adventure which is fairly realistic given the extent of knowledge at that time.
This would have to be one of the best audiobooks I've heard. The cast is great, the production superb. It was a treat to hear the 'real' Dracula story read so well, as up until now I'd only seen the sometimes rather dodgy film adaptations.
The book itself is in some ways a victim of the age it was written in, with the characters sometimes a bit one-dimensional, and the portrayal of the female characters being rather cringe-worthy by today's standards. This is to be expected for a book of the time, though, and doesn't detract from the enjoyment. The ominous, brooding atmosphere of the book comes through from the start, and remains to the end.
All in all, very much worth the credit and the listening time.
After a rocky start on the first novel, I think I started to 'get' the way that Stieg Larsson was telling his story, and I began to really enjoy these novels. At the end of the third one, I was genuinely sorry that the experience was over. It's a marathon to get through these stories, but I'm glad I did. The narrator is very good, and I think his voice really added to the experience - I never felt tired of his narration, even after 60 hours or so of audio.
I must be getting into the swing of this series, as I definitely found I enjoyed this book, and was less critical of it than I initially was of the first one. It's still a very long book, but once I'd started it didn't seem boring or hard work to get through. I still think these books could use a good edit, but since Mr Larsson isn't with us any more, we'll just have to take them as they are. I'm now looking forward to the third installment.
This is a classic adventure story of its day, very well read by Robert Powell. It is dated, but quite enjoyable still if you regard it as a period piece. I was expecting it to be very similar to the original Alfred Hitchcock movie made in England in 1935, but the movie only bears a superficial resemblance to the book. Even the significance of the '39 Steps' title is completely different between the book and movie. A good 'read' nevertheless.
I quite enjoyed this audiobook. I'd never read any Dan Brown before, but I might well try some more.
This isn't classic literature, but it is an enjoyable story which despite its length never got boring. I didn't see the final plot twist until I was upon it. The ending was a bit 'Hollywood', but hey, it actually is a Hollywood movie.
A couple of hours into this book, I would have given it 1 star, and wondered if I could actually be bothered trying to finish it. The central character hadn't even been introduced, and the main premise of the novel hadn't even started. I certainly wouldn't have considered going on to the other 2 equally long installments in the trilogy. However, the detailed description of the Swedish setting of the story was interesting, so I persisted.
The book does become more engaging, the characters are introduced and developed, and it even becomes quite fast-paced in places, with some rather unexpected plot turns.
So, this is a worthwhile listening experience if you're willing to immerse yourself in it, and be carried along at its pace, be that fast or slow. I think I'll try at least the second novel as well, as I'm now interested to see what becomes of Lisbeth. She is an interesting character, although I must admit I found Larsson's portrayal of her as a 'super-hacker' to be fairly unconvincing in this book.
My biggest criticism is that the book is far too long. I think that when this book was submitted to the publishers, they should have sent it back with the comment "this has great possibilities, now cut it in half". The book would have benefited greatly from this. I really think a lot of the Venestrom affair could have been severely curtailed with only good effects on the main story.
On a positive note, I must complement Saul Reichlin on his performance of the work. He is a great narrator and very easy to listen to for such a long story.
If you like a classic adventure story, and are at all interested in the sea and ships, you will appreciate this book. I read it years ago in print and really liked it, but the audiobook is even better. Bill Wallis is a superb narrator and his reading of this novel is among the best I've ever heard.
If you get the opportunity, try to listen to the first 2.5 hours in one sitting - as a sustained piece of nautical adventure writing, I don't think it could be bettered.
I found this enjoyable as an audiobook - the production was good, and the narrator did a fine job.
I've been a Clarke fan since childhood, and I read this in print many years ago, but wasn't quite captivated by it then. I still found this to be the case now - it's a good book, probably quite visionary in its' day, but it just doesn't grab me in the way '2001' or 'Rendezvous With Rama' would. Some of the technology references seem rather quaint, but considering the original publishing date of 1953, this doesn't detract from the story too much.
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