Gaimon has successfully produced another genre-defying novel that mixes detective and fantastic and humor all together. Although I enjoyed American Gods much more, I thought this was a very good follow-up to American Gods. I wish we could give half-stars, because I think I would give it a 3-1/2. I liked the characters, and the story, though, while American Gods was epic, this was jsut a good story. I was thoroughly entertained, and the narration was good, though, I was really hoping for something on as big a scale as American Gods. Still, this is a solid book, and I am glad I listened to it.
I got this book on my husband's recommendation, and I admit that it took me maybe 3 or 4 starts to actually get into the story, but once I was there, I was hooked. By the time I got to the third part of the book, I went and bought the next in the series.There are a lot of characters, with similar names, which made it confusing at first, and probably why it was hard to get into the book. Since I was relying on audio rather than written distinctions, it took a while to distinguish everyone, but because the characters are so well-written, once I got to know them,though, this was no longer the problem. sometimes when a narrative moves from one character's story to another, I find myself wanting to skip some stories to get to the characters I was most interested in. However, I was hooked into each characters' plight each time, no matter how much the last story left me hanging.I love this world.
The plot is great. There is mystery, intrigue, war and action scenes, as well as tender scenes that made me want to cry, probably because the characters are so well meshed-out. The world Martin creates is marvelous. The narration is excellent with the male voices, and alright for the female voices. (While he is great at making the voices effeminate when necessary, its sometimes hard to hear them as "women"), but on the whole, Dotrice's performance is great. Really how do these narrators do it?
Jasper Fforde is one of my favorite modern authors. As always, he is clever and witty, and his characters are likable. As in his other series focusing on Literary detectives, he uses very clever puns and lots of literary allusions, so that you might miss a lot of humor if you don't know the stories.I did enjoy the Swindon/Eyre Affair books more, but I think the Nursery Crime stories will please Fforde's fan, and you don't need to know "literature" as much as remember nursery rhymes from your childhood.
If only this came in unabridged! I am always intrigued by mystery novels that solve the crime through research. This is an excellent novel, and allows great character development through the epistle. For any fan of the supernatural, this delivers a lot of chilling moments, along with some satisfying historical backdrop and reality so that it is much easier to "believe" in the premise of this story.
I am torn about the publisher's descision to use multiple narrators, as I am a huge fan of the single narrator (like Barbara Rosenblatt) who can deliver such a marvelous performance you forget that a single person is doing all the voices. However, the multiple narrators might have worked better for this one, as botht he actual voice and the character's voice of the main storyteller in this book seems a little dull.
I love the idea of time travel, but in both movies and novels, it is a tricky thing to do well, and to do it in a way that is fresh and not cliche. This author has added new life to the time travel theory with her explanation as to how it happens, and by doing so took the focus away from sci-fi and into human relationships. For me this story ended up being a beautiful and very moving love story. It has been about a year since I first listened to it, adn I still think about it, and come back every so often to see if the author has written anything new. Some audio books, you listen to and then move on. This one, I really didn't want to leave it behind. I loved this book.
It has been several months since I listened to this story, but it has stayed with me. Like other stories by Palahniuk, you feel a little soiled and a little disturbed after reading it, but only because his characters are so honest that you almost become part of the story. It is dark and melancholy, and tragic. I really liked it.
Though there is a mystery and there are murders and deaths, this book is more a story about friendship and the coming of age that happens to adults after we are supposed to be all grown up. It does not move like a mystry or a thriller, but the characters of the story are very human and their thirst for knowledge and understanding is believable. This is not the Da Vinci Code, but the writing is superior to it and does not have those annoying cliches and tedious prose you find in so many best-sellers like the DVC. The portrayal of academic life is very real (if not for an undergrad, then for a grad student). The book does not move fast, but the characters are sympathetic and the story is solid.
Aside from the horrible pronunciation of the foreign (Chinese) words, the story is smart and the narrator does a great job bringing the story to life. The first hour or so seem a little confusing, but stick it through and you will get to know the main characters. The author's illustration of Shanghai and China is a remarkably accurate representation of the sights and senses of China today, of Chinese culture past and the brilliance of technology of the future.
but still pretty good. The reading by Nadia May is done very well, although sometimes it is a little confusing which of the characters is talking. The story is still very engaging.
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