I like reading (listening) to unabridged versions of books because I don't like others deciding for me what I should or shouldn't be exposed to.
That said, the premise of this book was very interesting and the story quite compelling. However, I was very put off by some of the language and what I considered to be gratuitous sexual content. In my view, it is simply unnecessary. Many fine and outstanding books have been written without ever putting a foul word or sexually explicit scene on paper. The difference between the unabridged and the abridged versions is more than five hours. Honestly, five hours of tripe is a tad excessive. Let this serve as fair warning.
I also admit to being somewhat put off by some of the mispronunciations by the narrators but, other than that, the narration was quite good. It was appropriately emoted.
As for the story itself, it was quite interesting. What I kept hoping for, but never got though, was an explanations as to why the individual travelled in time. Or at least, why he went back to the times that he did. After all, how did he end up in the meadow in the first place if he'd never been there before?
Overall, an interesting story with a fairly fresh premise. As a love story, it is wonderful. As science fiction, not so much.
...I found the story far too predictable.
What I didn't like about the book/story was how, after escaping from prison and finding his "treasure," everything seemed to happen too easily. Edmund was able to put all the wheels in motion with hardly a hitch. Furthermore, real people, even in that day and age, weren't nearly so noble. People don't "forgive" such deliberate grievous wrongs done to them quite so easily.
One of the things I loved about the book, however, was what seems to put others off. I happen to be a lover of the language of the period. It was elegant and exceedingly polite. Even when people didn't like each other or, more to the point, even when they despised each other, they were ALWAYS polite and cordial.
Furthermore, I enjoyed the purse scope of the story. It strove to encompass a wide range of society, as it was known then, and a large number of characters.
I do recommend this as a classic read. Unfortunately, I fear I entered into the story with high expectations and was somewhat disappointed.
I was not impressed with this story and am now unsure about purchasing or listening to anything else by Terry Goodkind.
I was not put off by the narration as several others seem to be, but I was put off by the story. I completely enjoy fantasy, but this stretched my gullibility. I'm not a fan of sado-masochism and, thus, that part of the story wasn't even remotely enjoyable for me. Unfortunately, the S&M is integral to the story.
As for the rest of the story, while somewhat enjoyable, I did think it somewhat disjointed and convoluted. I don't need a story to be linear to understand it, but I do like it to flow without having to fill in the blanks with long explanations.
If you like S&M fantasy, you will like this. If you don't, don't waste your time or money.
I found this book to be totally engrossing. With the exception of "October Horse," I've now read (or, as is the case with this book, listened to) all of the volumes in the Masters of Rome series. I was not in least disappointed.
As the story began, I initially thought Octavian to be a wonderful, sensitive charater, Marc Antony to be a cad, and Cleoptra a tragic queen. Over time, Octavian turned out to be a brutish, though masterful manipulator of events and people, Marc Antony became an even more egotistical, maniacal, bumbling cad, while Cleopatra couldn't seem to reconcile her lust for power with her lust for Marc Antony. On the whole, I found the characters to be multi-facted and complex.
Lastly, I thought the narration was excellent. At no time was I disturbed by pronunciation or ennunciation. Voice characterizations were consistent throughout and excellently performed.
Overall, I highly recommmend.
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