Not surprisingly, American gods are material goods, rather than spiritual heroes -- but we learn of this through our protagonist and epic hero Shadow, who, once out of prison, lands a job with Wednesday and experiences one weird thing after another, read aloud beautifully by the same guy who reads Steinbeck's East of Eden. I loved the way so many old and new myths intertwined, on earth and in more spiritual realms, current and historical -- and the more I listened, the more I wanted to hear. The sample Audible provides as a teaser doesn't do the story justice at all -- Shadow is far more interesting a character than his boyhood excerpt reveals. I liked this even better than The Anansi Boys -- darker, and also deeper.
Dunham tells his life story with the occasional help of his characters. The snark I'm used to in his standup isn't much here -- instead, he tells things sincerely. It's calm, but not boring.
Since the title mentions "being human," I was expecting a broader focus, but I did appreciate Bering's matter-of-fact manner in writing and speaking. Once I found myself disagreeing with him, but not about his scientific research - just his "suspicions." And he mentions readers' feedback, so I know that if I choose to write to him, he'll actually read it.
Actually, yes -- the narration was so much fun, in combination with Colfer's writing, that even though the end might seem silly in synopsis, I would totally listen again. I so enjoyed the main character -- someone I'd like knowing for real.
I had hoped that this would be as good as Pompeii, which was fun and somewhat educational, but, no... I couldn't finish it for boredom and confusion, trying to remember characters and understand their motivations -- I wonder if I would like it more if I knew more Roman history already.
I love love loved listening to the gifted little boy's part; other reviews I read made it sound like it was the voices of the other readers that brought down people's reviews, but I thought their readings were well done -- it was the characters themselves who needed help. Oh, so much help. I was very pleased to stick it out to the end, but I cried too much on the way there.
A side note -- this is the only book I've come across that's made the Dresden bombings real enough for me to understand.
I kept losing track of the characters and lost patience. Listened to a couple of hours and quit.
... it came SO highly recommended from a reader friend and from so many here. I listen to books during my commute to and from work -- an average of 3 hours per workday. I should have finished this book weeks ago. I have tried. Out of loyalty to my friend, I will finish this book -- eventually -- but it is not entertaining or even very educational, as its details can be so repetitive. Perhaps in a few more hours, a few more weeks, when I have got to the end, I will have something more exciting to say and renege my opinion here. I can see that I am in the minority as it is; I must be too impatient.
I wasn't sure what to expect after listening to The Curious Incident, which I *loved*, but Harmon delivered on this one, too. Narrated from several characters' viewpoints, the listener gets inside a British family's joys and flaws, laughing and sympathizing the whole way through. When my iPod runs out of whatever's new in the car, I've returned to this story with pleasure. Enjoyable.
I read Pillars of the Earth 15 years ago, and loved it; I liked listening to this one even more. Every one of the characters is believable, and the ending is satisfying. I didn't want to miss a word, even of the occasional descriptions of the physical layout of a town, or the physics of building. I overheard a description of Oprah's choice of Pillars of the Earth regarding its affairs of church and state, but at first thought this was the book she'd chosen, as so much of this book also reflects this power struggle.
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