Road side picnic is an odd tale that brushes on many subjects, from mans place in the universe and deep into humanities imperfections. Its really hard to explain without giving away the details, but if you enjoy a mix of fantasy, mystery, and just a touch of horror, you will love Roadside Picnic.
The performance of the narrator is not perfect. There are times when his volume drops very low and then goes quite high, forcing you to fight with your volume controls. He doesn't do this too often, so the audio book is still a great listen.
This book is amazingly well written. The author somehow finds a way to throw lots of details your way while making it easy to understand. And, Its not often that you come across a piece of science fiction that holds true to actual science and still gives a convincing example of human behavior, especially under stress.
The main character, Mark Watney, is what sold it for me. He's so odd and yet at the same time he grows on you, from the first F bomb he drops all the way to the last. Oh yes, I should warn you, there is lots and lots of swearing. But then again you cant have authentic human behavior if your going to censor out what everybody says under stress.
the other characters also seem quite real, from bureaucrats to administrators, scientists, and even pissed off Press reps.
The narrator, in my opinion, performed the role of our main character extremely well. Conveying his emotions, from his fear to his anger along with his eccentric sense of humor, in a believable and often shocking manor. There are a number of moments in the beginning that seem awkward to hear but once you get to know the main character you realize the narrator is simply showing all of Marks traits, even the weird ones.
This is a great read (listen ;P ), and is worth every penny.
Starship Troopers is an excellent piece of literature. Soldiers, of any nationality, will especially enjoy it. The book reads like your listening to an old war vet tell stories about his many (mis)adventures in the service.
However this book does present some concepts that are a little... extreme. Just keep in mind that the entire book is 100% fictional and you will enjoy it.
Some have claimed the narrator is horrible, this is not true. In fact the narrator, being a true professional, has articulated his accent and tone in such a way that you can believe this is the voice of a 20~ year old Johnny Rico telling you about his life.
Also, it is absolutely nothing at all like the Movie. Its 100x better.
Get this book, it really is a great read! (or should I say listen?)
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