This book tells the story of Cvothe and how, as he says in his own words he "trooped, traveled, loved, lost and was betrayed". Essentially this is your basic coming of age, rights of passage fantasy, where the young boy comes to terms with whatever strange powers he has while at the same time the story builds the cast of friends and enemies who will help and hinder him on his way. The story itself, while not wholely original is well written and engaging at all times. I found myself thinking about the book and its characters while not reading it, which is always a sign the book has captured my imagination. The writing style is clear and concise and the dialogue is excellent, which is more than you can say for most epic fantasies. It must be stressed that this is very much a character driven story. While we are given some details about the world the characters live in, this is really just to support the story, rather than to tell it. The book is not without its flaws. Firstly Cvothe is just that bit too brilliant. He is a masterful musician, he picks up new ideas almost instantaniously, he has a clever mouth and even cleverer hands. Secondly, the use of language is jarringly anachronistic at times. The language is very modern american in its use of expressions and slang and this does not always sit well against the obvious renaissance backdrop of the book. Lastly, the final third of the book seemed very flat. The sole purpose of the book seems to be to lay foundations for what is to come. Finally, I need to mention the narration. Nick Podehl does a fantastic job of narrating this book. His use of voices and accents throughout is just incredible. He uses just the right intonation and pitch of voice while at all times remaining clear and distinct.
If I didn't already know that this book was written by the same auth or as the Kite Runner, I never would have believed it. In summary the story is a depiction of life in Afghanistan between the late 1970s and the early 2000s. The history of that time is portrayed by the lives of the 2 main characters, Marian and Laila. There is no doubt that living conditions in Afghanistan, particularly for women, are shocking, but this story fails to convey this to me in any meaningful way. The writing style is childish at times and the dialogue is stilted and wooden. The story is laid out in a series of episodes, often with several years between each. This causes the narrative to fragment and you never really get to know the characters. There are many references to the culture and geography of Afghanistan, which are probably poiniant to those familiar with them, but are mainly lost on the rest of us. Lastly, the narrator is truly awful. She reads in a monotonous drone, without any expression or feeling. I don't think the book could have been rescued by a fantatic narration, but its made considerably worse by what we are given.
This is an interesting retelling of the well known Robin Hood story. However, its a bit simplistic for my tastes. I can't help thinking its aimed at younger readers.
The dialogue at times is jarringly anachronistic and the norman characters have a tendency to spontaneously break into modern french (just in case we didn't realise where they came from?).
The narrator does a good job with the range of voices needed for the characters, though he does tend to mispronounce celtic words and names.
All in all, It was a bit disappointing and I don't think I will continue with the series.
Again Robert Harris excels at giving you a view of historical events from the perspective of the common man. As in his books on Cicero, we learn what is really like to live in the roman empire. The story itself is interesting enough to keep you reading, but it is the details of day-to-day life in a roman town which makes the book so engrossing. As usual John Lee gives a fantastic narration.
This title gives us as much of an insight into how scientific discoveries are made and how the scientific community works as it does on the finding of the double helix. The science described in the book is quite technical at times, but I don't think an expert knowledge of biology or chemistry is necessary for a reader to appreciate and enjoy the text. A must read for those interested in eye witness accounts of history being made.
Excellent book packed full of fascinating statistics and little nuggets of information. The one slight criticism is that I don't believe that Coca Cola really qualifies as a drink that has changed history. Rather, it owes its spread and success to the spread of US influence. Even so, the book is well worth the read.
To be honest I don't see what so many people have been raving about this book for. I was really looking forward to reading it given the hyp the book received but I was very disappointed with the end result. Its not that there is anything bad about the book, its just that its very average. Its very genteel, very english, and very 1940s ... which probably isn't surprising. Without being sexist, I think this title would appeal more to the ladies out there. On the plus side narration is very good.
In this short novel by Stephen King, the author returns to an old stamping ground of CastleRock Maine, this time set in the summer of 1960. The story centres around the day in
the life of a 12 year old boy and his friends, and their decision to set out in search of a dead body which they discover has been found in a remote woodland location.
In many ways, this story has echoes of It and The girl Who Loved tom Gordan. The former by the way King can capture a time and place and more importantly the affect that time
and place has on a young boy, and the latter through his use of rural maine and the fear we all have of being alone in an unfamiliar place, especially at night.
People who have read and enjoyed books by King before will be satisfied by this offering, though in my opinion its not one of his better titles. For those looking for an
introduction to Stephen King this would be a good place to start since, being short, you won't need to invest a lot of time in it and also because it is written in classic King
style. So if you like it then you will more than likely enjoy his other books.
As usual, Frank Muller is top class ... but what more would we expect?
This novel is certainly not light reading. Basically its an allegory of good versus evil. At times it is inciteful while at other times its just very tedious. The Prose can best be described as unusual and often drift into the realm of the poetic. If you like other Bradbury work then it will suit you. Otherwise I wouldn't put it at the top of the wish list.
If you like pointless violence, unnecessary swearing by practically every character, and some of the most toe curlingly awful sex scenes I've ever heard, then you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for something with even a hint of subtlety then look elsewhere. Michael Page is a fantastic narrator, but I don't believe he was suited to this title.
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