Oh look, another addition to the witty sci-fi space comedy series. Except it isn't in space. And the babel fish is left in a fishbowl. And its the equivalent to Frodo's return to the Shire (the movie version, mind you) where the world-weary level 57 Arthur Dent has to return to live in the tutorial level and figure out how to get a job, find a date, and stay sane in the tutorial level where everyone is a Level 3 NPC. :: :: ::: ::
Okay, the first book in this series didn't really have a moral or point. I can see that now that I try and disparage So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish's lack of any real direction. The only real difference, I can see, is that the original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy had the benefit of novelty. "What? Earth gets destroyed in the first chapter? ZOMG". There really is no barrier that can hold back Arthur Dent from achieving anything he really puts his mind to. He wants to fly? Wee, he can fly. He wants to go see God's last message to his creation? He goes and sees it. ... ... ... ... So what? The only really relevant audience that I can think of who would enjoy this book is either someone who is so desperately bored with their existence that they have to use Adam's book as a crutch for their imagination... or extra-terrestrial grad students trying to complete their thesis on what said desperately bored humans find entertaining.
I like little dashes of philosophy, theoretical physics, and mystery in my books. This story lacked all three. Mr. Pratchett is very good at holding my attention using these elements with his other books. However, this story did not put out in this area. It was a straightforward presentation of inept guards fighting some wanna-be dragon summoners.
I like this kind of book. There's a huge mystery to be solved. Hints and details are given in *unchronological order* (If you like that style of presentation, Google search: "Haruhi novels"). Those hints/details are told with believable amounts of embellishments by the unreliable narrator who is at the center of this huge mystery. (Since I can only listen to audiobooks a chapter at a time, I found myself mulling over possible clues scattered throughout the novel and was rewarded for my analysis efforts in the end). Decent and lovable characters die horrible deaths just as easily as random NPCs from the street. Oh, and the story takes place in India. India! How many books on Audible take place in India? From someone who really knows India? Sure, Vikas Swarup may be yet another US-born Indian, but the details he writes in sounds credible enough.
Okay, I must admit: This was a pain to listen to. Of the two dozen audible books i already have, this is the only book I wasn't able to finish. The author speaks every. single. word. with intense "emotional" inflection. Usually, such vocal inflection is reserved for a few lines spoken by some old Oracle character when he/she is in a trance, prophesying, and speaking in fortune cookies. Usually those Oracle characters get very few lines, and that inflection is utilized to add emphasis and aid the reader/listener in remembering those important details in later chapters. ... ... ... This book's reader utilizes that wispy, sing-song voice for every. single. page. Every. single. character. Every. single. description. ... ... ... A friend of mine (who abhors audiobooks) recommended this book to me. She enjoyed it and shared with me no complaint. I'm sure the book is interesting when read without Mr. Davis's annoying voice, but please, unless you're a voice-recognition program 10,000 years in the future, recovering human books by audio transcription of someone's preserved iPod, and this audio file is the only remaining method for recovering Bacigalupi's work..... yes, unless you're that program, don't suffer yourself to listen to this audiobook.
This sounds like the sort of fantasy story I would come up with. Mind you, I have had increasingly less time to really think through my more fantastic ideas and, even though I like trying to delve into writing about politics, I'm not really that good at it.
Brisingr further fleshes out Paolini's world, but in a logical plausible narrative that is careful not to confuse you. It's like the book takes you by the hand and carefully explains the justifications for certain characters' actions.
Personally, I like being given mysteries that are logically solvable if you do enough concentrated thinking on your own. Brisingr doesn't bother provide sufficient information to solve such mysteries (how Galbatorix got his power, what happened to all the dragons, what was Brom really up to, etc.) The book simply tells you what happened through some lawful good character. All you are expected to do is remember who killed who, who is still alive, and that no one can kill Eragon. Ho hum.
Narm: when something that is supposed to be serious, but due to either over-sappiness, poor execution, excessive Melodrama, or the sheer absurdity of the situation, the drama is lost to the point of becoming unintentionally funny. It can be extremely subjective. (via TV Tropes)
The novel's most attractive point is that it explores how society can be impacted by a machine that can show the present and past *exactly* as it occurred. The novel touches upon how the execution of the legal system would have to be redesigned, how most of human history cannot be reduced to a simple logical narrative, and the implications of immsersive virtual reality technology.
However, a story is introduced in order to feed these abstract ideas to the audience without putting it to sleep. The plot is a vehicle for exploring these ideas. As a result, I feel that many moments that could have been written into more dramatic forms are wasted. One character suddenly experiences emotions after a device in his brain stops repressing them (How an emotionless child-like rich playboy company manager could *be* a playboy and a company-manager escapes me). Another character is forced by a shrink to admit that her memories cannot be trusted as evidence in court (She wins the case but is kept imprisoned for no apparent reason). The best way I can describe this story whose potentially more dramatic plot points are mishandled is like this: The story is full of narm. It requires you to suspend your disbelief to a higher degree than most stories.
The central focus of the author is the technology and its impact on society as a whole, not the characters he introduces to explore said technology/impact. As a result, the characters and plot feel like disposable cups (convenient and easily forgotton).
Basically, this book is a huge thought experiment.
If you begin reading this book knowing that the author is determined to cause all intelligent/capable people to abandon society no matter the consequences, then the highly implausible events that this book describes make some logical sense. But if you don't have the patience to wade through the hundreds of pages for the author to carry out this painful lobotomy of competent minds from the various industries of the world (and describing its effects on society), then this book isn't for you.
Scott Brick's narration is skillfully executed and memorable.
Baj? ?ste libro porque quiero mejorar mi espa?ol. He escuchado muchos otros libros de Audible, pero la calidad de los dem?s titulos siempre ha sido mucho mejor que ?ste. No estoy hablando del estilo del narrador (aunque, s?, la m?sica del fondo suena como una telenovela de radio chistoso de los a?os 1940). El audio tiene errores que interrupen el flujo de la narraci?n. Es como si la computadora grabando los CDs originales en el formato de Audible no ten?a la suficiente velocidad para hacer la tarea bien.
I downloaded this book to improve my spanish. I've listened to many other books from Audible, but the quality of those were much higher the quality of this one. I'm not talking about the narrator's style (even though, yes, the background music sounds like something from a cheesy 1940s radio drama). The audio itself contains errors that interrupt the flow of the narration. It's as if the computer that recorded the original CDs into Audible's format weren't fast enough to do a quality job.
This book provides a lot of food for thought. Outliers is written so even my parents can understand and appreciate the principles surrounding hard work and opportunity it discusses.
I found it hard to get my father to listen to any audiobook for any decent amount of time. Outliers had both him and my brother spellbound.
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