I've been reading Crichton since Terminal Man, and this is, like most of Crichton's books, a "thumping good story" (another reader said this.) Nothing incredibly deep or challenging here, but the story is engaging, wound around a central bit of science fiction he calls "quantum foam". Crichton's books are to fiction as "action movies" are to "dramas." I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but it took me some time to get past the narration in the first part of the book. The narrator's choice of inflection for the words being spoken by the characters really annoyed me in spots, jarring me out of the fictional world and back into this one because they didn't really match the way the people would say things. But by about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way in, the narrator hits his stride and there are no more of these inconsistencies. All in all, very entertaining, if you like this sort of thing. (Reminds me of Congo in style and tone.)
This book is far and away the best "spy" book I've ever read/heard, and one of the best books (out of 49, all unabridged) I've ever downloaded from Audible. If I could give it more stars I would. As of the date of this review, it is the best book by Littel available here. (There is a new one out but I'v not yet read it.) The narration by Scott Brick is PERFECT for this book. His style fits this type of book very well.
The book spans the cold-war, following several characters across a great many years. It is "historical fiction" as it draws on the facts of history throughout. I've seen this book in paper, and it's huge. As an unabridged audio book, it's long. But I was completely drawn in from the beginning and it never felt like it should have been shorter, which I cannot say for every book I've read/listened to. (Anyone want to buy my doorstop er... I mean my hardback copy of Cryptonomicon? Too long by HALF at least!) This book was marvelous for my long commute. Highly recommended. 10 stars out of 10!!
I have read review after review of this book that proclaim it to be horrible drivel with *maybe* a good idea for a story but was badly realized with characters that were poorly developed, etc. Well, for this genre, I couldn't disagree more. I came back here to see if there was a sequel because it was clearly setup for one, and I enjoyed this book so much I am looking forward to it. It should probably be loosely categorized in the Science Fiction genre, not Suspense, and especially not Espionage. There is definitely a lot there to work with, and I enjoyed it immensely. All books of this sort require total suspension of disbelief. But that's why it's called "fiction". If you take the various "facts" that are presented, about the characters and about what's going on, at face value and start from there, the book is quite compelling. I am not the only one to think so, apparently. It achieved #1 Amazon sales ranking in April 2002 and #2 on Amazon’s eBook fiction list (Mysteries & Thrillers) in May and June 2003 behind Dan Brown’s THE DA VINCI CODE. It was reported to be on the NY Times Best Seller list, but I was not able to confirm this. At any rate, I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Atlantis-themed books. It may not be the best book out there, but it is most certainly an enjoyable read.
I have to echo the sentiments of others here. I liked the way the story was presented, but it stops like the author hit some word-limit. The last line is "Zero-hour. Time to go." and the story just stops. There is nothing that would indicate what the main character will do next, and nothing to indicate where the story might lead. It is so open-ended that you feel cheated and like you just wasted all those hours. It's like somebody tore the book in half and you didn't know it until you hit the spot where there's nothing more to the book. This technique works okay for a short story, but not one that is 10 hours long. Don't waste your time unless you have a lot of time to waste and don't care about what happens at the end. You'll never know.
Bag of Bones is my first Stephen King book, as well as my first Audible book, and I am thoroughly pleased with it. Stephen King's narration was fabulous, though clearly "unprofessional." It only took me a few minutes before the story pulled me in and I became accustomed to his narrative style. Unlike another book I've gotten, his inflection and tone were PERFECT, as you might expect from the author himself. His voice characterizations were not over-done and the music complemented the story perfectly. As for the story, it was truly great and memorable. I am not likely to ever forget this story. It is indeed a haunting, sometimes spooky, love story, and the ending is just as strong as the rest of the book. I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to anybody as a "first Audible book" and I would recommend it to anyone who is open to some spookiness in their fiction. I would recommend it to anybody except those who can't stand ANY violence in their books. There is a little, which is crucial to the story, but it is not overdone. All in all, FANTASTIC!!
I first started reading Science News in 1966, and it has never disappointed me. The articles cover every scientific discipline and are presented in an easy to understand vocabulary and format for the lay person, yet there is enough detail, including identification of the source material, to locate the original article or study. Highly recommended if you have a broad interest in science.
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