I've been meaning to read this huge book for quite some time but never thought I'd make it through it because it's so long. Well, the audio book version took no time at all to go through, (especially the abridged version), and I was riveted anyway. The story is quite compelling and it isn't slow. It's an almost Orwellian tale of what can happen when there is too much government intervention that can break down a free market economy, which runs at its best when left alone. If you already have significant liberal leanings, you likely will find this tale over the top. Otherwise, it's excellent and Edward Herrmann does a masterful job with the different personalities and accents.
Even if you have no love for sci-fi, even if you don't pay attention to the science aspect of this book, this is a great story. A story about what true love can do to a man and the lengths he will go to save his woman, no matter the cost.
I personally love the sci-fi part of the story but that's only the back drop for a fantastically complex tale that is hard to imagine one could actually piece together as a writer unless you were a genius, (which Asimov was as he was a member of Mensa).
The story starts our rather abruptly but picks up speed quickly. If you feel something isn't clear, it'll be explained later and by the end it will all be clear. That is part of Asimov's gift. He can take a very complex concept and over time, through the telling of a story make it real and apparent to the reader without any confusion. Even if you have a slight bit of confusion going through the book, it won't matter, you'll get it.
This is a fantastic love story, ultimately, with (spoiler), a happy ending. Very surprising, but happy.
This is a well written novel that provides a lot of background on what it's like to live in Russia in the 1980's. The author clearly did his homework as he appears to know the Russian people and culture very well. The problem I have with this book, is it's far too long. There are many many chapters that the book could do without but I'm sure the author would chalk them up to character building. I'm still listening to it and towards the end it's gotten a bit more exciting and tense but the middle of the book is rather boring. Nelson seems to revel in describing things in intricate detail that are just not necessary to the story. Besides all that, a good story and again, very well written. If there's an abridged version, I'd have to recommend that; however.
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