I have mixed feelings about this book. Some of it was good while other parts not so much.
I liked the sections of the book where Penn talks religion and atheism. Humor is a great means of communication and he uses it to effectively examine the many hypocrisies and fallacies of religious belief. He is not afraid to lay it all out there in his unique irreverent way. Those who are very religious will likely be offended by these passages but then they are unlikely to be reading this in the first place.
I also enjoyed some of the insight into his performances but there should have been more of this with some secrets revealed. I know he can't give away his whole act but a few juicy tidbits of revealed magic would have been nice.
Now the bad. To much rambling steam of consciousness stuff about uninteresting events. Why is it parents who have kids late in life feel the need to wax on and on about them? Nobody cares. It may be fascinating to you but it is boring to everybody else.
Too much about what music Penn is into. Again, interesting to him but nobody else. We want to know more about what makes Penn unique, not his love of Bob Dylan and NRBQ.
He is a little too into his own genitalia. Everybody has those parts. Again, not interesting.
I could have easily fast forwarded half of this book and it would have been a lot better.
I only paid $5 for it. Would not have been worth more.
Sorry Penn. Still like you though.
If I had signed up for this class in college out of curiosity I would have dropped it after a couple weeks. As it was I made it about half way through before I returned it.
I was expecting an immersion in the actual philosophical teachings of the great asian minds. What I got instead was a mind numbing rapid fire list like litany of the HISTORY of asian philosophy. After the first few lectures it became very hard to follow and my interest rapidly waned. This lecture series is a shallow skimming of eastern philosophy delving briefly into each the numerous small branches and variations of the major schools of thought.
The names just flow by and the philosophies begin to blur, then, fade, then........WHOA I'm thinking about what I should be getting at the hardware store and haven't absorbed a word in the last 5 minutes. OK, concentrate, try to pay attention, OK Jong Chi in the time of the Jo Dynasty founded the Jang Xi movement of the middle path existential Buddhists believed in the 5 ways to enlightenment (list them all) which differed from the preceding 6 ways (listed for comparison) which meant he never wore shoes.......duct tape, have to pick up some duct tape......
oh I give up.
Master writer. Master narrator. What more can you say? Another sublime listening experience.
Dare I say it?
This was a weak effort. Many plot devices and character attributes are getting stale, very stale.
Lets face it, Harry should be dead. After the millionth Deus ex Machina it gets a very old and extremely predictable and boring. Does every single fight scene have to end in a near death and a miraculously lucky last minute save out of nowhere? Does Harry have to always rashly insult every bad guy he deals making it more difficult for himself? Will he ever get smarter? Will he ever use his wizarding skills in more subtle and creative ways? FORZARE!, FURGO!, and FRIGA! are getting more than a little boring. How about some new stuff? Parkour? Seriously? That was lame, very lame.
The story was weak. With all the other gears turning in the main plot of the series he writes a heist job? Come on? The main reason I am reading is to see what happens in the grand plot. Well, in this book, nothing! Very disappointing.
Uber fans will love anything Butcher puts out. The rest will likely be let down by this effort.
I'll hang in for one more and hope it is better than this.
Excellent first book of a 3 book series. Abercrombie's writing reminds me of GRR Martin. The characters are patiently constructed as such the first half of the book is a little slow going and patience is required but the payoff is worth it. Each of the main characters are complex individuals with good and bad qualities. No stereotypes or wooden characters. Many posses dark secrets and have dark gritty backgrounds which are gradually revealed. The dialogue and inner thoughts of each character are well written with a great deal of dry wit and humorous sarcasm which I find a great pleasure to read. Very few fantasy writers do this well. The story unravels slowly as many questions and mysteries are presented. Not all is revealed as this book is not a stand alone. Good news is the second book is even better.
There is a lot of blood and salty language but this story wouldn't be as good without it.
The narration is outstanding. Couldn't be better.
So, if you like GRR Martin, what are you waiting for? This is your next series to read.
Big 5 stars.
I only made it partway through this before returning it. I didn't care for the narrator's style. It is delivered like a self help infomercial. The material was so-so. Most rather obvious as in "be soft on the person but hard on the issue". Most people with any amount of life experience intuitively know these things. I was hoping for more specific tactics and situations. Maybe that was to come but I couldn't take the cheesey sales pitch delivery any more.
The only problem I have with this is that it is not a full book but just a short story.
Come on Michael Sullivan, write some more books for this series. We demand it!
Another great discworld novel. Death gets fired and interesting things happen as only Pratchett can describe.
I like Pratchett a lot better than Gaiman as a writer but together they are a fantastic. This was very entertaining from start to finish and the narration was outstanding. If you are a fan of either writer you will undoubtedly enjoy this combined effort.
Pratchett is one of my favorite writers. This is another masterpiece.
If new to Pratchett do not start with this one. Read Guards! Guards! first. You will not regret it.
Pratchett is a genius. You really have to concentrate when listening to get all the satire, comedy bits, and witticisms. There is so much packed in there it can whiz right by you.
Small Gods is a stand alone book in the series and would be a great starting point for anyone who wants to get into the expansive discworld series.
Nigel Planer does a masterful narration as always. The variety of colorful british character accents makes this better in audiobook format than written.
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