I remember reading this book when I was a young lad and enjoying every turned page. I remember the movie both engaging me and holding me in suspense. Without a doubt Will Patton is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. His voice is as enthralling as it is mesmerizing. I always loved him as an actor, now I love him even more as a narrator of excellent audiobooks. He first grabbed me when I listened to the abridged edition of Gone South by Robert McCammon (a two cassette edition done years and years ago, my favorite author--three of his books are in my top five favorites of all time--Boy's Life, Swan Song, and The Wolf's Hour, by the way).
The story is as strong as a raging river which cannot be denied its sacrifices. The reading greatly matches Dickey's superb storytelling!
I'm very cautious about what I use my credits on. I'm sure we all are. I had never heard of this writer and wasn't sure if I should go out on a limb and buy. But judging the great reviews I went for it and was happy I did so. The writing was solid, interesting, and kept a steady pace. Not for a single chapter did I find my mind wandering. I was focused on the book. The performance was great and the character was someone I would happily be stuck with in a bad situation as he is creative, brilliant at most times, and has a great sense of humor despite his being hopelessly (nearly) stranded on Mars alone. All in all a fun book.
We've all expected quite a lot from SK over the years and he almost always comes through. As I've seen over the last few years he's slipped away from his horror writing and has come to the terms that if it seems like a good idea, regardless of the genre, he writes it. There is no reason he should be pigeonholed into writing pure horror all the time. I have no problem with changing things around, but this story fell flat for me. The entire story could have actually been drasticallly edited down to novella form.
My attention kept drifting to other things and only came back to the book once in a while. I've read his books for decades and there is no way I'm giving up on him because of one book that just didn't do it for me.
With all that being said, Stephen King is still one of the greatest storytellers the world has ever known.
Now, before I get started I just wanted to point out that there's a reason Stephen King is the world's bestselling novelist. I've loved his books since picking up The Dead Zone when I was in high school.
However, I've come to realize that his longer works are in dire need of some serious edit trimming. There are many points in his longer works that seem to wander off the trail and go on and on about something that has no real purpose and doesn't move the story forward. One of the many things I've learned about writing is that if it doesn't move the story ahead then it should be deleted. During these side stories I find my mind wondering about other things going on around me. The grip of the story simply loses me many times throughout the book.
Don't get me wrong, it is a good story, but you could have an even better story by cutting this novel in half and doing away with extra stuff thrown in to bulk up the novel.
The Stand, It, Under the Dome, the Dark Tower series and several others would have been stronger stories by cutting sentences, paragraphs and even entire chapters.
And by saying in my headline "Going full circle with no gain" can be understood when you listen to or read the book to the final page.
I was actually surprised with this book. I really didn't know anything about it, but became interested with I learned of the upcoming movie series. The only one problem I had with it was that it was nearly 4 1/2 hours into the audiobook before the characters finally entered the arena and began the games. But once there, my mind was fixed on everything that was going on. I'm interested in listening to the other three books.
I purchased this based on the synopsis and that I've read nearly every DK book. I should have read the reviews first. I have several problems with this book. First, the layout for the book reminds me of one of his previous novels "Breathless" which was also an epic failure and one of the worst books I've ever read. The layout consists of each chapter being dedicated to a different character. It's almost like a whole bunch of short stories written, then having the chapters shuffled into each other. Second, there is no central character that the story revolves around. A bunch of people in a supposed haunted apartment building. Third, the story jumps from the present, to the past and then to the extreme future for many of the charaters. It was hard enough to follow with the many characters and trying to figure out what was going on, but then DK had to throw in some time warping.
I was either so lost with the story or bored with it that my mind constantly wandered to other things. I regret buying this audio book. Should DK writing career continue down this path, I'll have to cross him off my favorite writer list just like I did with James Patterson.
Better DK choices would be Cold Fire, The Bad Place, Hideaway, Dragon Tears, Mr. Murder and a few others.
Despite the synopsis, which made the book sound exciting and action-packed, it was boring to listen to. I only made it a little past halfway before giving up. If you want a good story written by Klavan, read True Crime or Don't Say A Word, even Hunting Down Amanda was pretty good. Unfortunately, you can't get those on audio, but they're a great read. However, Klavan has a remarkable voice for audiobooks. His voice is pleasing to listen to, but the story lacked. I found myself wanting a lot more action and intensity, but couldn't hang in there until the end.
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