Hilarious book, one of the few I've listened to that made me laugh out loud. Funny characters, very dark humor. There was a lot of missed thematic potential, though, so don't expect deep personalities who seek redemption or anything similar. Just people with questionable morals doing really funny bad things - the book made me think of a world populated with Edward Gorey characters.
Perfect narration, exciting story, heart-rending tragedy... couldn't recommend more. One of (if not the) best fantasy books I've ever had the pleasure of reading (listening).
If you're a huge Clive Cussler fan, just ignore this and continue on, because this is aimed at listeners, like myself, who have never read or listened to a Cussler book before.
Take the last 5 action/adventure movies you've watched, mash them together, and you've got this book. Bad dialogue? Check. Former Eastern European Soldier turned villain? Check. Near misses, perfect acrobatics and heroes who can't feel pain? Oh yeah. Impossibly strong, intelligent and handsome leading men with ruthlessly smart, beautiful and coy women? Puh-leeze.
Sure, there's goofy fun in listening to the book - I actually finished it, as opposed to some others, but I definitely feel like I could have spent that time listening to something better, and not so... generic.
My favorite line? Has to be the "Millions of lives hang in the balance. I know that sounds like a bad line from a spy film, but.."
When your characters call you out on your dialogue, you know something's wrong. Just sayin'.
This is some old-school Stephenson, with a giant helping of wacky ideas and good humor. If you like his humor you'll be chuckling for a good part of the book as the various characters go about their crazy business. The overall story could have used a bit more trimming - the number of characters and plot threads that simply 'disappear' is quite surprising, and the ending is too short. The ending is... okay, but don't hope for a nice wrap-up of everything that happened.
The first half of the book was a bit slow and almost rambling. As the story progressed, though, the pacing sped up and the book really started to shine. Some very interesting ideas in this one, and recommended for scifi/mystery/adventure fans. Good stuff.
It seemed to me that every five minutes or so the characters were either consuming coffee or going off to brew some more. Didn't really mind it (I do love a nice cuppa myself) but the more I thought about it the more I noticed it. Never really read a detective story before, but this one was rather entertaining. Ending wrapped things up nicely, but I found it difficult to care for the (in)famous Lisbeth Salander - I was much more interested in Mikael (sp?), despite his predilection to try and sleep with any woman who says "hi" to him. Pacing was a bit odd, but I'd recommend the book.
I'm a big fan of what I guess I call 'real' fiction - books with characters like myself and people I know, people that cuss, lie to each other, do stupid things, and have problems. People that aren't all amazing heroes and do-gooders, but can still have nice things happen every so often and appreciate the finer points of life. That's what this book is all about - people with real issues, albeit in some fantastical situations. The magic in the book is believable and fascinating, and the intricate, almost circular plot is brilliantly executed. Fantastic novel, one of my favorites downloaded so far. As far as narration, also top notch. Highly recommended, if you are a fan of gritty, beautiful novels that don't pull punches.
If you like Stephen King in any way, I'd recommend this book. American Gods is not really a 'horror' book per se, but Gaiman's narration is very similar to King's. They both have a talent for making you believe the impossible through description of the mundane; Odin loves bad diner food, and the dark god Chernobog (the demon at the end of Fantasia) likes to play checkers. A good amount of mythological knowledge is recommended, as you'll better appreciate the diverse cast, but not totally required.
The book started out okay, and the switch from male to female narrator was fine with me. The only problem is that as the book moved along, I just lost interest. The characters and their struggle were too generic, and the situation they were in was not explained adequately enough for suspension of disbelief. I'm a big fan of steampunk, so I probably held on longer than someone who might not be into the genre. I figure the last third of a book should keep you hooked, and this one most definitely did not.
Not a bad book by any means, but there are other books out there that better deserve your time.
This was my first experience with the book in any form, and the story and characterization were great. I liked the way Herbert merged Sci-Fi with Fantasy in a believable way. There were voice actors for most of the parts; however, what bothered me is that they didn't act for the whole book, just 'interesting segments.' For the other parts, the narrator would do all the voices, and many times his voice for a character would be nothing like the actor (tempo, inflection, depth, whatever..) This was distracting at best and a few times downright confusing, implying more characters than actually existed.
Other than that, though, great book, highly recommended.
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