I loved this audio book. James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell worked together to create a hybrid of their individual genres and I think it works. I like the twists on accepted wisdom with regard to the Church. It is certainly possible that devout Christians might be somewhat offended by the storyline and they should consider reading something else. As an amateur scholar in First Century Christian History, I really enjoyed the extrapolations from real history into a really wild, romantic "what if?" story. Let us remember that vampires in the story allow the writers to time travel with characters in real time which is a very effective literary device. The story can span many centuries and provide first person perspective on remote events in history without the worry of how the flux capacitor works. Christian Baskous, who did the audio version, did truly excellent work with the reading. He created each of the myriad characters as utterly distinct from one another, from a mysteriously menacing 16th century priest to the doe-eyed and intellectually voracious blonde archeologist with a nice rack. I was amazed at how atmospheric his reading was. This story has plenty of atmosphere, let me tell you. It swings through history and geography, science and the supernatural, and Mr. Baskous's reading is beautifully evocative of each time and place and character. Wonderful.
I loved Professor Erin Granger. She is a true scientist with the real understanding of human emotion. Perfect as the primary perspective through which this story unfolds.
Rhun Korza. Romantic, tortured, fabulously male and richly realized in Mr. Baskous's wonderful voice. Jordan Stone was a close second. He is heroic and manly in a straightforward, very American way. Both men so different. Mr. Baskous is a really talented artist.
Blood Gospel: Sacred Revelation
I can't wait for Book 2.
I loved this book. It is 20 hours of very intense English History and it is great from every vantage point. If you are watching The White Queen or Braveheart or something similar, you will get the details from this book like no other. A big recommendation.
It is the real Game of Thrones.
I love his voice. He has a great accent and his performance is superb.
I might have wanted to, but there was no way. It is 20 hours long. But, I did listen to it in big chunks over a couple of days. Seriously, I bought it because I am watching The White Queen on television and this is the real story behind it all.
This is a very comprehensive history of a very complicated time in English history. It really will help explain a whole bunch of historical fiction that you might not be totally familiar with.
"Women" ranks very high on the list of audiobooks I have listened to, though it was kind of rough slogging. Mr. Baskous turned in an astonishing performance of this almost pornographic novel - it is clear to the knowledgeable fan of Bukowski's work that Mr. Baskous did his homework with regard to Bukowski's voice and mannerisms. Like all of Bukowski's work, "Women" is raw in its narrative style with frank descriptions of the hero's sexual acts. Be ready for some words you don't hear often except on premium cable tv. What makes this novel "not" pornography is Bukowski's surprise that his art inspires hot young women to seek him out for sex. His wonder at his own power to command the attention of women from all over the world is childlike, as if his juvenile yet authentic (and autobiographical) scribblings were getting an A grade from the sexiest teacher in the whole seventh grade. The subtext of this novel is "I can't believe she came all this way to fuck a guy as ugly as me!"
It is essentially a love story.
Mr. Baskous brought everything to this story. He has Bukowski's voice down. I mean really, really DOWN. I can't imagine anybody doing it better. This is a master work of tremendous power. You would have to go to Bukowski himself to experience a more accomplished piece of voice narrative.
The Poet Reborn
Take this one slowly. It is scarrifying in its brutal description of sex acts. If you tend to see, and are easily offended by, anti-woman attitudes in popular fiction, this book is not for you. If you can see through the brutality to discover the hero's search for real love, you will be overwhelmed by the power of this audiobook.
I love the ugly truth of it. It is a stark description of a time and place in American history that rings true in every line. Some of it is shocking, some of it perilously ennervating, sometimes both at the same time. If you are at all familiar with Bukowski's work, you will love this narrative version because it IS Bukowski. Mr. Baskous's narrative is studied and perfect, capturing the crude as well as the lyrical parts of the novel in what I imagine would be just as Bukowski would have wanted it (though I a pretty sure, knowing what I know about Bukowski, he would have complained).
The ugly truth of it. It is timeless in its description of despair of the modern world coupled with tiny lights of joy and happiness that extinguish almost the minute they take light. Nobody does it better than Bukowski.
I have listened to and really loved some of his other work. I think this series of Bukowski novels will showcase Mr. Baskous's particular talents more than the other work he has done. Mr. Baskous has a feel for this kind of writing, a genuine understanding of its importance and its grace and I look forward to listening to the rest of the series. He knocks this one out of the park, essentially. A truly excellent work of art.
Light and Dark in LA
If you have the guts and the time, buy this audiobook but don't try to listen in your car on the way to your day job. Wait until it is dark and you can listen without interruption.
The Eye Of God kept me up most of last night in the most pleasurable, heart-pounding way possible. I love this audiobook! I am new to the Sigma Force series so every chapter was a revelation to me. I love the intricacy of the characters as well as the story lines. I mean, wow, Mr. Rollins packs so much history and politics and science and technology into this book - I was torn between surrender to the breakneck pacing of the narrative and wanting to experience some of the more rip roaring chapters over again right away. My heart is still pounding as I write this. Can't think of a better recommendation than that, truly. Can't catch my breath!
Oh my goodness, yes. Edge-of-seat maintained quite nicely, thank you.
Christian Baskous creates every character with grace and a richness of detail that makes his narration absolutely cinematic. This is a complicated story, with lots of characters and very big, explosive and exciting action. Mr. Baskous is a marvelous narrator and his performance throughout this long and detailed story is supremely evocative and energetic. Each nuance of intimacy is carefully expressed, just as every bold and startling plot point builds in intensity and magnitude. Instead of talking about a favorite character, I totally recommend listening to Chapter 22 (Chapter 18 in the book - I can't figure out why it isn't the same as on my Kindle). This chapter is literally explosive and showcases an amazing line up of characters, major and minor, all different and distinct from one another; it is irrefutable evidence of Mr. Baskous's astonishing talent with voice and character on a vast artistic scale.
I think you would have to say yes, I did have an extreme reaction. My heart was racing throughout this book. I stayed up all night and into the morning to listen to it. I couldn't stop myself. It was like watching a movie that I couldn't take my eyes off of. Honestly, it reminded me of watching Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time way back when (ok, so I admit to being in the over-50 crowd!). I got lost in the action and in a way it was over too soon which is saying something about a novel that is fourteen hours plus in length.
I originally bought this audiobook because I loved an earlier novel of Mr. Rollins's, Blood Gospel. I enjoyed The Eye of God even more. In fact, I bought the novel for my Kindle this morning when I got done listening to the audiobook. I will definitely buy more of the Sigma Force novels, as audiobooks and in the Kindle versions. I want to know more about all of these fabulous characters!
I read this book many years ago and I was delighted to see it come out on Audible. While it is a straightforward police procedural and two murders occur in it, there is so much more at stake than solving the crime. The two iconic characters, Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, each solitary men at the beginning of the novel, find love by the end of it. Lovely stuff. If you are new to Tony Hillerman or a fan from way back, I highly recommend this audiobook.
I am fond of all the regulars in this series, of course. I did appreciate the comic quality of the character of Harold Blizzard, who inadvertanly helps Jim Chee solve his murder case and his love problem simultaneously. Clever stuff.
Mr. Baskous has a lovely voice and his narration perfectly captures Hillerman's vivid descriptions of the dramatic beauty of the landscape on the Navajo Reservation as well as the more personal revelations of the principle characters. Hillerman's novels are famous for having lots of the "action" occur in the minds of the two detectives, with intimate examinations of their thoughts about the tribal world they live in and the universe at large. This novel takes on big questions in a quiet and contemplative manner. Mr. Baskous expresses all of the actions, observations and expressions of philosophy with proper reverence while creating distinct characterizations of many different voices in the novel.
I was tempted to listen to it all at one sitting, but eight hours plugged into my headphones is a little hard to fit into my schedule! I ended up listening to it in three big chunks, kind of like watching a compelling mini-series on television. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
There is some real wisdom in this novel, along with a very sweet dual-track love story. I confess, I listened to Chapter 26 twice. Check it out if you want to find out why!
What made this book enjoyable beyond the story itself was the narration by Christian Baskous. His voice characterizations are amazing. No matter how many different people appear in the narrative, Mr. Baskous creates a distinct and memorable voice for each one. I love this guy. He really makes the familiar stories come alive in totally new ways. This novel was a real departure from the usual Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn stories. Most of the action takes place in Washington D.C., not New Mexico, and I found that I missed the long drives through the dramatic landscapes of the Southwest that typically fill up the narrative in Hillerman's novels. Having the boys from the Rez solving crime in the Big East was a weird paradigm shift. The book was as good as any of his others, of course, and we did get to see Janet Pete at her flashy, glamorous best in D.C. society. Grave robbers and terrorists make a nice showing in this one - we even get a maladjusted, emotionally damaged hit man stalking the investigation. I credit the excellent narration with bridging the gap between the new territory explored in this story and the more familiar expressions of tribal religious practice and philosophy we have come to expect from Hillerman's novels.
Jim Chee is usually my favorite character in Hillerman's novels. He is the most dynamic of the regulars - Joe Leaphorn reminds me a little too much of my dad - and I find that his struggle to live in harmony with the modern world AND his tribal heritage causes me to admire him quite a bit.
So, I like all the characters performed by Christian Baskous, as I mentioned earlier. I especially liked how he handled the odd character of Leroy Fleck, the strange hit man/stalker in the novel. We see his twisted, corrupted little world up close and personal in a couple of long, intense chapters. Mr. Baskous expresses this guy's warped thoughts really, really well. Check out Chapter 16 for a freaky tour through Fleck's inner world. It is not to be missed.
Yes. Spoiler Alert: Janet decides to come home to New Mexico with Jim. Big Romantic Deal, even if the romance is so very discreetly touched on that you might even miss it right there at the end of the book. What can I say? I really think Janet is the right girl for Jim.
I did think it was weird to have so much of the action happened outside the usual Navajo stomping grounds. I think the next novel, The Fallen Man, returns the action to its rightful place on the Rez. The departure was ok, but I am really glad Hillerman didn't decide to have Jim move to D.C. to be with Janet. I don't think either one of us can imagine him anywhere but home!
This book was narrated by Jon Ronson himself, and if you look at a picture of him while listening, you can almost duplicate the excitement of listening to him in person (he is on the Daily Show and Colbert every now and again). Lots of fun and, well, I don't want to spoil anything, but he is very funny.
This book really helped me understand the convoluted brain functions that create procrastination. It is very detailed and I did listen to some parts of it more than once, but it helped immediately. Just knowing how procrastination works helped me do less of it right away.
This is a how-to book so there were no favorite parts. The whole book is useful information for making everyday life better right now.
Dr. Fiore is a fine narrator of his own work. It is like having him for a teacher.
All of them. Mostly the fact that procrastination is a way for your brain to protect you from pain - and the realization that the pain you fear is pretty much imaginary.
I recommend the book to anybody who has trouble starting projects of any kind, personal or business.
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