Bayonne, NJ, United States | Member Since 2011
First, a word on the narrator, John Lee. I've hated John Lee since I heard him butcher one of the Song of Ice and Fire books. I find that he over-enunciates to an obnoxious extent, and he frequently reads dramatic passages and descriptive passages with exactly the same energy and inflection, creating a reading with no dynamic range at all. HOWEVER, in this particular instance, I found John Lee's narration to be very good. His style was well suited to this book, and if it suffered from any of the things I mentioned before, I didn't notice them.
Now, the book itself: I've been looking for an adventure book that had the feel the fantasy novels I've come to enjoy, but without the crutch of magic and mythical creatures. This book delivered exactly that. There were heroes and villains and vendettas and political power struggles... all very fun to listen to.
My one complaint with the book was that the bad guys were too bad, and the good guys were too good. The characters had no nuance to them. They just fell flat. I wouldn't have minded this sort of thing 10 years ago, but after books like Song of Ice and Fire, and TV shows like Sopranos, Breaking Bad and The Wire, morally ambiguous characters have become a must for me.
To all the people complaining about the sex and rape in this book: grow up. This is a adult novel about adult themes in an uncivilized society. They were explored expertly. Nothing felt gratuitous. Nothing felt forced or overdone. It was just intense. If you can't handle that, go read some young adult fiction.
I wasn't exactly captivated by the story. In fact, it took me a few tries before I was able to really get into the book, and even then, it nearly lost me in the middle.
That being said, I got a huge kick out of finally meeting the character of Long John Silver, who Neil Hunt brought to life masterfully.
The tale was pretty interesting, and there were parts that were quite thrilling and engaging. I can see how it would have been an absolute gem in its time. Today's audience has been raised on movies full of epic adventures, so we're a little numb to a simple story like this. That being said, the narration helped to make it very relatable.
I remembered enjoying White Fang as a kid, and I purchased this book during a classics binge, without reading the description. I was surprised to find I was reading yet ANOTHER Jack London book about a wolf/dog. Oh well.
I don't think I found this book as engaging as White Fang, but it's been a decade since I read the latter, so I could be warping things in my mind. Either way, I feel I'm a bit too old to be reading stories about anthropomorphized dogs. It just didn't do anything for me.
Still, I enjoyed the prose, and this audiobook contained one of the greatest short stories of all time: To Build a Fire. So it was worth my time, I think.
I've been listening to a lot of classics on audible lately, and while I appreciate their literary value, I find most of them difficult to slog through. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, however, didn't feel like an aged classic. It felt downright modern.
Dufris narration undoubtedly helped with the modern feel of the book; it was smooth and natural.
Oddly this production reminded me of "Off to be the Wizard" or a Scalzi book. Except funnier at times, because Mark Twain is a a genius with language. His wit is, if not timeless, than still well before its Use-By date.
Sarah Silverman is sometimes brilliant, and often just so-so. This is one of the so-so times.
I think she's over-done the crudeness. Not because I'm a prude, but just because I'm numb to it from her over-use. Reminds me a bit of Howard Stern in that sense. It's not shocking anymore. Now it's just unfunny and drab.
I wasn't terribly moved by this book, and having just listened to David Mitchell's autobiography the bar was really, really high for humor.
I give it a solid "eh".
The narration is horrible and full of weird pauses that make no sense at all.
Way to kill a great story, Alan.
I love the way David Mitchell's mind works. This book is heavily peppered with extremely clever observations, turns of phrase, and all the dry wit that David Mitchell is known for.
I enjoyed every bit of this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of British comedy.
This is not a series of stories like other Bodett listens I've found. It is a short novel that follows a couple of young kids who live in the wilderness of Alaska, and have to fend for themselves while their dad is away.
This was very captivating and charming, once you get passed the crapping recording quality.
My only real gripe with the novel is that the ending was a bit of a let down. It is a bit too predictable, and the kids act in ways that are out of character.
Still worth the listen, though. The ending wasn't horrible, it just wasn't great.
A fantastic listen for a family car trip. Fun and wholesome entertainment, spoken by a true master storyteller.
I listened to these as a kid, and again as an adult. I enjoyed them both times.
It's clear that Wool, Shift & Dust are the end product of a short story that got stretched beyond its natural length. The premise was so flimsy and ill-conceived that it could not support the weight of so much exploration.
This ending did give some resolution to the plot and to the characters (most of them, not all). You won't find any big surprises here. The story plays out the way it had too.
Ultimately I feel that this entire series was a waste of time. It could all have been told in one book. The second in the series didn't even have to exist, and this one was way longer than it had to be.
Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is my favorite genre, so the fact that I was bored nearly the entire time came as a bit of a shock. I guess I just never got over how stupid the setting was, or the fact that the author based the entire premise on an arms race that wouldn't have had a stalemate any different that the nuclear arms race (mutually assured destruction, anyone?).
The scope of the building of the silos was too big for us to believe that the architect wouldn't have been a need-to-know person, so that entire character was silly. I also can't believe that a small handful of people could have orchestrated the whole thing, or that at the end of the day, they could have nuked the planet.
The story drags on through 3 books, and feels just as claustrophobic as the silos. The author could have been braver and let us explore the world outside... but again, this was a short story, with little thought given to anything outside of the teeny tiny slice of the world we see.
The books weren't horrible. Well, Shift was, but Wool and Dust weren't. I guess I'm going to give this a middle-of-the-road rating. Had I known what I was getting into, I never would have picked up the series. It's just not worth the time. It doesn't leave you with anything to think about. It's just a silly, flat story.
There are some genre cliches in this sci-fi serial, and at first I was doing a bit of eye-rolling.
But Weber quickly won me over, and I found the story to be very engaging and fun. The characters were likable and believable. No one was too evil, or too stupid. I won't say that every character was nuanced, but they certainly weren't as flat as I feared they would be.
This book was fun, and mostly a page-turner. It did hit some notable lulls where Weber almost lost me. A lot of what happened on the planet was just boring to me. And at times Weber did a little bit too much "telling" instead of "showing"-- a classic rookie mistake.
The climax of the book was extremely well-done, if a hair predictable.
One thing that was notably absent was the presence of artificial intelligence, and any number of other technological advances that one would expect from a society that could build huge spaceships. This is a very hard oversight to swallow from a book written in the early 90s, well into the computer revolution.
I enjoyed this book for what it was: a book about the navy, but set in space. In that context it was really fun.
I've got the second one in my queue now. I'm hoping it's just as good.
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