Bayonne, NJ, United States | Member Since 2011
When I started listening to Riyria Revelations, it was after just having listened to Way of Kings and Game of Thrones. In other words, the bar was really, really high. In that light, I found his first book to be rather lightweight and fluffy. It was fun, but lacked substance.
It took me a long time to come back and continue with the series. When I did return to Riyria, I was very impressed by how the story developed. Sullivan doesn't have anything on Sanderson and Martin where world building is concerned, but his dialog and character development is superb. Also, the tone of his books is great fun throughout.
By the end of the original trilogy I was hooked. The prequels kept the energy and tone pitch perfect, and I tore through this novel and the next in record time.
I will happily buy any future audiobooks in this series. Oh, and Reynolds does an excellent job narrating.
I highly recommend this book.
I've been working my way through intimidating classics, and Moby-Dick was near the top of the list. I've heard that it was slow and boring. I was prepared for the worst, but I jumped in anyway.
I was immediately blown away by the prose. Wow, Herman Melville sure could put a sentence together. I mean, you instantly see why this is such a respected novel. And behind all the elegant phrasing, there is such wit!
I never knew Moby-Dick was supposed to be a funny book, but it is. And I'm just talking about the humor that has stood the test of time. I imagine there were plenty of jokes in here that I totally missed, given how subtle Melville's sense of humor could be.
Now, the key to listening to Moby-Dick is to forget about the plot. That's not what the book is about. The book is a collection of tangents about the sea and whales in general. If you're waiting for Ahab to battle his whale the whole time, you're going to be bored, and you're going to miss the best stuff. This is why I'm giving the story a 3/5 while I'm giving the book a 4/5. The book isn't about the plot. It's about everything else.
I'm not giving the story a full 5/5, because even while recognizing that it is brilliant, I have to say that it was still a lot more work to get through than other classics. I enjoyed the book in spite of its meandering, but I need more than pretty prose and wit to be happy. I do need a driving, progressing plot to keep me happy for 20+ hours.
I don't understand why Gaiman is so beloved. He builds fantasy worlds with no real rules, so basically every plot point is some version of a deus ex machina. The drama is always watered down because the rules of the universe are too amorphous for an peril to feel real.
I found Neverwhere a bit difficult to follow at first. Once I got into the story I found it to be silly and not particularly compelling. I didn't care about the main character because there was no reason to. He seemed like a nice guy, but he wasn't particularly interesting or likable.
Shane is a relic of a simpler time, when men communicated primarily through grunts and head nods.
In my high school, many students had Shane as required reading. I unfortunately missed out on this, and instead was assigned Ethan Frome. I can't help but wonder if my love for literature was delayed because of this unfortunate circumstance.
Shane is a really fun book. Its the first Western I've read, and though I enjoy the Western movie genre (somewhat), I never thought I could get the same experience out of a novel.
Shane gives us heroes and villains, good men and bad men. The world in which Shane exists is not real life. It's the reality of a Western. Shane is not a man, he's a superman. And relationships don't evolve over time. People meet and know exactly how they feel about each other before a word is spoken.
I went into this book knowing nothing about it. I thought it would be a bit heavier, but was pleased to find that it was a fun read, with just enough subtext and to keep it feeling sophisticated.
I'm a reluctant fan of John Scalzi. I think he has some of the greatest plots in the genre. Unfortunately his writing talent falls far behind his imagination. I keep hoping with every book that he will develop his skills a bit more, but in the end, he remains the same old Scalzi:
Every plot point is explained and re-explained. Scalzi doesn't trust his readers to understand subtleties, so there are none. Ever.
Every character speaks with the same voice. Not literally-- the narrator does a fine job of differentiating the characters... I mean, the dialog itself. The speaking style of any Scalzi character from any of his books is completely interchangeable with any other. I used to think that this was partly because Wil Wheaton narrated most of his stuff, and Wil doesn't attempted to do character voices often. But even with Benson as the narrator here, all the character seem like carbon copies of one another.
The plot is okay, and maybe in the absence of movies like Avatar and Surrogates, the story would be more interesting. Unfortunately the novelty of people using puppet bodies has been fairly well explored at this point. Lock In covered little new ground.
I've had my Scalzi fix for the year. I'll probably be back in a year or two to be disappointed in the next one.
I was attracted to this book from the title alone. Everything else about it was a bit of a turn-off, from the location, era and even to the genre itself; I'm not one for mystery serials. This book came up during a sale, and I wanted to try something a bit different than my usual fare.
I was very impressed by the writing and the narration. The prose aren't anything amazing, but the story is nicely paced and the characters are a hoot. I also enjoyed the introduction to the crazy little pocket of humanity on the outer fringe of the royal family. It was educational and amusing.
The mystery at the center of this plot was very interesting, and did keep me guessing for a while. It wasn't the most logical plot in the world, and if I felt like being nit-picky about it, I could probably find several things to be unhappy about.
As it stands, the book was just the right sort of light read for me at the time. I have put the sequel on my wishlist and I'll probably pick up more of the series if it goes on sale. That about says it all, doesn't it?
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.
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