I got this book yesterday and listened to the whole thing almost straight through (a few breaks here or there for some basic sleep etc). I couldn't stop smiling through the whole read- the narration was great and the story really well put together.
It's funny- very rarely do books actually make me laugh, but this one did. It lays out the parameters for the various plot devices, time travel primarily, quite well and then sticks to them. A lot of books (or movies) with this topic end up all over the place with plot holes or painful logical inconsistencies. Meyer avoids this trap.
It's certainly not earth shatteringly profound or intense. But it's well written and extremely entertaining. Most importantly, at least for me, it is surprisingly creative and held my attention raptly for the duration- clearly.
To expose bias, I am clearly in Meyer's demographic- I'm 30 years old and a lifelong geek-child of the techie generation. But I think if you are interested in a book like this, you will probably be of a similar bent and will find the various pop culture references/nods entertaining.
If you are looking for an engaging, light, happy, and entertaining listen, give this a try. You won't be disappointed.
I found this very entertaining, overall. Wheaton did a great job, as is expected with his work. Munroe is a smart guy and funny in a lot of ways. But not being a math or science fellow myself (liberal arts guy), I found a lot of the listen to be shooting way over my head. I would glaze over just a bit. Further, there were a large number of questionable logic leaps, though that judgment is clearly the provence of the author/physicist in charge.
A number of references to the webcomic/website as well- I imagine it translated very well in the print version, but it was essentially useless in the audio.
I liked it. It was funny. It is worth buying (I wouldn't burn a credit on it). Just be aware of the above as you click add to cart.
I downloaded this since my Mom and I were going to be driving around the plains and seeing a few of the National Parks. I grew up doing this on the East and West Coasts; I have a lot of respect for the Parks Service and the Rangers because of this. There is no question that they do a difficult and, at times, dangerous job.
That being said:
Julia Motyka should be banned from reading books. Her narration made this book unlistenable.
The forward was the most self congratulating and cringeworthy drivel I have heard in a long time, if not ever. Right up to the horrifying "Hell yeah!". I just shuddered thinking about it again. We were looking for something relatively light to pass the time, not 100 ways to die in the Parks you're about to go visit. Oh, and in case you all didn't know, criminals take vacations too. I'm pretty sure they just call it 'hiding', Andrea.
This may be a great book that picks up once you get past the first few chapters, but Motyka made that option unavailable to us. If you like grating saccharin noise while you drive/walk/whatever, go for it. As for me, I am returning this ASAP.
I am going to start this with a secondarily related commentary: What on earth are you all thinking who put spoilers in your reviews? If I wanted to read a poorly written paragraph long summation of the major plot points, I wouldn't be downloading a 15 hour+ book to listen to.
In any case, on to the actual review.
Grossman takes the capital he built in The Magicians and redoubles his efforts. The primary cast returns with some notable and brilliant additions. A broad sweeping fantasy epic which switches between two primary story lines flawlessly, The Magician King explores concepts of loss, love, sacrifice, and ultimately, what it means to be the hero of your own story.
Bramhall does a magnificent job once more- I can't imagine anyone else reading these books at this point.
I agree with what one reviewer said- there seem to be two 'camps' of people who either love or hate this series. If you are looking for spoon fed and neutered magical story time where everything works out perfectly in the end, this is really not the book for you. If you've ever made horrible decisions with the best intentions, have a realist's view of the human condition, or can understand satire and allegory, you might really love this book. Yes there is profanity and "adult concepts". This isn't a children's book...
This is a bittersweet book which plumbs the depths of its characters and, by proxy, the listener. If you can't identify with something or someone in this book, I think it's time to live a more adventurous life for a bit.
If you had an imagination as a child, longed for magic to be real, or for quests to other worlds to be possible, you might love this book. If you had an awkward and painful youth that seemed as if you would never find happiness, you might love this book. If you are still quietly looking in the hidden depths of your soul for magic to be real, you might love this book.
If you're looking for "Harry Potter for Adults" you're going to hate this book. What a crude and misinformed/misinterpreted description that is. If you're going to have a fit about references to other works of fantasy (which exist in the universe of this book as well), you're going to hate this book.
This book is satire and realism poured onto the concepts of magic and being a teenager/early twenties. It is rough, muddy, painful, and beautiful- just like growing up. Grossman managed to capture the malaise of youth, the desires and hopes for the future. It is a meditation on happiness and the transition from childhood to adulthood and the dreams we had growing up that, if they were possible, might end up being quite different than we had imagined.
The performance by Bramhall was brilliant.
Finally, if you can't see some parts of yourself reflected back at you in these characters... I don't know what to say. They were immensely relatable, as were their actions.
A brilliant book, highest marks, and I am starting part two immediately.
Apparently I am nearly alone in my dislike of this book. I found the protagonist preachy and superior. It droned on and on about how wonderful it was to dodge the sheeple mentality... I guess I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. It was hardly the quality of satire that Office Space attained- in fact it was barely recognizable as satire at all.
I recognize the irony of me going against the crowd on this one, I promise.
I just finished this listen about 5 minutes ago. There will not be spoilers in this review- I like to give that heads up from the start.
Howey manages to write an extremely unique version of the dystopian future genre. The 'Omnibus' edition is made up of 5 parts, each one cumulative but distinct. A believable story with complex characters tackling massive concepts.
I think Minnie did a very decent job with the narration. There are parts when I felt she went a bit overboard with her characterizations of certain voices (Juliet sometimes [not always] making me cringe just a bit). However, her general narration tone was extremely balanced and pleasant to listen to.
Unexpected plot points and twists. I was surprised at the depth of character development achieved- genuinely cared about the outcome and fates of those in the story. Even the not so great morally.
I enjoyed this book a great deal overall, but it took me a long time to finish it; this is relatively unusual for me. I'm one of those listeners who can blow through a book in a couple of days if it really grabs me. Definitely worth your time if you are a fan of this genre- far more so than *many* of the offerings out there. I will be listening to the rest of the series.
I'm a fan of zombie fiction. I'm a fan of post apocalyptic. I wanted to be a fan of this book. But it's boring and predictable. Poorly written. The narration was good, but honestly I fell asleep while listening, twice. Gave up after 2 hours... I wish I could return those two hours to my life. I'll have to settle for returning the Book.
Avoid if you have a brain in your head.
I *think* this book was well written? I'm just not sure it was because of all the sound jumps... At least 15 times in the first half of the book there were major gaps in the audio. I would be listening along and suddenly it would be as if I had hit the button to the next chapter. This would, in turn, prompt me to scroll back to make sure I hadn't done that or spaced out. I finally gave up about 2/3 of the way through.
I'm not going to comment on the strength of the story or anything else really, because poor sound quality makes any appraisal unfair. It's being returned.
I'm not really sure where, or how, to begin with my review of this book. After reading the other reviews, I was actually a bit afraid to buy it and start listening. When King says something "scared the hell out of [him]", it makes me pause and think long and hard whether or not I want to do that to my psyche. I did, clearly, choose to press play.
I can say one thing, for certain- this is a supremely well written story. It will *clearly* not be everyone's cup of tea. However the detail and carefully placed word selections helped make this a throughly captivating listen. Cutter uses classic rhymes and tropes, familiar to anyone who has spent time in Scouts or camping, with rhythmic and pulsating effect. The suspense of the book is twisted notch by painful notch, from the first page to the last.
In turning to the focus of so many of the other reviews: yes, this book is not for the squeamish. Yes, there are brief scenes of harm to animals. Yes, it has imagery that may be exceptionally disturbing to some.
I actually was not that disturbed by much of the book. To expose a bias, or potential desensitization, I am a criminal defense attorney and was trained as an EMT. As a general rule, dealing with psychopathy or sociopathy (which are explored in depth within this book) does not shock or surprise me. The "gross out" factor didn't hit me that hard either. I will say that I didn't eat, eat, eat... anything while I was listening, lol. The only thing that actually gave me pause was the short chapter on the psychopath character and an animal. That was... disturbing.
However, hiding beneath the surface of the gore and horror is a story which is more emotional and cutting- Cutter takes the standard characters of youth and exposes them to his nightmare. The expected becomes the unexpected, but from the perspective of a 14 year old boy. Speaking as someone who was once a 14 year old boy, and one who was very much like Newton, Cutter hit the nail on the head. He plumbs the reservoirs of strength and perseverance in the face of abject horror as well as the psychological horrors we inflict on ourselves. He explores the concepts of youth and maturity, the nature of adulthood and childhood, as well as when that line is crossed.
It is not an uplifting book. It is not a light listen. I will likely give many people nightmares. It is, however, an extremely well written examination of the human psyche when faced with the literal and allegorical monsters which lurk in all of us to one degree or another. Highest marks and recommendation, but let the listener beware.
I get nervous when I really love the first book in a series. Second installments run the risk of being boring, overly repetitive, or losing the thesis begun in the first work. My anxiety was, thankfully, unfounded. Martin, Gwen, and Phillip have returned, accompanied by a slew of new characters.
This installment flows incredibly well from book one. It does pick up almost exactly where the first left off, which was very well done. Old secondary characters are woven into the fabric, with new ones taking on the major plot lines. The whole thing is rather seamless, actually.
As expected, the book is full of pop culture and geek references- not quite as many as book one, but a number of spots made me rather happy. I repeat my inherent bias stated in my review of Book One: I am very much in Meyer's intended demographic with this book. If you aren't a member of the geeky/techie/1970s-1990s set, you probably won't dig this all that much. Who knows though.
I am rather surprised at some of the negative reviews, one in particular. I didn't think that the romantic parts were embarrassing or sophomoric in the least- I think they were actually pretty spot on for the characters. Certainly not as if a 12 year old girl wrote it. Unless, of course, as a 30 year old man I have the romantic maturity of a 12 year old girl- which I am certainly not discounting.
Luke Daniels did a great job with the narration once more. I laughed out loud a number of times and couldn't stop smiling. The only complaint I have was the book was over too fast for my taste, 12 hours isn't long enough to spend with Martin, Phillip, and Gwen.
I can't wait for book three. Hurry up, Scott.
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