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David H. Diamond

Maryland USA | Member Since 2005

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 544 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • River of Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (147)

    In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international best-selling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world - a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.

    David H. Diamond says: "Masterpiece"
    "Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up River of Stars in three words, what would they be?

    A genuine masterpiece


    What was one of the most memorable moments of River of Stars?

    The private interview between the hero and the prime minister


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The heroine meets the poet.


    If you could rename River of Stars, what would you call it?

    I would not rename it.


    Any additional comments?

    "River of Stars" is a masterpiece. Because Kay writes historical fantasies, I doubt that he will gain the recognition he deserves as a truly great novelist. This work is a tapestry of richly individual characters, clashing cultures, battles and complex motives, all with an overarching theme of the place of the individual, both famous and unknown, in the process of history. I am reminded of Tolstoy, more than any other writer. but Tolstoy without the ridiculous lectures about freemasonry, and with a consistently gripping sequence of events. Let those who think I am overstating the case read the book, or listen to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (3444)
    Performance
    (1429)
    Story
    (1432)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    David says: "Hang in there!"
    "Descendant of Austen and Trollope"
    Overall

    The best Audiobook I have listened to (and I have listened to many)! The author catches the genuine cadence of the early 19th century, rarely lapsing into language Jane Austen would not have recognized and admired. There is a great deal of wit and an enormous amount of invention. The characters are subtle and complex, but clearly recognizable - we have met such people, though not in an England of rampant magic such as the authoress describes.
    Those who expect confrontation or copulation on every page might prefer the book to have been shorter, and should probably avoid it altogether. I should have preferred that it never end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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