LeGuin's book and Ellison's narration is perfect for the road with kids-- the lively "performance" and opening music seems to work for the kids and the story is strong and short, with lots of opportunities for discussions.
I was desperate for something for a family listen while driving, fortunately the narration complaints were unfounded. As a kid, I read A Wizard of Earthsea at least a dozen times and loved its mythic approach, so I love this book and was worried about the Horrors Inflicted by the Outrageous Narration reviews. My family listened to a "traditional" audiotape presentation 10 years ago and our oldest at 12 got bored (my husband loved it, though- suggesting that having gravitas in the narration works for adults but not for kids). My youngest (now 12) and I just listened to the Ellison version and he loved it. The pacing was good and the ~6 hours made an 8 hour trip go by fast. I found Ellison's interpretation of some of the voices a bit different than what I had imagined and because of the classic, formal organization of the story I mentally expected it to be narrated with a refined British accent and pregnant pauses, but the vocal variety and change in volume helped me stay awake. And did I mention, the kid loved it and would have surely been bored with a more "respectful" reading?
The complaints that this isn't Harry Potter or such are also a red herring. The Earthsea trilogy (technically there are 4 books) is Joseph Campbell myth style of story set for short reading by tweens. This is a classic and has been since its publication many decades ago. It is not Lord of the Rings action epic or Harry Potter public school serial. But with its "we are our own worst enemy" theme it is more "Luke, I am your father" than Star Wars and in a way more likely to add to the character development of your son or daughter than Star Wars or Harry Potter.
Among Others is a book made alive by audio- reading the book could never bring alive the various accents.
The book won both the Hugo and Nebula, though it is much different in style than previous winners. The ambiguity of the book title reflects the central question(s) for the teenaged protagonist: are the Others that she should live among other human beings or fairies? Do you live among or with others? How do you live among either or both set of others without going insane or even dying? And the real question that she cannot know she is exploring is: how to do this at that very tricky time of life of being a teenager when just living with yourself is pretty tough?
The one weakness to me of the book is that in the middle it becomes more of laundry list of science books that the protagonist is reading at the time at school. While it was a delight to see that Jo Walton liked the books I did and to make a mental list of what I should add to my reading list, at some point I was wondering if we've ever get to back to the intriguing plot line started in the opening.
Power through- Walton does get back that to it in a compelling and emotionally satisfying way.
Great read and share with your teenagers.
Being the same age as Jobs and a computer scientist who was on the consumer side of Apple, it was fascinating to see what he was really like. But it also was fascinating to see how the technology developed and how Apple came back from the dead- it was living history. The biography is fearless and while Jobs was not someone I'd care to have over for dinner, warts and all, he lived a remarkable life on his terms.
I was expecting a funny, superficial book where Tina Fey takes some nice safe vignettes from her life and does little routines. Instead I got a very witty, self-deprecating look at the life of the incredibly talented and nice girl next door who made good. There's not a lot of dirt or snarkiness, the Palin section was fascinating and Tina memorably is all about how she (Tina) was the condescending one, but at the same time it reads as an honest description of her life by a person who appreciates that it's a lot like our life but now way better.
I've been going through the Hugo and Nebula winners and was gratified to finally find This Immortal at last. The book is excellent. Some of the older winners don't hold up well but this does.
This was the first "mash up" book, bringing together nuclear war with Greek mythology. The post-nuclear holocast setting raises questions of were myths real-- with gods and demigods just mutations, if the Earth was mostly destroyed and you lived on a space colony would you come back to it, and what is it like for an entire race (us) to be an underclass of a well-meaning, benign alien society, and how do you manage a rebellion over a hundred years. Nice flashbacks and letting the reading make the connections. Excellent ending.
Brilliant, funny, intense, heartbreaking (but not in the Old Yeller way, there is a happy ending). Our 14 year old loved listening to it with us-- the combination of humor, commentary on us humans, and outrageousness with a strong message. You'll never look at a dog the same again...
Moore has been steadily improving as a comic writer and catapults into brilliance with this one. With Abby Normal, he really began to focus on the secondary characters. And now Lear's Fool, a secondary character in someone's work, is his main character.
Shakespeare meet Tropic Thunder. Cadfael meet Austin Powers. If Shakespeare in Love sailed through clever anachronisms, Fool is an America's Cup contender.
The narration was perfect and I was grateful that I had not bought the hardcopy-- the accents, the timing, the general demeanor would have been somewhat lost by reading.
Christopher Moore talking about writing Fool at the end is well worth the price alone!
Great autobiography, insights into being an actress and wife of a rock star, and about how weight often reflects inner issues. I disagree with the negative reviews that a) thought this wasn't about weight loss or b) had nothing to say. I would have liked more about her journey with Jenny Craig, but overall it was helpful to hear about sorting it out. Her narration was great and unflinching and added to the sense that even if she was the wife of Eddie Van Halen, the nice girl next door charm that she perfected on "One Day at Time" is really true. The only downside is that this abridged and some of the details are lost.
While not the most memorable book in the series, the rhythms of life with these gentle characters remains a tonic to the hectic pace of life.
A delightful hour of banter and inside jokes taped in front of a live audience. Nimoy and de Lancie are clearly relishing attempting to out do the other. If you watched The Old Show and Next Generation, it's a welcome return to those series. Sure, it got a bit long, but the overall spirit and the gentle acknowledgment of the fans is like comfort food.
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