This book struck me as something to listen to if you're in the mood for some Larry Niven. It pretty solidly delivers on that, albeit not exceptionally so.
Semi-thought provoking, but feels rather dated (anything more recent that concerns life extension always seems to trot out telomeres, and this doesn't). Doesn't detract at all from the story, though.
I wouldn't mind some sort of sequel, which is to say that it seems to leave itself open to one, but I honestly don't know Nivens' bibliography well enough to say whether there is one.
The narrator is the same who's narrated the last few Niven books I've listened to. Does a decent job, and has more or less taken up residence in my mind as the "Voice of Nivens."
Obviously a setup for a sequel or probably a whole series.
Enjoyed the story in almost every respect, except:
If I want to read bodice rippers, I'll buy bodice rippers. Fortunately, limited to only a few scenes, but they did almost nothing whatsoever to advance the story or plot.
But to tell the truth, I'd like the original gang of characters back.
Good branch for the story, but it just seemed a bit long for what's essentially back story.
The best I can say is that the trilogy is done.
Not that there's anything wrong with the book. It's just that there's nothing particularly right. All the same characters are back doing the same things, and to tell the truth, it has the ring of doneness to it.
I've enjoyed this series, but I'm ready to be done.
This is an excellent novel in its own right. My only complaint is that it's too short!
And there are reasons why Wheaton has become my favorite lector, and this is certainly one of them.
I've always really loved Tobolowsky as one of the nation's preeminent "It's that guy!" actors. Now I love him as a great storyteller, with a really interesting life.
I also never had a fan that the group "Radio Head" ultimately owes Tobo for their name. But that's another bit of trivia.
If I've been propelled through life by a continuously variable transmission, reading Murakami is like moving to a stick shift. And this is certainly an prime example of that.
Murakami makes you shift your perspective. Nothing as trivial as alternate universes (although he did use those in 1Q84), but more of a radical shift in how you perceive and model reality. If there is such a thing.
Many of Murakami's books take you to places that just require you to relinquish all control of your rationality. This one's a bit easier on you, having more of a standard narrative. It's only in the deeper contemplation of the story that you tend to lose your footing.
This book is all about deep emotion, how emotion defies all logic and reason, and how it is at the very core of our existence. In this respect, it's a surprisingly uplifting and empowering book, which is, to me, pretty good for what may look like simple storytelling.
We've all seen the movie, and we all more or less know the story. And if you're my age, and have a passing interest in science fiction, you've probably already read the book.
But, this refreshed the whole story for me. With a few more decades of maturity behind me, it was nice to look at the story afresh and gain a little deeper understanding.
My only issue with this production is the use of Dick Hill as the lector. It may be my own bias, but I'm far too accustomed to Hill's voice as that of Jack Reacher (Lee Child), and it was difficult for me to reframe his voice in the context of a science fiction classic. Let's face it, when you hear the voice of Jack Reacher saying "I'm sorry Dave, but I can't do that," the whole scene plays differently.
Not that this is bad. The story's still worthwhile, and as always, a welcome installment of Clarke.
Suarez really never fails to deliver. Here, we have another story by him, unrelated to his previous works, but just as engaging.
The book takes off running, then gets really fast and wild. Maybe too fast and wild, but whatever the audio equivalent of "page turner," this is it.
Say what you will about Ferguson, but you're never going to get the Cliff's Notes version of history from him. Agree or disagree, he manages to come at his history from a fresh, at least to me, perspective on things.
To be honest, I found some of his assertions to be hopelessly... um... unlikely/naive/doctrinaire, but overall, he offered me a new way to look at world history, in particular with respect to the ascendancy of the west, and fresh ideas are always a good thing.
The entire book seems to build to a rather predictable point, but in the end, it's more of the culmination of his arguments, and probably arguments that should at least be considered.
I have to say that the plot isn't great and the writing isn't high literature, but:
It is so nice to be back on Mars. I loved the TV show, liked the movie, but this book, coming right on the heels of the movie, provided me with more overall Veronica Mars goodness than any of the TV episodes or the movie.
This gives us all the highlights of what we expect from Mars, including a more elaborate story than is practical for a one or two hour video. The icing on the cake is Kristen Bell's narration, which pretty much sells the whole thing.
I'd love to hear her reading other books, although it might be hard to not hear Veronica's voice...
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