It depends on my friends likes in books. If he likes fantasy...an absolute, "YES"!
Scott Brick seems to know the characters, and understand the story. He is very clear when reading, and does not overemphasize the men's or women's voices. I am usually running with headsets when listening to my Audible Books (using outer-ear headsets - Polk UltraFit 2000's), and I never had a problem understanding his pronunciation of words, names, or places. But after finishing the first 3 books of this Barsoom series (read by Scott Brick), I am starting "Thuvia, Maid of Mars," and I noticed that he is not narrating any more of the series. For the 4th book I initially went with John Bolen...and he was absolutely horrible. It is going to be hard to listen to the other books with a different narrator, as Scott Brick was awesome!
I grew-up reading these books. I am 48 years old now, and to be able to re-read them while running is fantastic. It took me back to my teenage years. Absolutely love the stories, the characters, the wildlife of Mars, and I am picking-up little parts that I did not remember from before. This first book is incredible. ERB was a man ahead of his time.
There were a few parts that kept me engaged...but very few.
Not sure what could have been done to make it better. Simplistic conversations between characters. Poor descriptions to give the readers a feel for the environment. Overweight prepper wanting to be Rambo. He needs more instruction is story writing.
The narrator did not flow with his words. It was like he paused at every single comma of the text. Was it the writer or the narrator? I'm not sure. Just no fluidity.
In this day and age of simple eye-candy movies, you can make any movie that will capture a teenagers attention. But for a good plot with meat to the story...nope.
I read a lot of comments on how the writer stalls and OCD's on gear and equipment. But I thought it would be OK. Nothing wrong with being descriptive, right?
As an Army Ranger, an avid bowhunter, a USPSA 3-gunner, and a backpacking freak...I know my equipment pretty well. But the author REALLY went overboard. I can clearly see how he spent too much time on gear specifics, and step-by-step-by-step-by-step (ad infinitum) instructions.
Out of 12 chapters, there were probably 5 full chapters wasted where he spends too much time mentioning specific gear, and step by step instructions on how to use it all. (Like when he describes IN MASSIVE DETAIL how to set up a portable backpacking stove). Geesh, "He pulled-out his portable backpacking stove, set it up, and heated his food" would have been more than sufficient. But he really drags it out. And on almost every piece of gear.
The character is also overweight, and this just kills my mind's-eye view of the main character. There was even a part where he lays down prone in grass or something, and swears because his stomach will not let him lay down lower to the ground. *sigh*
This reminds me more of an overweight prepper who wants to be a Spec-Op's guy. He walks around with his "Devil Dog" pack (fanny pack?), and I swear...he pulls out sooooooo much stuff from that pack. It reminded me of the circus clowns - where they pull up in a VW Beetle, and 15 clowns miraculously appear from within. Just an endless chasm of space, where he is constantly pulling out exactly what he needs from this one pack. Another *sigh*
I was kind of stuck on the fact that the conversations between the characters was too simple. Just "cardboard" simplistic. I could not quite place my finger on it. Was it the writing? Or was it the narrator, who paused at every single comma in the sentence? Kind of like Captain Kirk talking. Never a full, fluid, breath. Every sentence was stalled and deliberate. Maybe it was a bit of both - simple writing AND poor narration.
Before attacking this book, I read THE REMAINING series. And although it was not exceptional...I enjoyed that series much better. Both the plot and narration were much better...and flowed. (Recommended).
Anyhoo...I had purchased the second audible book of this series, but I returned it. I was even rushing to get to the end of this first book.
Bottom line, if you have gear and backpacking experience, "Fogitabowdit"! This will be redundant as heck. If you were in the military and have any field experience, "Fogitabowdit". You will be bored, and even frustrated with an overweight civilian trying to be Rambo.
If you have some patience, and do not know much about gear, then you may like it. But be forewarned, you better have your iPad/Droid/Tablet open. Cuz almost all the gear is only mentioned by manufacturer and model. (Some of the firearms as well). And if you do not know what they are, you will be spending time looking it up.
Anyhoo...that is my take on this book/series. Take it for what it is worth.
The next book I am jumping on after returning the second book of this series for a credit is, "The Passage" trilogy, by Justin Cronin. Lets see how that one turns-out. ;)
It was a different twist to the John Carter series. This book is the story of Thuvia and Carthoris. They are the two main characters in this book. A break from John Carters adventures. I bit different. More...uhhh..."metal and ethereal"
I can describe Gene Engene in two words, "Captain Kirk".
Dang...after listening to the first three of the Barsoom books by the awesome Scott Brick, I tried to find others that he narrated. But I could not. So now I had three options to continue with the next two (or three) books in the series:
Todd Bolen should not be narrating. Period. The book was returned.
Then I tried Gene Engene. This guy takes a breath, says what he can in that breath, and then pauses for 2 or 3 seconds...EVERY SINGLE TIME. (Captain Kirk)!
I just could not get over it. And sadly, you cannot catch these pauses when you listen to the excerpt when testing what the narrators sound like on the book sample.
I am returning it, and going with Raymond Todd next. I am crossing my fingers, as I really like listening to this series. I read them as a teenager (I am 48 years old now), and am reliving the adventures while I do my morning runs.
Not sure why, but the chapters that are said, are different from the chapters that show on my Droid.
The author is saying that I am on chapter 6, but the title on the top of my Droid says chapter 3. This gets confusing, and hard to know where I was at if I accidently hit the wrong button while running.
FYI: Six chapters is the most I can bear. I am returning it and starting it from the very beginning with narrator Raymond Todd. I feel I missed-out on so much of this book by being distracted by Captain Kirk's reading.
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