Understand that I'm a rabid Discworld fan but this book was massively disappointing. I wasn't expecting much because I'm not a big fan of stories involving the manipulation of time but this book failed to meet even my low expectations. The story is confusing. I had trouble following much of it. Even the usually stellar Stephen Briggs had me gnashing my teeth by having one of the major characters (Liu Tse) speaking alternately in Chinese & Cockney accents. It was infuriating. I suppose you could argue that this was intended and part of the story (for reasons I won't discuss here) but even if that was the case, it really added nothing to the story and was a constant source of irritation. When placed next to some of my favorite Discworld books such as "Making Money" or "Going Postal", "Thief of Time" is just plain bad. Thank goodness I didn't listen to this one early in my Discworld readings because it would have soured me on the entire series. That would have been a shame because I generally consider both Pratchett & Briggs to be brilliant as evidenced by the fact that I am mourning that there are only a handful of Discworld books left for me to read. I am at a complete loss to understand all the rave reviews for this book.
Listening to this book over 30 years since I'd first read it was an interesting experience. It was immediately apparent why Leiber is a legend of the genre. His writing is just so far superior to that of most writers. And the narrator was perfectly suited to Leiber's style. My only complaint, and it's a big one, is that this was not so much a novel as a series of short stories, each about some quest for a valuable object. I'm not a big fan of short stories in an audio format and would not have purchased this book had the blurb told the truth about it. AudioBooks should be sued for false advertising. I am now in a quandry as to whether listen to other books in the series. That's too bad because I love listening to Leiber.
I've read several Scalzi books (Red Shirts, Fuzzy Nation, Agent to the Stars) and enjoyed them all immensely except for Scalzi's annoying habit over-using the phrase, "he/she said." It drove me to distraction in his earlier books. But in "Android's Dream" he waited until the very last section to start that annoying habit & when it did occur it wasn't nearly as bad as in his previous books. Having gotten that out of the way, this book has Scalzi's typically inventiveness with a great story line, likeable good guys, villains at whom to hiss & boo and an all around fun read. Wil Wheaton's narration is, as usual, merely competent.
I didn't really get into this series in my youth. I read the1st book but never really got into it. But I just decided that I should give it another shot. After recently listening to the1st book of the series (Dragonflight) I was still befuddled as to why this series is considered so important and is so beloved. But I'd already purchased the 2nd book, Dragonquest, in addition to the 1st book & decided to forge ahead. EUREKA! I now understand. The characters here are better developed, the plot so much more interesting & inventive. True, the narration is merely competent with frequent mispronunciations but despite that, I adored this book and am looking forward to the rest of the series with great anticipation.
The story is just what we've come to expect from Gaiman....... beautifully written & imaginative. My complaint is not with the author Neither do I have a complaint about the actors (not narrators) who read the various parts in this BBC radio adaptation. I think that I simply do not like radio play as much as I like a good book read by a good narrator. I couldn't help but feel that I was being deprived of certain scenes (alluded to in reviews of the book) and of Gaiman's beautiful descriptions of scenes. I was also annoyed to find that although the download lists 7 chapters, the story only really has 6. The final chapter is comprised of snippets & out-takes from the production...... a serious waste of bandwidth. (And, yes, I know that "bandwidth" an archaic & inaccurate phrase but it conveys what I mean to say.) On the plus side, for several years I've wanted to listen to a radio adaptation of a book. This production was only about 7 hrs. long, a rather small investment of my time find out that well-narrated books are far better than radio plays. A real bargain!
Thoroughly enjoyed this very strange little book. If Douglas Adams had been dropping acid, I suspect he would have come up with something like this. The female narrator, Khristine Hvam, gives a delightful performance. This is my 3rd Martinez AudioBook, after "Divine Misfortune" and "Emperor Mollusk vs. the Sinister Brain." I've thoroughly enjoyed all three of these weird books but "Chasing the Moon" was decidedly the weirdest and, perhaps, the one I enjoyed most. I hope to find more Martinez on AudioBooks as soon as possible.
I love etymology so I was not particularly put off by all of the neologisms. But when all the neologisms serve no real purpose, I get annoyed. And when 20+hrs of listening goes by before something actually happens, I get doubly annoyed. It was so bad that I started listening to the book played at 1.5X speed. The plot still progressed at a snail's pace. And when something finally does happen and it's not particularly novel or interesting..... at least it wasn't worth the arduous journey it took to get there.
In all fairness, the writing is superb. I kept having flashbacks to my undergraduate days when I had to read Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" and Proust's "Swan's Way." With those classics, as with "Anathem" I kept telling myself, "beautifully written but incredibly excessive, self-indulgent mental meanderings with a dearth of plot....... please let it end!" (And just for context, I read Dostoevsky over summer vacation when I was in high school.... just for fun. I'm also a fan of Stephenson's so I fully expected to love this book.) As I failed to understand why my literature professors would inflict Joyce & Proust on poor, long suffering freshmen, so I wonder about those who would sucker you into reading "Anathem" with their rave reviews. Save yourself 30+ hours of sheer boredom.
Although I've been reading SF on & off for over 50 years, this is the first "cyber" sci fi I've ever read. I've read other Stephenson books and enjoyed them so much that I though I should give this one a try. It sat in my library for a year before I finally got around to it. I was a little leery because of reviews that suggest that the first part was dull or hard to get into. Although the first part necessarily lacks the constant, fast paced action of the rest of the book, I found it by no means dull. It was interesting. Then it gets exciting. Spiced with typical "Stephensonian" amusing observations & insights on modern life I was thoroughly captivated. I was a bit put off by the fact that the story takes place in (roughly) our present while including technologies far beyond us now but the story was so captivating & original that decided to suspend disbelief and just enjoy myself. That's clearly what Stephenson wants us to do I urge you to do that as well. Great book! (The narration is also quite good.)
An enjoyable story well told. However, Scalzi has a writing quirk that drives me nuts. It seems that every other sentence is followed by "Sullivan said" or "Evelyn said" or "Holloway said.." Interestingly, I had the same objections (magnified 10 fold) to Scalzi's "Redshirt." But in that book, the bad writing was intentional and served a purpose in the plot. In this book it's just plain annoying.. It occurs where no attribution is needed because it's obvious which character is speaking. It occurs where alternative phrases would serve better, e.g., "he mused" or "she blurted out" or any of a thousand other words. It just makes it all sound so sophomoric. Too bad because it's an excellent story despite that irritating quirk and other than that, Scalzi tells it well. I really did enjoy the book. Wil Wheaton's narration is adequate although he does speak a bit too rapidly and, except for the voice of the alien, does not try to provide different voices for the various characters. But I don't know that one can fault him for that. It's just another style. .
Classic Pratchett with all the wit, charm & inventiveness we've come to expect. And Nigel Planer is, as always, in top form. It certainly helps to have read the first few Diiscworld books to get the most out of this one (#22 in the series) but if you have, you'll find this one a pure joy. I've read over 20 Discworld books thus far and this is undoubtedly one of my favorites, along with Small Gods and Making Money. Buy, listen, enjoy and appreciate the verbal & creative genius that is Terry Pratchett.
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