Ann Patchett has created a compelling and luminous book. From the first few moments I was drawn in to the beautifully written story. Hope Davis renders the characters in a way that enhances the ever more engrossing narrative. There are many threads to pay attention to in State of Wonder - the complex relationships of the characters, the scientific mystery, the growing ethical questions - but even the Amazonian jungle becomes a character in its own right. I've listened to hundreds of books from Audible in the last 5 years. Ms. Patchett's goes in my top 5. Listen to it...you will be doing yourself a favor.
There is an irony to Mr. Wilson's advanced degrees in robotics, because that is just how this book reads. The story is flat and the characters lack anything that would allow the listener to feel some thread of emotional connection. The narration did not work at all, and I felt at times that Mr. Chamberlain was trying to create something that fundamentally is not there in the book. Sadly, on film this will be a blockbuster summer film in some not too distant year, but the hook will be gore and explosions, as opposed to real story. Mr. Wilson will probably make more money than anyone who attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Save your credit, and settle down with your Roomba...watching it vacuum will be about as compelling as Robopocalypse.
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