I am a fan of the narrator and whenever I read lists of his best work, this is always at the top. I read the book before I found the recording, and sometimes that give me too high of an expectation. George Guidell surpassed my expectations. Without putting on accents or staging elaborate changes in volume or inflection, he give each character a believable and unique voice. Even speaking Greek he fills the characters with emotion and life. Very easy to listen to, very easy to emerse yourself in the story.
I first read Gates of Fire more than 10 years ago, long before the movie or comic book "300" came out. As much as enjoyed both, I was saddened by its success because I knew many people would take it as the definitive fictionalization of the historical battle of Thermopylae. That title clearly belongs to this book. The story, which we all know the end to, remains suspenseful because of the characters. We as readers become invested in their lives and struggles.
Things this book is not:-A mystery novel-A romance novel-A spy novel-An exact historical account of the Battle of Thermopylae. -The story of one man/woman struggling to find love in a world of economic oppression and/or vampires.There are some reviewers who have criticized this book for not being "literature." Personally, I read for the stories. This is a great story that runs more to the "epic" than "slice of life." There are curse words used, but used in the context soldiers of all eras would use them. There is great humor. There is tragedy, There is drama. There is adventure. There are characters you cheer for and those you hate. I would add that this is probably a more popular book with men, particularly those who have in one way or another spent time in military service. My wife does not get why the characters (either historical or fictional) would make the choices they do, but to those who have been on the line or in the fight, it's moving to hear our thoughts, fears, and relationships described so eloquently. These are not strictly male concepts, but I have found every guy I have recommended this book to has loved it, and most of the females I lent it to said it was good, but couldn't find a particular character to connect with.
British naval veterans of WWII and people who find Terry Pratchett characters too expresive and interesting.
An absolute lack of any sort of humor. Almost every story I've- loved, sci-fi, fantacy, drama, historical novel, or other- has always had a least some element of humor. A little sarcasm here, a comical situation, even a pun; real characters aren't serious and intense in every single scene.
Ralph Lister gives a slight, measured pause at the end of every sentence. Some might not notice it, but it drove me crazy. Every line was delivered with equal intensity, every character spoke with the same tone and and only slightly different pitch. As the pauses were so pervasive, I had trouble telling when the narrator was switching points of view. He may be a good actor, or even a great guy, but not a very good narrator.
The sex scenes. I like sex scenes, don't get me wrong. But to hear that dry, pause-ridden, English voice use anatomical nomenclature to describe a body's physiological response sexual arousal, it's... what is the word to describe it? Whatever the opposite of passion is, that's the word to describe it.
Yes, there are space battles. No high strategy as in Enders Game or even Zahn's Star Wars books, but ships will shoot at each other. Similar in tone to Master and Commander, but without the humor and camaraderie that make that series interesting.
No, but really. Brandon Sanderson writes well enough, but is clumsy at story building.
Good core idea, but far too little time building the framework to make the story engrossing. The trick at the end was in Sanderson's mind from the minute he started writing. You can tell because he can't wait to get to it, and we as readers see it coming long before the big reveal. He could have built a better set of rules for how superpowers work. It seemed as though anybody could have any power or any skill if it was convenient for moving to the next plot point.
If you have never heard any books dealing with superpowers or post-apocalyptic societies, this is not a bad start. It is on par with Ex Heroes and others like it, so if that is your jam, this might be a worthwhile listen. If you have read and enjoyed Hard Magic, Steelheart is probably going to disappoint you in a lot of ways.
It is funny, particularly to start with, but around the second half there starts to be holes in the narration, scenes that seem to be skipped, characters acting... out of character. Not a good finish. Still, the reading is good and if you just want to hear funny bits without a need for a strong/smooth overall narrative, give it a shot.
Absolutely. Great writer and this may be the only weak offering. Please do not judge all Pratchett by this one book!.He is very sick and I am sure he wasn't able to work on the book as he would have liked, but all earlier Disc World Adventures have been a lot of fun.
Sam Vimes. There are some very funny (and sweet) lines in the beginning about how he feels about his wife.
Yes. It might make more sense.
Sam Vimes Adventure
Sam Vimes. If you're a cop, if you know a cop, if you used to think you wanted to be a cop, you'll recognize a bit of yourself in Vimes.
Great reader really hitting his stride.
Laughter, as with all Pratchett books, but this one had a bit more emotion, and bit deeper into a character's heart and head than any earlier Disc World adventures. This one is a cop story with a little magic, a little humor, and a chance to explore a familar part of the Disc a bit earlier then we've ever seen it. It's a good read if you haven't read any Pratchett, but much better if you have a background. If you've read enough that you feel as though you could find your way around Anke-Morpork on a sunny day, this will be like a trip through history.
Ever thought it would be great to get a chance to talk to your younger self?
Everyone needs to laugh. You don't need any background in the Disc World to enjoy this story. It is close enough to our world to have a relevant point as well as just being an entertaining story.
Great characters, great story, great way to get into the Disc World.
Laughed out loud.
Awesome reading. Nigel Planer no longer reads the audiobooks for Pratchett, but this, I think, was his masterpiece and I am very glad it hasn't been redone.
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