this is a mystery written in simple, plain language. It is engaging from the word go and while it certainly is a bit gruesome at times it is never gross. Also, and I was rather schocked by this, while the plot is fictional the ' world...." the details of what an executioner's life was like in 1600's germany are supposed to be historically acurate. I say supposed to be because how the heck would I know... but it rings true.
I contrast this with another book I downloaded at the same time that launched into a complicated explaination of the political structure of the world using affected language .... turned me off totally. This is a story well told and you do come to understand the politics of the place as things happen. Its a good story.
I am glad I read reviews. I would have been mad to read the year of the flood and find no Snowman and no Jimmy. There isn't much of him here, but there is enough, almost. And its a good story. Maybe its not AS good. But neither is it as sad. I don't know if I will listen to the year of the flood or not. I was not as engaged with these characters as I was with Oryx and Crake cast, except for 2 that aren't in the flood at all.
I couldn't get into it. The language is terrible. This work was translated by a native French speaker with high test scores in conversational English. A street vendor in Paris would sell crepes, not pancakes. Even if I could let the pancakes slide, neither pancake nor crepe is made with paste. Its batter people. Its batter.
They should have given this work to a native speaker of English for the American market, to translate it into a work that flows with a story- teller voice . This doesn't have any kind of voice. Its bad.
Roman historical fiction can be risky - some of the authors who enjoy writing this period focus on hours long descriptions of torture and pain and violence, and much of it sexual. That's not what I like.
I like the politics and the social history, the rituals and the food. That, my friends, is what we have here. The mystery gives the story a form and is engaging, but this is more historical fiction and in my opinion, best in class since Colleen Mccullough. And if you know those books this is even more fun because it offers another perspective on the same events.
I dunno if I want to get the rest of the books though. I love simon vance - he is always always great, but the narrator change is not one that I care for
whats odd is I never like the new one when it comes out. Its never as good as the last one, which I always come to love. And I love this one now. These stories are a lovely weave of historical fiction, muder mystery, fantasy heroism, and postcolonial politics. For some listeners it may just be a murder mystery with an exotic backdrop, and is certainly enjoyable on that level, but there is a lot more to the narrative if you are open to it. Thats the difference between good and great. These are great. Can't wait for the next one. Do we get to go to Rome ? is Justinus still alive? Will they ever have children? Oh I cannot wait
I got this on a 4.95 special and glad I did. This is not a fantasy novel, this is not historical fiction. This is a romance novel. This has a sex scene every 10 minutes for most of it, complete with stroke count. I will say that its probably a super excellent romance novel because I listened to MOST of it and it is long. I put books on while I go about my day, in and out of the room, in and out of the house. Usually with a book this long I would have to listen 5 times or so to have heard the whole thng for sure. But everytime I came back into the room they were at it again. I only listened once, but I did listen to almost all of it .
To be sure there is some magic and there is some history and those elements of the story were engaging, but too interrupted and not well enough developed for me. Its a shame, coulda been good. If you like romance novels I think this must be as good as they get.
Its hard to know what to say about this story, it cuts so close to the bone and touches the heart. When I was in highschool my favorite teacher told me " Art is learning how to see." I keep thinking of that now.
I can't help but wonder what people who have never been afraid of someone who is suppose to care for them, who was never hurt by such a person, will make of this. I can't talk about this more.... listen to the story and maybe you will understand. Its a good story. It is art. Its learning how to see.
On the performance, Neil is the only author who I think does his own books justice.
I love historical fiction when its done well. Done well to me means the social and political period is layed out and experienced through the life stories of actual people. There are several points of view in this third person narration and their stories are engaging and thoughtful.
The performance is one of the best I have heard yet. This art of performing books is a fine and subtle one. Too much and the story is cartoonish and painful, not enough and its a droning bore. This one is perfect.
Imagine my surprise when I was clicking around for something new in the epic fantasy section and my eye just happened to see Roy's name on the splash page that shows the new releases. Like so many others I bought the John Lee recording of this story some years ago and found it to be a terrible listen. Many, many, many of us begged for Roy Dotrice to record this story, and now here it is.
I have accepted after listening to Dance that I will not hear the same powerful performance that we were so lucky to have on the first three books, and I am ok with that. Time marches on mercilessly for all of us and those recordings were many and more years ago.
This performance is much, much better than the last recording of Feast and for me its like I get to hear the story for the first time . THANK YOU for doing this.
Let me start by saying that I would pay money to listen to Avery Brooks read a phone book. I have seen the mini series and I even have it on ITunes. But I couldn't listen to all of this. I tried.
The very start of the story - herding goats in Africa was very dull. Too dull.
Then there was the torturous boat. Too much graphic detail about all the putrid details of every kind of nasty fluid a sick and tortured body can produce and it went on forever. I couldnt. I just couldnt.
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