This book was not at all what I expected. It isn't anything like the movie, though I enjoyed both the stories of the book and the movie. I love vampire lore (huge Buffy fan here), but this was a totally new (new to me, I know the book was written in the 50s) and equally enjoyable take on the genre. This book went deeply into the scientific and psychological implications of a vampire apocalypse, which is a refreshing break from the more popular story line of humans falling in love with vampires and vice versa. I thought the reader was very good, though his woman voice was completely crazy. All in all, I was surprised and pleased!
I was expecting this book to be pretty much the same as the movie, which I really enjoyed. The book follows a fairly different story arc than the movie, with less of an emphasis on the dance and the relationship with Tiffany, and more of an emphasis on Patrick's philosophy and recovery...and his love of the Eagles. The narrator was perfect--he captured Pat's boy-like manner, and also did a great accent for Cliff, the Indian psychologist. All in all a really great listen!
Margaret Atwood is my favorite author, and I was not disappointed with this book. I found the story interesting and unique, with great character development. I loved the voice and style of the narrator--she was perfect for the voices of all three main characters.
My main point of contention with this book was that the narrator attempted a Boston accent. After five books, you really get used to the way a person's voice sounds, and I liked his voice in all of the other Kenzie-Gennaro books. There was no need to change it up--it totally detracted from the story!
As for the story, I thought it was just OK--a bit of a low note in one of my favorite series, but I did feel like it was nice to wrap things up and tie up some loose ends.
Generally, it was a very entertaining read--it kept my attention to the end and I didn't feel like my time was wasted. It had all the elements of every Stephen King novel--bad villains, a supernatural environmental enemy (the dome, a super-plague, an unhinging dark tower, vampires, etc), a level headed and rather flat hero, a sassy and smart leading lady, clever spunky kids, and of course a staggeringly high body count.
My main disappointment was that I was very interested in the premise of the book and I thought it was set up well--what would a town do if it was cut off from the rest of the world? I thought it was kind of an interesting look at the politics and environmental consequences (I even thought it might be a bit of a climate change parable...but I think that is reading too much into it). Then, after all of this complicated and interesting set up, there was big explosion and everyone died except for the good guys, who all survived and then figured out how to lift the dome and everyone lived happily ever after, the end. The ending felt like a real cop-out to me.
In terms of the performance, I liked Raul Esparza's regular reading voice, but having gone to college in rural Maine, I was confused about some of the characters' accents. Jim Renny had a strong Southern drawl, Rusty Everett sounded like he was from California, and the children sounded like cartoon characters with head colds. I know Maine accents are hard to get right, but it seemed like an odd choice to give characters strong accents from other parts of the country. As always, if you can't do an accent, just don't...or find a narrator who can.
Like all books about dogs, this book was heartbreaking. Why do all dogs have to die in the end???? No spoiler alert--you know right from the beginning that this is a retrospective. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Enzo was a much more serious and philosophical dog than many of his literary compatriots. Still, it was everything I was hoping for-sweet, funny, thought provoking, and of course, sad. I liked the narrator but I felt like his voice and tone added more gravitas to the story than was entirely necessary. He often sounded sardonic or annoyed when he referred to Enzo's doggiest aspects (getting his head scratched, playing fetch), which made Enzo devoid of any cuteness or playfulness. I think I would have viewed Enzo differently if I had read the book instead of listening. Still--a great read!!
I bought this book because of the October Zombie book sale. It was one of the few that looked like it would offer something different and interesting. It was definitely a different and refreshing take on the typical Zombie Apocalypse theme, and it was certainly entertaining, if not elevated literature. I would say that the book's tone reminded me a lot of the Sookie Stackhouse books--it got a lot into Zombie politics, culture, and philosophy. All in all, I liked it, but I'm glad I got it on sale.
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