I was looking forward to this book and it started out fairly well. Then it quickly went downhill. There is far too much yakking between the characters and not enough story-building/story telling. I'm not even sure what the story was about in the end as the endless conversations between the various characters just eventually blurred together. Also, the various alien species just blurred together and I lost track of what specie was what and had whatever characteristics. Eventually, I just wanted to be done with the book. Not going to continue with the series. **sigh**
Just as my review headline states, this books seemed to be more of a rambling road trip than any profound statement on how gods exist in our minds and our belief. Many times during the book I simply zoned out and had no idea where the story had gone or even what the current narrative was - probably similar to zoning out while traveling in a car over longs distances and not paying much attention to the what is around you - a road trip. The plot would have benefited greatly from more cohesion and a main story thread to keep the listener interested. While the narrators were quite talented, the story simply didn't provide me with much to care about.
I'm surprised at how high this book is rated. It makes me wonder if the 12000 words the author added into this edition would have been better left out.
A very exciting tale of one man's effort for survival while stranded on Mars. Absolutely brilliant. Funny, cynical, and rich with space technology/science. There were some points in the book where it just simply became too much to be believed, thus the less-than-five star rating, but overall a great, fun listen.
A very fascinating discussion by Stephen Hawking on his theory of time, black holes, relativity, etc. One of the few drawbacks is that his rational/reasoning begins to sound and become circular - which I suppose perfectly describes the theory of time and the universe - how it contracts/expands - unending.
The first half of this book was very engrossing and captivating. The second half - not so much. The story works well when its about the main character: Vergil. You're interested in his plight and his fate. Once that is determined, the story meanders about to various other characters that I just couldn't really care about.
The narrator also does not speak clearly into the microphone at a few points in the book making you have to turn up the audio very high just to hear him. In his defense, this was recorded many, many years ago when audiobook recording was not at the best. The narrator does not have a vast range of voices either: alternating from gruff, gravely to a high-pitched attempt at female voices which just doesn't work.
An interesting premise and great first half of the book, but not one that I could recommend.
This is easily one of the best audio books I have listened to in a long time. The story of a young 16 year old girl who is dying of cancer and yet finds joyous love in all the misery and heartache she has endured. Incredibly emotional. You will laugh out loud. You will cry.
The narrator is exquisite and perfect to bring about the voice and personality of Hazel. I cannot say enough great things about this book. Just get it and listen to it. Period.
An absolute must-listen. A truly inspiring story that has made me have a new love for running; and certainly convinced me that humans are "born to run". Everyone needs to listen to this book and then take its advice: running and eating healthy. I truly believe it would reduce the obesity and unhealthiness in the American population.
Very humorous at times, wonderful and interesting characters, a fantastic finish.
Everyone wishes they could have done something over again in their life to correct a mistake or make the right choice, or even to see if another choice would have led down a better path in life. Ursula gets that ability in this excellent novel. Ursula is a young girl who gets to do life over and over again until she gets it exactly right. Of course, the ultimate point of the story is whether or not it's possible to get it exactly right or if you are doomed to infinite repetition.
Very powerful, very emotional.
After listening to the excellent book of Ilium, my expectation were high for this sequel. Perhaps too high. The book drags on into meaningless detail. One wonders if an editor was too scared to tell the author what to cut out from the book. It also falters from a lack of a clear distict voice which was the main character in Ilium. Instead, it goes into multiple third-person perspectives to the point at which one starts to not care where the overall stroy is going. The only redeeming part of the book was the area that dealt with the Trojans, the Greeks, Achilles, Zeus, etc. The rest I could have fast forwarded through and not been any wiser as far as plot development.
I recommended the first book: Ilium. I'd recommend stopping there.
The book mixes futuristic sci-fi with the events that occurred in Homer's poem The Iliad. It does so in such an excellent manner as to make me want to read/study the Iliad again! This audio book also seems to take pieces from Dan Simmon's other excellent works in the Hyperion Cantos. I found myself thinking back to Hyperion many times while listening to this book.
The narrator is solid as well imparting the perfect cynical tone to the main character.
Excellent listen! Dan Simmons captures the essence and atmosphere of Calcutta expertly. A truly horrific story that seems more truth than fiction. The fate of a particular character seems pre-ordained simply that that character's inclusion into the story which is my only criticism of the plot.
The narrator is absolutely superb going from American Mid-West, American-New York, to Indian accents with ease.
A definite recommended listen.
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