Much has been said and written about Shantaram. It is controversial because it is reported to be somewhat based on the author's real experiences in escaping prison in Australia and living in Bombay. However, Gregory David Roberts has been accused of exploiting the real people that his characters are based on and of making promises to the slum dwellers in Mumbai that he never follows through on. All that aside, it is an extremely interesting and emotionally compelling story in which you come to love the characters portrayed. Sure, the writing is sometimes not very good. In fact, I actually laughed at some of the prose describing the first time that Lin makes love with Carla. But, all in all, it was a story that I didn't want to end.
Humphrey Bower's performance was just fantastic. His pacing, creation of characters, accents and emotional performance was just perfect for this sweeping novel. I don't think I've ever heard as good a performance except maybe from Craig Wasson's narration of King's "11-22-63: A Novel". I will be looking for other books that he has narrated.
I thoroughly enjoyed Shantaram and was sorry when it was over. I hope that Gregory David Roberts' reported sequel is as good and the on again, off again, movie version doesn't ruin the book.
Very interesting story of the near future with a Thai locale and characters. The authors view of the future with the coastal areas flooded, genetically modified crops and people and access to and control of food being the lever of poltical power was extremely well done. Jonathan Davis' narration was very good and at the same time non-obtrusive. His ability to represent the various characters of various ethnicities was very good. I am looking forward to reading or listening to Bacigalupi's other books that take place in the same future.
I loved The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and was looking forward to hearing this collection of related stories. I was so happy with the results. The collection is beautifully written and a bitter sweet description of his character's loves (or rather failures of love) and lives. The real treat was Diaz's performance of his stories. His narration provided the amazing experience of hearing the author words as he meant them.
I'm also a Central New Jersey guy and know almost all of the places where the stories took place. That also made it great.
I cannot recommend this collection of stories more.
I wasn't sure at first that I would like Among Others. I began not being able to relate to the main character. However, as the narrative unfolded, I found myself really liking and relating to her. I especially like all the Science Fiction references. It was too bad that, unlike having a book, I couldn't write all of them down. I did most of my listening in the car.
I also really thought that the narrator was fantastic. Her accents were great and he narrative extremely engaging.
I was so happy to see that an unabridged version of The Hobbit had been listed by Audible. I hadn't read (or listened) to the book since my adult children were little. While, of course, the story was still great, I have to say that Rob Inglis' performance was fantastic. He brought the various and many characters to life with his different vocalizations and narrative style. All in all, this listen was great experience. I can't wait until I have time to tackle the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Despite a number of positive reviews, I found the book and the performance pretty boring. If I had realized that this is really a book for teenagers or younger I wouldn't have purchased. It's not that the retelling of the Cinderella story was juvenile, but the way the story was written and presented was. This is the first time I have disliked a book enough to not finish listening.
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