Excellent concept for a novel. Superbly written. Mysterious. Suspenseful. What more can you ask for?
I couldn't decide between 3 and 4 stars. I liked the novel, but it left me feeling a little down. An alien (Newton) closely resembling a human (in terms of body shape and size, but not all of the details) comes to earth to save the 300 beings left of his species. His species all but destroyed itself in war and ravaged the planet of natural resources. Newton comes to Earth (to save humans from themselves and grab some resources for his species) and is worn down as he begins to realize that all of his efforts are in vain. Also, I can believe that he struggles internally as he begins to realize that he will never see his family again, and that he could never be human.
I couldn't stop reading once I started. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers, but will be especially interesting to gamers, early computer aficionados, and anyone who grew up in the eighties playing D&D and arcade games. The story is about a young man named Wade who battles other "gunters" on a quest to find a valuable prize in a virtual reality.
Wil Wheaton is a OK narrator, but I found myself wishing he could distinguish his voice more between characters.
Mitchell is a master of the written word. Tremendous talent. The first half of this book is moving, exciting, and creative. The second half slowed down a bit and became challenging, and does not live up to the sentence by sentence creativity bar set by the first half. Of course, all is relative. Mitchell's worst sentence is better than the best of the average writer. He remains one of my all-time favorite authors and I wish I could give five stars. How about 4.5?
Warning: Do not walk across a tall bridge while reading this novel. To summarize: Jimmy's parents suck. Jimmy's lovers suck. Jimmy's best friend sucks. The world sucks. Oh, and that little voice in Jimmy's head thinks Jimmy sucks too! I hated all but the last three chapters of this novel, and I didn't like those three chapters except that finally there was some action and story resolution. Much of the book is filled with mundane details of people I have no emotional connection to. Also, there are silly comments: [Oh this word was never any good. But this word is wonderful.] Did I mention the child pornography? This was the first Atwood novel I have read. Are her other novels better than this? It may be a while before I try another.
Narration: While Campbell Scott is not a bad narrator, his gruff voice and lack of inflection does not help this dreary novel at all. I'll reserve my opinion of Scott after listening to him read a more upbeat text.
I enjoyed this unique novel. An ex-con takes a job working for an old god and through his travels meets many old and new gods. These gods are fallible and fragile. There is tension among them and some die while others get stronger. Several stories are woven into this theme. I have no idea if I fully understood Gaiman's point (assuming he was even trying to make a point at all) but the question I was asking myself after finishing the novel was: What "gods" do I "worship" (or what do I spend my resources on and invest my time in and believe in) and how do these "gods" help or hurt myself and others? I think an American-born and raised author would have written a much different novel given the same story idea. Most of the gods seem to be pretty mean and nasty, so I would have liked to see some positive gods that create additional tension in the ranks of gods. Since so many Americans are monotheistic it would have been cool to weave in a story of a mysterious god that the other gods don't understand and don't have access to (or something like that). But at the end of the day I give Gaiman credit for this unique idea, his superb writing, and his "outsiders" perspective.
The narration is excellent!
Ghostwritten will put you in the shoes of characters that find themselves in extraordinary situations. You will feel what the characters feel through David Mitchell's storytelling ability and superb command of English.
As long as you keep in mind that this is a YA novel and was written in the mid-fifties, how can you not like this book? It is a simple story simply told. While perhaps not timeless, the writing style is such that this novel will be around for a long time. My only criticism is a minor one: I prefer that authors air their grievances about society through the story and not directly. Heinlein is bit too direct. But overall I like the book.
Interesting as expected but a bit of a slog to get through. Why? The story doesn't flow and isn't as interesting as Blindsight. There's a lot of dialogue, not much action. Also, I never became a fan of the lead character. He was a wimp and dim-witted at times which I know is a point of the story, but readers want someone smart and strong (like themselves) to root for. A hero. On the plus side, there are a number of ideas to make you think about what may be possible with biology.
Narration: I wonder how much my opinion of the book was affected by Adam Rough. While Adam is not bad, I do not like his character voices, and I do not think he read parts of the book with the tone and inflection I would imagine Peter Watts wrote them. Too bad.
Strange, I would never call Scalzi a good writer and yet I generally like his novels. His work is filled with clichés and stereotypes, but he throws lots of ideas and humor in a story and knows how to keep the plot moving. I was never bored with The Android's Dream and looked forward to what was coming next. There were a few plot twists that kept me guessing. Recommended for sci fi readers looking for something entertaining and not too deep.
Narration: I generally like Wil Wheaton because of the energy he brings to Scalzi's novels, but I wasn't impressed with this reading. He just doesn't have the ability some other narrators have to change his voice for different characters which would have been helpful for all of the characters in this novel.
On the surface this book seems very simple, but on reflection there are deep questions and messages. Camus delivers, very poignantly, one perspective (or interpretation) of existentialism.
Narration: Does it get better than Jonathan Davis?
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