While I would NOT recommend starting with this book, it is one of my favorites in the series.
As with the first Miles book, Miles starts out by messing things up in a big way, in a way that is spectacularly uncomfortable both for him and for you. And then we get to watch him live through that.
While there may not be as much surprise in the plot as some would like, there are plenty of lovely developments in this book as we get to know more about many of the characters that fans of the series have come to know and love.
A great book about failure and recovery, memory and the loss of it, integrity and the loss of it.
While you don't have to read all of the Miles books that come before this one to enjoy it, you should have a fairly good idea of who Miles is before you enjoy this.
The performance is fine.
Northanger Abbey is not Austen's finest novel, but it is enjoyable. The reading was only adequate, but I have heard worse narrations.
I suspect that my favorite character is the author, who in her narrator's persona makes various snide remarks.
Alas, there were a lot of problems, though not so many as to make the work intolerable. This narration badly needed going over by an editor, to spot mispronounced words and duplicate sentences. There were enough mispronunciations to be irritating, and Mary Sarah Agliotta should get herself some coaching on that point.
She could have spotted the duplicate sentences herself if she had carefully listened to the finished product before releasing it. There also were several points at which she did not recognize what was going on in a sentence until she was halfway through, resulting in poor choices of which words to stress.
Her voice was pleasant enough, and I am not greatly bothered by the fact that she did not attempt strong differentiation of the voices of different characters. The problem is that most narrators on Audible are so superb that this reading did not measure up.
I am not sure I would enjoy going to dinner with any of the characters, all of whom seem to be pretty shallow people. I would love to go to dinner with the author.
Jane Austen uses this book to praise the value of reading novels, and at the same time demonstrates the foolishness of allowing Gothic novels to form one's expectations. It is a lovely juxtaposition.
I think this is chronologically set right AFTER Brothers in Arms, and before Mirror Dance--but that is to say the linking narrative is set then, as Miles tells his mother at the end that he has much to tell her about Earth. It does have information that you might want to know before reading or listening to Mirror Dance. However, none of the information is critical. However, it works fine for filling in the gaps, any time after you feel comfortable that you know Miles and his universe. I do not recommend this as your first glimpse of this world. Unlike some others, I liked the linking narrative quite a lot, despite the fact that it is weaker than any of the individual stories.
While this book is far from the best in the series, the series is so good that I did not want to give it less than five stars.
I liked this a great deal, though I do not agree completely with Wilber's position and will probably listen to it several more times. The narrator occasionally mispronounces a term, but this is rare enough that it does not hamper the listening. Although the author moves on, and you can lose material as you woolgather, it is also true that some topics are reworked repeatedly. There is a lot of review in this book, which can be helpful or irritating, depending on how intently you are trying to follow his arguments. I found it a helpful introduction to his thought, and I wish he had a good deal more available in the audio format.
This book by Neil Stephenson is so complex that it took me a number of trips through it to begin to absorb the philosophy that he spins so casually into the plot of the book. This is not to say that the book was not enjoyable as a tale on the first run through--it was. But it is the philosophy that he casts into new terms and allows one to look at with fresh eyes that makes the book more than one more science fiction parallel universe scenario. I have been appreciating this book more and more with each run through it, and have definitely gotten my money's worth. A good reader and an excellent book. Readers completely unfamiliar with Stephenson's style might want to start with Snow Crash or The Diamond Age, but this book is an independent novel, not based on any of his earlier scenarios.
I have loved this book for a long time, since I first read it sometime in the late 60's. Lloyd James does it justice, with only a word here and there that I would have pronounced differently.
Aslan's analysis and breakdown of the various sorts of Islamic movements was quite helpful. I liked it enough that I bought a hard copy so that I can quote it as needed. I am less certain that he has a solution of how to "win" the war, but his statement that refusing to engage in a Cosmic war is the only valid strategy is one that needs to be heard.
His ability to cite Christian scripture and make it sound ominous (a claim to be "washed in the blood" should not be understood as threatening) needs to be understood, I think, against the backdrop of people reading the Qur'an in equally ominous ways. If you focus on the global pronouncements, this book is simplistic. He does not have any simple solutions that are going to bring peace in the war on terror or in any other war. However, the book can be very helpful in sorting out a range of Muslim attitudes.
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