His story more or less from the beginning told by the man himself. It feels like he's chatting to you over tea or a drink. The story is mostly linear but jumps about here and there to address the topic at hand and wrap up a character while they are fresh in mind. Feels very conversational that way. The man lived a charmed life (after a very rough 30 year start) and seems to have a really nice outlook on the world.
He really never has a bad word to say about anyone. I'm sure in private he might, but he has the class to avoid that sort of thing so if you are looking for dirty laundry you won't find it here.
The Elephant of the title is the part of East London he came from. Didn't know it was called the Elephant and he never explains why.
Arthur C. Clark is smiling somewhere. I found the story very believable compared to many of the Mars and science fiction books I've read. The main character was both sympathetic, and likable and provided more than one laugh out loud moment. Very enjoyable. I suspect i'll listen to it again in a year or so.
And the narrator was perfect. The different voices came alive.
I played D&D in the day. I even played DM's White Plume Mountain so I thought hey, I'll give it a shot. Fifteen minutes in I didn't really recognize anything except the name of a type of demon. Nothing happened. No interesting characters were introduced. The book just started off so slow, so dull, so unsatisfying.
I had a similar reaction to the Drow novels by R. A. Salvatore. D&D novels just don't capture the game for me.
This book has two narrators, one is the author who provides history of D&D as well as the saga of his own return to role playing. The other narrator reads fictional bits from the authors role playing adventures. The two complement each other very well. The history of D&D and TSR is interesting until it gets to the modern era.
The only reason this book didn't get 5 stars is it has no real ending. He visits some kind of LARP and then goes into what amounts to an add for D&D Next. Its interesting but not as much as the previous 80% of the book and never feels like it properly wraps up.
Still as an old role player from the day I highly, highly enjoyed this book and will probably listen to it again at some point when I feel nostalgic.
The narrator was exceptional.
The scenes in which the author detailed space combat were all entertaining, believable, and some of the best of the genre. He didn't invent a lot of technobabble but extrapolated current issues into the future in a very believable way.
The aliens were nice and developed enough to leave the listener satisfied but wanting more. It was nice to not have another all humans vs humans fighting the age of sail on space but something a bit darker. Don't get me wrong, the humans vs humans is interesting and all but its been done and it was nice to see a change with aliens out and about.
Then there were the bits with the doctor acting as a spy or whatever you might call it. Those felt tacked on from a different book and the idea that some human colonies are hoping to sit out the war after the gynophage (how do you spell that?). Well that seems a bit of a stretch to me, but hopefully the author will explore that sort of thing in subsequent books. I'm prepared to buy the next one, and probably the third whenever its available as an audio.
I gave up after two hours. This book and series might turn out to be excellent but such a slow start for a military science fiction just doesn't cut it with me. I don't know who many pages that is but really, nothing happened. How dull.
When he got to the UN part it was laugh out loud funny. That alone was probably worth the purchase.
I read this book long ago, before I saw the movie or the play. Its a brilliant book but it starts way, way, before the action does and ends a decent time after it should. The movie covers the dramatic heart of the story and the book would have been better cut down to roughly those plot points, in my humble opinion.
Having said that it was interesting even the extra fluff that was just whiny Willie Keith being a whiner.
This book is a series of vignettes. I'd call them short stories but they don't have proper endings. Perhaps they come together at the end to provide a proper ending but I didn't get that far so I wouldn't know.
The vignettes star different folk, but are all told in the first person. The narration is good but its the author and it sound like he's telling us stories of his life which makes for a bit of confusion when suddenly he's a girl and all.
The first couple of stories flirt with edginess and then it turned into Gay porn. If the book was good I would have continued simply out of curiosity but it wasn't really good enough and started sounding like forced edginess at that point so I put it down (or deleted it).
James Franco has potential as a writer, no doubt, but it wasn't for me.
Gor books tend to bi-polar. They alternate between sequences of excellent adventure and sequences of Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master. Generally in the hardcopy form you can skip the repetitive and annoying Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master chunks and get to the excellent adventures (or I suppose you could do the reverse). You can't do that easily with an audio novel.
Also the book's narration is confused. The narrator goes over large chunks of obsessive details about Gorean slavery but the book sets it up that the narrator is telling his story to other Goreans. That worked when it was Carl Tabot telling us the story but not so well in this context. Also the narration switches between 'the stranger' and the scribe at different times but both speak in the first person and have the same 'voice' as Carl Tabot. Even worse its the tangle created when the narrator related bits they were told by a woman which is also told in the first person and leaves the impression of the dangerous "stranger" relating this tale and acting out the girl parts. Kind of odd.
Still the action adventure bits were good. He drops you into the action in a way no other writers of swords and sorcery do and I think he could have been one of the greats if he skipped the Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master bits or isolated them to their own book series.
The author has a way with words and the turn of phrase. Interesting characters but really not much of a plot line. The author says he was never one for chapters and it shows. Like Hitchhikers Guide it meanders about from quirky bit to quirky bit. All entertaining but not really getting you anywhere. I'll relisten to this again just for the writing, I just hope later Pratchet books have more of a story. Hated the ending. Had no issues with the recording quality that Audible is clear to mention. Narrator does a great job.
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