Too often when the writer reads his own material, his voice isn?t up to the quality of professional readers. This isn?t the case with this wonderful novel. This book is really a series of vignettes about the history of Ireland, starting from its ancient days up until Bloody Sunday. Each story is given to his hosts by a traveling ?storyteller,? one of the central characters of the story. A parallel story involving the storyteller, his past and his loved ones runs throughout. Its only flaw is a periodic over-sentimentality, the kind in ?chicken-soup-for the soul? books. But these failings are rare. Overall a satisfying and absorbing listen.
I am a fan of all things Tudor, so had consumed many fiction (e.g. Phillipa Gregory) and non-fiction (e.g. Jane Dunn) about Henry VIII and his offspring. This book is different from any I have read before. This is not just another bodice-ripping period piece like Showtime's The Tudors, it is actually beautifully written literature. A warning though, it may be difficult to keep track of the many characters without already being familiar with King Henry's court during the time of his separation from Katherine and marriage to Anne Boleyn. Excellent book all around!
I listened to this book pretty much over a single weekend. The writing is well done and you care for the protagonist, but, the storyline is meandering and seems pointless. It certainly sparked my interest in finding out the "real" story behind these two recluses. As others have pointed out, the truth of their lives needs little embellishment, yet this author decided to fabricate many of the details. It wasn't a bad book, just slightly disappointing. I found E.L. Doctorow's, The March, a more satisfying listen.
A promising start and good reader soon degenerates into thinly veiled right-wing preaching. At three hours, when I finally gave up on this novel, the storyline had not yet progressed beyond criticism of (democrat) government response to events recently past.
I like SK, especially his science fiction and fantasy. I adored The Stand and rather liked the Dark Tower series. This story didn't do much for me. I downloaded it based on the great reviews, managed to get through the whole thing and was a bit disgusted in the end. I suggest you pass on this one, there is better SK out there.
Like other reviewers, I loved Empire Falls so entered this one with high hopes. I was able to finish it, but it was not an enjoyable experience. The writing was excellent, but the story is a meandering stream headed nowhere.
I listened to this book nonstop, even to the point where I almost called in sick to work just to finish. It was gripping from the first 5 minutes. Just amazing!
Just a really great story and easier to follow than Mitchell's other work- Could Atlas. Of the two, I preferred this one, although both are beautifully written. On the surface the story appears straightforeward, but then makes strange turns. I generally dislike literal novels and prefer immersive fantasy, but this was some of both.
Set in Australia and Armenia, this novel is beautifully written. The bleak and wild landscapes compliment the characters as if one is a reflection of the other. Paced neither slow nor fast, enough action takes place to keep you interested. Reccomended.
Pulled in by the Eye of the World and the Great Hunt, I have become attached to the series, but this will be my last Jordan book. The plot becomes ever more meandering, with hundreds of pages passing and little or no action taking place. The characters wallow in adolescent angst. They are strangely attracted to, but disgusted with, the opposite sex, tantalized by nudity, but ashamed of their own bodies. Like teenagers they spent a lot of time obsessively discussing the object of their affection, and then denying the crush exists. For people supposedly engaged in a battle to save the world (and entering their early twenties), they are unbelievably self-absorbed and naive. The writing is adequate, not awful like Terry Brooks, but the dialog is so corny I cringe to hear it. My advice is to take a pass on this one.
A grim, riveting and, at times, disturbing look at how environmental factors can destabilize society, this book urges us to learn from history in order to preserve ourselves and our future. I only wish it had been unabridged.
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