I could have been listening to a different book, by some other author, being read by another narrator.
No. Just this author.
The book was boring enough as-is. The narrator's relentless monotone was not helping.
The whole affair just reeked of an undergraduate sociology paper where the author is primarily interested in "word count." I've written quite a few of these, I just didn't expect the reader to pay for them.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
- Carl Sagan
The chief problem here is that the author starts with *only* four facts; K-129 had 15 more crewmen on board than normal, K-129 failed to send out two routine radio reports, K-129 was closer to Hawaii than assigned when it went down, and K-129 was apparently on the surface when it suffered an explosion that sank it...
...and his conclusion is that this adds up to a plot by shadowy forces in the Kremlin to start a nuclear war between China and the USA by using K-129 as a stand-in for a Chinese missile submarine and nuking Pearl Harbor.
Add to this the old-time snake oil salesman's dodge of claiming, "my sources are secret and cannot come forward!" and you get the picture. A cop I know once observed, "in any criminal case, there are things the police believe, things the police know, and things the police can prove."
None of this silly book is remotely *proven*. It's all just conjecture. If you want to waste your time, stick with that TV show where they hunt for Bigfoot.
Not "better," but just a different experience. The narrator, Tom Weiner, does a simply beautiful job. I read A Canticle for Leibowitz originally when I was a teenager, and was delighted to see it pop up in my Audible queue.
The effortless way Miller compresses 1,500 years of future history into three linked volumes - not a bad trick in a book you can listen to in 10 hours.
Everything. Weiner performs the book perfectly, down to the different southwestern and midwestern accents.
Funny, but when I read the book originally 30 years ago, I believe it did just read it cover-to-cover.
The chief problem, so far as I was concerned, is that the murder victim is a complete cypher; the reader has no relationship with her whatsoever. What this leads to is a sense where I truly lost interest in the "whodunit" aspect ... I essentially didn't care who killed her.
It was boring. The main character wanders around trying to solve the mystery that none of the other characters care about, and don't want to investigate. For most of the book, the protagonist doesn't care who did it.By about a third of the story, I didn't care who did it.
None of them. But Muller's performance was still the best part of a bad effort.
The setting was interesting, and the bleakness of the arctic circle complemented the Soviet state and the desperation of the characters. Except for Muller, that's it.
First-rate. Top-shelf. As bad as A FEAST FOR CROWS was, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS makes up for it. Readers disliking A FEAST FOR CROWS should *not* stop with that thumbsucker. Finish it on Wiki and move on to ADWD.
The new one. No spoilers from me, but someone so shocking and unexpected has appeared that it - literally - made my jaw drop. OMG.
Roy Dotrice took a lot of (unwarranted, in my book) criticism for A FEAST FOR CROWS. I just don't see it. Dotrice is as good as the game, and easily one of the best readers out there Not as good as Frank Muller, certainly, but definitely up there - and doing a totally appropriate performance in this whole series.
Relief, mostly. I hated the heck out of a FEAST FOR CROWS, and from the very first *word* - literally - I loved A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.
Dragons are really, really extraordinarily dangerous. As characters and readers discover. Once they get big enough to eat bulls and horses, it's unwise to turn your back on them - or even get anywhere near them - unless your name is "Targaryen."
Martin decidedly phoned this one in; it's almost as though another author snatched the typewriter at the outset. The main problem is that Martin is increasingly long-winded ... and long-winded about events and characters readers of the series could care less about.
Nothing happens. Nothing. The four most interesting (arguably, at least) characters - Tyrion Lannister, Daenyres Targaryan, Jon Snow, and Stannis Baratheon - appear *not at all* in this tome. New plotlines appear, seemingly out of left field, and completely take over the story - and none of them are terribly interesting.
I told a friend who's also reading the series that he could save himself $8.99 by listening to my five-minute summary of the events in the book. And it would be a dull five minutes, at that.
I got into the series by watching the excellent GAME OF THRONES on HBO. Something tells me season 4 of the TV production is just going to skip right over this turkey. Nobody at HBO is dumb enough to lose there jobs by putting this book on my TV screen.
Everything. Mr. Dotrice isn't the problem, and makes a top-shelf effort at making a dull book seem interesting.
Boredom. If I had been reading FEAST FOR CROWS on paper, I'd have skimmed ahead over and over.
DANCES WITH DRAGONS had better be a barn-burner.
So far as I can see from the five or so hours I listened (IE, before deleting it...), this entire book is nothing more than a stupifyingly tedious recitation of US military casualty and replacement figures in incredibly elaborate - and totally pointless - detail. It was like listening to someone read down the balance sheet and income statement spreadsheets of a large corporation.
Not merely boring, it was downright dangerous - threatening to put me to sleep in traffic during the afternoon commute.
The book was interesting at first, particularly since it seemed to get the tech angles exactly right. But at some point - right around 1/3 of the way through - it just jumped the shark, big time.
When I got to the part where 200 robot cars attacked The Secret Government Base(tm) and the hero FBI agent was lying on the hood of The Evil Villain Hacker's robot car, prying off the uplink antennae with his knife ... well, let's just say it didn't seem all that plausible.
I think I'll skip the sequel.
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