I know many people have felt this book was a disappointment compared to the rest of the series and that it didn't go anywhere. While I would be dissatisfied with the book if this was to be the end of the series, it is not and I believe leads to numerous possibilities in the last few books yet to be released (and some not yet written). The addition of several new dragons and foreign lands was enough to keep me engaged and I am terribly sad to know that I will have to wait at least a year before the next book is published and released. BOO! "I want more Temeraire daddy and I want it now!"
If you liked the series up till now, give this book a try and once again, Simon Vance rises to favorite reader status in my book.
Any review I write on this book will not do it justice. Abraham Verghese is an EXCELLENT writer. I love his writing style, his characters and his obvious passion for his career. If his two other books (My own Country or a Tennis Partner), were available on audible or on e-books, I would have already read them. I just cannot say enough about the author. As for the characters and the story, just incredible. I loved every minute of following these boys and their family and extended family through their lives. I found myself getting depressed when I only had 10 hours left in this book!!! I wanted it to never end. As for the narrator, Sunil has made his way to my top 3 narrators now. He was perfect for this book and I wouldn't have enjoyed it on audiobook nearly as much without him. If you like long, detailed stories about "real" feeling character then try this book. It has found its place to number 1 on my all time favorite novels.
I figured with all the hype and the movie and all, I would be disappointed by this book. But several people recommended it to me saying it was a worthwhile read, so I tried it. It didn't change my life, but I will say that I found it an enjoyable read and better than average narration.
I didn't expect to love this book. First off I read it after just finishing Book Thief and Cutting for Stone. So I really thought that nothing would be an enjoyable read for me right after reading two such phenomenal books. But the "real" little princes got under my skin and into my heart the same way they did to Conor Grennan. Don't expect an expertly written novel or a great narration from this book. you will be disappointed if you can't just accept the book for what it is. And what it is, is a remarkable REAL story of an average guy who gets his heart invested in something he never planned to and decides that he has to help change the world for these children. I laughed, I cried, I cheered and I got angry and I had a hard time putting this book down. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. Support this worthy cause that Conor Grennan has created, sit down with some spiced chai, put your feet up and just enjoy expanding your horizons a bit. Namaste Conor.
I must say that I am surprised that some people are not able to understand and make heads or tales of the book. I have used the introductory chapter with my patients who have brain injury and stroke so that they can use their listening and deductive reasoning skills to decide "who" the narrator is and what they anticipate the book will be about. They all seem to "get it". I believe that perhaps people who are having difficulty trying to understand the book, maybe are trying it at a time when they cannot give it their full attention. I personally thought the book (which I also read on an e-reader), was an exceptional story. So well written, and I personally loved the uniqueness of prose. I think Mark Zusak could have gone overboard and missed the mark, but for me, that mark was RIGHT ON. The narrator was phenomenal!!!! I was so glad that I listened to this on audiobook and not just read it. I would have missed the humor that the narrator has in parts. The relationship between characters in the story was wonderful and so touching. I cried and I laughed and I cried and I laughed and I feel like I got every penny and more out of this book. Everyone I have recommended it to has felt the same special place in their heart for this book. This book has moved up to top 3 of my all time favorite novels. Bravo!
I have heard things about this book from various people and no one seems to be able to put into words what they like about it, what makes it a worthy classic, and what the book is even really about. After listening to it I see why no one can explain these things. I can't seem to either. But I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Characters that feel "real" (not all evil or all good, JUST HUMAN), I do not care for female readers but I will say that Kate Burton did an excellent job, especially with the accents. I beautiful coming of age novel in hard times, with interesting and intricate details of the mundane parts of life that people go through every day. I would say that if you are considering this novel, just take a chance and try it. While not on my top 10 list of books I have read in recent years, still an excellent read with interesting characters just trying to live life with what they have been given.
This book, like many I read, was very difficult emotionally in parts, but the story is absolutely worth it in the end. A book of struggle and such unfairness that has you angry in many parts of the book. I really enjoyed the kite runner, but I liked this book at least as much if not a bit more. I would give 5 stars just for the book, but I have to reduce it 1 star because I really struggled to love the narrator. I know part of it is just "me", because I typically don't care for for female narrators as much. But a lot of it is that I didn't feel a connection of the narrator AS the women. I felt her flat and detached and difficult to listen to at times. The sentence structure unnatural and having pauses in places they didn't belong. However her accent and pronunciation of non English words I found very good and added to the story. Once I got into the story and the characters enough, I found the narrator easier to listen to and tune out the things I didn't care for. A worthy book in my opinion nonetheless.
I got this book randomly on a sale because the reviews were good, but I was expecting such a HUGE downer of a book. I was wrong. While the story IS incredibly sad (what stories in this genre are not?), I felt the strength of Edith Hahn Beer deep in my soul and it carried me through. The areas that made me tear had nothing to do with the sad moments of the book, but instead with the moments of a random strangers kindness during such horrible times.
It was refreshing to hear the story of what the Jewish who were not imprisoned in a concentration camp had to go through. As was hearing what your average German citizen who had NOTHING to do with the Nazi party had to experience as well. The propaganda fed to them, the fear and rationing they experienced with great sadness all around them.
The narrator was EXCELLENT! A perfect fit for this book and really made you feel she was the true voice of Edith.
I HIGHLY recommend this book. I can't say enough good things about it. Just read it... don't pass it up!
I was originally hesitant to purchase this audiobook because I thought it would be better geared for men than women, but after reading several reviews that stated otherwise I decided to try it. I loved the book! What a wonderful crew of characters, great battles and interesting experiences. The writing is superb and the story most enjoyable. I am "sold" on the series and looks like I will have to make my way through all 20 now!
Some notes on the narration of these books. I HIGHLY suggest you listen to samples of this book and several others in the series from both Simon Vance and Patrick Tull. I know most people feel that Patrick gives the best narration and lends the appropriate "feel' to the book, but I happened to be irritated by certain aspects of Tull's speech. There is a breathy and airy aspect to his speech that ruins it for me personally even though I can see what an excellent narrator he is. I couldn't finish any of the samples as it grated on me. Whereas Simon Vance may not lend as accurate of a feel to the book, I love him as a narrator. This completes 11 books I have listened to by Vance (the girl with the dragon tattoo series, the temeraire dragon series and the kings speech) and I have yet once to be disappointed by him. He is consistently a good reader and with some books an excellent one. So take the time to listen to the samples of both narrators and decide which is the best for you. They are both quite different.
LOVED some of the new characters we meet in this book! I enjoyed the places they traveled too and the challenges they faced. One of my favorite books in the entire series and the narrator is a pleasure to listen to as always.
While I didn't get quite as much enjoyment (only less by a micron really) from this book compared to all the others, I did enjoy it and saw it as a pivotal turning point in the series. I did feel a bit disconnected when they were in most of Africa, but the interesting story line, the return of our dragon friends (after being away from them for several books) and their cause were well worth it. Great narrator as always.
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