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  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Couldn't Finish It"

    I get that this book was groundbreaking and has been massively influential on our culture, both literary and otherwise. However, I could not make myself finish this thing. I made it almost to the end and just stopped caring. Neither of the two main characters are particularly likable and every idea in this story has since been done better in other books. I couldn't get over how pretentious the whole thing feels--I could hear the smug satisfaction in Neal Stephenson's words. He frequently spends entire chapters explaining details that aren't relevant, or going on about history lessons that the reader's already figured out. The world he's created doesn't always make sense, either. Why would there be a company for the United States Government, if there's no United States? I made it well past the 75% mark and I still didn't understand half the motivations for the growing cast of characters. Doesn't help that the sound quality flickers back and forth--I found numerous examples where entire sentences just got washed out in bizarre distortion effects, and there's a large chunk later in the story where they just forget to mention what chapter they're on. It's not a terrible story, but it's got almost no merit now that all of its ideas have been done better since its release.

    The reader was fine, though I found it a little annoying he kept pronouncing "Katana" as "Kuh-TAN-uh" instead of "Kuh-TAHN-uh."

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mogworld

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Yahtzee Croshaw
    • Narrated By Yahtzee Croshaw
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a world full to bursting with would-be heroes, Jim couldn't be less interested in saving the day. His fireballs fizzle. He's awfully grumpy. Plus, he's been dead for about 60 years. When a renegade necromancer wrenches him from eternal slumber and into a world gone terribly, bizarrely wrong, all Jim wants is to find a way to die properly, once and for all. On his side, he's got a few shambling corpses, an inept thief, and a powerful death wish. But he's up against tough odds....

    Alyssa says: "Yahtzee learns to enunciate"
    "Great for a first novel."
    What made the experience of listening to Mogworld the most enjoyable?

    The characters are fantastic and the whole thing has a very British-humor vibe. The story's complex and interesting with multiple layers working simultaneously, especially in the second half. The main character's understandable, if a touch on the unlikable side, but every other cast member's interesting enough to pull you through to the end.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mogworld?

    The first time you get a hint of what the "Deleters" are really about piqued my attention to the point that I was more than willing to overlook the minor flaws.

    What does Yahtzee Croshaw bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It's great to hear Yahtzee's interpretation of his own characters, especially when he really starts putting some emotion into their more dramatic moments. He's not a voice actor by any stretch, but he does an admirable enough job.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending. It's a satisfying enough climax to all the different story arcs, while simultaneously managing to be a commentary on the state of certain archetypes in our fiction and a deconstruction of certain storytelling tropes.

    Any additional comments?

    I liked the book, and Yahtzee's a good enough reader, but it's not perfect by any stretch. His craft isn't as refined as a professional novelist's and the main character's the least sympathetic character in the story, making it hard to care what happens to him. The worldbuilding's no standout, but that's actually part of the story. It's funny, charming, and definitely entertaining, but I was hoping for just a bit more out of the renowned critic.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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