Before this, I knew very little about the Civil War. I had no idea how close the North came to losing to the South. I must have slept through that portion of my schooling. My boy needed to do a project on the Civil War for his History class, and this book was a quick listen and learn about the war and this pivotal battle. I was able to listen to it while skiing down the slopes Up North, and come to his aid as he completed his project. The author, James MacPherson, is one of the most respected historians on the Civil War, and the information in this work is encyclopedic, but fascinating. The audiobook narrator kept it interesting and alive for me. No regrets at all.
I loved Raising Stony Mayhill for its philosophical exploration of zombiosis as a state of being. I love The Girl with All the Gifts for its biogenesis and evolutionary approach to zombiitis as an infection and plague. Zombie Apocolypse is such a popular subject, I generally turn my nose up at it as entertainment. I prefer the horror of an EMP strike and societal collapse for End Of The World scenarios. However, occasionally you find a book that delves into the nature of what it means to be human, or to be alive. This is one of them. It explores the meaning of Creation, Intellect, and animal nature within a world event that is completely fictional. In a way, doing so is not unlike the what the 19th century natural philosophers were doing when they produced learned theories and treatises based on scientific analyses and heavy speculation. Natural Philosophy is a long forgotten pursuit, but here I am loving it again, with zombies, in an action packed novel. The narrator was fantastic, and I was left with an interesting although bleak picture of the future, with me not in it.
King Horror satisfied
I liked the character development in the book, it was rich as one would expect from a latter day King novel. I liked the plot development because it was thorough and detailed enough to lend understanding and suspension of disbelief. But I really like the tight closure at the end, that tied the loose ends so effectively without stretching previously laid laws of existence. The ending was believable and real within the confines of the fiction narrative being told. Very satisfying to read, you are not left wanting, and it feels right to put it down after turning the last page, since both the reader and the writer agree that it is over.
She did a fantastic job. Versatile reader.
I wish I could. I took a couple days, at least, but was spell bound.
Joe Hill has a promising career ahead of him. I did not need to hear his views on life at the end. He was a little verbose and inconsequential.
No, because it really had no direction, except to the land of disappointment. I got the first book because of the hype and popularity of the series, made famous by the HBO series. It was worth the listen, if only to satisfy that curiosity. Then it ended, and it left me with a big question mark about what happened to everyone I met in the book. So, I got the second one. Still, I was nonplussed. The first book was 36 hours, the second was 37 hours, the third was 48 hours. It became like a big burger challenge at a vacation place restaurant. The third book and the author was so well-acclaimed, I thought that surely this must be the pinnacle of the series. So I bit into the third book, and started to realize that all the people I had liked had died meaningless deaths, and only the miserable wretches were left to carry on the tale. I was confused. This is no Tolkein: there is no allegory to this, there is no point. There is only this endless parade of characters, studied till the reader cannot stand them any longer. Finally, I researched a little. I discovered that there are five books, not three, and perhaps the story will conclude itself gloriously in the fifth book. I am used to long series like Tolkein and Star Wars, so I was looking forward to the end. The fourth book is more meaningless and spiritually impoverished than the first three. I grew to hate these people. After finding out from a critical review that the series does not end with the fifth book, but is ongoing still, I abandoned the series. I recommend it only as a serious waste of time for a person looking for a visionary and engaging tale, OR as just the thing for a person wanting to read character study after character study of really mean people.
As for the visionary fantasy, it is set in a pre-Ice Age world from 15,000 years ago with a completely medieval storyline and cast of characters. The author does not even try to create a novel human society in such a setting, or to explore how interesting pre-Ice Age living would be. What if there was a big civilization wiped out by the glaciation that followed? What would that have been like? Certainly not just knights in shining armor, would it? Think of the lost technologies he could have explored! This was not visionary at all. He should have just been honest and said that it was set in England during the 1100's like everyone else'. It would have been less disappointing.
Nope. Four books and 150 hours was plenty. The characters are mean, evil, wretched people. The society is debased. The women are routinely raped, subjugated, and demeaned. The men are crude, and there is little to be learned from any of them in terms of worthwhile life lessons. GRR Martin writes misogynistic and adolescent fantasy that only makes me less of a citizen for having read it. The fact that he has been called our generation's Tolkein only reveals the literary critics to be deeply uneducated, and if he is truly our Tolkein, it reveals our society to be a paragon of mean and meaningless virtues.
Limited, one-dimensional, and difficult.
The loss of Eddard Stark was truly sad. The subsequent loss of each character that held any virtue or spiritual value worth saving followed. I was moved by the shame and horror of having spent so much time watching such a parade of disappointments.
Don't start the series. Look elsewhere.
I read the four Tolkein books,multiple times, and I even read the Silmarillion. They are an allegory. They have a point. They have an ending. This series however, has no point. It is hateful, misogynistic tripe that only makes you loathe the characters more and more. I am a poorer person spiritually after four of these books.
The storyline is so weak and uninspired I grew sick. Pre-Ice Age civilization could have been such a fertile ground for a story, but the author is hung up on political backstabbing, and evil, evil women. I was going to read the fifth book, but one of the critics mentions that it is not over yet even after five books. Let it end. Let the wights come down and end the civilization. Destroy it in the most beautiful piece of zombie fiction ever. Please!
For myself, I am moving on to some meaningful reading. Nos4atu looks good.
And then the narrator. Roy Dotrice has convinced me after reading to me for over 100 hours that he has but seven characters to portray: a Scottish old man, a Shakespearean witch from Macbeth, an Irish old man, a random crone from United Kingdom, Steve the Pirate, a stupid boy with MRDD, and another pirate rejected from the casting of a pirate movie. Sadly, the sexxy female parts are read in the voice of a crone, and the manly warrior parts are read in any of the above voices. What a shallow bench of voices to have when undertaking a reading of such a series! Then, because the series is so long, in book three, he switches up the voices he uses for certain characters, and in book four he starts pronouncing their names differently!
Absolutely not. It turned me off from this particular author.
Ant young actor should be able to do a better job than he, with the following advice. There are hundreds of characters. You need a person who can depict the female range as well as the male, the weak male from the strong, the sexxy voluptuous female from the old crone, the bitch from the sweetheart, the scared from the stupid, and then be able to do it with a range of accents from different areas of the world. Then the narrator needs to document which voice is used for whom and do not mix it up!
Circe. Wow, did she get way too much airtime.
Please refrain from comparing the author to Tolkein. Prolific and well-grammared writing is not visionary. This is weak.
Yes, but in a year or so, to let the story regain its novelty. Truly a funny book. I snorted my drink out of my nose while driving, because I was laughing.
His delivery was fantastic. He has the sarcastic, self-deprecating voice of David down pat, and he really brought the characters to life. He acted out the characters personalities; David is different from John, in a way that both characters were clearly different people, with different motivations. Their conversations are truly comic. His delivery of some of the jokes could not be better. The plot twists and turns around ridiculous events, but he holds it together so that it is not just entertaining, it is possibly maybe believable that something like this happened and there really are a John and a David in a town called UNDISCLOSED... okay. It wasn't real. I know that. Shut up. Great narrator, though.
I had previously listened to This Book Is Full of Spiders Dude Seriously Don't Touch it, by David Wong, and I really hoped that I would enjoy John Dies At The End as well as I did the other. Unfortunately, I had been spoiled by the fantastic narrator of the TBIFOSDSDTI, and listening to John Dies At The End was anticlimactic. I have no idea if the JDATE book itself is truly as funny as the other, because the narrators are so different. Perhaps if the Spiders narrator had read it, John Dies would have been hilarious. What I mean to say is this: This narrator just missed the delivery of the witticisms so frequently that I became disinterested in the story.
If you want a great David Wong book: Dude. Seriously listen to the Spiders book instead.
I had read Brian Greene's "Fabric of the Cosmos", and enjoyed all of it but the last third that dealt with Theoretical Physics. I enjoyed all of this book by Richard Panek, including the theoretical portion. "The 4% Universe" provides a good history of the different people who have been instrumental in pushing Cosmology forward, and the ideas that they espoused. It looks at some of the rivalries and petty competitions that drove the researchers. Also, it explains theoretical physics in a way that does not make such an endeavor seem so pointless. The book leads me to feel that there is a purpose to the search for dark matter, and that there is a way that we can prove its existence. We haven't found it, but it is there. This book did not leave me with the sense of futility other physics books have left me with. It was enjoyable, it respects the humanity of the science, and it ends somehow full of hope. We are at a place in history where Physics has come to a halt, groping blindly about for the next big thing. Many authors have voiced this. The last third of "Fabric of the Cosmos" frustrated me because Physics anymore seemed like a total waste of effort and money. However, "The 4% Universe" is about Cosmology, not Physics. The author acknowledges that there is a loss of momentum as Physics casts about looking for inspiration. However, a related discipline like Cosmology is freed by the restraints that hold Physics back, because it can ignore them and go back to what it does best: observing the stars and their behavior. Maybe, just maybe, cosmologists will see the next big thing out there in the heavens.
Good brainless read for those who have brains to follow some of the concepts... The author needs to work on his description of action scenes though. Willing suspension of disbelief is so important to enjoying a good tale, you cannot disrespect it with too much ridiculous description. Once I started questioning the events in the story, I started to question the book's premise, and it ruined it for me.
When my dog Mia died last summer, I was devastated. She had to be put to sleep after being run over by a car, and I held her gaze the entire time as she passed away. She never lost the loving, trusting, expression that she always gave me. Her eyes told me she believed that I would make sure everything was alright. Even as we buried her in our side yard in the Pet Sematary (upside down and collarless so she could run freely with our other dogs on the other side), she maintained that expression of faithful love and adoration. This book honors her, by giving true dignity to the life of subservience all well-loved family dogs live. They reside with us, love us, adore us, protect what we hold dear, wrestle and play, suffer illness and infirmity, and they pass on... to the next life? In this marvelous book, a story is told from a dog's eyes, in a way that is not corny. The dog believes in his master and in himself, and as you read it, you will recognize that you believe, too. Believing is what makes all the difference. At the close of the book, I kneeled out in our Sematary with Boo, Cool Hand, Butter, and Mia, and I cried in gratitude for having known them. Ginger and Zoey sat nearby, panting loudly and watching me with trusting eyes.
I read this book based on a recommendation, and midway through it, I thought to myself, "Is this that author who wrote the Old Man's War space novels?" He is an entertaining story teller, but holy smokes he needs to use a thesaurus when tempted to write the word, "said". It becomes distracting to listen to the word "said" repeated over and over again. There are other words like: "Replied", "Queried", "Asked", "Quipped", "Jibed", "Wondered aloud", "Laughed", "Growled", "Whispered", that came to me as I listened to the narrator. I felt bad for him having to read the word "said" over and over. If it were me reading it, I would have taken license to change the word myself. Anyway, it was a great story, and written with a sense fun that Scalzi's fans will appreciate.
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