In some ways this is the scariest book I've read/heard in a long time.
It is a Robinson Caruso type of situation in which the character evolved into something way more than a survivalist. This might be something that todays "reality TV" mentality might not be able to appreciate.
Not only does the book describe a world all too plausible in todays war filled climate, but the situation Robert finds himself in is truly the stuff of nightmares.
Drinking, smoking, bouts of self-pity and occasional descents into madness are truly scary behaviors for the one suffering them. No therapy available either! With an alternative of illness that robs one of humanity and/or life, I felt that he came through with grace, courage, and some unusual insights not many people would have.
I could have been shorter but the reader was so good that I didn't so much mind listening for 5 hours.
Almost gave this a 4 but really only felt it is 3 1/2
There were no surprises in the story as I have read it many times. That said, it was a fabulous listen because it was so well performed. The narrators made the story fresh and kept me listening almost as though I didn't know what was going to happen. Well done Audible.
Morgenstern did an incredible job describing the wonder and magic of the circus. That is the only good thing I have to say about this book. Her elaborate descriptions of magical tents and off-beat performers initially drew me in but the plot and character development never happened. It all takes places mostly through dialogue and not action. The dialogue was tedious and often seemed irrelevant. Most of the significant plot twists were revealed by one character telling another, which took most of the suspense out of the story.
There was nothing to give an insight to these characters and they never felt real. The love story was inauthentic, melodramatic and unbelievable.
The story revolves around a high stakes battle carried on long distance with no suspense, no urgency and no sense of real competition. I not once felt that either of the character was in any danger.
I particularly did not like that Celia and Marco (the two in competition) were both raised and trained by sociopathic parental figures. The cruelties they endured as children would have left them unable to even understand love let alone declare their love for each other at first meeting.
Unfortunately, the narrator did a great job of reproducing the writing by using a flat almost monotone voice throughout. I had to keep rewinding to know who was talking. It was a very painful listen and I had to play it at 2X speed to finish it. I shouldn't have bothered.
I could give this 4 stars for creativity, but the writing and narration left me totally underwhelmed.
While the story may have been engrossing, the narrator ruined it. She read too fast, spoke in almost a monotone, and sounded like she was reading. Every character sounded the same and I often forgotten who was speaking. As the book is a series of 5 first person narrative, this is a big fail for me.
It could have been a great book, but I will never know. The narrator made the book a chore to finish and it will be a long time, if ever, before I try it in print.
No. Very unacceptable narration.
While the story may have been engrossing, the narrator ruined it. She read too fast, spoke in almost a monotone, and sounded like she was reading. Every charachter sounded the same and I often forgotten who was speaking. As the book is a series of 5 first person narrative, this is a big fail for me.
It could have been a great book, but I will never know.
I was very disappointed in this book. The potential for humor was there, but in my opinion failed to develop. The writing was dry, cliched, and hovered between juvenile and chauvinistic. I had a difficult time deciding if the reader was more of the problem than the actual writing. I finally realized that every sentence was delivered in a 3/3 tempo. I went around (pause) to the back (pause) of the building pause) to see if there... you get the idea? Maybe I just didn't get it, but I don't think so.
Having just finished listening to this download, I have to say that Aaron's review is spot on. I was extremely disappointed with the narrator and was almost unable to listen to the book.
I hesitated to rate this so low because George R.R. Martin's work is deserving of better but the narrator really ruined the work for me.
I am also very unhappy that the sequel is not available. The abrupt "oops, this book was too long so this is only the first half" ending was worse than disappointing.
I, like Aaron, will finish this series with the printed format.
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