Do you accept the challenge? Keep in mind that this is nearly 17 hours of your life you will never get back!
As a fan of John Hodgman's first book, "The Areas of My Expertise" (which is, after all, my favourite audiobook -- period), I felt compelled to both begin and complete this book, even after the disappointment that his second book, "More Information Than You Require", proved to be. Nobody warned me!
Don't get me wrong. There are some bright spots in both the second book and in this third as well, but they are increasingly marginalized amid hours of remarkably unfunny material which fills the rest. I have to give it 3 stars overall because there are some gems in here and some fantastic performances, but I feel somewhat guilty doing so.
Alas, Hodgman is a comedic genius and wordsmith. But what happened here? Like Lucas and the Wachowskis before him, maybe he set the bar too high with "Expertise" and just ran out of good ideas. I know all the jokes and punchlines already, but I still find myself laughing out loud every time -- sometimes in anticipation of a joke I know is coming! Read, listen, or otherwise consume the first book, but steer clear of the rest of the series. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
This book is unlike the rest of the Earth's Children series, in that it doesn't really read like a novel, with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, it is essentially a sequence of events -- the life and times of the series' beloved protagonist(s).
It may sound terrible initially, but it's pretty subjective: this book reads more like retelling of events, as in a journal recorded by a third party. My wife and I enjoyed this book, but felt a bit let down because it lacked the narrative weight of the previous books.
My biggest complaints are the slightly over-the-top accent the narrator does for Ayla (although Sandra Burr is still one of my favorites, and I wouldn't want anyone else to voice these books) and the inconsistency of pronunciations compared to the previous books (which is understandable, after so long, but still distracting).
I know I would have enjoyed it more if it were more like the previous books -- or separate from the previous books entirely, so that there were no such expectations. Having the others set the bar when it came to conflict and excitement made this book seem less satisfying. But it was still an enjoyable read, and it was nice to spend this time with characters who almost feel like family after so long.
This book won't be the reason I recommend this series to others -- like the first three books -- but I am glad to have had the experience of reading it.
While the narration is a bit over the top (and grating at times: Aunt Polly), it really sets the tone for the tale.
This book is well written and great fun for all ages. Well worth a listen!
This historical account of the people, places, and events surrounding the Dust Bowl was surprisingly easy to get into and hard to turn away from. It really gave me an appreciation for the hardships of the time -- and their origins. This is a book I nearly didn't pick up, but I'm glad I did.
While the subject matter itself is not inherently appealing (or palatable), both the style of writing and the narration enjoyable and entertaining.
If you are a fan of her previous works, I think you will find this a worthwhile entry in the catalogue. And for those unfamiliar with the author but interested in a lighthearted tour of digestive matters -- both scientific and historical -- you likely won't find a more varied and engaging book on the subject.
I laughed out loud throughout when listening to this book. It really hits home, with both obvious and insightful observations of 'white culture' that helped me see the humour in myself and others.
But when I went to write a review and rate the audiobook I saw that perhaps the style of humour (and the dead-on tone of narration) is not universal. Definitely check out the sample; if you think this sounds like your cup of tea after that, you won't be disappointed!
As an adult male 'on the spectrum', to have a thirteen-year-old boy express 80% of my existence better than I am able to do myself is both depressing and refreshing, because
As books go, this isn't classic literature or anything; but for an unfiltered glimpse into the mind of an autistic person, look no further. If someone close to you is on the autistic spectrum, you owe it to both yourself and them to read this book.
While the Complete Edition contains the material left out of this original abridged recording, I didn't find that it added anything particularly compelling.
This is a great book with some great performances (Mark Hamill did an INCREDIBLE job, and I didn't even know it was him until the credits at the end), but -- unlike nearly every other audio book -- I found this abridged version was better by keeping it concise and having only the strongest performances.
Had I not listened to this original abridged recording first I may have felt differently, though.
While this complete version contains the material left out of the original abridged recording (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War), I didn't find that it added anything particularly compelling.
Don't get me wrong, this is a great book with some great performances (Mark Hamill did an INCREDIBLE job, and I didn't even know it was him until the credits at the end), but -- unlike nearly every other audio book -- I found the abridged version was better by keeping it concise and missing some of the weaker performances.
Had I not listened to the original abridged recording first I may have felt differently, though.
John de Lancie as Cassius is pure gold. I knew I recognized the voice, such a compelling performance. I had to look the credits up on the L.A. Theatre Works web site afterward to be sure. He really stole the show.
The audio is definitely on the quiet side and hard to make out at times, what with all the scheming at all. But the great ensemble cast really brings this great play to life.
I don't have a lot to say about this book. I saw the movie years ago, thought it was great, but had mostly forgotten it. I'm going to have to revisit the movie now to compare and contrast.
This book didn't change my life or anything, but it held my interest incredibly well and was -- at the risk of sounding pithy -- incredibly touching and inspiring in a way that is just uncommon enough to be special.
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