Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.
Neal Stephenson books are always highly rated on Audible, but man, this guy just doesn't do it for me. Cryptonomicon jumps around in it's narration for no discernible reason. If you're not listening to it all in one sitting, you're not going to follow the multiple story lines.
But it really doesn't matter because all the story lines are boring anyway. I mean, a couple of them start strong, but boy do they get stale fast.
Two thirds through the book and I barely care about any of the characters. I'm a bit confused as to what's going on in a couple of the plot lines, and too bored by the book to go back and re-listen.
This is the third Stephenson book that made me feel this way. I'm done. And I'm not going to punish myself by sitting through the rest of this plodding nonsense.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
In his inimitably entertaining and wonderfully witty style, he takes apart famous phrases and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or quip like Oscar Wilde. Whether you’re aiming to achieve literary immortality or just hoping to deliver the perfect one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don’t need to have anything important to say - you simply need to say it well.
I listened to this twice, back to back, and then went out to buy a paperback edition.
It's FUNDAMENTAL information about writing that someone never gets taught anymore. On top of being incredibly helpful and informative, it was also extremely clever and funny.
I give this book my highest recommendation.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.
I had this book on my shelf for a long time, and couldn't make a dent in it. Audiobooks are a different story, though, and audible saw me through.
It's a fascinating story, and I learned a lot about leadership, politics, and history.
The book probably could have used a good editor, but the subject matter intrigued me. I would bet that most people would find it very tedious at parts, but I didn't, so my review reflects that.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since, the land has belonged to man, and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated.
This book is nothing but cliche after cliche after cliche. The prose are simplistic, and devoid of humor. If you're an avid fantasy reader, nothing in this book will surprise you or impress you in any way.
It's not a bad book. It's just completely and totally average.
Narration was good.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful
Meet Zoe and Greg Milton, a married couple who have let themselves go a bit. Zoe was a stunner in her college days, but the intervening decades have added five stone, and removed most of her self-esteem. Greg's rugby-playing days are well and truly behind him, thanks to countless pints of beer and chicken curry. When Elise, a radio DJ and Zoe's best friend, tells them about a new competition, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn their lives around.
I listened to this book just as I was starting a low calorie diet. It was absolutely fantastic motivation to ease me into this new way of eating.
The story is very funny, and had me laughing out loud several times. It was great fun, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.
This book was a fascinating look through the eyes of an autistic child... but while the character was interesting, the plot was not. What promised to be an interesting mystery with an even more interesting detective, quickly fizzled out into a sad drama with no suspense or intrigue.
At least it was short.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows.... In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.
The prose here flow like poetry, but this story lacks a plot. It has none of the flavor of the Kingkiller Chronicle, and is horribly mistitled. "Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2.5" it is not. Yes, this explores the setting of the chronicle... and yes, it explores a character from the chronicle, but this is as related to the rest of the series as the Star Wars Christmas Special is related to the original Star Wars trilogy.
Rothfuss even apologizes at the end of the story, for making us sit through this mess. It makes me feel bad for taking a dump on his story, but I'm doing it anyway.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful
An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.
The story jumps around in time a bit, which is jarring. There are big coincidence in here which makes it hard suspend disbelief. Some of the dialog is a bit too... hollywood-action-movie-esque. In a couple places the forensic science stretches the boundaries of credibility.
But overall it was a fun, captivating story. It won't make my all-time-favorites list, but it was good fun.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful
You were on your way home when you died.It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.And that’s when you met me." A short story about the universe.
I was expecting a profound 8 minutes for the price... but Weir's short short story is not covering any new ground here.
I'll just think of it as a 2 dollar tip for The Martian.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful
The author of The End of the Road and Small Comforts returns to his fictional Alaska town, The End of the Road, to present more unforgettable stories about its colorful inhabitants and their doings.
Tom Bodett's End of the Road series is a collection of beautifully told stories. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad... always full of heart. There is nothing else like it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful