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MetaDreaming

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Where the Crawdads Sing audiobook cover art

Predictable

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-22-19

I kept wanting this book to end, for it to get to the punch line and finally be over. When it finally was I felt manipulated, cheated of complexity and depth. More important, so many things about what the characters did and said just didn't make sense. I suppose to a romance reader (I'm not) this may have seemed a lovely fantasy with a tragic core but a happy ending. To me the star of the book was the marsh itself and the natural world found there. Kaia, the main character, was not. She had the possibility of being a fascinating main character equal to the flora and fauna that make up her world. But it was not to be. So sad, as much more might have been done with her story. The book ended up being way too predictable fare for this reader despite the surprise ending.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Circe audiobook cover art

What a surprise!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. After all, mythology? But the work came alive in the hands of the narrator. And what a story...a love story, essentially. But an intelligent one filled with characters I've known since grade school exposure in Latin class. Beautiful language and execution gives Circe's poignancy and depth! So worthwhile. A story full of balance and symmetry. Lyrical and encouraging, an essentially hopeful take on mortal life.

The Years of Rice and Salt audiobook cover art

Interesting concept, execution a little rough, but

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-18

KSR is a brilliant conceptualist and this book is no exception. However, it was ponderous at times and that made it a little hard to stay engaged and to finish. I prevailed because...well, I always give him the benefit of the doubt. Would I recommend it? Probably not as an Audible selection. My sense is that reading a hard copy might have been more immersive and therefore enjoyable. This probably had to do with the many many switches of characters and time periods. For my two cents, it's just difficult to follow narratives that aren't tied together more seamlessly. Still, it was captivating enough for me to listen to the end.

Commune audiobook cover art

Filled with stereotypes!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-05-18

That says it all. I listened all the way to the end but had NO desire to continue. This book is not for any listener who likes complex plot and characters in their narratives.

Shaman audiobook cover art

Wonderful!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-18

Listening to this book was a joy! I hated to have it end and may listen again, I loved it so much. It's one of Robinson's best, imo; short enough that he manages the plot effectively (in other books he struggles with this), filled with description that avoids weighing down the narrative (again. at times a difficulty reading his work), and a passionate and imaginative rendering that seems to take as its inspiration the following.

I recalled images from "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Werner Herzog. (By the way, if you haven't seen the film, it's lyrical and beautiful! One of Herzog's best, as well.) It finally dawned on me towards the end that the people of the story and its main character, Loon, were located there. I thought...Robinson must have started with the cave artist Herzog pays tribute to in his 2010 film, and then crafted his own work to explore the Paleolithic and this truly extraordinary
artist.

Perhaps all of this is explicitly stated in the book jacket. But, I encountered the book as an Audible and so, it was a delight to make the connection. I've gifted the book to several people and will never forget it!

All These Worlds audiobook cover art

Wonderful ending to the trilogy

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-28-18

Such fun hanging out with this 3-part sci-fi novel over time. My only complaint - it can be a bit hard to follow all the Bobiverse characters. But eventually I came to know and love the main ones. I so didn't want it to end!

Fire and Fury audiobook cover art

A great listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-24-18

I couldn't stop listening to this book and raved about it to anyone who would listen. Two people took me up on a challenge that they owed it to themselves to get schooled. They loved it as much as I did. It's wonderfully written, scathing, hilarious at times, but also super helpful for this very perplexed yet hopeful progressive; a window into the goings on in the Trump While House since inauguration a little more than a year ago.

Does Wolff take liberties? He probably does. His characterization of Steve Bannon is particularly rich. It made me want to know a whole lot more about him.

People in my political sphere tend to dismiss political players like Bannon. They make him out to be a one-dimensional evil actor rabidly racist and crazy, and bent on a nihilistic agenda. But, that's a mistake, imho. it's profoundly important to get what people of his ilk are up to, to fill out the picture in order to reflect, analyze, and ultimately strategically counter their moves. The 'can-you-believe-it' crowd notwithstanding, something about what is happening in the White House and in the country at large begs for more than disbelief and hand wringing.

Wolff's book provides food for thought. It's also entertaining as hell. I did not want it to end! My hope is that he'll follow with another in the same vein...or that some other author will! Because without books like Wolff's we might lose heart. That is to say that I for one felt much clearer and less anxious getting that glimpse, looking in that window and getting a sense of how the sh*t flew around from November 2016 to fall 2017. My bet is that this book will be read for years to come.

A Gentleman in Moscow audiobook cover art

An engaging and original story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-17

A story built on an interesting premise and an extremely likable and unflappable main character, Count Rostov, who adapts to the many changes and political realities of post-revolutionary Russia. He manages despite the restriction of immutable circumstances to prove the adage that character is destiny.

The Snowman audiobook cover art

Gruesome but compelling

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-01-17

The narrator of this crime fiction was wonderful, perhaps the best I've encountered on Audible. The story was, however, pretty difficult to stomach at times. A flawed but appealing and dogged police inspector seems flummoxed at every turn, as a deranged and psychotic serial killer on the loose in Norway gruesomely murders one woman after another in random fashion with the common thread a snow man, that proves to be harbinger, sentinel, witness to the scene. Pretty scary and creepy. The book seemed destined to be made into a film. In the end, it'd be ordinary fare. Not a lot of originality and not many surprises. But I wanted something to listen to after a long sojourn with a 20th century classic, "The Big Rock Candy Mountain." It fit the bill perfectly, a diversion that was beautifully narrated and compelling.

New York 2140 audiobook cover art

Wonderfully Imaginative

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-25-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The characters are endearing and interesting, and the narrators do a really great job of helping the story take shape. Even though KSR seems to lose his way about 2/3's of the way through the novel and he drops several characters with little explanation by the end, those he concludes with are strongly drawn and the setting is so well crafted that it didn't matter to me. It's a novel that begs to be made into a film which might refine the plot and help bring a more satisfying conclusion.

What was one of the most memorable moments of New York 2140?

Amelia's trip with the polar bears on her blimp, the Assisted Migration.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Hard to choose. I loved them all...but probably Amelia. There was also a 'commentator' at points in the work who delves into the financial and political exigencies of capitalism. He was narrated so pointedly. Great!

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

The huge storm that nearly destroys the city. Wow!

Any additional comments?

I'm now hooked on KSR despite his narrative weaknesses. He's brilliant at constructing possible futures and then creating the characters who live in them. His prose can be beautiful and compelling, at times even transcendent. Yes, he's pretty philosophical and political. But these draw me to his work and keep me coming back. It's work to appreciate without the need for resolution, necessarily.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful