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Publisher's Summary

Surrounded by secrecy, it is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nightmares. Incredible amounts of money have been lavished on it. The best minds of two generations have labored to build it. And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming the Earth's most valuable resource - its children.

©1998 Tad Williams (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about City of Golden Shadow

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Weird. Seriously weird.

WAIT! Don't give up too soon!

The City of Golden Shadow opens with trench warfare. Oh no, says I, no way I'm listening to another WWI trench warfare book. I almost quit right there, but fortunately I hung in for a few more minutes and the narrative took a turn for the truly bizarre. This has to be one of the oddest opening sequences ever written. I knew right then that I was probably going to give it a pretty high rating.

The story takes place towards the end of this century (mostly?), shifting back and forth between RL and VR ( real life and virtual reality.) The main character is a female South African computer teacher, a sort of cyber detective. Her student/sidekick, a bushman, provides an interesting counterpoint to the high tech world they work in (literally!)

I like the book. Really. Still, I have to say it's awfully long.... And then there are the three remaining volumes staring me in the face. And be warned, if you make to the end of this one, you'll pretty much have to read the rest. Combined, the series adds up to Nearly 120 hours, so you won't like this book unless you REALLY like this kind of book.

As for the narration, I thought it was dead on. One thing to watch out for: within a chapter, there is absolutely no break as the scene shifts from one character/situation to another. At first I was a little frustrated, but then I decided that it was precisely the right approach to convey how very confused the characters were most of the time. (Is virtual reality just a fancy term for unreality?)

This book gets an extra star just for the sheer magnitude of intriguing strangeness. I was going to give it three because there were times when I felt like I was slogging through molasses and I wanted it to start clearing up some of the mysteries, but I kept going back to the delightful weirdness. I confess that I plan to take quite a long break before I start the next book in the series.

74 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You will want to listen to the Otherland series

You are probably reading this review wondering if this book or series is worth your time and money. YES! The Otherland books is one of my all time favorites and I am not easy to please. Have patience this book takes a little time to get into and is confusing at first with it's many story lines but by the time you get to the end of Sea of Silver Light the 4 the book in the series you will sit back and go WOW! I never wanted the story to end it was so much fun. I felt like I was saying goodby to close friends. This is worth your money and time and will be a story you can return to time and time again with great enjoyment. A true classic.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A challenge George Newbern meets with triumph

I won't write a long review of this wonderful tale, a reader's dream of virtual lands made up of book worlds: Alice Through the Looking Glass, Gormenghast,, Borroughs' Mars books, etc. I've read it four times through in book form; I find George Newbern's reading wonderful. He handles the many foreign accents perfectly, even the African ones, and brings all the characters to life with their distinctive voices.

This is the best work Tad Williams has ever done, a cyberspace classic still as current as when it was written. It will be a classic, I predict, because of the strong and heart-warming characters.

23 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Finally!

I've been waiting for this book to come out on audio for a long time. I kept searching "Tad Williams" to see if it was published yet. I was not disappointed. The narrator does an excellent job of bringing this captivating story to life. This was one of my favorite series, and I'm happy to be reliving it in audio format.

When I first read this years ago, I had to read about 1/2 of the book to get into it, but then I couldn't put it down. I devoured the rest of the series like I am now doing on audio. Once I was familiar with them, I realized that the characters and story-lines are skillfully intertwined. I also love how the author is cleverly descriptive. I had many tangible moments of awe, curiosity, warmth, and suspense.

25 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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lacks direction

dropped after 10 hours and wasn't able to finish. the story jumps around so much I was never able to get engrossed into the writings. I would write more but I just don't care enough about the book to waste the time avoid this one.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Scene Pauses!

Well done. Accents handled well, although sometimes inconsistent. Biggest issue was the lack of sufficient pause between scene changes. If I hadn't known the book well, I would have gotten very confused.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent metaverse fiction

Tad Williams takes on many threads and characters but manages to make them all work. His exploration of virtual worlds is not altogether original, but nevertheless well handled.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Solid

Takes forever to get going, but is definitely worth it once the stories start to connect.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic!

This is the beginning of a wonderful series, not just a quick read. Packed with imaginative settings and deep philosophical ideas hidden, or not, just below the words.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story-telling!

This is the start of a grand story, not a stand-alone book. It's intriguing with many threads and interesting characters.
If you like long stories where the characters find themselves in strange circumstances, trying to survive against insurmountable odds, you'll like this series.
Some books are 'novels' and some books are 'stories'. This series is a 'story' told by a wonderful storyteller.

3 people found this helpful