"Not the best book for narration"
The book itself's alright, although I'd rather disagree with other reviewers saying that it's "an introduction to Tudor history". It's a NOVEL. It's a historic fiction piece. It can be an introduction to what Mantel THOUGHT of the Tudors, but hardly anything beyond that.
The problem with the audio version is that the book doesn't lend itself that easily to narration - too many dia/polilogues when you've got no idea who says what, which makes it a rather puzzling affair.
I've enjoyed it, though, well, at least most of the times I did, and it was mildly entertaining, although it seems to drag along towards the end. Having a plot might've helped, and Mantel seems to have tried, but not to much success, I'm afraid.
"Finally, a good non-Discworld Pratchett"
I've been so put off by the Long Earth and the Dodger that I've had doubts about this one too - it looked like the Discworld was Pratchett I liked, and the rest was a bit duh.
I am glad to say I was wrong; think Discworld mixed with American Gods, and you'll know what I mean.
OK, it's a bit straightforward in places, but what do you want from a piece of SciFi about the apocalypse?
An enjoyable listen, and long may it continue.
"What's there to like about it?"
OK, first things first. I really like Pratchett. I know his writing really well. I've been through about thirty Discworlds and still ain't tired.
So it's not that I've ever dome across Pratchett before. I actually think he's one of the best there are out there.
Just like The Long Earth was a SyFy B-novel, this is a 'period' B-drama. The characters are about as uni-dimensional as a superstring. The plot is badly developed and so predictable you wouldn't have to read it beyond the first few pages to know how it's going to end. Good job it's fast-paced; too bad it's so fast a major character can be introduced and killed in ten pages.
The attempts to sound Victorian by using the 'period' slang are pathetic. The name-dropping - Dickens and Disraeli among many, many others - is so clumsy it makes it sound even more like a piece of salon amateurism.
Oh god Can I hand it back for a refund please?
OK, I appreciate that judging this book by its literary merits is a lot like going to McD's and complaining they don't give you cutlery: you're just in the wrong place. However, working on the assumption that a review is a reflection of what I thought about it regardless of whether I represent its target audience in any way...
Well, in case you're not familiar with Evanovich's writing, it's a detective story of sorts, which is fine. The problem, however, is that it's just about as entertaining and funny as getting hit by diarrhoea whilst stuck in traffic. Don't get me wrong, I used to like this kind of reading; my excuse, though, is that I was about ten at the time.
It's hard to add anything to it, I am afraid. It's a cheap detective story full of machos, cars, surveillance gadgets, goons and all the rest of low-brow paraphernalia. I listened through about an hour of it and then realized she was, actually, for real and it wasn't a parody. The good thing is, Evanovich is quite prolific. Oh, no, wait a second, that's actually a bad thing. It turns out, "Sixteen" is a part of a series, and at the moment (late 2011) there's eighteen of them. Woo, so to say, hoo.
I've got to admit, though, the audio version is produced very well. I'm still trying to remember why I got in in the first place, and I think it came out as a top suggestion in the comedy section, or it might've been one of those "customers who liked this also liked" things, but knowing now what it is, I am jolly puzzled as to why I deserved this punishment. Either way, getting it was clearly a mistake.
"Stuck in a car driving? On a train? Here you go."
I've been through a few Pratchett/Planer audiobooks while driving up and down the country for work and think there's hardly anything better - wittily written, but in no way taxing.
In fact, having read one or two actual discworld novels, I got convinced that Planer's narration actually makes them way more entertaining, which is a rare case: usually I would choose the paper version wherever possible, but these are better in audio.
The reason why it's four star is because the ending is sort of dies down towards the end.
"Life's not much fun fighting without liberal arts education", or something along these lines, is the epigraph, and it really says it all about the book: a humorous, at times irreverent, look at the gory and pointless war from a viewpoint of a bunch of college-educated REMFs. Although there seems to be no plot line as such - the book is made up of short episodes related mostly by the theme and the characters - it's captivating and hard to switch off from.
"Hit and miss"
First things first: I am an atheist, so what I thought of the book is not because I am a religious zealot of sorts.
Anyway. Some parts are pretty pointless but reliably funny, like Brooker's. Most are witty yet provocative; others are trying way too hard, like Dawkins with his Wodehouse-esque pathhos. A couple of folks take themselves so seriously it makes you suspect they're not for real: my favorite was that Green whipping herself into such a tree-hugging frenzy about an organic Xmas (seriously), I thought she might end up having an or... organic something or other.
So, it is a hit and miss thing. Well worth the money, I suppose, and it's for a good cause, but don't torture yourself when you hit the chapter with an old woman telling you to invite for Xmas those you can't stand (she hasn't met my aunt Sally, obviously) and to finish all alcohol in the house before going to bed so that your kids don't do it for you (she must've grown up in an interesting household), or a Bulgarian-born Kiwi enthusiastically missing the point of writing for an atheist book.
Just skip them and go to the good ones, there are a few of those.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.