Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Review: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (audiobook)

I enjoyed Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas. The key role this novel played in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony #Doerr motivated me to read this classic tale.
I found it fascinating to read what people imagined the undersea world looked like in the 1870's. The descriptions of sea creatures and underwater formations never seen before but only theorized about showed what an amazing imagination Verne had.  
However, this is also the one drawback I found in his novel.  His descriptions could been overly long especially at the beginning when describing the Nautililus.
And like a classic novel, there are many parts of lengthy introspection where you are exploring the characters' feelings and emotions in depth, compared to modern novels which breeze from action to action or drama to drama.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it’s just different.  I really liked that style of prose in A Tale of Two Cities. I find listening to audio books helps me stay engaged with the classics when my attention my start to wander in these longer sequences.
Michael Prichard's excellent reading of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea really brought the story to life, keeping me engaged and helped me believe Professor Aronnax really did take a amazing submarine journey.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: Invictus

In Simon Scarrow's 15th novel of the Macro and Cato series, Invictus takes us to Roman-held Spain. I really enjoyed yet another exciting adventure. Scarrow's ability to create great scenes so the reader knows where they are is again evident throughout Invictus. And as always, Scarrow makes it easy to understand both the protagonist and antaganoists' point of view. I was surprised by Cato's sudden vicious turn. Being the intellectual of the two main characters, his new attitude did make me pause. 

All in all, Invictus is a good quick read.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was very impressed with Anthony Doerr's use of language. His description of the atmosphere of France and Germany before and during WWII was exceedingly vivid.

Telling the story primarily through the experiences of a German teenage boy, Werner, and a blind French teenage girl, Marie-Laure made for intriguing reading.

What I liked most about the Werner story, were the decisions he made to act or not act in certain situations. I also enjoyed Werner's process of learning there was so much more to the world than life in his small dirty coal town - even though it was not all positive.

Marie-Laure's story had great descriptions as they were filled primarily with the sense of touch, smell and hearing. Her listening to the sounds of her town after the initial bombing from birds to mollusks to dead whales was wonderful.

Unlike, Werner's story, hers had different perspectives from secondary characters like her father, uncle and von Rumpel. While this did not hurt the story, it made for a different reading in her chapters compared to Werner's.

There were time jumps every other chapter. Meaning the first chapter was 1944 while the second chapter was 1934 and the two stories ran forward from these two time points. I believe this was done to get some action into the beginning of the book, because while the 1934 years were mildly interesting, there was no sense of danger. It was a good choice.

Zach Appelman's reading on the Audiobook was superb.

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