- helpful votes
I rarely give a book 5 stars. I reserve that 5th star for books that, upon reaching the end, I immediately start back at the beginning. Not because I want to repeat the experience, but because I'm certain there will be new experiences that I missed the first time around. Books like Cryptonomicon and Against the Day. This will be a short review. I can't wait to get started again.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful
You'll probably guess the outcome fairly early on. If you do, you'll probably be right.
Two for One
For a "story-within-a-story" to be successful, the reader must care about the teller and listeners of the tale being told, as well as the characters of the tale itself. Rothfuss accomplishes this brilliantly.
Any additional comments?
Had I but known that the author knows only one device for creating suspense -- foreshadowing -- I probably wouldn't have bought the book.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Most delightful novel I have read in a long time
Before I was half finished with this book, I was so excited about it that I recommended it to my boss. He posted a review on his blog that says it much better than I could: "Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute is the most delightful novel I have read in a very long time. Spending time with the book, letting the paragraphs slide by, was pure joy, every minute of it. I just didn’t want it to end. . . . This book is a novel without any villain or even any intense conflict. It simply tells the story, in great detail, of how Keith lives and eventually embarks on an exotic trip across half the globe on a very unlikely mission. We think we know the eventual outcome but the suspense comes from wanting to know how he accomplishes it, step by step." I agree wholeheartedly. As soon as I finished, I went back to the beginning because I wanted to rehear the setting in view of what I already knew. I wound up listening to the whole book again.
Dull book, engrossing audiobook
I tried three times to read this book: In 1989 when it came out, in 1990 when it won the Hugo (surely I had missed something!) and again in 2003 when I vowed to read or reread all the Hugo winners. I never made it past the first dozen chapters. I found the plot tedious and the characters uninspiring. Then when Audible offered it as a Deal of the Day, I decided to try again. I guess it took an outstanding performance to show me that this is a GREAT book! I was up until 4 am this morning because I couldn't quit listening. The technology is amazing, even after 23 years. The characters and their stories are sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes horrifying, but always compelling. The different cultures are imaginative and fascinating.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
I give up
Well, I can't say I wasn't warned. But I was anxious to find out what happens next in the series. I thought, how bad can the narrator be? In the first few minutes, I agreed with the other reviewers that she sounds childish, but I thought I could put up with it for this one volume. Then I realized that the viewpoint character was Dehya Selei, the elegant, powerful mathematical genius and Ruby Pharoah of the Skolian Imperialate. When she chirps, "I created the psiberweb," in a tone and cadence you might expect to hear "I created a new Barbi costume," I gave up. I'm buying the paper book.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Great fun, great names
This book is so much fun in so many ways, but I'll just focus on one -- the names. I suffer from biblianomia, a word I made up for inability to remember fictional character names. My paper books are full of highlighting and notes, so I wasn't sure about a 1,085-page book with over a hundred characters. I needn't have worried. The names Pynchon gives his characters, plus the narrator's masterful handling of each voice, made it easy. The itinerant mechanic/photographer is Merle Rideout. The anthropologist is named Provenance. And so on. Even minor characters get great names. My favorite is Mia Culpepper, who was mentioned briefly but so far hasn't been heard from again. I keep expecting her to show up feeling guilty about something.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Good space yarn; awful narration
It's a good space yarn, and I will get the others in the trilogy, but one chapter repeatedly mentions the golden ratio "phi," and I wanted to shriek every time the narrator pronounced it "pi." You don't have to be a mathematician or SF fan to know how to pronounce phi.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful