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The story itself had issues, very little happens and you really never get a chance to understand what is happening. While it can be refreshing not to have that ten page conversation where the characters blatantly explain their universe for the sake of the reader, I could have used a little more explanation. I patiently waited and one simply never came. The story also ends and I feel that nothing is really resolved. That being said the way that this story is told is absolutely phenomenal. Only one of the main characters actually speaks (and not until a good way through) you get to know our protagonist "vagrant" solely through his actions, you never get to hear his thoughts, it was really a brilliant and imaginative way to tell the story (I just wish the story itself had been a little less vague).
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I need to start by saying this is not the kinda book you can half listen to. You can't fade in and out knowing it will work out as it should. You are thrown into the world, New things are introduced and you have to roll with it till you figure it out. The sentences are dense with information and the wording can suggest what is happing with out slaming you in face.
The main character is incredibly human in motivation and decsions. Not hero or anti-hero but a person.
The narration is the best I have heard so far in an audio book. Jot Davies does an amazing job. Everything from a monster to a baby and he nailed it.
If you're a reader, can handle not being mollycoddled and can eaither focus on the book or don't mind going back 30s now and then, it's a great book for something different and a solid book in itself. Again amazing narration.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Story – 4/5
I found the Vagrant hard work a lot of the time. I had to try really hard to concentrate what exactly was happening, and I am still not entirely sure I understand it fully. I think reading the novel instead of listening probably would have made this easier. It hasn’t put me off though, I just feel like I should re-listen to it. The world is very complex; taking on a fantasy/sci-fi mix of a post demon apocalyptic setting, but with some futuristic technology involved such as brain enhancing chips, rocket launcher weaponry etc.
It is very unique. At first it reminded me of Glen Cook’s style of writing; concise, but rich prose, but in reflection, was probably closer to Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy – although still very different to anything I have ever listened to/read. One of my favourite parts of the book is Peter Newman’s use of the English language; his metaphors, similes and use of short sentences were perfect in setting the scene.
The thing that makes this story stand out the most is the prominent parental aspect, where the vagrant is looking after a baby (and a goat!) while travelling an unforgiving and brutal world; carrying an infectious goodness about him that doesn’t really exist elsewhere. It’s unusual enough to write parts of the story from the baby’s point of view, but Newman even writes some parts from the goat’s perspective – and I quite liked it.
The ending was very underwhelming as I thought it was building up to something big, but in reflection – the story was more about the journey. I fully expect Peter Newman to write sequels to this, as people will want to know what happens to that baby when she grows up.
I can see a lot of people hating this one, but I thought it was good.
Performance – 4/5
The performance is a tough one to judge properly. The reading is very slow, with large gaps in-between sentences. I found that speeding it up to x1.25 though was spot on, and removes this issue completely. You may even get away with x1.5.
I quite liked Jot Davies as a reader; he set the atmosphere of the novel nicely by really performing the story. I can see why a previous reviewer has stated the need to add impact to every word, but it worked nicely for me, and maybe felt toned down at the slightly higher speed.
His voice acting was about as distinct as you can get it. There was no subtlety at all, each being extremely different. It did mean you had lots of accents from all around the UK, but once again, this worked for me personally, as he acted them out extremely well. Some of the baby talking moments were a bit much, but these were infrequent.
I would recommend listening to sample to see if you can cope with his style.
Overall – 4/5
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Some great ideas in this book - I struggled at the start with an unusual style of telling, but quickly grew to love it!
And I want a goat! 😃
3 of 3 people found this review helpful