- helpful votes
Better & Better
I was hoping for a strong story and gritty realism in this fantasy title and got what I was after. The narrator does very well with his voices and characters. Not as much dark humour as I might have liked but lots of clever observations and interesting motives to move things along. Well worth a second listen once you've gathered the plot.
Very well done!!!
A Good Young Adult Story
Half A King is a good book. It is written for young people; so the depth, insight and detail you'd expect from Abercrombie aren't there and this blunted my enjoyment somewhat. I loved the intro into the world and wished the author would forget trying to attract new readers and just write this series for his established fans. This book would have been fantastic if he'd told it the way he tells stories. I enjoyed it... but I would have had a better time if the detail, aphorisms and scope had not been truncated. I genuinely believe we do young readers a disservice by talking down to them anyway... just write the damn book and let the chips fall.
On the narrator... he was adequate but Steven Pacey was SORELY missed. Joe!! Get back to your formula. Don't alienate your fan base!!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Not a good example.
Would you try another book written by John Jackson Miller or narrated by Jonathan Davis?
I suspect John Jackson Miller is a new author so I wouldn't prejudge him. As time goes by and he releases material it is very likely that he'll improve; especially if he listens to his readers. I enjoyed Jonathan's performance of the material and the extra sound effects... but the book itself was a disappointment.
What was most disappointing about John Jackson Miller’s story?
Being a Jedi is a hook. It was my reason for buying the book. I always wondered what old Ben Kenobi had done out there in the wilderness for all those years. I wanted to understand more of what being a Jedi did to your character and thought processes. What did he think of his failure to bring Anakin around? How much did he understand about Palpatine's influence and Anakin's insecurities? How stoic was he? How deep did the stoicism go in his Jedi training? How resourceful would that make him emotionally? How far did his amiable nature take him in dealing with others in a desert like Tatooine and maybe even a little backstory on Ben/Obi Wan the man. His parents.... friendships in the order, desires, dreams, regrets unrelated to the Anakin issue. I didn't get them. Also the characters John wrote were petty.... a shop keeper with a "bad" temper that wasn't really so bad. He didn't give her any feminine mystique at all. He barely even described her beside auburn hair tending toward brown as she got older. Was there ANY physical attribute that would attract a man to her? We didn't get any of the things that might have lured a romantic interest ... we also didn't get any clue to the wiles women might use (or advice she might have taken) or their rationalisations for using them to attract a man like Ben. The bad guy was an utter disappointment. I won't go into detail because he was just WRONG and any editor or regular reader would know why. The action wasn't very good either. No understanding of combat was conveyed. The flourish of a lightsabre... the concerns of aiming a blaster, the differences of the Tuscan weapons.... just basic mistakes that John should have had pointed out to him. The appearance of the Crate Dragon was so laughable I really couldn't believe he went there. And SO badly. On the whole I don't imagine that John understands the benefits of Jedi training and as such couldn't convey a convincing Kenobi character.
It is unfortunate but there are too many things wrong with the story to list. The botched intimidation by Jabba's guys in Mos Eisley, the failure to make any headway into why Annie's kids were so attention seeking or any true conversations between her & them addressing the issue. The predictable but absent scene where Annie's daughter offers herself to Ben. The conversation between Ben and Annie's son... that also should have appeared but didn't. Any physical descriptions of ANY women in this story.
He could benefit from good advice on what to concentrate on in any future work.
What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Good narration is like a working raincoat. You only notice it if it doesn't work or works far better than you expected. Joe Abercrombie had a Narrator on The First Law series that added to his work immeasurably. Jonathan Davis did a good job. I cannot fault him. .
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
I'm glad someone wrote about Ben's adventures. I'm hoping someone does it well. I always meant to find time to read some of the Star Wars books... I'm just sad that this was my first experience of it.
Redeeming qualities? John isn't a terrible writer. The book isn't terrible. I wasn't good though. No I can't think of a redeeming quality because it was bland, unimaginative and a waste of my time.
Any additional comments?
I'm sad that Authors are not given more support. This is the publishers failure as much as the authors. There ought to be more advice and suggestion to allow a better product. It didn't need to be this bad.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Politician's are scary....
It is unfortunate that our world is in the state that it's in because I genuinely fear for this lovely man as he braves the world stage.
I (like most people) knew little about him before buying this book and now after listening to it along with a few speeches I found on I-tunes; I'm a genuine fan. Politics is a dirty business and here is a decent, educated, likeable guy that will do his best to change that crappy deal that too many people worldwide are in. Like it or not; the USA lead the "free" world and what he says and does will affect almost everyone in one way or another.
After listening I have genuine hope that he can do as he'd like to do and is not singled out for martyrdom by the evil that lurks generally in our world and in America in particular.
I thrilled at his stories of the students he teaches and the voters he has learned from. I am warmly comforted by the fact that his rise has been rapid enough that he has not (yet) been tainted. This book is lovely and I look forward to hearing more about and from him.
Martin Luther King, Huey Newton, Johnnie Cochran, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and many others would not believe what he has already done so swiftly. I sincerely hope that he continues to accomplish the "impossible."
God knows we could all use a few more miracles.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
It's 51 minutes long!
I was appalled by the brevity of this audio book.
The subject is vast and has the potential to be riveting so I was heartbroken by the hop, skip and jump approach they've taken to it. There are so many important speeches by so many important people in the civil rights struggle that I cannot communicate my disappointment at their omission and editing.
In terms of included content there are some true jewels here with true life snippets of important speeches going back nearly 100 years (why couldn?t we have them in total without interruption?) and harrowing accounts of brutality which are told in some cases with feeling by people unused to public speaking. I love in particular; Martin Luther King's last recorded speech in which he almost apologises to his audience for being murdered before the struggle is over. It's almost as if he KNEW what would happen the very next day. I'm honoured to have heard that speech and urge publishers to give us a longer more detailed audio book researching and presenting the subject properly. At ?13 this is horrendously priced for 51 minutes.
Having said that I?d happily pay ?50 for a decently presented offering that does the subject some justice.
Funny & Brusque!!
I'm not a big fan of pretentious books and it can normally take me hours of searching to find a story I can risk buying. It's unfortunate but my particular taste demands realism, intelligence and practical simplicity. I absolutely LOVE this audio book and can recommend it highly. This guy is a keen observer and a wonderful communicator because many of the things I found hilarious are inseparable from life in the square mile.
This work is clever, humble, insightful and quippy. I love the main character and the straightforward manner the author has used to give it to you straight. The narrator is fantastic and adds to the story by genuinely enjoying the whole tale. Buy this audio book and cancel anything scheduled for 3 plus hours because you WILL NOT pause it.
Also; I laughed so loudly that my neighbours want to buy it too.
Criticism? Well I?d say that the book could have done with more detail.... what it was like to have a new Porsche? Where did he live? Who did he deal with outside work and the city? How did his family deal with his success and the changes in him? How did he himself ?feel? on the roller coaster ride upward? More about his rivalry with Hugo and his golfing skills after the drubbing? Detail about the changes from snot nosed kid to successful Stock broking Powerhouse, The evolving relationship with his brother..... What did his family ACTUALLY say about the changes in him?
In all I loved it and listened to the whole thing in one sitting whilst rewinding periodically to catch the bits I laughed through. I?ll revisit it time and again; and look forward to more from this author.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I'm unsure of whether Authors ought to be given the same accolades as rock stars or movie celebs.... but Anne Rice is a literary Rock Goddess as far as I'm concerned.
This offering suffers from not being LONG ENOUGH but provides plenty on insight and meat for Anne's fans. I enjoyed it immensely and would ask for MORE. Please do a new one Anne!
Good Old Louise
This book was recommended to me in 1998 when I had difficulties with professional assignments that required me to supervise quite difficult staff. Louise is a unique lady and may seem a little off the wall but don't let that fool you... she knows what she's talking about.
The wisdom here is clear and her philosophy simple enough to understand. She's saying that affirmations can change you & your life... and I believe she's right. I have hundreds of self help books because I train people for a living so I know which ones I keep going back to and which I will never open again.
P.S This book has sold over 40 million copies. What does THAT tell you?
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This book is Phil on a stage talking to an audience so he tends to overstretch himself a little... but still gets an amazing amount of sense across ; especially during a live Q & A.
There are important ideas, practical explanations and no nonsense training tips here that (if you're serious about learning & growing) are essential. His philosophy is real... he tells you like it is and the problem that we've had with self help stuff over the past 15 years is that we're being sold MYTHS. A myth can't buy the engagement ring you want for your sweetheart or pay for that trip to Bali. They promise lots and deliver little. Then they pretend that its YOUR fault because you didn't "believe" that it would be brought to you.
Real Life Coaches (good ones) cost ?80.00 per hour minimum I know because I've seen several in London, Chicago, New York and Atlanta. I've bought Ferrari's at HR Owen in Knightsbridge and paid nearly ?million for an apartment.
Take it from somebody who knows.... this guys books are worth their weight in plutonium... and that's what they'll be in your life if you'll listen.... do the exercises and throw your other books away. In particular listen to the 2nd & 3rd sections regularly because there are priceless nuggets there that changed my philosophy forever and will do the same for you if you listen often.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Step One If You're Serious About Progress
I bought this book in 1999 when I had destroyed my life by not thinking things through before I did them. Enthusiasm and talent are unfortunately not enough to make it in our world and my naivete allowed sharks and charlatans to swindle me out of my hard earned cash and progress. Also I had an enormous emotional "engine" that needed feeding minute by minute.
This book changed that forever.
Dr Phil may have a lot of gumph said about him but I can 100% vouch for the sense, intelligence, value and practicality of what the man has to say. If you read this book; and do what he asks you to do seriously.... YOU WILL SUCCEED. It really IS that simple. This program is a first step... and will get you through the first 6 months as you divest yourself of crappy beliefs and airy fairy ideas sold to you by nutcases. After that (If you follow his life laws) you will amaze yourself and everyone you know. Deepak's 7 Spiritual Laws are unfortunately impractical... as are Stephen Covey's 7 habits. They sound good.... but you don't get measurable results. THIS GUY GIVES YOU RESULTS.
If you are serious about success, if you are fed up of waiting for the "universe" to provide you with money "in ever increasing amounts..." buy this book. The best ?10 I ever spent.
P.S I went from a bus pass to new Ferrari within 2 years.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful