Many individuals choose reading as a hobby, because it allows them to left their mind drift to the unknown, whereas they would not have possibly been able to travel, by any other means. Reading can fulfill an individual’s needs and satisfy their soul. Not only can you get pulled into the story, but if you allow yourself, you will become one of the characters.
The Islanders is the type of book that’s not going to be universally liked by everyone. Not that there is something hard to understand in it or it’s flawed, but because, at least in my opinion, it doesn’t fit in the classic definition for a science fiction novel. I had my suspicions after experiencing The Prestige and my expectations were for something out of the ordinary that will surprise me. I wasn’t disappointed.
I’ve been thinking about reading some classic literature for some time now, and what better book to start with than The Brothers Karamazov. There’re multiple audiobook versions available, both abridged and unabridged, so you’ll have lots of choice of how to consume it. I went for the 2009 abridged edition narrated by Simon Vance. It’s almost 20 hours long which is the perfect sweetspot for me. The full version is something like 40 hours long, so…
Unlike your typical abridged audiobook, this one seems to shorten things on word and phrase level rather then cut out whole scenes or chapters. A word removed here, change of phrasing there and it all adds up with the end result being about 50% shorter than the original. It’s more of a compression than an abridgment. Sure, you’re loosing some of the feel of the original, but you’re presented with a carefully crafted piece, not some hack job. The famous The Grand Inquisitor chapter is still there in all of its glory, for example.
I saw lots of people raving about how good The Ocean at the End of the Lane audiobook is and decided to check it out for myself. When a new book by Neil Gaiman comes out it’s always a big event. After all he’s notoriously good fantasy writer, has a huge fanbase and generally people expect an excellent book when they see his name on the cover. Everybody’s been wondering what Gaiman’s going to do next in the last few years. An American Gods TV series? A sequel to Odd and the Frost Giant? A prequel to his Sandman comic? To be honest, there was a little bit of skepticism in me about Gaiman doing something unoriginal, we’ve already seen. I didn’t want that. I needed something new and exciting.