Reading Updates

This is going to be a short one, but I wanted to put it down anyways. :)

Uncommon Types (audiobook)

Written and narrated by Tom Hanks, I had high hopes for this one. And it started off well too. The first story was amazing. A bit cliched in certain parts, but good nevertheless. The second story started off well as a Christmas Eve family story but ended up being about war reminiscences. That’s fine, can look past. I forget what the third and fourth stories were about – I know the third was about an actor on a press junket world tour, but both stories are easily forgettable. I think I began listening to the fifth story and left it … There was no investment from my side in any of the stories. It just felt pointless continuing with them.

The Great Train Robbery (audiobook)

Written by Michael Crichton, narrated by Michael Kitchen (who plays DCS Foyle in “Foyle’s War”, a must watch murder-mysteries TV show set during World War II). I listened to the first two chapters but had to leave it as I didn’t like the narration, and the content seemed too “heavy”. I think I was expecting a story, but this book was more non-fiction. And while the narration was good I didn’t like it for the fact that the author’s voice was too intense. There was a lot of drama and emphasis in the words. Difficult to explain it, but that’s what I was referring to in one of my earlier posts that sometimes I prefer a narrator who just reads out the story with minimal emoting letting my brain do the play-acting.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (book + audiobook)

Dunno if I mentioned this before but I have been reading this for a while. Mostly the physical book but I bought the audiobook too when I feel tired of “reading”. Maybe it’s my age (hah!) or the times (not used to reading) I get tired fast if I read for a while, so it is easier use an audiobook as a crutch for when I need a helping hand. I’ve read the majority of the book, but I also re-read the first quarter of the book by listening to the audiobook version; and occasionally I have re-read a chapter by listening to the audiobook or skipped a chapter or two entirely in the book and listened to it instead. The audiobook is narrated by George Guidall, who is amazing and I have mentioned in my earlier posts.

Update 19 July: I stopped reading this book today. Pity coz I was nearly done and was beginning to think I might not mind sci-fi and fantasy after all. But the book was a drag. Too much thinking. Every scene, every line had so much undertones and meaning to it. No one just spoke or did something – there was always an inflection to it. A note in the voice or a thought behind the action. Goodness! Plus I was beginning to lose interest in what the whole thing was about. I read till the section on the slow mutants and Roland’s coming of age story and left it. I guess I had different expectations from this book. It wasn’t as verbose as Stephen King’s later works. Terse statements. Too much drama. It was just too much. I listened to the audiobook for the last few chapters hoping that would be better – but nope, same thing. Eventually I went to Wikipedia to see if there’s any point to the story – nope! I guess a few books later it gets better but I don’t care nor do I have the patience. Sci-fi and fantasy aren’t for me, I should just get used to it!

An Accidental Death (audiobook)

Started this one yesterday. Written by Peter Grainger, narrated by Gildart Jackson (listening to him for the first time, I like what I am hearing). So far so good, seems to be a slow police procedural and I am liking what I am hearing.

Update 17 July: Finished it. Good book! Loved it. The last chapter was a bit too much – guitar playing and all, but whatever to each his own. Was thinking of buying the next one in the series but some audible reviews put me off. I’ll wait before spending a credit on them.