This is another very late review that I am posting. I don't have much to say about this audiobook except that it was rather mundane. I didn't care muc...moreThis is another very late review that I am posting. I don't have much to say about this audiobook except that it was rather mundane. I didn't care much for the narrator. She didn't give the stories the vivacity that I would have hoped for. As such, the stories felt rather boring. I was starting to question that my love for fairy tales had waned. Thankfully, I have also been reading the Fables series by Bill Willingham, and that series has shown me that I love fairy tales just as much as I ever did. It's just a matter of execution.
I don't think I would pick this one up if I had kids. Most likely, the narrator's voice would not keep their interest. She didn't keep mine. It might put them off the magnificent timeless gems of the stories within. We can't have that.
The fact that British actor Toby Stephens narrates this was definitely a nudge to check out this audiobook from my trusty library. Of course, I apprec...moreThe fact that British actor Toby Stephens narrates this was definitely a nudge to check out this audiobook from my trusty library. Of course, I appreciate the Arabian Nights, so that's another plus.
Overall, I was a tad disappointed with this audiobook. I enjoyed Ali Baba, Aladdin and the frame story about Scheherazade, but I was bored with the seven tales of Sinbad, and the tale about the greedy man who ended up becoming blind. They were too monotonous. I felt my mind wandering as I listened and did my Wii Fit exercises. I wish they had picked different stories besides these two for the collection, honestly. And I could have done with more narration about Scheherazade herself as well. At least I had Toby's lovely voice to narrate for me. Maybe a pet peeve for some, but all the voices sounded British, so it didn't feel as 'atmospheric' to me.
This will be a short review because it's kind of a ho-hum read for me. Nothing spectacular or really awful about it. Although I did like that they included Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade within the production. I love that music! I think my standard was higher since I read the Andrew Lang adaptation, and I absolutely adore the TV miniseries that came on ABC with Dougray Scott, Mili Avital, Rufus Sewell, Jason Scott Lee, and other great actors. I plan to read the huge, unexpurgated version of 1001 Arabian Nights someday before I die.(less)
What an enjoyable quick audiobook! A nice mix of short fairy tales from the Grimms' collection. I haven't read any of these particular stories, althou...moreWhat an enjoyable quick audiobook! A nice mix of short fairy tales from the Grimms' collection. I haven't read any of these particular stories, although I am familiar with plot devices and archetypes from more than a few of them. The narrator was great. She brought these stories to life. There is also classical music to accompany parts of the stories. I could see this audiobook being very good for kids to expose them to fairy tales. They would enjoy the stories and the narrator's different voices. I would say these are pretty kid-friendly stories, especially for the Grimms, which can be dark. Overall, each story has a good lesson about morals and ethics, from hard work, to keeping promises, and not giving up when things get rough.
Listening brought back the joy of reading fairy tales, that I have not ever gotten over, even into my 4th decade. I'd recommend it!
What if the only way to save your planet from certain annihilation is to ruthlessly manipulate a young...more**spoiler alert** Do the ends justify the means?
What if the only way to save your planet from certain annihilation is to ruthlessly manipulate a young child into becoming a solder who is skilled enough to destroy billions of your enemy, to make him into a killer?
With Ender's Game, the reader gets to ponder this question. I had many thoughts as I read this story. I didn't always understand what was going on. Like Ender, I questioned where the game ended and reality began. Children in the environment of this book don't get to be kids for long at all, especially when they are genius children. Instead, they become soldiers, training day in and day out to be the best, to win, to conquer their enemies. All for the purpose of defeating the alien race that Earth views as a deadly enemy (called Buggers) in the coming war. I questioned how a six-year-old kid could even grasp this. Even a genius child. As I read, I questioned the ruthlessness of adults who would put a child through these experiences. It takes a certain personality, a particular mindset to able to justify one's actions. It's hard not to judge, but then, I'm not in the same situation. And I was grateful for that.
I just wanted Ender to have some peace and be able to just be a child. I cheered for him to find his way past the many mazes he was manipulated through. I didn't ever lose faith in him, because he had proven himself worthy of my faith. Even though I wondered what was the whole point of everything, I didn't stop believing in Ender. I was glad that Ender managed to find that light that kept him moving forward. Sometimes it was in the form of his beloved sister, Valentine, and other times, it was his fellow students, and sometimes it was the determination not to let them see him sweat. Whatever it was, this kid didn't break. I liked that about the book.
Some things didn't sit well with me as I read. I couldn't always visualize the game setup at Battle School as clearly as I would have liked. Instead of letting this throw me out of the read, I just managed to fill in the blanks around my lack of understanding and keep reading. Maybe Card meant it that way, but it was interesting how warfare became an experience that felt more like playing a video game than a face to face meeting of enemies. I wondered where that was going, but I soon found out, and I was like, "Are you serious?" I don't care much for mind games and boy was there some serious mind-screwing going on in this book. Perhaps his point was that as technology advances, warfare becomes more and more dehumanized, and it takes away the immediacy of the moral questions of taking a life, and using soldiers like pawns on a board to do so. As above expressed, the ruthless treatment of children and its effects hit me hard. They did not make for easy reading for me. On one level, I understand that a lot of psychology goes into training soldiers, and I know that some of it is necessary. I just wonder where the line gets drawn. The aspects of Peter and Valentine's political experiment left me a bit cold. I wasn't sure what Card was trying to get across here. Is the political arena just a big elaborate game in and of itself, a game that has the potential to have very disastrous and wide-reaching effects? Or was he trying to say that age is just a number? Kids aren't really kids, depending on the society and the situation that the child inhabits. Still not sure about either of those conclusions I drew. As close as I can get, anyway. Lastly, the ending got a bit strange. While I appreciated the aspects about Ender gaining an appreciation for the mind (the human-like aspects) of the Bugger civilizations, things got a bit weird and abstract when Ender's empathy with the Buggers became a philosophy that turned into a religion. It felt disconnected from the story to me, and added to a certain lack of satisfaction I felt overall. I appreciate the fact that he examined how war, differing philosophies, external differences, what have you, can separate entities in a way that if we strip down all the differences, there is a lot more alike than we think.
Ender's Game is a well-written work of science fiction that has a lot to say about subjects that can make for hairy discussion. Subjects that I tend to avoid discussing with a ten-foot pole. War is as old as mankind. Literature is a good sounding board to explore those questions of war and humanity. Overall, I think that this novel does a good job of staying in the story and not just acting as a soundboard for the author's opinion. I am sure that others may disagree. For myself, I didn't necessarily feel that it was a preachy work. If it was, I think both sides of the questions were adequately presented in such a manner as for me to feel that this was a book with a story that had some themes that could get a reader thinking. Not mere propaganda for espousing one person's beliefs.
I liked this book a lot, but I felt the ending took it down from a five star rating for me. Also, my sense of disconnection at not quite getting some of the gaming aspects. I'm sure that others better versed in gaming or military strategy, or better read in science fiction might have visualized and understood those elements better than this reader. For what it was, this was a good book, and I can say that I gained a lot from reading it. I still have some philosophical questions running through my head now, and I feel that I have yet to make up my mind about those things, as there are always two sides to every story. So for me, that's a good experience, getting a good story and something to think about in the end.(less)
Since I read just about every scary book in the children's section at my library growing up, I'm going to guess I read this but I don't remember. I gu...moreSince I read just about every scary book in the children's section at my library growing up, I'm going to guess I read this but I don't remember. I guess I'll have to do a reread. I hope I find it this month for October Scare Fest.(less)
My sister laughs at me to this day because of this book . I loved this book growing up. I checked it out of the library many, many times. It scared th...moreMy sister laughs at me to this day because of this book . I loved this book growing up. I checked it out of the library many, many times. It scared the you know what out of me. There is a witch in this story that is of the very evil variety. She looks beautiful at first, but if you see her from the back you see the inner decay of her true nature. The protagonist is a kid who can access this world being terrorized by this witch through his closet door. Now that I am older, I can see shades of Chronicles of Narnia. But it really isn't a knock-off. It was very different and much more scary than Narnia was.
I used to read this book and then be scared for a few days. And the cycle would start all over again. I dearly would like to find a copy of this book for my collection. Maybe someday it will be reprinted. I'm probably the only person on earth still alive who remembers and loves this book.(less)
I remember being pretty surprised that this YA book had sex in it. I believe this is the one where they have sex on the bathroom floor. I think it was...moreI remember being pretty surprised that this YA book had sex in it. I believe this is the one where they have sex on the bathroom floor. I think it was too mature for me. Not a favorite from my reading as a kid.(less)
This book is related to Love at First Sight in that the couple is friends with Janine and Craig from LAFS. This one is a little more light-hearted bec...moreThis book is related to Love at First Sight in that the couple is friends with Janine and Craig from LAFS. This one is a little more light-hearted because the couple is a little younger and more in the now than Janine and Craig were. I remember thinking the heroine was a girl I'd want to be friends with, because she was fun and down to earth, a cool person to know. It's another favorite from this line of young adult.(less)
Out of the Time series, this is my least favorite. It was too slow, and I think too philosophical for my stage of development, when I read it. I would...moreOut of the Time series, this is my least favorite. It was too slow, and I think too philosophical for my stage of development, when I read it. I would like to reread it as an adult, because I think I'd appreciate it more. (less)
I loved this book growing up. The moral of this story is "Be careful what you wish for." Frances only wanted to eat bread and jam every day. At first...moreI loved this book growing up. The moral of this story is "Be careful what you wish for." Frances only wanted to eat bread and jam every day. At first it was nice, but she got sick of it after a while. Seeing all the different things her family got to eat, and she only got bread and jam. And that spaghetti sure did look good. (less)