A Gift Upon the Shore

Thoughts agutsbymkw A Gift Upon the Shore by MK Wren, Narrated by Gabra Zackman, Audible Frontiers 2012 (orig 1990) Audio, 15 hours 9 minutes

This is one of those highly recommended books that didn’t work for me. This audiobook, though crafted well in story, just did not appeal to me. I do think that many dystopian fans might find much to admire.

It features strong female character protagonists. It preaches a love for books and honors the ideas contained in books. The descriptions of nature and the devastation caused by war were keen and effective.

But it also had a ‘preachy’ feel to it and I admit that I might have been swayed by reading reviews on goodreads that shared many others opinions of it being anti-religious. It was actually more anti- “religious FANATIC”. Still, I thought a few of the other characters were one-dimensional.

The narration was not to my liking, either. Her voice was almost too strong. I often couldn’t tell when it switched from first person to third person; I kept assuming the whole thing was the main character’s viewpoint.

But don’t listen to me:  For an enthusiastic endorsement from someone more ‘in the know’ for this genre who is also a fabulous promoter of audiobooks, please read the following:

Guilded Earlobe Review

I am glad I read this, it just isn’t a favorite. Rating: Three slices of strawberry pie.


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11 thoughts on “A Gift Upon the Shore

  1. I am a bit sad you didn’t love it since it’s one of my favorites, but I also know full well it’s a book that doesn’t work for everyone.

    I am always surprised when people call it anti-religious. When I first read this, I was still a pretty religious person, but I never felt this one was too hard against religion. The group in question was an extreme religious cult even before the start of the apocalypse, and while one of the characters was an atheists, it never really bothered me.

    I’ll have to think up something more fun and upbeat for my next recommendation to you.

    1. Oh please don’t be sad; I truly appreciate the recommendation and the opportunity to fine tune what kind of books/audios DO work for me.

      I look forward to the next rec! Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Book Review: A Gift Upon the Shore by M.K. Wren |

  3. I admit that I listened to this one on 1.5x speed so the narration was a bit distorted–I did find the switches between first and third weird and still can’t figure out why that was done…except maybe to differentiate between the time periods. I find myself impatient while listening to fiction!

    I can see how this one was anti-religious to an extent but agree with Bob that it was really a religious cult in the extreme. The end of the book was a little more balanced in terms of religion…for everyone. Being a non-believer myself, I found the religious overtones in the book to be very interesting.

    And then I agree about the dimensional characters–really only the main character had any depth. I was so intrigued by the story and where it was going that I didn’t mind that too much. Ha!

    1. I don’t recall is liking or being offended by any religious (or anti- ) overtone other than noticing it enough to take me out of the story, maybe? I remember snatches of the story only at this point.

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