this is a collection of short stories about the witcher geralt of rivia made famous in the u.s. by the very successful video game series by cd projekt red.
i highly recommend sapkowski's books to anyone who enjoys not only the video games and fantasy but great stories as well. they are sophisticated in a way that few novels in any genre manage. the fact that they manage to do so even when translated into english speaks to the superior quality of his storytelling.
it's really hard for me to convey the depth of this collection of stories. they have a range of tone- humor, romance, adventure, intrigue- that is amazing. the writing is contemporary and yet has a resonance that feels timeless. it reminds me of tolkien in that there is a depth to the world sapkowski has created that makes you feel like it's been around for a very long time. it feels like there's a real world with a history that the book takes place in that the characters move through rather than just set pieces for the story to take place in.
the stories are at times bleak and grim, and yet there is an odd sense of whimsy like you might find in a classic grimm brothers's fairy tale. they can be farsicle or tragic but never contrived. i really can't recommend them more highly.
as if truely classic stories written by a master craftsman weren't enough- the narrator peter kenny's performance is a masterpiece in it's own right. i've always considered steven pacey's performance in abercrombie's first law trilogy to be the gold standard of audio book performances. mr. kenny's work in this as well as the other spakowski books is every bit as good. even if the book wasn't a classic- and it is- his performance would make it a must for anyone that enjoys audiobooks.