Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
This is one of the best narrated audiobooks I have heard in years. The atmosphere of the novel and its setting were perfectly enhanced by Timothy Dalton's rich deep voice which almost hypnotised me, it kept me so focused on the story.
Although the story is a mystery there is a feeling of foreboding throughout that makes events much less shocking and more inevitable than might be usual for this genre. THe writing is beautiful and much better than one is likely to expect from a conventional mystery story.
THe story is also deep and complex and composed of many interwoven strands--it's really quite a stunning performance when you take apart the simple and direct pieces of which it is made and see the complexity of the outcome.
Very much enjoyed, very highly recommended. Will look forward to hearing the SILVER SWAN with great anticipation and pleasure.
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
I try to avoid books that include the murder of infants, spousal abuse, and rape as part of the plot since reading is escapism for me and I want to escape to a better world this this one. However, there was no hint of those themes in the snyopsis or other reviews. But I am not sorry I chose it. In spite of those painful passages, this is a good book. But I am not recommending it for that reason -- it is for the narrator. Timothy Dalton took my breath away. What a disspointment that there are no other Audible books narrated by him. Wish I could listen to this one again, but I will have to wait for his next one.
I have listened to dozens of books in the past few years, and "Christine Falls" ranks high on my list of the best of them. It is well plotted, with breathtaking descriptions and rich atmosphere, and the reader, Timothy Dalton, is superb. I was engrossed from its dark, moody beginning to its surprising and twisted ending. I love mysteries that combine a strong story line with good characters and a smart, literary sensibility - Le Carre is one of my favorite writers - and this book didn't disappoint me in any way. I highly recommend it.
I probably wasted 4 hours trying to get into this book. I couldn't. I liked the narrator's voice and reading style but the story just dragged on and on without creating any interest on my part. Moreover, it was depressing, something I do not need from what is supposed to be entertainment.
When I am halfway through a book and find I do not care what happened or what is going to happen I consider that my signal to stop listening. Obviously there was something in this book that caused many others to like it, but whatever it was didn't reach me.
I always read something entirely frivolous at the end of quarter to unwind from several months of complex literature and pedantic professors. I listened to this on audio instead of reading. I almost never get fiction for audio books because I like to multi-task when I listen to audio books and find nonfiction much more suitable attention span wise for that task, but I found this on Audible.com and picked it mainly for the narrator, Timothy Dalton, who is in my opinion, the finest example of masculine energy on planet earth.
I knew it was a hard boiled noir kind of detective story, but oh. my. stars. I had no idea it would be so deliciously salacious. Combining the lascivious prose with Timothy Dalton's lubricious narration made for many awkward blushing moments while I was on the bus, at the laundromat, and grocery shopping with my headphones on.
I wasn't expecting a literary masterpiece, and it isn't one by any stretch of the imagination. The books is stuffed full of trite cliches, exhausted metaphors and genre archetypes. The book was kind of like the restaurant Olive Garden - a corporate franchise that looks the same in each city with the same menu and prefabricated meals. I mean that you know exactly what you're getting when you walk in. That's the strength and failing of genre novels. But for chrissakes, as much as we all love patronizing the new avant-garde bistro with locally grown sustainable organic fairy dust, sometimes you just wanna go to Olive Garden and have some corporate pasta.
I know a lot of reviewers want to imbue this with some kind of literary merit because Banville, the author behind the pen name, does write literary fiction. I don't know why everyone feels the need to puff up genre fiction and try and legitimize it. What's wrong with a book just being entertaining? I picked this up exactly because I didn't want to over-think and analyze something to death. It was a fun read from a highly competent writer who either enjoys the genre or is milking the old cash cow--neither of which detract from or add to the literary merit of the book. It isn't fine dining, but it was a good meal and Timothy Dalton's smutty narration has me queuing up the sequel.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
I like "dark" books. Stories do not have to have unrealistically happy endings for me to enjoy them. But ... this book had nothing positive in it, from beginning to end. Dreary, depressing and hopeless are words I would use to describe the plot and the characters.
The narrator is excellent. But the book is absolutely not worth reading.
Even with Timothy Dalton narrating this story was hard for me to continue listening. People with 'sick' behavior are always distressing. In Christine Falls to right the wrong Quark must destroy a close family member and the book becomes dark and sad. Dark and sad is the case here. I cannot recommend this listen only tell you the situation and let you decide for yourself.
I think this is a very good book. I had to listen to the first half hour twice as I found it hard to "get into" the story. After I did that, I really liked it. (Read the NYT book review before you buy it - helps you to know if you are going to like it.)
This book had gotten great reviews, so I was very surprised at my negative reaction. I wonder if this is the first book in my experience that is worse in the audio version than the print version. I usually love atmospheric mysteries, and these get points if set in the UK or Ireland (William Boyd's Restless is excellent). But I just could not get into this one--the characters did not seem at all believable and they all just became annoying after awhile. There were no shades of gray; even the villain was so villainous as to be tedious. A major problem for me may have been the narration--it was really overwrought. And as someone who grew up in Boston, I found the southern (?!) accents of the characters living there to be very jarring. In fairness, I should say that I did finish the book and was curious to see how it turned out. But I'm not eager to try another book by Banville/Black or one narrated by Timothy Dalton!