[May contain Spoilers]
I'm not in the target audience for this book, being a middle aged guy for a start. I got hooked on the series after listening to one on a long-distance trip with the family. So allow me to present an `outsider's' view on this book and the series.
It is a testament to Janet Evanovich's skills as a storyteller that she has been able to create such an addictive series of stories out of basically unappealing characters. Can you imagine anyone putting up with someone like Stephanie's grandma in real life? Or alpha males like Morelli & Ranger investing such a lot of emotional capital (and in Ranger's case, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cars and billable hours) into someone who is basically characterized as a flake? Pretty much everyone in the books is quirky, eccentric or downright weird. Stephanie's gun-avoidance and unwillingness to enlist Ranger's help even while in extreme danger really stretch our credulity. Lula's extreme suggestibility and poor impulse control would land her in jail double-quick in real life. What redeems the characters is the self-awareness of their own faults and shortcomings and Ms. Evanovich's obvious tongue-in-cheek intent to push each situation to just short of the believability line.
The amazing thing about Ms. Evanovich is that one does not even notice these holes in the plot while reading (listening) to Eleven on Top. Her dialog is crisp and punchy. Unexpected events happen routinely, but are introduced in a natural way. And wonder of all wonders, the men in her book are actually rather realistic. Most men (especially the heroes) in books by female authors are essentially caricatures having little in common with anyone dead or alive. The very thought of saying something that is routinely spoken by such characters makes the average man want to throw up. In contrast, characters like Morelli & Stephanie's dad are completely believable. Ranger is a bit too much, but even his speech and behavior are sufficiently close to believable bounds.
Ms. Lorelei King has done a great job of voicing the various characters and accents. The whole production reeks of class.
I very much enjoyed the story, but the audible version stops 20 minutes before the story is over - I had to check it out at the library to listen to the rest.
I've listed to all of her performances of Janet Evanovich books, and she does a fabulous job each time.
Babe, I agree with the nays. Your first four were very good, your next two were pretty good. but you have gone downhill since. This one was just plain awful and will be my last. I give it two stars because the narrator was so spot on.
Extra witty, extra funny, extra action. Had me wondering until the last minute. Clearly one of her best - if not the best.
You'd think after 11 books with the same characters, the story line would start getting old -- but not with this series!! Interesting and funny -- STILL!! #12 is just as good too and can't wait to read/listen to #13!! Best series ever written! Thank you Janet Evonovich!!
This is the first time I have read this author and have fallen in love with the Stephanie Plum series. I downloaded all 13 books and listened to them all within a week. I couldn’t wait to hear what adventures (and mishaps!) that Stephanie, Joe, Ranger, Lula and the rest of the gang would get into. I’ve read some of the previous reviews. I agree with some and disagree with others. I disagree that it gets old and complacent that Stephanie finds herself in the same situations in every book. It appears to me that Stephanie’s character is just one of those people that trouble and mayhem seem to find. I do agree that narrator Lori Petty is the voice of Stephanie. Narrator Debi Mazar’s accent is a bit heavy for audio books and then after all this Lorilei King takes over as narrator for the rest of the series. While Ms. King’s character voices are awesome (she has such a range!) her Stephanie voice has no Jersey accent at all and sound just a little too “blue blood”. Otherwise Ms. King is a joy to listen to. You will fall in love with Ranger and Joe! Both are too hot to handle……no wonder Stephanie can’t choose between the two!
Don’t let the narrator changes deter you from listening to this funny charming, and at times mysterious series. You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for something light hearted to listen to.
Lord, I can't explain why but I'm hooked on these characters. Maybe it's because they are so colorful that they're a pleasant break from the average detective/murder mystery that I've been reading. Because COLORFUL is truly what they are! You will laugh out loud at some of the almost slapstick comedy that comes out of this reading. I especially enjoy the characterization of Lulu - the feisty ex-prostitute/new bounty hunter. She is a constant party waiting to happen...
Hats off also to the narrator. The characters are quite well-read. No boredom here! No sireeeeeeee....