The concept was so intriguing, I just went ahead and bought this. Big Mistake. It is tortuous. The author's voice is so irritating and the story so plodding with the "she said, he said, she said" storytelling style. The only thing interesting about this is that it has become a bestseller despite these enormous flaws. Maybe it reads better than it sounds. I wanted to like it, I really did, but a concept does not necessarily make a good book.
Why would an author think she is a better reader for an audiobook than a trained professional? Her publisher and producer should have had the guts to tell that she's not up to the task. Their honesty might have given this light and somewhat interesting work a chance as an audiobook. Instead, listeners are subject to 8 hours of an annoying monotone. While some snippets of decent writing managed to emerge despite the mangled delivery, the book never seemed to fulfill its early promise. Too bad -- I had high hopes.
This was a case of "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Which, I did. And it tricked me into buying it despite seeing a few negative reviews! The authors reading style leaves a lot to be desired, the characters are frustrating, you feel bad for the main character throughout the entire novel, the ending will have you raging, and overall the idea of this book is a lot better in your head. Don't be fooled by the cake like I was.
I really wanted to like this book and pushed through to the end though several times I wanted to hit the delete button and be done with it. The story is so slow, and desperately sad. The reader was a perfect match to the story content--cold, irritated, depressed. I usually don't write reviews and I generally like the books I get on audible very much, but I had to write one this time. If someone is interested in this book, I would suggest reading it not listening to it and then only if you are in a very, very good mood and willing to be brought down a notch or too. In a word--Sad.
Unlike other reviewers, I liked the author's reading. She speaks clearly and does not over-act the characters. This leaves more to the listener's imagination and calls more attention to the carefully crafted words. However, I advise other customers to try the audio preview to decide for themselves.
The novel itself is one of the best I've read/heard in the past year.
Narrator is terrible. Spoke slowly and without inflection in her voice. I had to double the speed to get through the book. The book had interesting nuggets that didn't link to anything logical to keep your interest. Characters were vaguely developed and did not have meaningful interrelationships. The end was unfathomable, indecipherable, and discombobulated. When finished my only thought was huh?
Yes, this book is beautiful in its oddness.
Quirkiness draws me in.
Unique gifts difficulty embraced.
I like Bender's voice as it seems to fit the narrator's persona.