i like to read. i like to listen.
i really wanted to love this book. i set myself up to rave about it....but i just can't. based on all the reviews i have read (here, on goodreads and otherwise), this book seemed to have all the makings of a story i would love. fantasy, female narrator, gothic horror and the promise of an incredibly talented author.
Caitlin Kiernan is a talented author. this much is true. there are words and paragraphs and portions of this novel that are so beautifully written they begged to be framed as art. but then there were parts that were so...so...hmmm.
let me try to explain.
Imp could be an interesting narrator, but the fact that you never quite know (because of her schizophrenia) what is reality and what is fiction gets quite tiresome very quickly in this novel...an element that never sat right with me -- and never gets resolved. the novel ends in ambiguity with more questions than answers...and not that i need a neat and tidy ending, but i would like to feel some sort of resolution or growth or something that makes me feel like the book ended where it should have ended.
some of Imp's ramblings are so difficult to pick apart and understand, it is frustrating. i dont want to be tired after reading a novel. not to say i don't like reading a difficult book. look at how American Gods left me...thats a difficult book that i found immensely satisfying. but this book felt like all work with no payoff. again, i just felt that i was left with nothing at the end. just confusion and sadness and i was actually rather annoyed. maybe if i had read the physical book instead of listening to this it would have been more manageable?
final note -- no real likeable characters in this. including Imp. i wanted so much to like her. really i did. but i just couldn't.
there is a lot of folk lore and fairy tale in this book, which i did enjoy...but as i said, those portions were few and far between, and couldn't hold the rest of the book up on their unsteady stilts.
Although the book intentionally blurs the line between what is subjective, and what is objective, the book is written as a first-hand account of experiences. In the writing style adopted by the author, the mental ticks and potholes of a mentally disturbed individual truly comes through.
Not surprising that this was written by the same author as The Red Tree.
The book jumped around so much that I could never get into it. It was very promising but not for me. Could not finish it.
Average Sounding. Not inspiring.
This book was the worst one I have listened to ever! I somehow managed to listen to the whole thing, despite my better judgement, in the vain hope that something would start to make sense or have any redeeming features by the end.
the Narrator did a really good job though.
I have no idea why anyone would ever like this book, although I know it is quite popular, maybe I am just clueless, but the writing style, the content, and the pacing of the book irritated the crap out of me. This book really made me mad!!
I really liked the story, which meanders back and forth across fantasy/hallucination, supernatural occurrence, and everyday experience -- while somehow being impossible to stop listening to. The unreliable narrator-protagonist, a mentally ill young artist, India Morgan Phelps aka Imp reveals her slow unraveling through her accounts of being haunted -- by an archetype first glimpsed in a turn-of-the-century painting of a mermaid. The haunting-thriller-quasi-horror thing isn't usually my cup of tea, but this was intelligent and creepy and doesn't have a pat ending. Recommended if you're up for something new.
i try this book twice but could not follow the story at all
the bee keeper apprentice
she was ok
Hearing this story was a great experience. Suzy Jackson does a great job interpreting Imp. I think that interpreting such a character is quite complex due to the mental confusion she experiences. I love the fact that she is able to portray the voices of all the characters in a different manner and give each one its deserved uniqueness.
Can't put my finger on why I was not too crazy about this book, sort of hard to follow at times. Kept thinking to myself, get to the point already. Very good narration though!
Absolutely. This novel was very interesting and kept me guessing. I listened to it a few weeks ago and plan on listening to it again very soon. I loved the characters. I loved the way things were structured (and unstructured).
Imp's schizophrenia felt very real. It was haunting and powerful. It gave the listener insight into what goes through a malfunctioning brain.
I've never listened to her other performances but this one was very good. I'd had some false starts with other audio books sounding too robotic and clunky. Suzy sounded human and warm, despite the harrowing text. She gave life to IMP and the others. Fantastic job.
I was moved several times, but not huge drastic movements. It isn't like there is one moment where the author and reader moved a mountain deep in me. It was subtle movements, that, over time, demonstrated that a mountain had moved.
It was powerful and challenging. Some people find the lack of structure at times to be frustrating. I am not one of those people. If you find that unconventional story telling works for you, you'll likely enjoy this. If you need things to follow typical story formats, then maybe look elsewhere (or give it a shot and see what happens).
Plot is not lineal enough, floats around and repeats itself, truly boring. This story was making me insane, had to stop a quarter of the way through.
Needed to get to the point ,or points earlier. Nor have I been able to develope any empathy for Imp. She's unrealistic, I have relatives and friends who suffer from schizophrenia and are on medication, they are neither isolated nor vacant as this character is portrayed.