The characters in this book, most not particularly likeable, were just complex enough to grip you with interest yet not feel that they were unreal. I really liked the dialog - again some shy from the coarse language but this is the way people talk. The way people curse tells a lot about the character.
The Ripping yarn I believe comes from the interweaving of the many characters, shades of Ken Follett, relationships horizontal and vertical, is up and down the generations and across community.
The narration was really excellent, even, flowing and subtle with each character. The story though not much fun, kept me intrigued as to wanting to know what was going to happen next - to me it was an audio page turner .
A story with guts, some humour, intrigue, an I felt immersed and absorbed in the world of the the English midlands.
This book was raw and compelling. I wanted to keep listening, but didn't want it to be over too soon. None of the characters are not particularly likable, but as the story progresses, you learn reasons to feel empathy for most of them. The narration is excellent. I will listen to this again in the near future.
I don't think anything could save this story. The whole thing just dragged on.
Nothing could have improved the performance because the story was so boring.
No, as it got a bit tedious in parts
Teenage boy with acne!
No, I had to get away at times.
I would - I think it is an interesting contrast to Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series. It's style is very similar, although the content is definitely adult.
See above comment
I haven't heard anything else by him
It is interesting that although I have only just finished listening to the book, I do not remember any character as standing out more than any other. I do not recall being drawn to any one character either, each one had his or her good and bad points, but not so that I want to meet any of them
This book is, I think essentially English in its concept. I did not think that it could be generalised into all cultures for all people. It did not seem to hold any universal truths. Having said this, I liked being immersed in its Englishness and to have the sense of living in a country village.
This book is definately not as well written as the Harry Potter series. The large amount of characters made it really difficult to keep up with which story line was being presented. Became clearer towards the end so may need to listen to it twice to fully understand the complex story line. Similiar outlay to Maeve Binchy's books who also follows the life of a vast array of characters but just doesnt do it as successfully.
I listened to this book because I was keen to see what JK Rowling's novel for adults was like. Overall, I did not enjoy it. It just didn't grab me. It was slow to begin with and had too many characters to try and keep up with.
Tom Hollander did a great job reading the novel.
Towards the end of the book, it did have me hooked so that I wanted to keep listening and see what would happen next. It is full of twists and turns which were interesting.
Definitely in my top 3
Tom Hollander's narration was fantastic - he added so much to the pleasure of listening to this book. So easy on the ear & each character so distinct.
I came to this book with an open mind. I was nearly turned off starting it by 'comparisons' to the 'Grey' books. I've not read the latter but for my money JK Rowling has captured magnificently the human condition in the sweeping breadth of its diversity. I laughed out loud & cried too. I loved Krystal & Sukvinder. My heart went out to so many of the characters, including Krystal's mother Terri.
I found the writing highly evocative; when the social worker describes entering the Wheedon home I almost gagged on the smell, not only the ammonia coming off of Robbie's nappies but metaphorically the stench of neglect and poverty.
I thought more than once we ought give more regard to 'children' if only because they'll soon be deciding the future for those of us already 'adults'. And it reminded me of the debate with regard to refugees and asylum seekers - when those who have reached 'safety' & made a better life for themselves want to turn around & pull up the ladder so as to prevent others less fortunate doing the same.
I've been so keen to discuss it with others, I ask all my friends if they've read it & have been disappointed that all have been put off by negative publicity. I couldn't recommend it more highly!
The various interwoven stories of the lives of the numerous characters.
Nothing I can think of to compare.
The character of Terry was very good.
Yes, towards the end. The unnecessary loss.
The story starts out a little slow and I wasn't sure about the standard of writing, but it builds into great reading.
Adore reading - almost any genre except science fiction. In a book club so get to read a variety of great books!
It is peopled with real, raw characters.
Barry Fairbrother's death and that of Robbie/Krystal.
I liked Krystal the most: she had no pretence about her and had strong convictions about what was right and wrong. Also, she was unafraid to speak her truth, irrespective of who it might have offended.
I felt quite gutted by the close of the novel, as I had come to know and love the characters so well. I cared about what would happen to them and felt their grief and pain. I also enjoyed Rowling's ability to lighten the mood periodically: with so much tension throughout the novel, it was a necessary relief!
Having only ever read Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel, and not being overly keen on the genre, I was not expecting to enjoy the author’s first foray into adult literature. But from the opening sentence I was hooked. The little west county township of Pagford is peopled with three-dimensional characters whose lives are as real and raw as anything I’ve experienced in life. This truly is a tragicomedy with its mix of high jinx and hardship although the latter dominates the novel, punctuated periodically with wry humour and the ordinariness of life. The mark of an effective novel for many readers is its ability to keep them entertained and/or reading. No problem on either score there, for me! I was compelled to read on, caught up in the actions and reactions of the Pagford community: from Barry Fairbrother’s cameo appearance and haunting reminders, to the Wheedon family, especially that of the sixteen year old Krystal, a junkie with potential, caught up in a tragic cesspool – and all the diverse characters in between. What I found particularly appealing was Rowling’s ability to allow the reader to fill in the gaps: Rowing doesn’t take her readers for granted, nor treat them as if they’re lacking in sufficient intellect to work through the plot. There is a subtle cleverness to her writing. The author knows how to create vivid imagery for the reader. At one point, Rowling’s character, Shirley, buries an Epi Pen in the back garden, like a “tiny corpse”, having reconsidered its use as a lethal weapon. The novel is filled with this kind of gritty imagery that leaves one filled with regret or revulsion. Moreover, there is no hint of Harry Potter wistfulness here (thank God!). Rowling has considered her adult audience and adapted her writing style powerfully. The raw edginess of the tone and base language attributed to her characters, are appropriate for the context and characters, providing realism and a sense of time and place. I’m pleased that Rowling has moved on from kid’s literature, to an adult audience where she can more fully explore her literary repertoire.