As several reviewers mentioned (read their reviews way too far into my listening) this book suffers from a lethal lack of editing. What could have been an average but entertaining 6-10 hour story is a 22 hour monstrosity of mediocrity. I sufffer from a stupid need to find out "how it ends" and so I listened to this entire rambling, shambling, shuffling concept of a mystery, and was so irritated by the experience I am writing my first review. I have no idea how this book got the positive ratings it did. The author spends a huge amount of time trying to build this sense of dark, intense intrigue about this film maker character and his eccentric and possibly evilly disturbed actions. I found I really didn't care about any of these characters-the film maker, his tragedy of a daughter whom the entire quest revolves around, or any of the "detectives" that assist the protaganist on his baffling quest for I am not sure what, even at the end of the 22 hours. Seriously. I do not know what he was looking for. A story? That's how poorly this thing is pieced together. Several points of sublime irritation came when the author summarily dumps a couple main characters after their adventure to the spooky mansion/estate. I was never quite sure why these characters were interested in this guy to begin with, but the author insisted they were so I accepted them in our little story world. And then apparently they got bored or tired or disenfranchised in some way and bailed, to be seen only in a brief reunion where none of the information they were so passionately seeking was even a topic of discussion. Wow.
I suppose it is a positive thing to say this woman makes me want to write a mystery, because if this is what gets rave reviews, I'm a Pulitzer winner in the making.
Save yourself the headache, the money and the 22 hours and grab a Stephen King or a Jack Reacher or the new JK Rowling under whatever name. Infinitely more satisfying on every level.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
Would I recommend this book? Hmmm...... How much time do you have to listen and how much does the ending matter to you? This book is over twenty hours long. The narration is perfectly done, no complaint there. The story drew me in and kept me fascinated and intrigued for about the first three-quarters of the many hours of listening. I enjoyed the mix of characters during that first three-quarters especially the three investigators; who were a quirky mix including two young adults; each of whom had an interest in helping Scott McGrath (the protagonist and investigative journalist) solve the mystery at-hand. The problem with this novel is that it is too long and during the last fourth of the novel, I just lost interest. The book is probably worth listening to for the many hours of intrigue and adventure that it provides but, ultimately, I found it disappointing as it moved towards a long and painfully unsatisfying finish. If you like gothic fiction, this book reads like one but fails to deliver towards the end. In the end, I would recommend listening to this novel for about the first fifteen hours..... but, after that, your imagination could probably do a better job.
Speaker, Coach, Author - in Reno, NV (A GREAT place!) I've been an avid Audible fan for several years. Listen on my iPhone many hours each week.
I made it through nearly half of this book because I kept hoping it would improve but it didn't. Just ridiculous, impossible to follow, etc., etc. I had hopeful but it was not worth a credit and moreso, not worth my time.
Very good story. It was a very thorough storyline. The narrator depicted emotions of characters very well. I couldn't stop listening. There were many twists and turns that kept me at the edge of my seat the entire story.
This book is way too long. Its one thing to give background information or build the characters, but having to learn the plot and characters of every movie made by Cardova, even hours into the book, is too much. The plot needs to move, not merely continue to go over details of the producer's movies. I gave up after about 100 chapters.
I love reading
struggled to finish seems to go on forever. however i was interested to find that one on the characters was from st cloud Florida and went to harmony high school.
While the story was not bad, the novel just went on and on like there was a need to fill pages or sound files. But you'd have to listen through the noise to get to the rest of the story.
I am tempted to ask for a refund, the experience was that irritating.
The narrator was ok.
Was there no editor?
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
Scott McGarth, a journalist on the downside of his career, becomes obsessed with the death of the daughter of a cult film maker, Stanislas Cordova - a man who hasn't been seen in public for more than thirty years.
This is a book with wheels within wheels. Information frequently is proven to be unreliable. Characters are not what they seem. McGarth's own life spins out of control. I really had a hard time putting the book down.
It probably could have been tightened up, it's a bit long and saggy in the final quarter, but I think it is still worth the read. I think the narrator added to the experience.
An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!
This was one of the more engaging stories I've listened to in a long, long time. Pessl delivers a great storyline that grabs you, shakes you by the roots and takes you a fast paced thrill ride. The writing is superb and the characters are so engaging and unique and they are brought into vivid color by a plot that will make you cringe, cheer, laugh and keep you up at night. Witchcraft and voodoo mix almost sensibly into a story about a family legacy, a mysterious compound and a young girl's untimely death. There are passages that blend the reality with the fantasy so artifully that even now, having finished the book, I'm at a loss to explain them. This book delivers in a way many others try and fail. Highly recommended.
It's hard to put your finger on where this book goes wrong. It's certainly not the first three quarters, which is exciting, well plotted and with great character development. It's the last quarter, where it all falls apart. I'm not going to give any spoilers, but I can say that there are a lot of details that were set up in the first 75%, which seem to promise more excitement to come, and then are just simply left hanging there. It's like the author got tired of writing this book, and decided to take the easy way out, using a literary trick as an excuse for doing so. I loved the characters, and I feel resentment at the way the author has abandoned them at the end.