I finished this 23 hour long audiobook in 2 days, which reveals how riveted I was. The prose is, to my ears/eyes, wildly fluctuating in quality - sometimes succumbing to cliches, dullness and awkward missteps, other times imaginative, suspenseful and engaging. The book does however have a strong narrative drive, and I was compelled to keep listening. As this is considered a postmodern crime/horror novel, it leans heavily on using stereotypes and archetypes from these genres. To me, this takes away a lot of the potential horror this book could've conveyed. I liked the ending, although I understand how it might disappoint some listeners. I would've gone into more depth as to why I think so, but doing so will reveal too much of the story. If the premise of the book excites you I recommend you give it a listen, just keep your mind open. The part standing out the most to me is the chase towards the end and the events following.
The narrator does a wonderful job, giving just the right cadence and richness to each character. The narrator alone gives this an extra star.
The printouts of websites etc did nothing for me and felt gimmicky.
All in all a good but flawed listen. Kept me at the edge of my seat most of the time, many interesting choices but as I'm finished not particularly rewarding or memorable.
The main character, Scott McGrath was great. You become drawn into his life and begin to feel all the emotions he is relaying.
None, this was by far the best one I've read.
He did an excellent job changing voices for each character. I will be looking for other books that he is narrating.
Ashley Cordova - she is the mystery that everyone is trying to solve throughout the book.
Intelligent, Amusing, Gripping
I love Hopper, he is very funny, and unexpectedly dynamic. That being said, I all but fell in love with Scott McGrath. I adore his attention to detail and insights, his regrets, frailty, and guilt over his own state of affairs, and, of course, his sense of humor.
I cannot imagine this story read by any other voice. Perfect changes in tempo and pitch in adjusting to different characters, never overdone.
Several. Too many to name. I am dying for my friend to finish this book so we can discuss it, but I can't give anything away.
I could literally feel McGrath's torturous obsession as though it was a part of me, but not in a negative way. It was in a way which made me want to be on his team and contribute. I was cheering him on the entire way. I am lucky that I have a job which permits for me to listen almost uninterrupted for 12 hours at a time, because once I started I could not stop. There did not seem to be any point in which I felt bored or like there was wasted detail. I truly did not want this story to end, but I loved how it did.
No. I began by reading the hardcover version and then switched to the audiobook midway through. I loved reading it but it lost some of its magic in the audio version mainly due to the narrator.
The character development and the mystery around Stanislas Cordova. The author is wonderful and has a gift for drawing her audience into the story.
I found Jake Weber's narration very monotone which detracted from the story.
Overall I loved the feeling of dread and suspense that the author created. But, ultimately the ending left me wanting more.
Read it and enjoy, but just don't expect a ending tied up with a bow. I think it would make a great movie. I suggest reading the book instead of listening to the audio.
I'm not normally a fan of horror or detective books, but Pessl took this novel to a whole new level! I was eager to grab this audio book after listening to Pessl's first novel "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" and was surprised to find that it was a complete 360 from her first novel. However, it was equally well written and had me on the edge of my seat!
While the book is already excellent on its own, I love that Pessl and her publishers are embracing the technology world and includes pdf files that accompany and highlight the story. The pdf files bring an eerie realness to the life and death of Ashley Cordova and the the plight of the Cordova family. Even more eerie is the decoder app that is available for free download onto a smartphone. The decoder app can be used to scan certain images in the pdf to reveal even more content including the diary entrees of actress Lulu and her truly terrifying experiences in the Cordova mansion. I thought this was a great touch!
The book started out to be a really intriguing mystery story but by 2/3 of the way through, I wasn't sure I could finish it. It veered strongly off into the supernatural which is a genre I don't care for. And, the descriptions of the surroundings, which normally I like to have in detail, just became a grinding bore. I'm in the 3rd section now but I don't really care how it ends....I just want it to be over. I'm not sure I will finish it.
In the top 10 and I have a lot of audio books
When he finds out nothing was as it seemed
Maybe, most of the time the narration was good but sometimes he seemed a little bored
Yes it was, I really enjoyed it!
I would highly recommend this book to anyone!
Hi. Grad Student. Love thrillers: crime noir and even horror. I want to be really creeped out by authors with insight into the humans psyche
Buy it. Pessl and Webber take the reader/listener on meandering trail of a plot. Scott, the protagonist and narrator can't trust anyone, but neither can you. The narrator is a disgraced journalist, after all. He may be imaging his allegations against the Kubrick-Polanski-Romero-inspired Stanislas Cordova. He's a horror film director who is as available to the public as the late J. D. Salinger. Ashley, the enigmatic (to make an understatement) daughter of Cordova and apparent suicide victim who sets the story in motion is cloaked in as much mystery as her father. Along with the intricately crafted mystery and the vocal performance of Jake Weber, you also get bonus material. Pessl went so far as to create mock newspaper articles, social media pages for Ashley, police reports, and online forums dedicated to the work of Stanislas Cordova. Audible offers them in the form of downloadable PDF files.
When the supernatural element breeches the boundary of mere superstition and begins to affect Scott's daughter.
He captured the tone of the book. It is a somber, borderline paranoid story told by a narrator who has become obsessed with the man who represents the ruination of his career. Whether or not his suspicion is justified, the narrator is obsessed, and Weber captures that in his performance. His various character voices are decent also.
It creeped me out, which is pretty much what I want out of every novel I read for pleasure.
Its a lengthy book that will keep you enthralled for every hour you listen. The bonus material is just cool. It's worth the money.
It would have been nice to see some of the special images and pics, but the spoken story was electrifying!!!
Nora, she just seemed innocent but gritty at the same time!
Not that I know of
Interesting I found myself laughing quite often... I loved the little snide remarks thoughout!
The plot twists kept me on my toes
Not so much a book, but any gumshoe movie from the 40s, especially Sam Spade
Scott McGrath -- he nailed the journalist's skepticism
Ashley Cordova. If only to hear her play the piano.
I LOVED the ending. And the entire book was engaging and interesting. I thought Pessl did an excellent job introducing new perspectives on the mystery through the supporting characters. Vividly written, just plain fun. I had to buy the hardcover to be able to see what was in the audiobook. I didn't miss anything, but it added another layer to the fine storytelling.