I am a mature gay man and not a pedophile. I listen to this kind of fiction with an ear toward what I wish was available when I was growing up gay. I have mixed feeling about the graphic sexual conduct. A straight version of this story, while including the sex would hardly be as explicit, making it more acceptable to parents to recommend it as a coming of age story that would speak to the universality love. But it is what it is, and I wish it were available 40 years ago.
Even though it is not the first book in the series it is the first I read... maybe it was on sale .... but I will return to book one and can't wait. If you love dogs, have a dog or are a dog (since the books narrator is a dog, I assume some reader might be too) you will love the mind of a dog's view of his master. He can do no wrong. "Did I tell you what great eyebrows he has?" His master poor sense of smell and not so keen eyesight are puzzling, but endearing to the canine author.
The mystery is not the best, not bad, but not the best. You won't care.
I can't give away the plot of the book, but I was expecting gay romance or erotica, not a jumbled mess of a third rate (is there a lower rate?) attempt at literature, filled with schlocky metaphors and vain attempts to become a a gay C.S.Lewis and Salinger. Pretentious. The reader, God bless his attempts to add some character, just made it worse. I dare anyone to make it to the end of this torturous tale. In all the years I have been an audible listener I have never returned a book... until now.
The characters have have become like family members whose dysfunctional relationship in a world of machismo has morphed slowly into being able to accept themselves for who they are. I have to admit that as a gay man I wish there was a little more erotic diversity, but this is a romance novel. I would love to chat with the author about a woman's interest in gay male fiction and perspective. I definitely like the idea of a committed relationship, but would also be more "into it" if there as more description of physical detail. I always hated porn until I found the rare explicit sex video imbedded in a story. Apparently I am in the minority here.
To reconnect I returned to listen to the first book in the series. Now I want to listen to them all again. The narrator has changed. They are both fine, but I think Sean Crisden really adds more character separation and an extra sultry touch.
I read this because I was told I must. Best thing since JK Rowling... I wish! Every book is written with author's intent and received with readers perspective. Since this was presented to me as a juvenile/young adult fiction I must judge its value as such from a retired educator's perspective.
The video game feel made me uneasy but I hoped that some moral resolution would justify this as a device to reach young readers. Unfortunately, although the situation into which these young people were put, while clearly unconscionable was simply accept and never resolved. This is the type of fiction that is fine for s adult with a clearly established moral code. For a teenager without that, and I know way to many, it was disturbing. It's not fantastical vampires and werewolves, it's children wantonly killing other children and even the heroines actions are never really resolved. It felt like watching South Park with boys and young men, cheering on a laughing at racism, homophobia and gore that never saw the irony that makes it funny.
I understand the sequels resolve some of these issues, but I didn't care enough to return to find out.
I feel like these guys are family and I just want to shake 'em and say.... "Get it together!" But their's is a very believable relationship of two men who come from worlds where homophobic standards are imposed. I do have to say that despite that, the end of this one is just out of left field. We need a resolution!
This reader is awful. Where's the fire? He obviously can't wait to get out of the studio and speeds through the story a record pace. There is a way on my player to set the story to double time if I'm in a hurry... but this guy takes all emotion out of the story.
What a storyteller. And he has found a great vehicle in this story. "Can't put it down" story and great narration. My only issue is that the narrator is a bit over the top in his stereotypical portrayal of a some characters. It's a fine line to walk. He does help to keep characters distinct and is obviously a talented performer.
This compilation includes a little something for everyone. That's its strength and its weakness. One of the drawbacks to audible compilations is that you can't flip through the stories to see if they balance in favor of your taste. Overall I am not disappointed that I bought this selection.
This was well worth it. Alan Cumming is a favorite and so versatile. Tim Curry never disappoints. The only thing missing from Audible's production is a cast list. I recognized some narrators that I had listen to before, but think they all deserve credit for the job well done. Lucy's naivety, and Minna steadfast strength for instance deserve crediting. I was disappointed when this was not a part of the concluding credits.
If other reviewers could not be swept up in the production, perhaps it is due to a distaste for the genre. I like a good vampire tale as much as the next person, but this sheds so much light on how far we have come from the mother of all tales, where more is implied than exposed.
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