Royal Oak, MI, United States | Member Since 2004
Please, no more music.
If I thought I could lift the music track from the story, take it out back and pump it full of lead, because it was that awful and jarring, I'd do it in a heart beat.
Eli Wallach was perfect for this.
This is a long book - and not long like Talisman long, because I could listen to that forever - but because it's so involved with Ralph's condition and the events into which he's thrust, and dear God - the music. It literally hurts the hears and you can lose focus of the story.
When you engage an audience for with what could be a really good series and then crap out a resolution like the one that wraps the Harper Connelly series, you lose readers.
This fourth book has Harper checking out the patriarch of a wealthy family, but of course her ability unearths more questions than answers. Oh, and of course there is the issue of Her sister, Cameron's disappearance which adds a level of unbelievable nonsense to the story. Let us not forget ever-evolving relationship between Harper and Tolliver.
It's convoluted and messy and when everything wraps, you feel cheated as a reader that invested time into the three other books. There is a lot of pre-story padding and redundant "story"-telling, because even if we hadn't read the first three books, we are bombarded with past stuff (I was struck by lightning. Matthew is a bad father. I love Tolliver. I was struck by lightning and I'm still bothered, Matthew was a really bad father. OMG I love Tolliver.) The series wraps as if Harris is "just done" with Harper and by tossing everything into a box and with a vigorous shake, "Grave Secret" is what fell out. It's a lazy mystery, with a lazy story, and a craptastic, unrealistic ending.
I did like Alyssa Bresnahan's reading, and she brought as much life as she could to the one-dimensional, overly-clingy, desperately neurotic Harper.
I am done with anything by Charlaine Harris. This was a Mystery-lite series that could have had a nice run, except she created one-dimensional characters with nothing to do but whine and have sex, and that seems to be a constant theme I don't need to waste my time on.
There's a lot of monologuing in this book, but in this post-apocalyptic world there isn't much else to do.
I wish I would have read a paper copy, I wasn't crazy about the reader and his character touches felt ham-handed - especially when it came to Jacob. You know how you can tell when someone is reading the material for the first time - a lot of the book felt like that, as if the Reader had just picked up the the story that morning. It made the low points unbearable and the melodramatic points an aural buffet of imaginary scenery.
However, there was a good story here, full of compassion and action. A world where survivors confined themselves to islands or boats, and made their living trading or farming and shooting the dead as they rose. Ridley is our eyes as he discovers a life beyond trading and drinking when he hooks up with a group of foragers.
I enjoyed the philosophical King and the maturing Ridley, but the maniacal Jacob was just a little too much - but that could have been the reader. Nothing the man did seemed to make any sense and I found myself wondering about the Peter Principle.
I treated myself to the digital version of this book and I'll be revisiting it at a later time.
Compared to novels like "Stir of Echoes", these felt long and drawn out. I love the economy of language used in all three, however whether the narrator or the protrayal of women, these feel dated. Listening to them, I can understand why they've been out of print for so long.
Each tale is about Regular Guy thrown into incredible situations - and reacting to them in ways that to modern folks seem unsophisticated or slow.
Someone is Bleeding is Regular Guy doesn't know when how to walk away from Crazy.
Fury on Sunday is Regular Guy trapped with escaped Crazy
Ride the Nightmare is regular Guy's past catches up to his happy home.
In every situation, Regular Guy can't seem to get out of his own way, making every wrong choice and compounding it with more wrong choices. It was tiring.
However, I'm glad I read them and while they weren't what I was expecting it was good to get a little more Matheson under my belt.
Narrator wise, Robertson Dean would not have been my first choice. Character inflection aside, his deep, resonating voice made the stories feel heavier than they probably were. This is one of those rare cases where physically reading the book may be to the Reader's advantage.
This book became my constant companion at work and in the car for a few months and I was sorry (yet a little grateful) to hear it end. It really is a roller coaster of a book. I've read the book (with my eyes, don'cha know) more than a few times, but like The Talisman, I knew there were parts I was skimming just from poor reading habits and an over-anxious drive to see what comes next). Steven Weber makes this long, terrifying book so compelling I need to meet this man and give him kisses. Many, many kisses.
Yes, this is King in 1986 and his background into Derry can sometimes feel like padding, but when finished, one can take a step back and see all of the broken parts of that blackened little town and understand the whole of the wrongness that existed. It's worth the journey and the side trips and circle loops, and it's certainly worth the uncomfortable squirming.
I know the reasons King wrote some of the scenes the way he did, but knowing doesn't make it any easier to listen. Horror is supposed to make you uncomfortable, to take you out of that place you feel safe and show you things you'd rather not see, make you think about things you'd rather didn't exist. Yes, it's necessary and it might make you a little sick, but without that visceral response, it wouldn't be as memorable. The itself story has the usual King foibles - detailed, weird jumps in time, "interludes" however in a case like It, they're necessary. If written today, maybe this would have been serialized like The Green Mile, but it would not have had the same impact.
No sense in going through what the story is about, just know that the audio version is top notch and Steven Weber is an amazing narrator who gave exuberant life to all of the characters. There were no small characters in the book according to Mr. Weber, and I was glad for it.
I was recently taking a quiz on this book and for as many times as I've read it, there were things I just didn't remember. It bothered me.
So I grabbed it from Audible and Steven Weber is reading, and I've got 44 hours of horror and bliss and wonder ahead of me.
I will never not love this book.
While not my first Dexter novel, this was my first one experienced on audio. I think if I go back to the reading the good old fashioned way, perhaps Dexter won't come off as a castrated terrier.
These are Dexter novels so we know bad things happen to and around Dexter with droll delivery, but Jeff Lindsay (author, narrator) reads as if our anti-hero has been recently lobotomized. It's read too peppy and light, and it makes the argument that First Person Narrators are unreliable, which is a departure from the other Dexter books, as he’s the one character we can trust. We know him and his motives, but when he’s read he’s trying to sell us a used car fished out of the river, it plays too obvious. It doesn’t help that the delivery is stilted and uneven, I can't help but wonder just a little bit (okay, a lot) if these stories aren't perhaps ghostwritten. More on that in a bit.
Dexter now has a new daughter and while he strives to be the new man his little girl deserves, while switching gears and shepherding Aster and Cody into the new-found religion of Upstanding Citizen (instead of slippery shadows), he is foiled by the circumstances of his new case and the resurfacing of forgotten family. The Dexter in this novel reminds me of the Dexter in "Dexter in the Dark - in other words, not nearly as interesting with the suppression of his Dark Passenger. He goes on (and on and on and on) about his new role as Daddy and it gets tired quick. He’s the guy with the new car he can’t stop wiping with a chamois. He still want to be the guy you got to like, but comes off like that guy that can’t stop talking about his horsepower and leather seats and ends up crawling under your skin until you shoot him in the face to make him shut up.
Then there's Deb, who somehow made it to Sergeant by punching and swearing and being incompetent. Behind every great woman, is a man that lets her play pretend, eh Lindsay? If she were set up as the cop that only got to where she was using her brother, that would be one thing, but as Deb is supposedly tough as nails, she comes off as a dumb jock who can’t string a thought together without Dexter’s ‘insight’. With Deb’s constant intrusion into Dexter’s life, one is left wondering if when the baby was born, Dexter turned his balls in for a burping cloth.
Back to the ghostwriting; I've read my own work out loud - and because I've written it, I know how I imagine my own characters' reactions, inflections, tone. Jeff Lindsay seems to read this cold as if he's meeting Dexter and Deb and the words on the page for the first time. The sentences read too fast or without inflection. There was a scene with two people caught up in a moment are falling over each other’s words, so it should have sounded like two people talking, but without inflection, or even a change in pitch, it sounded a tweaker explaining the aerodynamics of a marshmallow shooter while disassembling a toaster. If you're going to read something purportedly written by you, maybe you should become more familiar with it, maybe practice before sitting in front of the mic. Otherwise, you get something that sounds like this.
Because of the pacing of the reading and the lack of any characterizations, the wasn't nearly a good a story as it could have been. Maybe I’m just soured on the whole series of Dexter Books, since Book 3 (I didn’t even realize until just now that somehow I skipped “Dexter By Design”). Perhaps with a different narrator, this could have been a different book and I may have enjoyed it more.
Yes, the narrator does matter, Jeff Lindsay, so set aside your ego and get a professional.
I'm adding Jessica Hecht to my "no-listen" list. She managed t turn every female character into some whiny grating helpless lump, despite their actions. Half-way through "Big Driver", I switched back to my print version. I did the same thing about 1/4 way through "A Good Marriage".
Craig Wasson I enjoyed, and "1922" with "Fair Extension" made for very enjoyable reads.
These stories are dark and have the ice pick sting of pain and horror we've come to expect.
Preston and Child deliver the book I've been waiting for since last August. A thrilling conclusion to the "arc" started in Brimstone, and just when you think it's just about over, the bottom drops out and the story takes off again.
Clear your day because the last thing you're going to want to do is turn this off.
Anyone else think Sccot Brick's voice is like liquid sex for the ears?
I haven't finished this book yet. I can't bring myself to pick it up again and put myself through this scattered work. I get cyberpunk, but what I don't get is how every character has an immediate and automatic "techie toy" to get them out of jams. There was entirely too much deux ex machina, and eventually, after the story skipped around so much I fogot who I was listening to, I gave up.
Perhaps it's a better physical read, but having it read to you... not recommended.
Every once in a while, a reader comes along that makes your breath catch in your throat, your eyes fix on nothing but your imagination, and entire world ceases to spin - just for you.
Frank Muller is one of those readers, and once you hear him tell the tale of Jack Sawyer and his journey through the Territories to save the life of his mother, Queen of the B-movies, and the life of her alternate, Queen of the Territories, from there on out, whenever you read the book itself, you can't think of anyone else's narration by Frank's. His style may take some getting used to, but it is magic in the ears.
This is an epic, which means it's long but that's the beauty of it - nothing gets left out, everything is understood. You can easily lose a weekend just getting lost in Jack's story.
There are parts that make you laugh, drop your mouth in amazement, and cry like a baby. There is a point in the story, and listeners know of which I speak, that I had to pull the car over to cry, even though I've read this book 20 times if I've read it once.
This book of course ties loosely into The Dark Tower Series, and after listening to this one, grab The Black House, which is the sequel, also read by Frank, to complete Jack's tale.
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