Michael Page does as well as anyone possibly could, but some books are meant to be read, not heard, and this is one of them. The novel is a hoot, I recommend it, but not the audio version.
If you want to know why I loved this book read Jay Parini's review in The Guardian from July of 2013. He explains it better than I ever could.
The Boys in the Boat was very nearly perfectly narrated by Edward Herrman, who for me has become THE voice of great historical nonfiction, bios and memoirs.
This book is a Harlequin Luna imprint, described by its editor as a place for "female-focused fantasy." Well, it's poorly written and irredeemably cliched even for a Harlequin of any imprint, but it currently has a 4.1 average rating so it must appeal to people who like this sort of thing.
I have been craving light and humorous lately, and Carl Hiassen's Skinny Dip is fun enough so far. It reminds me of an episode of the Rockford Files with a sprinkling of Columbo.
It wasn't the easiest book to read because the dialogue is so inane, but Therese Plummer does not do male voices well at all. I also found it irritating that the Illinois farmer was read as as a stereotypical southern hick.
All of them.
There is a rather graphic sex scene. My understanding is that this is the prequel to a series geared more to YA audiences. This is definitely not YA. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
I know that Cotterill is capable of 5 star listening experiences - I fell in love with Dr. Siri and his Laos of the 1970's.
Killed at the Whim of a Hat doesn't just fall flat, it falls off a cliff... or maybe a skyscraper... or maybe both. Jimm Juree and contemporary Thailand are both huge bores. Overall the book comes across as a failed attempt at chick-lit, self-indulgent and precious; every character is a caricature or stereotype except perhaps for the dogs and some clever villagers.
Too-cute, chick-detective mysteries? Yeah I'm turned off from this genre.
I'd give Jeany another chance.
What could have made a stay at Motel 6 a 4 or 5-star hotel experience?
My attitude about this genre is not affected.
Yes, which only exacerbated the problem.
It wasn't outright offensive, but it is difficult to see redeeming qualities in a book I could not stand to finish.
In the middle of the pack, would be upper middle if Robert Ian MacKenzie hadn't read the character as though Bruno were Carson the butler of Downton Abbey. Martin Walker the author might be an Oxford-educated British ex-pat, but his/my hero Bruno Courreges the chief of police is supposed to be French! Bruno just might have more common sense in his little finger than 99% of the rest of the world put together, but Bruno was an orphan who got his education in the army, not at Harrow or Oxford.
Bruno, of course.
MacKenzie was perfect in his reading of Mark Helprin's Freddie and Fredricka, which unfortunately does NOT work for Bruno, the French village chief of police.
As you probably know by now I had an extreme reaction to MacKenzie's reading of the book. It was phenomenally annoying. The book itself is an excellent variation of the British "cozy" murder mystery, and in the right voice would have been just what I was looking for. I will read the remainder of the series and keep my ear out better uses of MacKenzie's prodigious talent.
I have not read the print version of Gravity.
So far, the plot is fine, not gripping, but would be a good airplane read.
The formatted review asks: What didn't you like about Campbell Scott's performance?
I bought the book specifically because the narrator is advertised to be Campbell Scott.
What I didn't like is that whoever the narrator was, he was definitely not Campbell Scott.
Another reviewer says that the narrator was William Dufris. Dufris is a fine narrator, a little bit nasal to suit my ears, but he read the story well.
When you are expecting Campbell Scott and get William Dufris it is kind of like taking a drink of what you think is going to be fresh-brewed unsweetened iced tea and getting a mouthful of instant sweet tea instead.
False advertising. Extremely disappointing,
I want my money back.
I have been a big fan of Baldacci's Jack Reacher and the Camel club... oh wait! Baldacci wrote the Camel Club, but didn't write the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child did. On top of that Zero Day is a BAD ripoff. This book was so cliched, the characters so stereotyped and superficial, the suspense so non-existent that I am certainly finished paying money to read/hear books authored by Baldacci. Ron McClarty was good as always, but the combination with Orlagh Cassidy did not work well- her reading of the women characters was flat, and she was at a disadvantage because McClarty was the dominant narrator including "She said" Cassidy is a fine narrator, it just did not work in this book.
It's turned me off from other books in this genre by David Baldacci.
They did the best they could with what they had to work with... although Cassidy's characters came across as very flat.
It isn't as though the book was obscene, but it was so phenomenally mediocre and such an obvious ripoff of Lee Child that no, it has no redeeming qualities for me.
This did not work for me at all as an audiobook and I could not finish it.
One problem was my reaction to the characters... when I found someone insufferable, which was often, this distracted me... the audio would move on, leaving me to miss what came next.
Another annoying aspect of the book is that the voice of the author (not so much the narrator) has a certain overarching air of pretentiousness and self-importance that is sometimes found in people who are, shall we say, steeped a bit too long in the Ivy League? I would be surprised if the author is not a grad of Harvard or Yale, and would not be surprised if she were a graduate of both. This, too, was distracting and probably came across more strongly in the audio version than it would if I were reading it. At least I hope so.
If I do finish the book I will get a hard copy. This story needs to be read at the reader's pace and without the distractions that can come with the audio-book medium. If your pace happens to match that of the audio version, then your experience will be much better than mine.
I am half through the audiobook and so irritated by Ron Perlman's slow, monotonous narration that I had to stop. He delivers dialogue acceptably. Everything in between sounds as if he can barely keep his eyes open from boredom.
As for the book itself, the beginning was promising enough, and Benioff can definitely write, but by now it's like listening to an abridgement or screenplay. Benioff took grandpa too literally when told to make up the rest of the story. It is under-researched and over dominated by the protagonists' normal but tedious obsession with sex. So far, women in this book are reduced to (grand)mother, witch, cypher, and sex object. The liberal use of the F-word and obscene euphemisms for female genitalia got old in a hurry.
I'd never heard of Benioff before today. Turns out he's an unusually gorgeous, successful screenwriter (25th Hour, Troy, Kite Runner), married to actress Amanda Peet; native New Yorker, Dartmouth grad, son of a former head of Goldman-Sachs. He started to write while his wife was pregnant and his daughter was born when the novel was half-finished. It was only after 9/11 that he became interested in the siege of Leningrad and finally asked his Russian immigrant grandfather about his experience. So the real story here might be Benioff, who also wrote the novel "The 25th Hour" which was published 9 months before 9/11, from which I found this rather chilling quote:
“F-ck this whole city and everyone in it. From the row-houses of Astoria to the penthouses on Park Avenue, from the projects in the Bronx to the lofts in Soho. From the tenements in Alphabet City to the brownstones in Park Slope to the split-levels in Staten Island. Let an earthquake crumble it, let the fires rage, let it burn to f-cking ash and then let the waters rise and submerge this whole rat-infested place.”
Knowing what I know now, I'll finish this book, but I want my money back for the audioproduction.
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