There's so much more here than an absorbing mystery. Flynn really captures the dynamics of a small town. The characters, even those who only appear briefly, are layered. Plus, the main character is as intriguing as she is unusual. The narration is perfect. I'm looking forward to the next Gillian Flynn.
This is one well-written thriller. Not only do the two main characters play the other characters in the book - but they play the listener/reader as well. Your allegiance will swing wildly. Why? Because these are the most likable unlikable main characters ever. Nick and Amy are both whip smart. And wickedly funny. They buy your affection with their wit. Plus - there's a rather intriguing battle of the sexes narrative going on throughout the story.
Actually - there are so many - but one of Amy's diary entires - from early in the book - really made me laugh. She's starting her theme of being "the cool girl" and refers to her desperation to be liked by a man as taking her from mildly accommodating to full out Cabaret Liza Minelli bumping and grinding.
I'm going to punt and go with a tie. Both are..perfect. Just like Nick and Amy.
No. I wanted to stretch it out. Forever.
Flynn does it all. She's a storyteller. And she creates characters with depth. She also gets you into a small town setting and the supporting characters are - and this is a tightrope act - neither romanticized nor caricatured. There's plenty of black humor - but Flynn never goes over the edge into easy jokes. Plus, the story really does confront today's sexual politics. The two main characters might not be the spokespeople you'd pick for a very frank discussion of the battle between the sexes...but there are some very real issues brought up by these fictional protagonists. Think of Nick and Amy as a very dark spin on Nick and Nora.
I'm going to put The Family Fang in the top 1/3 of my huge number of audiobooks listening.
I'd say Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - family dynamics portrayed with empathy, imagination, and magical realism.
I have not listened to Therese Plummer before - and she is just wonderful. Possibly the best narrator I've heard so far. VERY impressed.
Yes - but I listen to my audiobooks in the car and while at the gym. Almost never in one sitting - unless I have a long road trip.
I really appreciated the originality of this book - and the first rate narration.
I was a big fan of The Corrections. And Freedom was every bit as good. In addition to complex, and fascinating, characters, there is Franzen's addictive dark humor. This is a funny book. But a funny book that is thought provoking - and occasionally - sad. So many subjects are satirized - hilariously. Our human frailties are so well delineated, you'll squirm with recognition. This is one you won't want to end.
I felt like i had to get my money's worth and listen all the way to the end. But it was painful. I guess I just had my first romance novel experience along with my first young adult fiction experience. Actually, this book is probably more appropriate for moony 14 yrs. olds with overly romantic ideas about adult men and women -- which brings me to my main complaint. The main characters in this book are in no way reflective of adults. Our heroine, supposedly an esteemed historian, acts like a middle-schooler. Her main emotion is "barely suppressed anger". And the hero? Good grief. Another quick to anger character who requires careful, and submissive, ego stroking. This is a ludicrous book.
You're going to find a lot you like and, possibly a lot you don't. I actually looked up the author to find another book for my wish list. A lot of this audio was fascinating. Maybe an editor could have helped make the book a little more cohesive. Also, as a woman, I had difficulty understand the female characters - who were written as depressed, needy, and unlovable. However, I admire an author who writes his own book and is not derivative.
I've already added another of her books to my queue. The Rapture is an intelligent thriller with fascinating characters. The story, reminiscent of Children of Men, is set slightly into the future. I was fascinated start to finish. We have an unlikely heroine who takes us on a wild ride complete with apocalyptic warnings, a prophetic child guilty of matricide, and a romance that features sex that is more real life adults than romance novel fantasy. This is one smart, well-written book. Enjoy.
Ludicrous beyond belief. I rarely don't finish a book or audio. This one is an exception. Your intelligence is insulted with every sentence. Plus, the narration will make you laugh, not intentionally. Same for the sex scenes. I was reminded of one of those made for TV movies from the 1980's with the totally implausible plot lines and the overly dramatic dialogue. The main characters seem lifted out of a romance novel. You won't be able to run away fast enough.
The story is addictive. All of the characters are multi-layered, even the minor characters, and defy stereotypes. There is true menace throughout, coming from many directions. This is mystery writing on a level that never insults the reader's/listener's intelligence. The desperation of the adults is palpable. The pain and humiliation of the children is heart-wrenching. There is an honesty here about how people really feel, about how people really live their lives, that is too often missing. And I liked the main character. I wouldn't want her as a roommate. But her brutal honesty, and wit, were compelling. The narrators did the writing justice.
Don't miss this one.
The story seems to be written by a precocious fifth grader. The characters are borrowed from other writers (notably Stephen King's Green Mile) and lack development beyond crude caricatures. Plus, the narration is dreadful. Who knew the word "again" could be pronounced 3 different ways by the same character? Or that every character would pronounce ambulance ...am BU lance? Unless you're 12 or younger, skip this one.
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