I read and listened to this book because I was taking a class about Depression-era film & literature. What Dos Passos did was integrate a colloquial, real, personal, and fictional history in the U.S.A. trilogy ("The Big Money" is the third part of the trilogy). He used real headlines from newspapers of the time period along with advertising slogans and pop songs in the "Newsreel" portions of the novel. These are really fun to hear through the audio performance, and one of the reasons it is worth listening to.
The "Camera Eye" portion of the novel was harder to listen to, and in truth, it is difficult to read without some contextual information. These are largely stream-of-consciousness portions which Dos Passos used to describe his own memories. They are poetic at times--and like most poetry--benefit from being seen on the page.
The biography sections of the novel are fantastic, and worth the price of the book. His depictions of T. Veblen, I. Duncan, W. Hearst, The Wright Bros. (and more!) are fascinating studies of the larger-than-life historical figures whom we might have only heard about in positive ways in history books. A definite strength of the book.
His fictional portions, the characters he strings through these other portions of the book are engaging and interesting. A satisfying read, worth your time and money.
Initially, the voice of the narrator really irritated me, but the story is so compelling that I let it go. When I recommend the book, I tell people that they must allow themselves a good 5 hours because they must get through the first part in one sitting.
It's a book about victims that really allows the victims to show an unflinching, steady depiction of deprivation without focusing on the predator. I enjoyed experiencing the perspective of the survivors. A fresh alternative and a daring narration by a child. I'm kind of amazed by her work as an author.
I had never read a James Patterson "novel" before "The Postcard Killers," but I was interested in collaborative writing (how *do* two authors get credit for one book?). After a little digging I realized that J.P. gives another writer an "outline" for a plot, and then the other writer does all the work.
This is a contrived, empty book that contains one of the most awkward sex scenes I've ever read. It is a passionless affair. The *mystery* is predictable, privileged, and crudely compiled.
I stopped listening at this line: "If this is so wrong, I don't want to be right." SERIOUSLY?!
If I have saved one literate soul from consuming this garbage, I feel like I might redeem myself from contributing money to fund work like this.
Also: The music they inserted into the audio production was corny and unnecessary. As was the entire book (corny and unnecessary).
This is a perfect story to keep you on the treadmill at the gym. It is bite-sized, creepy, and intriguing. At the length of an hour, it is well worth the $3 cost (think: Happy Meal for the brain).
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