If you like Southern lit, you'll really appreciate this novel. At various times, it reminded me of Bobbie Ann Mason, Flannery O'Connor, and Cormac McCarthy (Suttree, in particular)--dark, complex, and yet, sometimes, laugh-out-loud funny. The reader is exquisite--perfect pacing, inflection, and emotion, deftly conveying the patois, the humor, and the reality of the deep South. Characters and plot are multifaceted. Story lines intertwine, diverge, and meld again, like the flavors in a real file gumbo. Go for it. I'm already searching the Audible catalog for my next Burke novel.
Kelsey is an annoying, silly, immature character that no adult (and hardly any children) could possibly relate to. I can't imagine that the teenagers this book was probably written for have ever been as insipid as our "heroine." Way, way too much time is spent in Kelsey's games, nastiness, and emotional chaos around Ren. It is impossible to understand why any man would ever be interested in this shallow, obnoxious female. She is definitely not worth it. Further, why is this book focused on her "relationship" to begin with??? Please don't waste a credit on this nothing of a book. Too bad. The supporting characters are not nearly so abhorrent, and it could have been a good story, had the writing been less pedantic and the lead character even tolerable. Oh, and if the writer had any concept of dialogue. Example? "Fine." "Fine." "Fine!" Really. So, seriously, as Kelsey would say, "Don't get your hopes up, Mister." Ewwww.
Fun, light read. Nothing whatever serious about this book, and, yeah, it's a romance of a kind, but the sex isn't overplayed, the accent is on the comedic, and it comes off, well, like a story you'd tell over drinks that has all your friends rolling on the floor. You didn't expect Moby Dick, did you?
Volume 1 of The Last Lion is one of the top five Audible books among the hundreds I have experienced. Manchester's scholarship is astounding, and the story of this great man's life and times is endlessly fascinating. That much remains true in Volume 2, but the book is tragically diminished by the narration of Richard Brown.
Frederick Davidson, the narrator of Volume I, was absolutely perfect. When Manchester quoted Churchill, Davidson spoke in Churchill's own voice. It was as if someone had recorded Churchill, himself, for each statement. Churchill's humor and emotion come through as if he were speaking directly to the listener. Brown, on the other hand, cannot even begin to imitate Churchill's intonation and cadence, much less the subtler meanings behind the words. As a matter of fact, Brown would have been better off, as would the listener, if he had not even tried. If he had just read Manchester's words, it would not have come off as so, well, amateurish. The only thing Brown's rendition of Churchill and Churchill himself have in common is an English accent.
It is deeply disappointing. I am hoping that I can convince myself to finish this volume, simply for the historical information it can provide. However, that's a far cry from the way I felt about Volume I, when I could scarcely force myself to turn off my Nano early enough to get a decent night's sleep. I feel like a kid who got stiffed by Santa. I just don't get it. Whoever decided that ANYONE other than Frederick Davidson should render this work needs his (her?) head examined.
But on several occasions, one or two sentences were repeated (recorded twice). Other than that minor annoyance, it was an interesting read. Intelligent story, well written.
Nothing happens. Most of the book consists of silly musings on the nature of "Dark Passengers." Unfortunately, instead of engendering a thoughtful "hmmmm" from the reader, these rambling and infantile attempts at philosophy are FAR more likely to elicit an "Oh, PLEASE!" And that's what you'll be saying, by the time you get to the end--"Oh, PLEASE let this be OVER!" As opposed to previous Dexter books, this one is boring, pedantic, and trite. Do not buy.
I enjoyed this book enough to look forward to the second in the series. It is a bit slow in the beginning, where it goes into a lot of pseudo-technical gibberish in great detail for some unknown reason. Nevertheless, hang in there. It gets better, and, all in all, is a very entertaining read. The narrator's fine, although there seems to be no logic for the dialects she chooses to differentiate the characters. Ah well, it serves its purpose I suppose, and I don't see the point in being hypercritical of light reading. Relax and enjoy!
Barely tolerable for the first ten to twelve hours, even on fastest setting. Replete with stock phrases. Mediocre writing, at best. I don't know whether it got better toward the end (if you can call it that) or whether I simply got used to this level of writing, over time. I'm pretty persistent, once I begin a book. As to whether I'll soldier on to the next, I kinda doubt it, despite the sleazy trick of leaving the reader completely hanging, which I suppose is the best way the author could think of to get readers to buy another book, since she couldn't manage to enthrall readers in a truly compelling tale. Keep in mind there are three additional LONG books before you get to the end(?), assuming there is one.
Characters on a course of vengeance that even they can't buy into; battle scenes that go on forever, as in hacked through the gut with spewing blood and entrails, axed off at the forearm with spewing blood, etc., on and on without end, and then more of the same. Shame. If this were abridged to a third its length, it might've been worthwhile. No way am I signing up for more of this.
Maybe it's just me, but I find it appalling that a book written for teens is allowed to go to press, rife with grammatical errors. If it were a literary device, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but this author--and, apparently, her editors--has no clue when to use "me" rather than "I", and as to the difference between "lie" and "lay", forget it. Since I do know the difference, running across errors like that, sprinkled liberally throughout the book, were constantly pulling me out of the story. It bothers me that this is the example set in a book destined to be read by countless young people.
If that kind of thing doesn't bother you, expect a moderately good read. Certainly nothing complex about it, and although Katniss and Peeta may not know where they're going sometimes, you always will. Entertaining, if you have nothing better to do.
There are just too many instances when our "heroine" blindly chooses unsupported trails down which to drag the reader for true crime fiction buffs, who know a dead end when they see one, to put up with. I, for one, figured this one out early on, having slogged through cliched rants--no, kvetching--about her ex-husband, endless descriptions of the streets of Hollywood and LA (I guess to let us know she's familiar with the area), and way more than you would ever want to know about what she and this one or that might be wearing. Don't bother.
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