Five stars for the narrator. Excellent.
I gave this audiobook four stars for the author's telling of the story. It was also well written, which I see as two slightly different things. I don't know that we were meant to actually like the story. You feel deflated and let down at the end, but then again, such is life. Probably my highest praise is that I think I'll remember this story for a long time. I have read other more exciting so-called "thrillers" that were perhaps more entertaining, but two years later I don't really remember that much about the details of the story. This one will stick with me like alternate memories of my youth.
This is NOT a fictional murder mystery. If you're not interested in brief descriptions of true crime serial killers from Los Angeles from decades ago, that jump from one to another to another to another, and that are very badly narrated, then skip this one. I deleted this one as it's not worth the time it took to listen to it.
I will not knowingly buy another audiobook narrated by Tanya Eby. She reads like she's reciting for second graders. I was going to stop after the first chapter, but I thought maybe she would get better. She didn't.
I don't know if the narrator totally ruined the story for me or not, but in the end, I didn't care much for the writing either.
Not only do I rarely give 5-star reviews for performance AND story, but I also rarely listen to an audiobook all in one day. So this was the audiobook I couldn't put down! Usually I just listen while exercising or driving and a book gets listened to over multiple days. Of course, I knew I would love Colin Firth's narration (great voice and accent), but the story and the writing talents of Greene were also compelling to listen to... or possibly Colin made it just that much more compelling. Not sure. Either way, I loved this audiobook. Now I'm back looking for more from both Colin and Greene.
Not worth the time it took to listen to it, which isn't saying much considering it's only three minutes long. Deleted.
The narrator did a great job of adding to the likeability of wonderfully written characters, and his voice was a perfect complement to the pace of the story. In a successful series like this, you might expect a compelling main character, and the author certainly delivered that. The nice surprise for me was how well defined the supporting characters were. There are at least four supporting characters that I feel I know almost as well as the sherriff. Loved the writing style. The dialogue was brilliant and quotable in places. One of those rare books that can make you laugh and cry at the same time. Refreshing to have a 50-plus hero for a change. The Indian ghosts created brilliant imagery. Loved the book. Looking forward to the next one in the series to follow my new friends.
"Be careful what you wish for" would make a better title for this book.
I was wondering why Kate Winslet chose this book, published in 1865, to narrate. I now understand that the movie version is due out in 2013. Kate Winslet was attached for a long time to star in the lead role. Then Eva Green replaced her with Gerard Butler as Laurent. In the fall of 2011, Elisabeth Olsen was announced as a replacement in the lead role with Glenn Close as Madame Raquin and Tom Felton. This book has been adapted on film many times and in several languages, going as far back as a silent film adaptation in 1915. That must have been interesting. I'm really looking forward to Glenn Close's eyes burning into Thérèse after Madame Raquin becomes mute and learns the truth.
The French author, Emile Zola, intended to study temperaments and not characters. His main characters were assigned various humors according to Galen's Four Temperaments: Thérèse is melancholic, Laurent is sanguine, and Camille is phlegmatic. The characters are often given animalistic tendencies, every one of them almost entirely consumed by self-interest. Thérèse and Laurent are often rightly described as brutes.
I don't generally finish a book in which I don't actually like ANY of the characters. After all, why should I spend time with them if I don't like them? But Kate Winslet's excellent narration kept holding my attention until I began to understand and better appreciate the story. I'm glad I listened to it, and I can now see its significance and influence on other later works of literature. Stick with it to the end and you'll appreciate the overall story and the style of writing as well. It must have been amazing when they performed this on stage in an opera, which lends itself so well to the drama. An interesting story on many levels.
I didn't think this Jack Reacher Series Book 2 was nearly as good as Book 1. I would recommend skipping this one in the series and come back to it later, if you must.
There are plenty of reviews. So I'll only add that Dick Hill is an amazing narrator. He does the Harvard accent as well as the Southern accent. In addtion, he is being technically added by a sound person. When a voice is meant to be over the telephone, the technician, or whoever, has given it that tinny quality. When a voice is meant to be shouted from a distance, it has that slight Doppler quality as well. Best narration I've ever heard from a single narrator.
The story itself was a little corny and predictable, but I liked the plain style and fast moving pace of it. The style kind of reminds me of Elmore Leonard a little, although I like Leonard's dialogue better. Still, I'd characterize both as fast, fun, entertaining reading. Something to unwind with after a hard day at work when you don't really want to think anymore.
I must have seen the movie two or three decades ago. It seemed a testosterone driven story. So I wasn't sure. A good novel transends genre, though. I enjoyed the story very much. I was pleased that the story continues after they get off the river finally and gives you an idea of how this horrific experience has affected their lives thereafter. Very well written. Interesting and compelling enough that I stayed with it and finished in one day. I actually liked the slower portions of the book as it gave you insight into the central character. I thought the pacing of the story varied nicely.
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