Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
I'm torn, this story falls into one of two types... (1) It is was ordered up by the people who create Chelsea Grammar screenplays so that the star can sell his reputation for the most bucks quick until eventually everyone who might have attended decides, "Fool me once... shame on you.. But fool me twice and well, I feel gypped." or (2) It's one of those "Famous Writing Academy" classroom exercise where the manuscript is passed to another student after his predecessor wrote a chapter.
Okay, in both cases, some talented people might flack out the next scene or chapter, but their reward's going to come from a teacher or producer, not from anyone who actually pays money for the thing. No wonder that the longest chapter in Native Tongue is the epilogue which has to fill more holes than come woven into a Florida window-screen. I didn't hate this thing... But the word "disappoint" sparks to mind fast as a Bic's flame.
Once upon a time I reeeeeeely enjoyed Carl Hiaasen. I guess he got used to the income supplement from books and figures its also a way to wrap something around his nature rants. Hell, maybe the rants let him sleep at night? Certainly it can't be authorial pride anymore. Sigh... Skip this one, K?
I have been a James Lee Burke fanboy… just look at my other reviews. I've called him a poet and looked forward to each new Dave Robicheaux chapter at an epic American cultural turning point. Mark Hammer is one of the greatest Audible voices of all time. So I am overwhelmed with disappointment in Hackberry Holland asa stereotypical ideologue's over-written lead character.
When writers present ideas, they can become great, when they represent ideas, they are propagandists. Maybe I should have listened to all of this polemic filled with hateful white south westerners and saintly people of color.I couldn't since quickly it seemed as if he was again visiting a stereotypical place where there was no grey, no nuance, no other side but the whiny argument that Burke presents. As the son of a union leader, I understand the struggle and its virtues. I also understand its excesses, contradictions, and frustrations.
An artist asks questions, a partisan answers them. The world of Robicheaux is riddled with questions… Hackenberry is about unambiguous answers. Robichieux's a question mark, Hackenberry an exclamation point.
Burke is singing to the choir. How disappointing. Once upon a time a young writer turned in an assignment to his editor. She read it, looked up and said, 'Ted, you're really enraged by this issue aren't you?" "YES!" he retorted.
She slid the article back across her desk, "It shows. Rewrite it."
Mr. Burke, it shows.
I listened to all of Other Paths… The puzzle part was sort of given away early. the characters were interesting though and Price and Schatzberger kept my attention. Liked the senses of place… Uh-huh… sensES of place. Or maybe sense of places. Places in time. It is a smart multi dimensional story that, without flashbacks … whips us back and forth from a sort of present (I'm thinking late 50s early 60s) and the middle of WWI with trips to WWII. Price gives the impression of being a captivating teacher whose telling a story to keep our interest while the events are really the subject.
The book kept my attention and left me with an intriguing set of memories. Hey, that's not a waste of time, right?
Adrian McGinty stories are tornado-twisty! And Michael Forsyth is 'the' Irish super-dark-hero. You gotta' start this series with "Dead I May Well Be" the first in this epic. Oh, this book stands on its own bottom but you'll like it enough to want to read the other two in the trilogy only to discover that you began at the ending.
Some reviewers are shocked… SHOCKED! That Michael Forsyth and his hair-trigger mob buddies talk like men. If you are shocked… SHOCKED! By the way that men talk in ugly and dangerous situations… Well, go find a teenage romance novel or maybe a Disney story about unicorns and dancing bunnies, K? Sigh.
BTW, McGinty has the power to make you laugh out loud in complex moments. Oh… Of course I gotta' mention Gerard Doyle's narration… Okay… "WOW!" You got a better superlative? Fill it in here __________. Thanks.
I'm trying to decide who might enjoy this novel. It's not really boring nor totally predictable. It helps if some one character in a story is in some way interesting enough to capture my attention. There wasn't one here. The mystery's thinner than bouillon boiled into a quart jar from half a cube. Perhaps the challenge any of us face in socializing ourselves as we move through different clots of people over a lifetime… perhaps that cultural thing might interest anyone who actually enjoyed Sociology 101. Maybe a 12 year old who'd never seen StartTrek might enjoy this. Is there such a 12 year old?
Tell you what… keep your credit and find something else to listen to. Wish I had.
Micheal Prichard's voice is as flat as a big swath of Matt Birkbeck's writing. Birkbeck's a newspaper reporter, not a writer in the magazine or fiction sense. Moreover, he's challenged here by a big cast of characters and events. Topping it off he imposes some literary devices… flashbacks in particular… that make the story bumpier than the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Anyway, the corruption Birkbeck intimates or alleges here is unnerving. It's an important read for anyone with Pennsylvania roots even if the story arc feels as if the it's had potentially risky chunks hacked away by the publisher's legal staff.
Probably next week Archy McNally's "Adventure of the Inverted Jennies" will flow completely out of my memory. So what? There are deserts that were so delightful I'll recommend them to everyone who asks. Deserts don't change lives. Don't direct or even inform them. But they can be delightful, huh?
That's what this craftily prepared story is… Archy lives in a note-perfect, imaginary culture that evokes Fred and Ginger twirling through platinum and crystal settings. Victor Bevine ices Sanders' cake thick with stylish characters who you'll see and hear and enjoy.
I'm off to download another order of Archy from the Lawrence Sanders' section of the Audio bookshelf. Dunno about you, but I may not remember the details of a perfect desert, yet when I see it on the menu, I'll order it quicker than the summer heat rises in posh Boca Raton.
One word for this book…. "Yummy!"
This book is worth listening to… much of it. George Guidall will help with all of it, but particularly the, um, "look-I-really-now-about-this-stuff" parts. See this is all about what's riding on the Watson and Crick double helix. So, be prepared to go eye-glazed as Mr. Bear's scientists show off their knowledge so we will suspend disbelief.
When the lectures start… let your mind wander. Don't try to follow… and don't try to look for a lot of plot in these monologues. Instead, give the author credit for his research and push on. It's a cool story and very Crichton-ish. If you liked Michael Crichton and like Robin Cook, you'll enjoy this. I did.
WARNING! This is the third book in what was billed as a three parter. Read the first two books first… They are each terrific.
McKinty's introduced a mystery-murder into this addition to the series: It's fun. I have never written the word "fun" in the same sentence as the name McKinty. Since the puzzle eats a big hole into the novel, there's less character growth as a reaction to the dystopian world of 1980s' Ulster. I'm guessing that McKinty's not going to end the Sean Duffy novels with this book as originally planned. GREAT!
As always Gerard Doyle is the author's partner in creating an experience for us that's got to be greater than reading the work. Doyle speaks in Irish and I don't.So I'd not imagine the richness of the lilt which Doyle adds to my enjoyment.
Okay, the mystery-puzzle does elbow out some of McKinty's darkness and a tad of the social and cultural complexities of 1980s Ulster. But.. the striking denouement in Cliff Castle at books' end makes up for all of that.
Adrian McKinty is to Ireland as James Lee Burke is to the American South. And Gerard Doyle is as important in unlocking the door to Sean Duffy's mind for me as Mark Hammer was in opening a passage into Dave Robicheaux's many dimensions.
While different from the first two parts of this trio of books… and perhaps a shade less complex. It's terrific
First off, the 19th century setting of a detective mystery in the harem of the Sultan of the fading Ottoman Empire is wonderfully intriguing. Goodwin carries it off making this a memorable read. But… but… there's something about this whole thing that like hearing a symphony on a 78 RPM recording… It's Lo-Fi. Nope, don't mean the actual Audible recording, I mean the writing. It's as if you can get the melody, but hardly any of the nuance. Can't explain it exactly, and it's not the fault of Stephen Hoye who reads the thing OK. The characters are only interesting as oddities, not as people.
But while I'd recommend The Janisary Tree as a diversion, a trip to an exotic place (or maybe a carney freak show) and time seen through the eyes of a particularly exotic detective… Well its the setting of the story that make for the interest, not the mystery. It's muddled but well, engaging.
As they say, when the critics begin reviewing the set… the play's in trouble. Here it's the set that stars.
This book's like getting into a flashy car, turning the ignition… then turning the ignition… then… then… then…. WILL THE DAMNED STORY EVER START????? I finally left the car. Maybe someday I'll get back in. Probably not…
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