Allen, TX, United States | Member Since 2006
This book gives the listener a window into the lives of a family in transition between locales, relationships and cultures. It paints immigration as likely closer to reality than the relief of liberation we usually hear about. I happened to be in the mood for such a piece as I listened to it, but the narrator's deep pitch and unimaginative delivery almost stopped me from finishing. Although one of the points of the tale is that we trade one complex circumstance for another, there was NOTHING resolved for any of the characters at the end nor did the listener feel that anyone had learned anything. One of the most unsatisfying endings ever.
Each time I start a new "Outlander" book, I feel as if I am attending a reunion of dear friends - I can't wait to find out what happened since we last met! This book continues the difficult-to-define genre in which these stories are told. There appears that this book has more steamy romance than most of the others, as well as really graphic scenes of violence and medical practice in 2 different centuries. Many plot lines are resolved, and many others just begun. I can't wait for the promised 9th book! Davina Porter is the only possible voice in which I can imagine these stories being told - she is wonderful, as always, with the exception of a few mispronounced words here and there. A bit unexpected. NOTE: Read all of the previous 7 books in the series before you begin this one. Subtle elements will not make sense otherwise. A great listen!!
The synopsis of this book's plot might cause you to assume a dreary medical procedural, with lots of discussion of treatments. Almost none of that occurs. The male protagonist is a quadriplegic, but the story is about what happens when people from completely different walks of life are thrust together in co-dependence. The story is told variously from the points of view of several of the primary and secondary characters, weaving together a plot that is driven by need, desire and deep emotional development. It contains every element a memorable book requires: pain, humor, love, fear, selfishness and kindness. A little bigotry and understanding thrown in, too. I am telling everyone to read or listen to this book. One of the best ever.
This story has similar themes of loyalty and betrayal, who can trust whom, etc., but with completely new characters and a contemporary setting. (An attempted overthrow of Kadafi in Lybia) Lots of characters from many nationalities are expertly narrated by Ballerini. He is excellent with both men and women, and his accent rings true (at least, consistent) with all characters. If you want every detail of a plot tied up with a nice bow, don't listen to this story: Life doesn't work that way, so why should this tale? I hope that this signals that there may be another book with some of these characters.
I am a big Connie Willis fan, but this tale was pretty silly. I continue to love her matter-of-fact style of writing about such things as an institute in which PhDs work on such important topics as "Why the Fad of Hair Bobbing Began." I think this story would have been more appealing, however, if the drawn out character development was tightened up and the action was more concise. It was a fun listen, particularly because I got it on a "2 for 1" sale, but don't spend an entire credit on it.
...this one is especially so. The title sets the listener up: the first scene is a child in a suitcase. The story is told from multiple character's points of view. The tale weaves around several countries, numerous characters and agendas, and mostly resolves at the end, leaving a couple of characters depressingly unchanged by events. In the meantime, there are several unique plot twists and some well drawn characters, but only listen to this if you are ready to walk on the seamy underside of Denmark and Finland.
Occasionally, I feel as if this series is sort of "phoned in," but "The Gods of Guilt" is thrilling - realistic and dynamic characters, fast moving story and a passionate Mickey Haller, defending his client. Good use of the court room without getting too bogged down in procedure. Peter Giles did a great job bringing the diverse characters to life.
I have enjoyed Elizabeth Lowell's work before, but she must have written this one in her sleep. Although a basically interesting story line, the clunky dialogue and sophomoric similies ("he looked at her like a barefoot hiker looks at a snake slithering in the forest") made it a bit difficult to get through. The narrator likely did the best she could with the material, but I doubt that this was her finest hour, either. Only buy this if, like me, you have a gift certificate and it is on sale. Not worth a credit.
I have found the entire 3 Pines series to be very satisfying and more complex than some seem to, but the 9th book in the series is the very best yet. The same characters we love, with the expansion of some we have only just met in previous tales, and a more rapid-pace suspenseful storytelling. Several story lines get resolved, lots of intrigue and 2nd guessing, all the while building to a very dramatic cinematic climax. Penny remains true to her story telling, however by infusing the tale with a cozy feeling at the same time. Highly recommend.
I am a real fan of this series already, but this book is by far the best. The expected inclusion of several new characters is amped up by surprising revelations about some of the "regulars" in the series. I am anxious to hear the next book to learn how the citizens of 3 Pines handle the change of balance in their community brought about in this story. Yes, these are "cozy" mysteries, but this story is more complex and compelling than you might expect.
Is it a character study? A romance? Soft porn? I don't think artists need to fit themselves into a genre, nor do authors, but this book has the jarring effect of moving between an almost "cozy" friendship story, to the panic attacks of a young woman with a scarred past, to extremely graphic sex scenes. I like a good romantic description as well as the next person, but....yikes! They just come out of nowhere in this book and go on and on... Pretty good narrator, moving between Scottish and American dialects, and a basic love story. You know how it will end right away. It's a good choice for those of you who like "bodice rippers."
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