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.
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."
How refreshing to listen to a new Grisham with an original, fresh take on life in the South. The book is billed as a sort-of sequel to a previous book, but one can completely enjoy and understand the back story of this tale with no knowledge of the previous piece - they just overlap with some primary characters and as vague story reference. Crisp, contemporary characters, realistic situations, and the kind of social complexity that living in the south inevitably brings. 3 or 4 plot twists to liven up the action, enough court room scenes to make the legal thriller crowd happy, but not so much that it bogs down the plot. Even if you've never read John Grisham before, you'll enjoy this thought provoking story.
This volume of the 3 PINES series doesn't take place in 3 pines, except for a couple of scenes, which adds a bit of newness to the undertaking. Rather than serving as a catalyst, Inspector Gamache and his family are central figures. (Saying more will give important discoveries away.) Another family is the primary focus - their history, their current relationships based on the past, and how their childhoods influence their adult behavior. Much more of a psychological profile of life and death than is usual in these books, but Penny is able to add grit while maintaining much of the humor and coziness this series is known for.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.