Mary Karr's is not an unfamiliar nor unsympathetic story: a poet/wife/mother/alcoholic struggles with her disease while trying to manage her life. Often witty, sometimes downright funny, and certainly well written, the volume suffers from lack of editing; we get anecdote after anecdote of Karr getting drunk, managing to find her way home and berating herself. Rinse and Repeat. It gets tiring and tiresome. In terms of listening, I stand by my conviction that it is the VERY rare author who reads his/her work well. The narration is unpolished and at times halting. If you must read this book, I'd buy it in paper.
Where to begin? After listening to 20 minutes of this novel, the listener is able to chart out, in minute detail, everything that is to occur. Characters are all stick-figures: one dimensional, predictable. Narration fares no better. The female narrators read in such a saccharine manner that it is almost unbearable, while all the male readers sound like junior high school students reading aloud for the first time in front of their class. Nothing can save this novel. I bought it on the strength of the reviews and was very disappointed. The writing is so bad that in comparison it makes even a mediocre author like Jodi Picoult look like Dostoevsky. Stay away!
Erdrich is one of my very favorite authors, so I looked forward to listening to The Round House. The narration was extremely odd and halting, almost as if the narrator had just recently learned to read. The wrong words in a sentence were emphasized, the pace was inconsistent, and it was very distracting. I strongly recommend The Round House, but even more strongly recommend that you buy the actual book and read it, not listen to it.
The story is about what I expected and wanted as a diversion. However, Weber's narration seldom drops below frantic, loud, obnoxious yelling, and I found myself sometimes yanking my earphone out when I couldn't stand it anymore.
I found the narrator's baby-ish voice very annoying and will try to avoid her in the future.
The story needs a better( and more insightful) author. Potentially an engaging tale, the book's prose is on the level of a good high-school/freshman composition writer and thus disappoints.
Technique aside, there were huge chunks of the story that the author simply did not deal with: at some point the author indicated that although she was considering leaving the marriage, it would be impossible to take her son with her due to the objections that her husband would certainly voice. Then all of a sudden she's moved out with--with her son--and we never hear anything about her interaction with the husband on the subject. There were several such inconsistencies.
The timbre of her voice seemed too childish/childlike; not well suited to narrating anything other than kids' books. I found it affected and grating.
For someone unfamiliar with the customs of the Orthodox I think it would probably be an interesting read. As a Jewish reader (although not an Orthodox one) I was still hoping to gain some insights into this branch of Judaism, but that didn't happen.
Almost everything disappointed me about this novel. I rarely fail to be engaged by a book, but I cared nothing about the characters, their challenges, their goals, their present or past or future. It was agonizingly repetitive and drawn out.
By selecting another narrator. For some unfathomable reason, the narrator chose to portray the main male character (the father) in a voice that was pitched 2 octaves higher than any of the female characters. Worst narrator I think I've encountered in my audible.com history
I only struggled through it because I had no other book to listen to at the moment.
Lehane is one of the best in the genre; this is NOT the best of his works. The plot was a bit contrived and all of the characters except for Patrick and Angela were not fleshed out sufficiently.
The narrator was trying--I think---to produce a Boston accent, but it wasn't consistent and often he sounded British rather than 'Southie'. As a Boston native, I found this distracting.
This one is a winner, both from the perspective of the writing and the narrator. Rarely does police fiction delve into this much character study or exhibit such realistic dialogue, and rarely is an audiobook read this convincingly and with such a complex, multi-layered performance.
The high quality of the writing is matched by the expressiveness and perfectly rendered narration. A more intimate and revealing view of life than in his first book, Hosseini delivers character studies that are believable, poignant and authentic. I knew the end of the book was inevitable, but I dreaded it---I wanted it to go on and on and on. My highest recommendations for both the novel and the narration.
I've enjoyed Picoult's work in the past, but she seems to have written this novel while her attention, imagination and skill were employed elsewhere. Characters are one-dimensional and simply a collection of cliches and stereotypes. With "Mercy", Picoult descends into the realm of Danielle Steele (and other authors I refuse to read). Awful, awful, awful. Couldn't stomach it and gave up after 2 hours.
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