I have read most of Patricia Cornwell's books. I loved her gift as a wordsmith . . . not an academic, but a person who has learned her craft well. I was surprised in this book to realize that it was a step way back in time . . . the characters were young and many of the "latest" technical developments are ancient history in the technological sense of the word. Having said that . . . Patricia Cornwell is a masterful story teller and this book is no exception. It is skillfully written and reflects the technology and environment of the day. (does anyone else remember the gritty powdered hand soap in public washrooms????). The story is certain to hold your attention - and the issues addressed (police scandal) are remarkably forward thinking.
I must however, take exception to the narrator. I gave her 2 stars only because she didn't mispronounce any words. Her accents were everywhere from the deep south to downtown Boston (and everything in between - sometimes in the same sentence). The volume of her voice ranges from very quiet to very loud - making it a difficult listen because of the variations in volume. Her narrating was a detraction from a very well written mystery!
For those medical mystery lovers, however, this is a great "read." Just hold disbelief in suspense when the accents for the characters are "off-putting" - and keep your hand on the volume control so you neither miss important passages nor blast your ears to an unhealthy jump in volume. It's well worth the effort.
It took me three tries to get going in this book. At about the half way mark, it became marginally interesting - and shortly afterwards I was wishing it would end. The book has its humourous moments . . . and its really intriguing parts are few and far between. I did enjoy the author's self-effacing humour and it got a bit tedious by the end. It wasn't an "I won't even finish this book" experience - but was a definite "whew - I'm glad it's over." The narrator/author is very articulate, and his English is easy to follow (unlike some of the other narrators). A real ho-hum experience.
I was looking forward to a botanical history of the potato as well as an agricultural history. This was a political history and near the end of the book I found I was just counting dangling participles . . . there were glimmerings of interesting material . . . and it just didn't measure up to my expectations! (I had just finished the History of Salt - which I enjoyed immensely, and this was a real let-down!)
The echo in this recording makes it impossible to hear and/or decipher what is being said. A real disappointment!
The actually interesting part of this book is buried in tons of statistical information - most of which has nothing to do with thought processing. In the 24 + hours of listening, I appreciated about 3 hours of content - only finishing the book because of the excellent narration! Patrick Egan is an amazing narrator!
This book was supposed to be about a group of women who survived under the horrible French occupation in WWII - and how it impacted their lives. It would better be described as a detailed history of the gruesome lives that men and women lived during this time in French history. On top of this is the falsetto voice of the narrator. She may be good at elocution - but she is miserable to listen to! (sorry about the dangling participle!)
What looked like an interesting book turned out to be a scare-mongering blast on "frankenfoods" and an exploration of the merits of cannabis. I was glad when the book was done!
What I expected: a glimpse into the man we call Abraham Lincoln.
What I got: a blow by blow descripton of the politics and battles of the day during Lincoln's political career. There were rare glimpses into the human side of Lincoln - and they were frustratingly short and far between.
The narrator, however did a supurb job of creating changes in voices and in keeping an otherwise l-o-n-g story engaging. Overall, I'm glad I read it to the end. And it was a very l-o-n-g book.
This book is well researched and written. The author is a genuine authority on this phenomenon - and understands it well enough to explain it to his proverbial grandmother. On the other hand, is a very difficult read. It's simply difficult to hear about the mental machinations of people in our society who simply do not have the ability to empathize or accept responsibility for their actions.
It is also reassuring for anyone who has ever had contact with a psychopath. As difficult as it is, it is also reassuring to know that our experience has been understood by the professionals who have chosen to expose this disorder for what it is. Unfortunately, too many professionals fall into the veneer of charm trap - and miss the underlying chaos and disorder within this dreaded disorder.
I don't usually read fiction. This book was recommended by a friend, and I'm glad I got it. The narrator does an excellent job developing the characters. The story was compelling and satisfying. I'm glad I didn't listen to some of the reviewers who did not enjoy it.
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