I do indeed. Richard Morant passed away all too young, and this must be one of his last recordings. It is beautifully read.
The way in which the narrator's memory was questioned was the most interesting, but my relatively low rating was also due to how this played out, so in a sense it was also the least interesting. I will not put a spoiler out there, but there was something too conventional about the ending that bothered me.
I loved the recanting of the school days, and in particular the scenes involving the history teacher.
The mother of his former girlfriend. She seemed the most interesting of the lot.
I thought it would be better, Booker prize and all, but was a little disappointed by the conventionality of the unfolding. It is very, very well-written though, so it is truly a strong 3 out of 5 for the story.
Sparks: never unless I was totally convinced that this book was the exception, not the rule.Lowman: definitely. She reads in a pleasant voice, and she is good with the dialects (as far as my Swedish ear can tell, that is). Not her fault that the book is so bad.
No, she was excellent.
Yes, the basic story of trying to get (and stay) away from an abusing husband was indeed thrilling at times.
(Well, I guess this is the review part.) It is sad to see how such a promising story is made so totally conventional and boring. The thriller parts are ok, and for natural reasons you really feel for the protagonist, but the author does not create any spark in the "Safe Haven" love story whatsoever. And even more serious, he does not *show* us what everyone is feeling and thinking, only constantly *telling* us. While that works reasonably ok for getting inside the (disturbed) mind of the abusive husband, it makes for a very one-dimensional novel. The name does not help, I see no Sparks here.
The paper thin characters were all so conventional as well, like they were all rounded up from a Lassie movie from the 50s. Granted, the protagonist does a lot of the action stunts herself, but the values leaping off the pages are all about family values, adoring girls and strong men, and it is hard to realise that this is a bestseller from today rather than from another era.The conventionality extended to the plot as well. While we did not know the exact details (would it be Colonel Mustard using the Candlestick in the Library, or...?), the plot was so predicable. **Spoiler warning, pass to next paragraph if you want to be kept in the dark until you figure it out yourself.*** You have to be totally clueless even for the supernatural twist, although it looks as if it is supposed to be a surprise. (Not to mention how totally unnecessary to the story it is.)
The film Sleeping with the Enemy, although being from the early 90s, was so much less conventional, and more thrilling. And it featured Julia Roberts. Not perfect in any way shape or form, you should pick it up any time before enduring this syrup of a tale. Too bad, since the theme is no doubt a very serious one.
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