I don't agree with some of the reviews saying this was a terrible audio book. If you don't intend to read the books, and just listen to them, as I do, there is nothing wrong with this book. I enjoyed just as thoroughly as I did Ender's Game. Of course I'd love the unabridged version of any book, but this was a great story--it was very fun learning about Bean's story and a good prelude to the next book. I also had no problems hearing the recording.
I've had a hard time liking John Grisham's latest works. Most have been too long and depressing. This looked like it could be fun - I visited Italy for the first time recently. The problem with this book is the main character is completely unlikeable and boring. I kept waiting for him to change or mature or get some kind of revelation but it never happened. He's a shallow uninteresting jock.
I don't think the narrator helped much either becuase he voiced him as whinny and bored. He never shows an ounce of animation, even when talking about football.
It could have worked as a travel log since he travels all around with his bossy girlfriend (no iteresting character there) but most of those portions are centered on him complaining about the trip. The food descriptions are the only good thing about the book. Food in Italy is wonderful! I did like some of the Italian characters. The book would have been better focusing on them - they were a lot of fun.
In comparison, I just listened to a Stephen King book. I really do not like horror, but Grisham could take a lesson from King on how to create a character whom, though very flawed, you end up loving deeply.
I'm the kind of person who has to watch a movie to the very end, even if it's not very good. So I stuck with this and listenend to all the books. Like almost everyone who has reviewed this series, I hated the change in narrator. And even though the David Colacci ended up narrating most of the series, I never got used to him nor liked the different accents he gave the different groups.
But the story is enjoyable, if not earthshaking, and I don't regret listening to the series. This final book ties up everyone's stories is a satisfying way.
I really enjoyed this book with its well-written characters, glimpse into the beginnings of forensic science, interesting time period, and very entertaining story. The main characters were extremely likeable and unique. I haven't read or heard anything quite like this. It was a bit unnecessarily graphic at times. I would love to see a sequel.
The words in my title describe the different ways I felt about the book as I listened to it. It was not at all what I expected. I liked the beginning more than other reviewers seem to. I loved the nerdy group of boys.
Later, as you see how troubled they all are, it broke my heart. I don't know if this is an accurate portrayal of kids in school Ireland, but it was hard, as a mother, to read and I was going to lower my rating since I was expecting a pretty lighthearted book.
But like the other reviewers have written: If you're going to listen to this, commit to stay until the end. There is so much sweetness and redemption, it made the painful parts worthwhile.
The narration is excellent. I thought the Italian accent of Mario a bit much, though.
I enjoyed The Hunger Games, although not as much as everyone else apparently. But as the series went on, I just found it less and less credible. I could never buy in to this girl being such a motivating factor or a fighter. I totally could not buy into shooting down helicopters with bows and arrows!
I think the writing dipped into a teen-level in the last two series. I often enjoy reading teen books if they are well written (e.g. Harry Potter, Sharon Creech) but the writing just was not that good.
I did enjoy hearing the author talk about how she came up with the idea. It made it a little less disturbing.
I love these books! I love the characters, I love their names, I love the narrator, and I love the poignant stories. If you are just getting interested in this series, maybe from watching the excellent HBO series, then start at the beginning and keep on going. You won't be disappointed. This book is one of my favorites.
I really wanted to like this book. I liked the characters a lot. I liked the narrator. I liked the beginning, I liked the end. It was just everything in between that I hated. It was so boring! I just could care less about all the mercenary stuff. What a waste of interesting characters. I won't be listening to any more of this series.
The description of this book, given by Audible, gives no hint of what a wonderful book this is. It is told from the viewpoint of a girl who is the youngest of 12 children and who adores her older brother, Laddie. The book is a wonderful portrait of an amazing family full of love and integrity. It is also a love story and a mystery. It beautifully describes farm life in the early 1900s. I have read this book over and over, and shared it with many people. My only complaint is with the woman who reads the book. While she is an excellent reader and does the women's voices really well, when she is reading "Little Sister's" lines she sounds like she is reading to three-year olds. It is way too cutsy and detracts from the story. And for some reason, whenever she reads a man's lines, especially the younger brother, she sounds like Donald Duck. She uses this really weird voice for all the men. It is really anoying. Even though this is told from a child's viewpoint, it really isn't a children's book. I think I read it first when I was 11 or 12 - and that's about the age it would take to really get all the nuances in the book. If you have an older brother you love, you will enjoy this book!
I usually love John Grisham. I have read or listened to every one of his books. But the last two, while written as well as any of his others, have just been too depressing for me to finish. I have to admit that I skipped to the end of this one to find out what happened before investing any more of my time. I don't have to have Pollyanna endings, but I need at least a little satisfaction.
If you saw the movie first and liked it (which I did), you probably won't like this Audio Book. I've noted the other reviewers either liked or hated the narrator. I hated the narrator. Compared to the humor and portrayal of Will Smith, this guy is a terrible "actor!" His expressions of anger were incredibly bad. But the story was interesting in its differences from the movie. I didn't even realize the creatures were supposed to be vampires. The book really does emphasize all the vampire legends. So if, like me, you are not really into vampires, that aspect isn't as good as the movie either. I hoped to get some insight into the story and the mysteries left by the movie, but the narration just got in the way too much, and the stories were just too different.
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