I could listen to Stephen Fry narrate a set of Ikea instructions, so it is not a surprise that his delivery and pace are just perfect here. He is able to change his voice very very subtly to convey information about each character - a slight accent for the character Michael, for example, and a slight softening for Jane. His narration makes the quite unlikeable Ted, quite loveable by the end.
I loved the character development and the way the story moved along. It is quite slow and the beginning as we are told about Ted's mission. However this allows us to get to know Ted well. In the beginning his profanity and sexism are quite shocking and seem very dated. However by the middle of the book the swearing seems as much a part of him as breathing. The book downloaded into 2 parts and they felt like very different books. The first set the scene and the second contains all the action. The ending was a complete surprise to me. I also like the insights that Ted gives about art and poetry and his own disappointment in his fading creativity.
I listened to his biography.
Michael. He is a true modern entrepreneur but his past and early life make him quite mysterious.
If you can get past the profanity and, of course, the sexual references, you are in for a treat. Ted turns out to be very sweet, sensitive and shrewd. The novel leaves the reader with lots to think about.
Creepy. Suspenseful. Atmospheric.
It reminded me a little of the Donna Leon series. Inspector Harry Nelson reminded me of Leon's Brunetti - both a little out of shape, gruff, brusque but deep thinkers. This novel had the same strong sense of place - not Venice obviously, but it makes you feel as though you really know the area of the east coast of England where the story is set.
Yes I did - I gasped out loud at the ending.
Wonderfully creepy and mysterious. I listened to most of this book hiking or driving in bright California sunshine. I still felt as though I was stumbling about on a mud flat in the dark as the unseen riptide roared close by.
The narrator conveys a delightful sense of the unlikely relationship between a dragon and a boy. As in all the best kid's stories the grown ups come across as clueless and the bigger bullying boys as morons. Although the listener knows a happy ending is inevitable, there are still some twists and turns, battles and obstacles that keep the story moving. Above all - it is funny. My 10 year old turned up his nose and said the story was too young for him and then listened agog all the way through.
His natural Scottish accent! He moderates it to adapt to all the characters and his stuttering Toothless the dragon is just adorable.
Laugh. A lot.
Worth it just for David Tennant. And the dragon-potty-training scene!
The narration. Kathleen Wilhoite adjusts her voice subtly to project the individuality of all the characters - Bee's Dad, the annoying admin, Bernadette, even the bureacratic psychiatrist. In a book that is full of great dialogue, the narrator made it easy to know exactly who was talking at any time - without having to rewind and check. Her narration created the characters for me and made me want to know what would happen to them.
It has to be the daughter Bee. She is fiercely protective of her mother and at the same time yearning to explore the world. She is smart, funny and insightful even in the middle of a crisis. When no one else believes that her Mother is still alive - Bee stands by her and commits everything to finding her. She ignores the obvious faults of her mother's personality and just revels in her Mother's company.
The book made me laugh all the time. Bernadette's withering assessments of the "nats" are worth reading this book alone. The emails between her and her virtual assistant are delightful. I don't think I cried but I was very moved by Bee's commitment to her Mother and need to find her.
Probably the best audiobook I have read. Often, because I listen to short bursts in the car it is hard to keep up with all the strands of a plot and the characters. The narration made all the voices distinctive.
I loved the narrative voice. The author describes his characters so clearly that you can picture every wrinkle and every pore. His descriptions of London and life within MI5 seemed very real. I wanted to be in that world visiting pubs, strolling around London and the Brighton seafront.
I loved the intrigue and the fact that the ending surprised me. The heroine is being deceitful but I could imagine making the same choices. To me, it was word perfect. No words were wasted and every one was needed. The letter ending the book is just the most beautiful piece of prose.
No. I want to hear more of her audiobooks.
Max. He is not in the story that much but you can feel his influence and presence throughout.
One of the best books I have read in a long time. Only books like Cutting for Stone or The Secret History come close to such evocative descriptions and compelling characters.
Yes. The whole story is creative, funny and mysterious. The characters are interesting and quirky.
The Sisters Grimm
Raised by wolves or raised as prey?
Difficult to say - we only got 30 minutes into it and were all bored.
The performances just did not build empathy with the characters or any interest in finding out what would happen to them.
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