I just couldn't relate to the characters, including the protagonist. Not only were the characters under developed, but what we do get from them makes them unlikeable. I couldn't root for anyone so it made the dragged out ending with it's forced twists that much more unsatisfying. This is the first book I've read of Michael Connelly, and if this is indicative of his overall work I think I'll pass on future titles. Last, the narrator did this book no favors.
First, I want to thank the previous reviewers for recommending this book. Like others, I was turned off by the cover, and quite frankly, even the book summary doesn't do it justice.
This is a well-written, action-packed thriller. Yes - thriller - not horror. When you hear zombies, one automatically puts the novel in the horror genre, but that would not be accurate. This novel would be at home with some of the best suspense novels. The characters are well-developed given the short time frame in which the story takes place, and I instantly liked the protagonist. The story kept my interest throughout, but I must say, it was absolutely elevated by Ray Porter's narration. I'm not sure I would have it enjoyed it as much if I had read it, which is a rare statement for me.
I have downloaded several John Saul novels, and have come to the conclusion that most of his works are average, but when he's at his best he rivals Steven King. This is John Saul at his best. It took a little while for me to warm up to the characters, but soon I was on the edge of my seat. This is not demonic or filled with gore. Instead, it is a psychological thriller that ask you to see the world through the eyes of highly intelligent children who are largely outcasts, and there need to be a part of something - even something more sinister than you can imagine. The narrator, J. Charles, does an excellent job of bringing these characters to life.
Few novels can effectively keep me on my toes. I pride myself on figuring out the end, usually within the first few minutes of a movie or the first few chapters of a book. Well, this book fooled me good. The main characters, Nick and Amy Dunn, are well-crafted, emotionally complex characters that rope you quickly into their doomed marriage. You will find yourself quickly taking sides, but the payoff to the reader is the discovery that the "right side", like real life, is not always so black and white. Not much more I can say without giving away too much of the plot. I will say, in an effort to keep the reader surprised, Gillian Flynn, may have painted herself into an "evidentiary corner". Again, my penchance for the analytical, left me poking holes in the case that quickly mounted against Nick once Amy was found missing. However, if you allow yourself to suspend disbelief just a little, you can sink into a novel in which there is never a dull moment. Instead, as each new chapter unfolds, a another bombshell is revealed. Finally, Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne do an excellent job of portraying the anger, hurt, frustration, humor and madness that make-up the substance of this couple. "Gone Girl" is a bumpy ride, but what a trip it is!
After such a great start, the ending left me with one question: What happened?
The bulk of the story is infused with supernatural suspense that is bafflingly cast aside by the end so if you're expecting a creepy, supernatural thriller, this will ultimately not prove very satisfying. In summary the first two thirds of the book gets 4 stars, the last third gets 1 star. If only I had quit while I was ahead.
I usually enjoy James Patterson, but this has to rank among his most dull. The protagonist never develops past a steryotype of the grieving dad, and I found all of the characters a bit annoying. What took this book down a substantial bit is the narration. It is the worst! While the story is set in Sweden, Katherin Kellgren, the female narrator of much of the book, sounds like she is channeling Miss Cleo. I don't know why she chose this Jamaican accent but everytime she speaks, it takes me out of the story.
I recommend skipping this one in favor of better James Patterson works, such as Double Cross.
Kathryn Stockett deftly blends humor and sadness, humanity and inhumanity to illuminate the tenuous relationship between African American maids and their white employers. This audiobook is well read and I'm thrilled that the excellent Octavia Spencer has also found a part in the movie adaptation. All of the ladies do a wonderful job of infusing the characters with an emotional depth that tends to be lacking in a lot of audiobooks. Let me add, I'm not one that reads a lot of historical fiction; instead I prefer thrillers. Also, as an African American woman I was concerned that the ugly parts would be whitewashed in favor of a more genteel version of the South. Nevertheless, upon seeing the high reviews on this site, I decided to give it a try. I hope anyone reading this will take the same leap that I did because it is well worth it.
I am an avid reader and listen to a lot of audiobooks because of my long commutes. There are very few that I would recommend as highly as this one. The opening was a little slow but once the reader is ushered into Shutter Island,the narrative moves at a quick pace, taking you on a psychological thrill ride that keeps you guessing. The narrator does a great job of illuminating the characters. This is not a typical predictable read!
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