I highly recommend this book. It is full of wisdom, anecdotes and teachings on how to exist peacefully in an imperfect world. Martin Sheen's voice somehow perfectly fits with the visual image of the Dalai Lama and gives his words both the weight and the wittiness this holy man is known for delivering. Understanding he is a leader who cannot return to his own home due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet gives his call for living with empathy for all, especially your enemies, a sense of spiritual truth. This is not heavy philosophy, but practical advice that can be immediately incorporated into everyday living.
Let me start by saying that I am a big Evanovich and Plum fan. I have read all of her books and will probably continue to do so. However, the last few books seem to have too much wackiness. I love her crazy characters and very plot driven style. Lately though, the stories seem more predictable and the characters less lovable. This book isn't going to change that trend. Stephanie has gone from cutely incapable to seriously incompetent and the love triangle has moved from steamy and romantic to sort of slutty, not something the earlier Stephanie would have approved of. Let's say this one isn't long on plot lines, but there are still "laugh out loud" moments.
The performance was horribly distracting and took away from my enjoyment. The voices the performer used just didn't fit the characters for me. Perhaps after reading 17 other Plum novels, I had preconceived notions of what Lula, Morelli and Grandma Mazur should sound like. This reading, while certainly performed by a talented reader, just wasn't my cup of cappuccino.
Overall, I think I'd buy this as a loyal Plum fan, but if you are new to the series, start with an earlier number!
The story is only okay and seems a bit cookie cutter. There are a lot of alluded to sexual escapades, and Hollywood attitudes (looks are everything, relationships are based on sex and gaining power, actors are flaky, etc.) run rampant. As a mid-westerner who loves a great plot driven by action and believable characters, this book left me wishing there had been a bit more to the people and the story, but if you want something simply entertaining and enjoyable without much depth, then you'll love it.
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