This was a very enjoyable, old-fashioned kind of gothic mystery. The story was complex and the characters were fun.
Mystery, romance and history. A grand estate, a crumbling cottage, an abandoned garden. An authoress, a changeling, a grieving woman trying to move on. This book is full of poignancy and grace. Completely absorbing, beautifully visual and perfectly narrated, this was indeed one of the best books I've read this year, and has made me a slavish devotee of Kate Morton. Absolutely loved it and can't wait to read another of her books!
This short adventure story from the golden age of fiction is the type of tale for which the phrase "ripping good yarn" was first coined. Performed like a radio play (multiple performers, background sound effects) and reflecting social views far ahead of its time, this story was an absolutely pleasurable way to pass a few hours.
First, a warning: this book contains more naughty language and downright profane sentiment than any book I've read in a long, long time - maybe ever! If you're familiar with Kevin Smith's work, then you're already acclimated to the language. If you're new to the "View Askewniverse," proceed at your own risk. ;-)
That being said, I'm a huge fan of Kevin Smith. I love his gift for dialogue and characterization, his talent for giving a sparkle to minutiae, and the sweet heart that beats behind an undeniably dirty mouth. Most of all, I love the fact that he is an ordinary guy who's made it big by making art. This book was just as touching, inspiring and hilarious as a fangirl could've wished. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"As much as you want to walk your own path you're terrified of standing apart. Because the pack offers security, normalcy, convenience, protection and identity. So here's the tough sh*t: security, normalcy, convenience, protection and identity? They're opiates you've got to wean yourself off before you can be an individual. You can't stand out if you're blending in."
"In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in life."
"If you're alive, kick into drive. Chase whimsies. See if you can turn dreams into a way to make a living, if not an entire way of life."
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Any fan of Smith will enjoy this book. Those who aren't fans will likely find themselves entertained and inspired. I'll definitely be reading this one again.
This short story reminded me of an episode of Tales from the Crypt (without the paranormal element). Kind of a noirish "Sons of Anarchy meets Body Heat." It was a fun read. I'll look for more from this author.
It's virtually impossible to give this book the review it deserves without providing rampant spoilers. So I'll just say that I listened to the first hour believing (foolishly) that I knew where the story was headed, that I knew whodunnit and why. And I ended up listening to the last fifteen minutes with my mouth hanging open, catching flies and not caring, because the truth was much more shocking, much more tragic, than I would ever have let myself believe.
This is a truly great literary mystery. Written with poetical prose, it lyrically reveals people in both their most debased and noblest lights. Thomas H. Cook is now officially on my "must-read" list, and I will definitely look for more titles narrated by George Guidall.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
In Kenner County, Colorado, there are secrets everywhere: Who is the father of Officer Sabrina Martinez's son? Who is stalking her, and why? And who killed an FBI agent and dumped her body in the middle of nowhwere?
With a great love story, realistic characters and several fascinating mysteries, this was a very enjoyable listen. But be forewarned: it's the first book in the Kenner County series, and not all of the mysteries are solved! I'm going to hunt up the next book right now....
Probably the best thing I can say about This Time Together is this: I stopped reading for two days, right before the end, because I didn't want it to be over.
Like many people, I grew up watching The Carol Burnett Show, and I still count many moments of that show as some of the funniest I've ever seen on television. How many TV programs make you laugh 'til you're breathless? Hers managed to do that all the time. This memoir was pretty much as perfect as any fan could hope. It was as if Carol were sitting next to you at dinner, telling you all of these wonderful stories.
There are stories to make you laugh: Tim Conway "hiding" from Cary Grant; Carol getting fired from her first job because she didn't want someone's experience of seeing Strangers on a Train to be ruined; Carol becoming an accidental penpal of Joan Crawford.
There are stories to make you cry: the little girl stricken with cancer, who forms an unexpected and important bond with Carol; Carol's daughter Jody meeting Ray Charles, the love of her life; the death of Carol's daughter Carrie.
And there are stories to inspire: how Carol and her friends put on a show and started their own careers (seriously, it was just like a Mickey and Judy movie!); Carol's landmark lawsuit against a tabloid (the first time a celebrity had sued a tabloid and won); and my favorite: the time that Carol summoned the energy of Barbara Stanwyck and other tough lades so she could "fire" Harvey Corman.
If you've ever been a fan of Carol Burnett and her impressive, funny, wonderful performances, check this one out. You won't be disappointed.
Nicholas is a wonderful character: brash and hot-headed, he often gets himself in trouble. But his courage, unerring loyalty and faultless goodness always get him out again. Like all of Dickens' books, this one contains an unforgettable array of characters, including great villains such as Ralph Nickleby (a foreshadow of Ebenezer Scrooge), Wackford Squeers and Sir Mulberry Hawk; as well as the hilarious, outrageous, flamboyant, foul-mouthed Mr. Mantalini. Simon Vance's performance was compelling; each character was rendered perfectly. I adored this audiobook and will listen again!
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