...to the excellent quality of the reviews that have already been written here about Age Of Miracles. Like others have commented, YA is not my usual genre, and if this book had not been marketed as speculative fiction, I would surely have missed it.
I'm very glad that I did not. Seeing the changing world through young Julia's eyes is quite remarkable, and the author maintains a rhythm and a style (throughout nearly all of the book) that is both consistent and powerful. "Of course," I eventually thought, "this is exactly the way it would happen. People would continue to live their lives, fall in love, argue with family members, interact with their pets, make plans, have dreams of the future." This simple and pure quality is what distinguishes The Age of Miracles from other dystopian fiction I have read, and it takes the voice of a child on the brink of adulthood to convey it.
I also agree, however, that the ending is abrupt, and damages the otherwise smooth flow of the novel. I'm not sure what else there was to say, but the transition of years could have been more artful, and I am surprised that her editors did not insist on it.
While this is not always the case, I am quite certain that I would not have enjoyed this book as much in print. Emily Janice Card takes on a challenging task and does it flawlessly. She is apparently in synch with the author's intentions and does not distort the characters with her own interpretations. I sometimes think that the worst readers sit down with a book, completely unfamiliar with it and its intentions, signal for the mike to go live, and start to read. Clearly, Ms. Card understood this book before she began, and it is a masterful performance.
To those of you who are undecided about spending a credit for this book, I urge you to do so. I seldom just sit and listen to a book, preferring to let the book accompany me as I do dishes, clean house, or paint. I sat and listened to this book until it was finished. I will not forget it soon.
after my friends kept persuading me to read it. People loaned me copies and people gave me copies, and I just could not get into the book. I gave up after a few chapters several times. I finally reasoned that I might get more out of the book if I listened to it, and noting that it was read by the notable Anna Fields, I gave in.
Yes, the narration was spot on. The plot was,,,,slow to develop. I did finish the book, and noted two technical glitches where a few paragraphs are repeated. I know there is something here for me to learn, and I am simply not sure if I learned it. I thoroughly enjoyed State of Wonder, but this book, despite the acclaim it received, left me, if not cold, a bit lukewarm.
I agree with some of the previous reviewers about Ms. Sterlin's very poor rendition of Sherlock Holmes. It really riuned the experience for me. I did enjoy the book, however, and am delighted to have found a new series, which I will now pursue in print, rather than audible form.
...for such an expertly crafted novel. I became so caught up in this novel, with the absolutely perfect narration, that I actually became unaware of the careful manner in which Ms. Flynn was leading the plot to its surprising conclusion. It's like watching a very fine movie and forgetting that the characters are actors, and it may be the best compliment that can be paid to a novelist. I ordered this book after finishing Gone Girl. Both books are unique in that the author is not begging for you to like the characters; she is just telling an unusual and complex story in each case, and telling it so well that it does not matter that the characters in both books are not especially likeable. It's a bold move for an author and Ms. Flynn is exceptionally talented. I look forward to reading more of her books.
This is the third installment in the Walt Longmire mystery series, and the first two take place in his rural Absaroka County, Wyoming, which is described in loving and lyrical detail. Kindness Goes Unpunished is set entirely in Philadelphia, where Walt's daughter Cady practices law. Walt sets out with his good friend Henry Standing Bear, who is mounting an exhibit of his historical photos in a museum there. Accompanied by Dog, the two men drive across country in Henry's vintage Cadillac, and they encounter much more than expected.
Having enjoyed the first two books (and especially George Guidall's narration), I seem to be hooked on this series. Number three does not disappoint. The same cast of characters is present, although some by long distance, and Johnson weaves Indian lore throughout, as well. The book ends somewhat ambiguously, creating an urge to order the next in the series ASAP, which I have, of course, done. Don't skip this one - it is an important part of Sheriff Walt Longmire's overall journey.
Having learned that "Charles Todd" is actually a mother-son writing team, I can only surmise that their communication regarding the writing of this book slipped a cog now and then.
I am a big fan of the Inspector Ian Rutledge series, and the novels are usually tightly plotted and have a pleasant rhythm to them, which is carried out superbly by the voice of Simon Prebble. This book, however, could not seem to decide where it was going. Poor Rutledge must have put thousands of kilometers on his car, driving all over Southern England and back to London over and over, as he sought to solve two (three? four? five?) completely unrelated cases. I kept looking at the time remaining on my iPod and wondering when it was going to be finally over.
Diehard fans will, nonetheless, probably want to read this book, if for no other reason than to track the events in Rutledge's life, as there are some notable events in this book. Just don't expect the usual well-written story - it is tolerable, but not up to the usual Charles Todd standard.
If this book does not make you smile, your heart has irrevocably hardened. Major Pettigrew begins as a caricature and ends up as a genuine and likeable human being. This story of British manners, class, culture and redemption brings with it a diverse and fascinating cast of characters, and it is hard to believe that this is Helen Simonson's first novel. Major Pettigrew is 68, has been widowed, and lives alone in his comfortable cottage in a comfortable village with a comfortable group of friends. He slowly recognizes that he has more life to live, and he begins to ponder how he will spend it.
Enter Mrs. Ali, a Pakistani woman who owns the local shop. She helps Major Pettigrew look at the world in a different way and the outcome is funny, a bit suspenseful and completely heartwarming. Sometimes I regret the hours I have spent listening to an unsatisfying book (for I, too, am 68 years old), but every minute of this book was a pleasure. It has a rhythm to it that is comforting, and the narrator, while showing a slight speech impediment, clearly enjoyed the book as much as I.
I only regret that Ms. Simonson has not yet finished her next book. I await it with relish.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. It is an intense and sometimes very uncomfortable 15+ hour journey. Mr. Ellory has a remarkable gift for story-telling and Mark Bramhall is, without question, the best possible person to tell his story.
If you are feeling emotionally fragile, you would surely be better off to avoid this book, at least until you are feeling stronger. The protagonist encounters one gut-wrenching catastrophe after another, and finally utters the reader's inevitable question, “Why has all of this happened to me?”
As a previous reviewer suggested, the book is repetitious. It could certainly benefit from a good editor, although Ellory may be (somewhat less than artfully) using a fugue, a powerful literary device that allows the author to continually reassert the important themes of the book. It is also undisciplined and unnecessarily verbose.
Having said that, Mr. Ellory does a genuinely outstanding job of capturing the rural culture of the southern US, all the more amazing since he is an Englishman. I am glad that I listened to this book, primarily to make the acquaintance of Mark Bramhall, who is one of the very best narrators I have ever heard. I don't, however, agree with Michael Connelly and James Patterson that this is a “beautiful” book. I always question the motivations of authors who review other authors' works, so I tend to discount them, anyway. There are moments of beauty, to be sure, but much of this book is unrelentingly grim, relieved only by the soothing rhythms of Mark Bramhall's voice.
If you have the patience and fortitude to endure a long and heartbreaking journey with a tiny light at the end of the tunnel, by all means, embark. But you are forewarned: the final reward is somewhat meager.
I bought this book because it beat out many of my favorites to win the annual audiobook tournament, so I expected to enjoy it. I am always willing to suspend my disbelief for a good yarn, but this author simply asks too much. Vanessa Michael Monroe's character is never fully developed, and despite her stellar talents and complicated past, she is simply not very likeable. What drives her? A female Jack Reacher she is not. Reacher is motivated by a deep internal ethic. Monroe seems mostly motivated by money and individual power and achievement.
This book could have been a very different listen with a different reader. Listen carefully to the words and imagine them as written. The reader's flat, ironic, breathy voice is, to me, an unwelcome presence in the book. I can see that Hilary Huber has a long list of audio performances. I will avoid all of them.
I understand that we all have different tastes in books, and I applaud our diversity as a group of listeners. Perhaps I should have read more of the reviews before I impulsively spent a credit. I'll be more careful in the future.
I do grow impatient with Isabel on occasion, as she natters on about the right and wrong of a situation, but in this book, she does confront a number of thorny issues involving "real" people instead of hypothetical ones. It is a fitting denouement to the series, if Mr. McCall Smith chooses the end it here, but I sincerely hope he will not, as I have grown so fond of Isabel, Jamie, Charlie and Grace, and hope to learn what happens next in their charmed lives.
These books are not great literature, nor are they "mysteries" in any sense.They should definitely be read in order. I doubt if this book would make any sense to someone who has not read the previous novels. In this episode, Isabel grapples with yet another ethical issue involving her nemesis, Professor Lettuce. Additionally, she seeks to assist a young woman who was given up for adoption as a baby track down her father. And, she once again faces a difficult conundrum regarding her niece, Cat.
Followers of these novels will not be disappointed in the resolution of these quandaries, and they will certainly be pleased with the ending. I deferred reading it for several months, simply because I did not want to read the last installment without an assurance that there will be more to follow. Alas, it is unclear whether McCall Smith intends further adventures for Isabel or whether he has moved on to other characters, i.e., 44 Scotland Street and The Corduroy Mansion. I can only hope that he will begin to miss her as I will, and revisit her life sometime in the near future.
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