I have listened to a great many audiobooks by various authors, including this one. While "The Historian" was interresting, this book was not at all. The main character is mundanely obsesessed with a boring artist, who has an even more boring obsession with an historical figure who's significance is scant. The author uses too many descriptives to detail minute by minute what the reader surmises in the first few encounters with each character. There is no exciting revelation at the end to make up for her wordy drudgery. It's one of the few books that I found a complete waste and I'm sorry to have purchased it. I try to find some redeeming aspect in every book, but this one was almost impossible to finish listening to. Listener beware.
Think Steam-punk-Sherlock meets Aldus Huxley's a Brave New World with a little bit of Star Trek. Maybe it would have been fascinating if I'd known more about Victorian England's history and politics. I'd like to think that there were more than a few tongue-in-cheek references to things that I as a relatively un-worldly American just wouldn't understand...that's what it felt like listening to this; like some joke was floating just above my reach.
But take this review with a pinch of salt...I wasn't able to finish listening to this one, despite numerous starts and one re-start, which I rarely waste time on.
The narrator's voice kept pulling me back though. He was phenomenal...seriously.
Everyone knows someone like this; the guy with a no-holds-barred attitude towards rearing children. I've even met a few well educated people with as foul or fouler mouths than that of the author's father. It's the little tidbits of wisdom that come through hysterically. You think to yourself,"Exactly! I couldn't have put it better myself, " several times.
My two complaints are that the father's voice sounds like it comes from Brooklyn instead of the Midwest and that it was so short.
This book was so amazing, I immediately bought the whole series...including the ones I had to order from the UK in paper form in order to get a n English translation. I eagerly devoured them all and then, while looking for more books that might be translated soon, I did some research on this man.
Hes world renowned! I felt like s some dumb American, not having heard of him before. I guess I'm not the only one though, because the American press is publishing his books with these ridiculous pink and red stickers on the front that say, "The Next Steig Larsson." Steig Larsson was the author of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, that I loved, however, it turns out that Jo Nesbo, pronounced Yo Nez-bah, has been writing his novels and winning awards for years before Mr. Larsson ever picked up his proverbial pen. Hes considered Norway's best writer all around and Scandinavia's best mystery writer and one of Europe's best thriller writers.
Having read all of his books that are currently translated...I know exactly why.
Try this book, trust me...it's good.
Maybe I'm not understanding the trend in mystery towards romance, but I just don't see what the protagonists relationship with her FBI boyfriend had to do with the story line at all except as a way of interjecting sex into every chapter. One would think that such a person in the story would be able to figure out a way to either help his new girlfriend out of her predicaments, or remain mysterious and shadowy while really pulling the strings behind the scenes. But no, hes just window dressing for intimacy, commitment issues and middle aged thigh clenching (yuch) that get in the way of what could actually be a great story line and well loved characters.
I think this author will soon outgrow her genre and actually write something thought provoking. I could tell it was there under a surface of Dolce and Gabana, Hollywood-isms and vapid man-rating.
They've completely taken all the Shakespeare out of Macbeth. Without the beautiful poetry, the story is not a tragedy but a dreary retelling of Scottish history. The only redeeming factors, and they really steal the whole show, are the three witches.
If one were to take the beautiful singing out of an opera one would only be left with a bad story line. Shakespeare was a poet, not a novelist, therefore it goes without saying that his subject matter would need a ton of research, character development, and a few well placed narratives that evoked famous speeches.
I think that the authors did their best with a bad subject, really. And that's saying something, because David Hewson is one of the best authors writing today. You have to really love Macbeth to get this one. Its not a read for the average person looking for a little culture in their day.
Alan Cumming, however was superb...as always. A true artist.
This book brought me to tears repeatedly. I cried from sadness, shame, pity, love, beauty and happiness. I never cry.
I'm glad that I listened to this book. I feel changed for the better because I took the time out of my busy life to contemplate; and that is what I think was the authors purpose, but I would never want to experience it again. This story is so heavy, heady, and well written that its like therapy for the soul. It was a cathartic read.
Such a simple idea...looking for ones ancestors, making a family tree. It never occurred to me that for families of the victims of the holocaust, there is probably no website to look up ones great uncle or library to fill in the family Bible. That thought alone is so deep and sad and poignant that to make it the subject of a novel would seem a deliberate effort to write darkly unpalatable prose that wallows in grief and threatens to drown the reader in the futile efforts of man to reconcile the past. However, the clownish somewhat slapstick buffoonery of our authors second protagonist, and his grammar errors especially, are so unexpected that, I for one, repeatedly laughed out loud, making perfect strangers stare and or ask what I was listening to. There is more here than sadness and loss and hilarity. This book contains a perfect love story or two.
Its the authors style I cannot do justice to. Its just...unusual, its fun. I cant tell if the book is written like a Yiddish narrative, passed from grandmother to child, or if the story's disjointed skips from time to time, emotion to opposite emotion, story line to alternate story line, is just the authors way of writing. Either way, it was pure art.
What were to happen if an artists muse were to really come alive? What if the passion for art was a physical need, like a drug addiction. What if the drug was a single color and its pusher were a being as old as time? The premise is fascinating, even without such colorful (pun intended) characters as La Trec, Renoir, and Van Gogh. Set the whole thing in the modernist renaissance, et voila! A masterpiece.
I truly loved this story.
Originally, while listening to Charlotte Rogans telling of this harrowing experience, I was looking for clues to a mystery. Sometimes one doesn't even know the victims name until act two, right? Then I was caught up in the suspense of the court trial of the survivors. Finally, I just gave in and began to fully pay attention to the drama unfolding inside this woman. Forced to reevaluate everything, including how she got into that lifeboat in the first place, our lead character finds that she can be as ruthless and ambitious as she needs to be to survive, and that those characteristics, while they may save her life do not make her the woman she has always dreamed of being. As others realize this too, so does the reader...she doesn't get it until after the survivors of the large boat are rescued and she is forced to recall everything for her trial.
Harlan Coben has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, but I never got into the whole sports thing. His sense of humor more than made up for it though. Now, hes lost the sports, but unfortunately hes also lost the sense of humor.
If you can keep from comparing this books to his others, which for me was difficult, you can enjoy this amazing story with its new protagonist, a brooding teenager with a troubled past and a mysterious future. If you cant keep from comparing the Bolitars...at least hes kept the intrigue in the family, and it was always a great one!
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