This book was recommended by in the All-Time 100 novels. I plan to go through the list and listen to those that appeal to me - this was the first. This is an astonishing book, so skillfully written, and so satisfying in the end. Like eating a great meal, this makes a great example of the particular satisfaction of listening rather than reading!
The story concerns a young girl, very talented and precocious, but very immature in many ways. The point of view switches between several vantage points, adding depth and subtlety to the story. The third part is the one that packs the final wallop. But the other two parts are also shocking and fascinating. I can't recommend this enough.
I enjoyed this book even more than Christine Falls, but not as much as Elegy for April. Timothy Dalton is fabulous, fabulous, fabulous in bringing the characters to life. I can't imagine a better narrator.
This is a fully-realized novel, bursting with great characters who you can't wait to meet again. The other reviewers have described the story, and it's a great one. Fabulous layers of depth in the characters, diverse and real. Highly, highly recommended!
I enjoyed the different narrators in this book. The characters were well realized. It's very addictive to listen to, but the ending is implausible. I don't want to say more, for fear of spoiling it, but I did feel that the author was really stretching to find a surprise ending.
I am wondering if Alexander McCall Smith intends to revisit these characters again. Their stories are satisfying and thought-provoking, but one is left wondering what will happen to the characters in the future.
The stories are supposed to be as told by strangers on a train, yet the narrators have very similar styles. They tell their stories in much too complex a manner, with events from years ago told in great detail, with even the conversations sounding as if they just happened yesterday. In one case, conversations are recounted third hand - the narrator was not even alive at the time, and the person speaking is not her father. Yet, every word was there. I often found myself wondering - is the person actually speaking, or is this supposed to be a flashback?
Not one of his best, but still, hard to resist.
This is a book that makes you want to write one of your own, based on your childhood memories. But you could never do as well as William Kent Kreuger has done here. I was completely immersed in the Minnesota landscape, I could feel the heat and the worry, and the darkness. It's not often that I cry while listening to an audio book, but I cried many times while listening to the extraordinary work.
The only nit I would pick is that it becomes almost unbelievable that the young hero is always present (through eavesdropping, or overhearing, or circumstance) in all of the key plot developments.
Go ahead, and buy this one. It's almost perfect.
This is a good read/listen, with lots of interesting characters, and a subtle, engaging story. I don't want to say much more, for fear of spoiling the plot, but there are the complexities that we have come to expect from Donna Leon.
Donna Leon is a highly visual writer. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the artwork.
This is my first Lisa Gardner novel, and it won't be my last. While the plot has some inconsistencies, and I guessed the final twist, the entire venture is well done. The story has a heart-pounding kidnapping as the opening event, with sympathetic protagonists, and good character development. I have to say that the performance is a bit dragged out, with too much "fake" Boston accents to be entirely enjoyable.
This is a well-plotted story. It moves along in a contrived, written for the movies pace. The mind of the author is inventive, and the scenes it describes are full, and complete. The reader/listener feels part of the plot.
But perhaps I can complain about the explicit nature of some descriptions. I felt, while listening, that I was meant to enjoy this, and to feel more connected with the characters as a result, but I only felt that the author was pushing this too far, and that it was too much information,and put into the book as a hook for shock value.
Some subtlety would be welcome here. I love the characters, and would want to hear more from them.
The narrator is WONDERFUL. I had not looked to see who he was, but was blown away by the force and flow he gives to this novel. Then, I realized that this book was narrated by a famous actor, and understood.
The book itself is absorbing, evocative, grounded in the period. I enjoyed it very much. But I have to say that I found the plot slightly slipping away. The big revelation is not so big after all. One is poised for something more. And the minor characters become entirely lacking in the capacity to evoke empathy. Still, it is an excellent listen, and I would recommend.
The narrator, and author is very appealing. The idea is sound - that the 10,000 hours of practice is needed for world-class performance, but not for competence, personal satisfaction, and just good enough.
The narrator carefully points out those things that are necessary for success in a new venture - a lovable project, a plan, scheduling time for practice etc., but when he comes to give his examples, there is not the same follow-through. I finished this book feeling somehow abandoned by the author.
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