I would recommend this book to people who are interested in the study of human behavior. There are instances where the book is very dark and disturbing because the author goes to great lengths to describe torturous acts in finite detail. For that reason, I would caution readers who are looking for a light, "beach" book to stay away from this one.
The author did an excellent job of weaving all of the characters into one story with an ending that is very unexpected. There were subtle hints throughout the tale that were revealed as much more important details once the end comes into view. Although I would have added one other element to the summarizing chapter, the author chose an excellent ending!
I really enjoy Mr. Bramhall's voice interpretations of the characters. With each different inflection, he captures an essence of a person in the form of the character so that the reader can visualize him/her. It was not difficult to determine in which voice Mr. Bramhall was speaking.
Wow. I wouldn't begin to think that my literary skills are near Yann Martel's. But to answer the question, I might venture to title the book "Measure of a Man" (not to be confused with Martin Luther King, Jr. or Sidney Poitier's work). It seems to me that the taxidermist was taking stock of his entire life and trying to put it into words. A comparison, if you will, so as to "measure" the things in his past to those of the prince in the story that was referenced early on; perhaps he was seeking his own redemption through the play.
This story is excellent and I enjoyed 85 - 90% of the content. I really could have done without some of the more gruesome descriptions as I have a tender heart for people and animals. However, I also understand that none of us will never know the full extent of the atrocities that took place during the horrific historical event that is the back story for this literary work. In light of that, I am sure that what was described is a drop in the bucket to what actually happened.
Loved the story! The character comparisons between Finch and Bluebird became slightly bothersome, especially when the identical twins showed up.
I actually enjoy most of Linda Howard's books. Of all the ones I've read previously, I didn't care much for the one about the man-eating bear because it was so gruesome, but THIS one was borderline awful. The voice of the narrator sounded WAY too old to be a woman in her late twenties to early thirties... it sounded more like the mother of the main character. In addition, Ms. Howard did not make the main character very likeable. In every single chapter, she was pouting, rude, condescending and just generally got on my nerves. I found myself literally saying 'oh, shut up' out loud when Blair was griping and complaining.
The reason that I picked up this book is because the next Linda Howard book that I want to read is some sort of "follow-up" to this one. When I read the reviews of the next book, it was recommended that I read To Die For first... in my opinion, that was terrible advice. I simply suffered through this book and couldn't wait for it to be done so that I wouldn't have to listen to that voice or hear any more of Blair's little hissy fits.
In my opinion, the narrator needs to SOUND younger. I don't mind the Southern drawl (although that gets old after a couple of hours), but the cracking voice and the high pitched wails just don't sound like anyone who is supposed to be around 30. I'd be willing to bet that if you selected a different narrator, more people would enjoy the book - or at least tolerate the main character a little better.
The basic story was a good one and I enjoyed how the relationship between the two main characters developed. Ms. Howard does a great job at developing the characters so that the reader feels as if s/he actually knows the person.
I sure do hope that the next Linda Howard book is SO much better than this one... and I do not think that I will ever be able to listen to this narrator again. Sorry.
Overall, this was a good book, so the time was mostly well-spent. There are a lot of characters to keep up with and it is sometimes difficult to remember how this person knows or is related to the other person that is speaking. In addition to keeping up with a boat-load of characters, the listener is subjected to flash-backs, flash-forwards, and even sideways time jumps. The story would be better told in chronological order - starting with the Thanksgiving scene instead of ending with it.
I did NOT like the ending at all. After listening for all of those hours and anticipating how the characters would resolve some of the issues, there was really only a conclusion for one character out of a cast of 15 or so. Very, very disappointed with the ending.
Yes, I have listened to Cassandra Campbell in other audio books. She does a great job. This book had so many characters that they started to "sound" alike at some point - which isn't her fault. Cassandra is clear, concise and easy to understand.
No, this book would NOT make a good movie because people want an ending that makes sense. People want finality, or at least the knowledge that certain issues are resolved. Moviegoers would be upset if they paid $10 to see a story where 90+% of the characters are left with no end.
Please do not write books that flash forward and backward in time. It is confusing when the story is so complex and there are so many characters that interplay in the events.
No, I will not try another book by this author.
It seems to me that the author used foul language for the purpose of making the story more sensational. I did not like the way it ended - was there even a REAL ending???
The performance was fine. If you have terrible material, it's hard to have a great performance, but the narrator did her part.
This could have been a better story. The character deserve one another.
I would only recommend this book if someone is looking for a way to waste time. It is so long and is such a labor. I kept thinking it would get better, but it continued to drag. A shorter, greatly edited version would yield a better book.
I was drawn to the fact that this story was based on a biblical story.
I don't compare books to one another because I like to enjoy each one and the gifts it bestows.
Yes, this was a great story.
My only suggestion would be that it is not necessary to begin the narrative by explaining the story of Joseph from the Bible. Giving out that information at the beginning removes the anticipation of the reader since we already know how it will end.
This is one of the best stories that I have ever read.
This is a great story that could be used to teach children about people who are physically or mentally challenged.
Each character really came to life with the inflections of the narrator.
A Heartfelt Movie for the Whole Family - this would be a great movie for the Hallmark Channel!!!
The writing could be more clear. It was hard to determine who was talking because there were so many characters.
I might go see it.
I'm not sure that a person with any sense of reality will ever enjoy this book. This was, by far, the most disappointing book I've ever read and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone.
First of all, the title is very misleading because there is very little in this book about the discovery of the People in the Trees. The book should be more aptly titled "The Undoing of Norton" or something much like that because the majority of the book is really about the deranged professor. I kept listening because I was hoping that the next chapter would hold something worth waiting for, something of value that would redeem the professor. Alas, that never happened, and the worst that I thought turned out to be true.
There were multiple narrators and they all did a fine job with the material they were given.
I am very disappointed and honestly wish that I had just turned it off after the trip to the island where the people were discovered. This was a total waste of hours of my time because there was very little positive content in this story. I read from a diverse list of topics and genres, and I can typically find value in any book - but not this one.
Write the story in real time without the flashbacks. I don't enjoy reading a story that flashes forwards and backwards - it's too distracting and it's very difficult to keep up with the original story line when there is a different time and place being interwoven throughout the book. Although the narrative by the 90-year-old is thought provoking at times, I don't think it added value to the original story.
There is too much violence for my taste. People and animals are killed with hardly any consideration at all, and I don't think the deaths added anything to the content. The mental images conjured by the narrative were so vivid as to be disturbing.
Yes. The performances were one of the things that I enjoyed because it was easy to determine whether we were in the "present" or in the "past" as the chapters moved along.
The base story line is good - the Jacob and Marlaina story. If I could have read that story without the killing, it would have been much better. Every time a person or animal was killed, I was disgusted. There were several times I thought about just turning it off and not finishing the book, but I pushed my way through so that I could get to the end of the story for Jacob and Marlaina. I do not think I will read another book by this author - I just can't take the senseless use of violence against people and animals.
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