I did enjoy this book, especially all the descriptions of travel to various countries in Africa. It just felt rather contrived or forced. The main character reminded me of Nikita on TV. She was overly tough one minute, and soft and caring the next. Every handsome man in the book fell in love with her. There was lots of action, but it seemed as if they were always approaching a dangerous checkpoint on a road in the middle of the jungle or back on the boat on the high seas. They, of course, left a trail of bodies behind them. The narrator's voice became very breathy at times and overly excited at other times. She was inconsistent, but some of the accents she did were impressive.
This book was unlike any other book I have read. The book cover and title are very misleading. You would guess this to be an old-fashioned British mystery. It was actually very current. It was reminiscent of Room in that a young boy who did not completely understand the "civilized" world told the story throughout the book. I liked the way the narrator had such an unusual, and at times rather crude, way of expressing himself. The puzzle of trying to determine what aspect of daily life the autistic boy was referring to was a challenge at times. This, on top of the mesmerizing storyline and the quirky character of the boy, made for a charming and poignant story. I found myself wishing the story continued a little longer. The ending felt rather abrupt, although all the loose ends were tied up. I did find the audio narrator's voice rather abrasive during some parts of the book, but bearable.
I admired the imagination and creativity of the author, but found it hard to feel involved or even concerned with what happened. The characters were not appealing and the storyline felt rather absurd. I wish the author had tweaked both the characters and the plot slightly to help the reader feel like it was worth the effort to try to figure out what was going on. I found myself getting restless and switching to other books and then returning to this fanciful one before starting the next book.
I have always pictured Kinsey as a spirited and lively person, not as a slow moving old lady. I think the story was pretty good, but the narrator almost made me turn it off. She even pronounced some words in an old-fashioned way. I believe the Kinsey character to be stubborn and somewhat difficult to get along with, but not drab and lifeless, rather the opposite.
I enjoyed the attention to detail and the way King carefully followed through on every possible repercussion of changing the past. The first person narrator allowed the reader to be privy to Jake's every thought. It was fascinating as he tried to analyze how to best fix the future of the United States and the people he became attached to in the past. Although it was also excruciating to live through the mental and physical anguish with him as he repeatably tried to do the right thing. I was not enamored of the ending, but happily ever after would have been unrealistic after all that we as readers learned about the dangers of changing the past. I will say that there were only short pockets of action surrounded by large periods of agonizing that eventually became rather hard to plow through by the fourth part of this long book. I also began to tire of hearing about the innocent charms of the early 1960s lifestyle and the somewhat saccharin characters from that time period. All in all, it was a worthwhile read, and it was a big departure from Stephen Kings' trademark style, which made it fun.
Everything was wonderful, then all of a sudden there was a silly misunderstanding that caused the lovers to pull apart, then what do you know, a romantic final reconciliation at the end. It was a different story with unusual and appealing characters, and great description, but the plot was ridiculous, and formulaic. I would have loved to see a little mystery sprinkled in or maybe some more extreme action to spice it up. I just liked all the nice people in this pretty little story and wished them the best.
A person familiar with Manhattan, especially in the first half of the 20th century, will enjoy every page of this novel. The description of the city and the society is enchanting. I almost wanted to head out from California to visit New York again, just to find some of the places painted with the author's amazing prose. The book felt like an ode to Manhattan. I did find the characters rather superficial and the main character rather difficult to bond with as she seemed to be a chameleon. The best parts was the word choice and writing style. I wished I had a way to replay certain paragraphs as I listened in my car as you are able to do when you read a paper book. I did feel the story ended rather abruptly and not the way I would have liked, but most of the loose ends were addressed, although not with any depth..
The plot was unpredictable (except for that fact that David and Mark were the same person). Some of the scenes were overly dramatic and not believable, but once I accepted that and didn't let it bother me, I found myself involved with the twists and turns of the plot. I think the book needing some editing and revision and then would be quite a good novel that the author would not have to apologize for. Being raised in Boston as a Celtics fan, I greatly enjoyed the setting and the basketball descriptions. This is a good book to read on a trip or at the beach. It is light reading with no real depth which is perfect for relaxation.
The most irritating thing about this story was the way sentences, scenes, and thoughts were repeated. It was like deja vu. I think they forgot to edit it and when the story was revised, they did a copy and paste, rather than a cut and paste. The narrator was overly dramatic in the scenes when nothing was really happening other than foreshadowing. I wonder if she read the book before starting her narration? The story itself was all about the past of the family, but had very little action. The main character was continually expressing her emotional turmoil, but really seemed to have very little to be upset about. I did like the focus on stained glass windows and the descriptions of the village and towns near the lake. It was a relaxing and low key read with an unusual storyline. Pleasant, but bordering on tedious at times.
This book did not have any of the characters from the Murder Squad that I was hoping to meet again from her prior books. I knew who the murderer was very early in the book. I was very disappointed about the lack of suspense or real resolution at the end. This was mainly a family drama with a shortage of action. The best part was the narrator's voice. What a wonderful accent!
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