The writing is beautiful. The narration is perfect. I guess if you need your mysteries at a quicker pace...well, you wouldn't have bought P.D. James in the first place. It doesn't matter anyway. The book flies by. I only wish they had more of James to on "byte" or whatever. I "rewind" sometimes just to hear the writing. I mean, a girl does need her murders - and James provides, and happily - but getting there is such a pleasure.
It's hard to name what keeps this from being a 5 star book. What makes Revolver a '5', and The White Album a '4'? (Or was it the other way around?) I gave a couple PD James books '5's, The Devil in the White City' a '5'; I'm not afraid of methodical narratives nor antique timing. This book is well written -- some of the sentences are little gold things all on their own -- and the story ticks along. Stephen Crossley does a fine job narrating (though, isn't this supposed to be in Ireland??) At least some of the characters are Irish? Well, it's probably best to avoid the accent altogether if you can't do it with conviction. So I'll leave it a mystery why I begrudge it that one last star. (Could be because it FEELS like it's promising ju-u-st more than it ultimately delivers? It's very, very good - and I highly recommend it. I do! But...although along the way I thought I might, I didn't end up lighting up a smoke or anything when it was finished.) That said, I'll remember it fondly.
...he convinced me. It was all Nicole's fault. She badgered him into marrying her. She badgered him into divorcing her, then she badgered him into killing her. It's all so clear now. And Ron Goldman? He irritated The Juice with his karate moves. Had to kill him! None of this is a surprise - the narrative, the 'reasoning', the victimization of OJ by OJ: Simpson comes off as a pitiful, self-serving narcissist. Every time he says "to be honest..." you think, 'yyyeah. Here it comes...' and he launches into another intricate rationalization of why he's such a nice guy. Why he did his best! But it was everyone else's fault. SHe contradicts himself at almost every point. And some of his points are believable, even credible. But even if you granted him everything about Nicole - drugs, hysteria- it never adds up. Obviously not to murder, but...his own behavior doesn't make sense! He sounds like a child! - throwing up anything possible to justify what he didn't do but if he did he had reason to but he didn't so, uh, there. The narrator does a spooky imitation of Simpson. The writing is good and well-paced. The introduction by Kim Goldman feels unnecessarily long, however real and sincere. Almost as interesting as the text itself is the forward by the Pablo Fenjves - that memorable witness who heard the 'baleful moaning' of the Akita, and the ghostwriter of this book. He comes off as more than credible and fair. For me, this book put a sound 'period' on the end of the OJ chapter. Listening to the intricate elaborations of a bad liar took that "IF" right out of the title. He Did It.
The story is, yes, disturbing - and for more than one or two reasons. I'll start with myself.
1. I bought it. I cared enough about this s-head to read about why he (meaning both of them) cared about himself enough to ...I don't have enough words or, rather, male pronouns to finish that solipsism. Mainly, I regretted buying it because it ended up being about two guys wondering about themselves for 5 hours. One had become full of himself and done something marginally wrong with grave career repercussions; the other was a psychopath and murdered his family. I was interested in both and now I feel like shooting myself in the head.
2. The writing was not very interesting afterall. Although when you read the description (not mine), it does sound like a v. interesting book, _I_ think it's written so...I don't know. There's so much about the journalist and his great emotions that...wow. Who cares?? Maybe it would've come off better if he hadn't narrated. Maybe it's better in book form. Because the IDEA sounds interesting but...
3. The narrator is SO BAD I got angry with him! Oh...my...word. Please, dear God, let other people narrate your work. It was like listening to a kindergarten teacher reading "Inch Worm". Then he would get this inappropriately excited tone when talking about the dead mom's parents or whatever. Just..he was all over the place. A habitual, unbreakable cadence that was absolutely unlistenable. I know it's harsh. I know. But I wanted, I really did want, to listen to it. But after 2 hours I was actually mad at it. I was mad at a virtual book, at someone's voice I know only binarily! It was that irritating.
Hey - one woman's opinion. Go ahead and buy it. Irritate yourself.
I've bought...I don't know how many of these 'color' books, but I can only hope Mr. Mosley believes in shades. If he keeps writing, I will keep buying! Easy Rawlins is a real, layered, truthful, lying, interesting character that you can't take your eyes off of and you root for all the way. And the writing is terrific. True, I've only bought these books on audio, and was sorely disappointed by one, but not for the writing. Here, the juicy dialogue and descriptions are brought into form well and distinctly by Stanley Bennet Clay. He gives each character a different voice and holds them to it. I held back one star from the review because some of the lesser characters all kinda get the same "yessuh" voice and in that his work gets a bit sloppy. But I'll tell ya, this is very satisfying "event" on the whole. The reading of the characters and action is vivid and clean; the writing, as ever, superb.
For me, this is the perfect bridge between art and entertainment. You get some good blood & guts and sex - but it's not T.V., (nobody's quite chewing your food for you) you still get to think - and it's wrapped up in great drama. I mean, what else do you need?? They can't sell popcorn over WiFi. You still have to ambulate a LITTLE to get some yum...but then settle in - cause you won't want to move once it's started. This is a good one.
The story was captivating, the reading was spot on; the writing was terrific. I wish I had better adjectives to describe the work. I resisted buying it - Historical? ugh. World's Fair?? Come on! Of course there is murder and mayhem...As it turned out, the M & M was the least interesting aspect. I found myself thinking about that damn fair for WEEKS afterwards(!) - spouting details and trivia about its creation to anyone who would listen (the pool of which became smaller and smaller). An absolutely fabulous book. Most highly recommended.
Probably the funniest writing/reading there is to have by Sedaris. Such a talented boy. And the stories/essays are not just funny but underpinned with such a kindness and...commonality, I guess, that you will be touched as well as laughing your head off. "You'll laugh, you'll cry!" (It's true!)
I've been a fan of Anne Lamott's for 15 years or so. I've still got articles she wrote for the SF Chronicle in the late 80's, before I knew "who she was", so believe me when I say I -wanted- to like this! It's harsh but true, her narration is unlistenable. She sounds in turns whiney and droning. Her cadence and tone sound like Dylan Thomas reciting "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" - which would be wonderful if she were Dylan Thomas or reading "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"; but she's reading essays - mostly funny ones - and it is a grind. If you can hear past the whine and drone, yes! Her words are good and substantial and funny. But it's a lot of work to get there. Better to buy the book.
Sedaris' funniest work on audio, period. I've got it on tape, unabridged, and was looking forward to transefering it to my iPod. So disappointing! This is really missing whole chunks of great stuff. If you're new to Sedaris, it's a good start, no doubt; but "Live at Carnegie Hall" is probably even better. I listened at work and had my head on my desk I was laughing so hard.
My first experience of this author and series I have heard so much about. The writing is, as "advertised", wonderful. Being a native Angelino I love hearing even the names of the streets evoked. That is why hearing them mispronounced - again and again - is really hard on the ears, esp. since "Easy" is supposed to be such a cool cat and an Angelino himself. (It's "La Ci-en-e-ga", not "La Ceenega") Sorry, but the narrator's voice itself is fine and deep and textured but, as some of these reviews point out, he sometimes reads like he's just learning how. It's weird. I almost had to ignore the reading to stay focused on the words. That's too much work for something you should get lost in. But those words! Mercy. I bought this book on a $9.98 sale and it was definitely worth it. The narrator is not sooooo bad that it ruins the experience; he's just awkward and I am cranky about details; and it is an awfully good book. I'm definitely in for every one of this series. I haven't even finished this one and I'm writing the review! If you're waffling, I'd say get it, but get others first if this one costs 30 bucks or whatever. Know what I mean?
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