Davis, CA, United States | Member Since 2008
I enjoyed this mystery and found the subject matter new and refreshing. It never got preachy or religious, but showed an understanding and respect of the Amish people. It was an easy, light listen that kept my interest, and I finished it in two days.
I am thinking a 3 1/2 star rating, close to a 4.
I follow many reviewers (it's fun!), and the reviews kept coming in on this book, every one positive. So, of course, I chose to listen to it, too.
This is a difficult review to write because I don't want to give ANYTHING away. You will be missing something from the listening experience if you know anything about what to expect. It is best to let the story unfold, ever so slowly, have your surprises and make your own opinions. So, what is there to say about The Girl on the Train? As you can see from my star ratings, I have mixed feelings.
The first thing you should know, as I didn't and had to rewind the first hour, is that there are three different narrators for the three main characters. So, pay attention until you start to recognize the voices.
On the positive side, the book held my attention all the way through, and the narrators were excellent in "becoming" the individual women. I was kept guessing who-done-it until the last hour or so of the book. It's always nice to have a surprise you never saw coming at the end.
So, besides the above-mentioned good aspects, there were some things that bothered me enough to lower my ratings. Again, trying not to give anything away, there were some real inconsistencies in the plot--people acting out of character along with conflicting behaviors and information. More disconcerting was the weakness and passivity of the three women. It made me grimace and want to shake them. The likeability factor of the characters--just about all of them--was pretty low, too. As a result, I felt little tension and anxiety when danger appeared.
I wouldn't encourage anyone to read or not read this book. You just may love it, as did many reviewers. It is your choice to make!
I thought the plot sounded interesting, but I didn't have a clue where this book would lead me. I enjoyed this book immensely and just know I will listen to it again. There is a certain enjoyment that comes with knowing a book's ending. You can sit back without tension and just enjoy the second trip. Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy the first trip. There was just a bit of anxiety plaguing me, a bit of worry.
You can better learn the plot from the publisher's description. Per my short summary, you have a 72 year-old affluent, somewhat snobbish, very intelligent Jew who is wronged by a con artist who steals the old man's and his wife's lifetime of belongings before a retirement move to southern California. Stanley Peke, as victim, started out as not such a likeable character and at some points, even reminded me of the con artist, Nick--some similarities in personality, the wish to get even, egocentric, and both very much in their own heads. That is what is so unusual about this book. Most of it was written as if it was coming from the two men's own thoughts and feelings. Some felt this method was too slow moving, not so interesting. I got used to it fairly fast. I realized what the author was doing and was able to go with the flow. I was not in a hurry. I am not an action junkie.
As the book progressed, I learned a great deal more about Stanley Peke, who he was and why he was that man. While he did not become significantly more loveable, I could surely understand him. As time progressed, I became a staunch supporter and rooter for old Stan. The book took me places I never imagined, and every bit of it was compelling and fascinating, becoming more so as the book charged on toward the ending.
(And I have not even said anything about Nazis! You are in for a treat.)
Narration was done perfectly by Christopher Lane. He nailed both main characters as well as anyone could.
A most unusual story. I am looking forward to more from this author.
If you haven't listened to this book yet, you are really missing something wonderful and unforgettable. Yes, it has been around for a long while which means there are alot of reviews. So don't just take my word for it. Look at the reviews here. (My favorites are from Karen and Linda Lou.)
But let me add a few words of my own. This is a story that engulfed me, one of those books I just couldn't remain on the surface of. The characters are so well-developed that I felt I knew them. I came to really have strong feelings about them--whether I liked them or hated them, there was so much emotion evoked. And when I really care about a character, I feel such fear when they are in danger. At one point--no, at a couple of places--I had to turn the book off, as I couldn't bear to know what happened next. Of course, I braced myself and I went back, as I had to know. I kept telling myself to trust the author and the other reviewers.
Listening to this first book from well-known author Woods was a very rewarding experience. The narration was the best you can find, in my opinion. What is this nonsense about it being too slow? Ridiculous. Mark Hammer had it down perfectly. His cadence and speed matched perfectly what you would expect of the old south. I wouldn't have had it any other way. Perhaps that is why the story was so believable. He is a genius!
Read the story description about the dead police chiefs. There is really SO much more than that here. Look at all the glowing reviews. And do yourself a favor and get this book. I am so glad I did.
I can't believe I got through the entire book, but I did. So much drivel! The story line is so implausible and unbelievable. Coincidences abound and I kept shaking my head in disbelief. The writing is very simple and filled with minutiae. Action is sorely missing from this book until the very end and that action was so ridiculous I would have preferred to do without it.
The characters were not well-developed, and their behaviors had almost no explanation or basis. Too many of them were unlikeable or downright unpleasant. And following the old trite pattern, the parents of the adult characters must be evil and hateful.
As for the narration, it was passable but not exceptional.
With all these complaints, I managed to stick with the book and finish it in a few days. My recent listen of another of this author's books left me with the feeling it was messed up by the narration. I cannot, however, blame a bad narration for my dislike of this book. I am thinking that Heather Gudenkauf is not my cup of tea. I won't be purchasing any more of her stories.
It was a daily deal and it sounded promising. It seemed a bunch of folks liked the Repairman Jack series and this book, a prequel, seemed a good place to start. So I decided to give it a try. What a fun story and what an amazing narrator. Cendese is a very talented guy and he certainly had his work cut out for him in this book. He switched flawlessly back and forth to SO many different accents--Italian, Germanic, Arabic, Jewish, etc, etc, doing a predominantly great job with each. It was actually mind-boggling--just listening to Cendese's performance was fascinating. I don't think I've ever experienced anything quite like this in an audiobook before.
The story itself is pure fun. Not deep, not great literature, but it kept me listening and wanting to know what would happen next to young Jack. He is not a repairman in this book--he is just finding himself here. Struggling with his ethics, trying to support himself, establishing relationships . . . .
There is more information on the plot in the description and in other reviews. This is a fun book, I enjoyed it, and I do recommend it.
This is another superb pick from The Great Courses. It is a wonderful introduction to the experience of Grand Rounds cases, designed for those considering a career in medicine and those who just want more information on health issues.
Each case includes the presenting complaint by the patient, the patient interview, follow-up test results, and lots of in-depth explanation on the particular health condition and the ins and outs of how a doctor would go about finding the correct diagnosis. In addition, treatment issues were discussed.
It appears to this layperson that Professor Benaroch really knows his stuff. He is a pediatrician but he covers patients of all ages in this lecture series. Additionally, I learned a great deal of helpful information about how to prepare for a doctor visit as the patient.
All in all, this was a great listen!
Short, sweet, and fun with some laugh-aloud moments! I feel sorry for all the scrooges who didn't like this book. It should be quite funny and enjoyable to the well-read, to writers and would-be writers, to Kindle groupies, to lovers of the classics, and to light fantasy fans.
It certainly isn't deep literature but there is a place for everything, and I found this a light-hearted, fun romp. It was a needed short break for me after an emotional and serious read right before it. It made me laugh and feel good and who doesn't want that? I will be looking for further adventures of Bombo.
I might add that it was a perfectly fitting narration.
Thanks, Summers and Bunker, and good luck to you in the future!
You won't find any murder mystery here, no mutilated bodies; there's no sex, no sci-fi or fantasy, no romance, nor crime scene investigations. So let me try to say what was so good about this book for me. It may be difficult to explain that without giving away a bit of the story but I will go ahead anyway.
This book is the second I have read by Ryan Hyde and I really loved both. It involves a road trip through many of the national parks of our great country. The protagonist is a science teacher on a summer vacation. He is dealing with some of life's rougher issues including the loss of his 19 year old son. He is on a pilgrimage of sorts, when his camper breaks down in a small town where he is forced to stay a few days while repairs are done.
Along the way, he acquires two boys as traveling companions for the entire summer. This touching and heart-felt story is about relationships. It is also a coming of age story. The "scenery" is wonderful, our national parks, and the story just resonated with me, so much so that I just hated to part with these characters.
This story took unexpected turns, some of which initially disturbed me. Life does that to you. It had a great narration by Jeff Cummings. I came away feeling happy and satisfied with just a touch of bittersweet. However, I am not ready to start my next audiobook (unusual for me.) I just have to steep in this one for a while more.
I haven't been really fond of Scalzi's more humorous science fiction, but this book sounded REALLY interesting. I am so glad I got it!
This is a more serious type of story. Scalzi has created a nightmarish future world where a new disease "locks in" a significant percentage of human beings to total paralysis, while their brains are still fully functional. The story is actually a crime mystery and a well-crafted one at that. People with the disease are called Haydens, named after the first lady who was afflicted early on with the disease. (She abhorred the disease being named after her but had no choice in the matter.) Aside from the mystery, there were issues of disabled rights, robotics, and corporate bullying, among others. Scalzi created a very plausible scenario, chilling in its believability.
This is a somewhat short audiobook with a satisfying ending. Attached to the end of the book is what is being called a "novelette." It is what I think of as an in-depth "documentary" on Hayden's Disease consisting of commentary from many health professionals and politicos, etc, on remembrances of the origin of the disease and also many disease factoids. It is just as compelling as the original audiobook. In a way, I wish it came before the original story, as knowing about Hayden's would have helped at the start of the story when I had some confusion.
Will Wheaton did a great job of narrating, as usual, and he is one of my favorite narrators. As someone else pointed out in their review, he doesn't do different voices. I hadn't even noticed until it was pointed out. Yet, it really works for him. I can't think of any other narrators who could get away with that.
And now, I am wondering about the other narration of this book, and what it is like . . . and wishing I had pre-ordered and gotten both.
Over all, this is a compelling and often sad story of the actor's early family life at the hands of a hateful and brutal father along with the unfolding of his family's genealogical past only recently discovered. If you are a fan of Alan Cumming, as I am, you should enjoy this very different celebrity memoir.
It is a fast and easy (although very emotional) listen; it is evident that the unfolding of the story and past events evoked a great deal of angst from the author. Alan is very forthcoming, brave, and honest about himself and his family. You can only imagine that many people in Alan's situation would want to keep this information hidden from the public, as much of it is not pretty at all. Yet, I got the feeling that for Alan, this was a largely therapeutic endeavor. He had his fill of family secrets and felt that bringing them out in the open was a very healthy option for him. I admire him for this and I hope that once and for all, he can let go of the weight of a very dysfunctional childhood/family life and continue soaring to greater and greater heights.
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