First of all, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the author narrated the book. Often, that doesn't seem to work out so well. I loved his interpretation of his auntie's second husband. What I enjoyed most was the insight that I was afforded into a culture that I am, admittedly, very unfamiliar with. I love the narrators' complicated, troubled parents. Actually, I found all of the characters expertly drawn. I felt that occasionally the narrative relied a little too heavily on high drama, bordering on melodrama at times, but this didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of both the book and the performance.
This was an incredibly fun listen. The book is funny, snarky, and sweet - all at the same time. I loved Bernadette - what a great character! Actually, all the characters are great. The conceit of having the prose as correspondence between the characters is a unique touch, although in this day of quick emails and texts I don't see it as very likely, particularly in a community that revolves around Microsoft! So there is a bit of suspension of disbelief to contend with, but it's worth it because it's so well written. The narrator grew on me - at first I was worried that I wouldn't like her, but in short order I found her to be hilarious and appealing. Although the voices of the different characters weren't terribly different, it didn't really matter since each section starts with the character's name.
Overall a great book and a compelling, amusing listen.
I read the first one, listened to the second one. While well written and full of good characters, I find the story to be hard to take. I only completed them because my 10-year-old son we hell bent on reading them, and I figured I'd better see what he was getting himself in for. Well, you had me on violence against children. Really? This is what is entertaining our young people these days? It is heartbreaking to me that literature for teenagers has to be brutal and ugly to get their attention. If this is what they find appealing, then I feel we are truly going in the direction of these books - death and inhumanity becoming what thrills and excites us. And rather than fighting against that mind set, this author insists on perpetuating the trend. Yes, Katniss and crew are rebelling against the perpetrators of this unhealthy way of life so it can be argued that the book is not glorifying it. I respond to that by pointing out the horrifyingly sick ways the author has come up with in order to torture her protagonists. Fog that causes neurological damage? Eww. She seems quite content to use her pages as an outlet for her twisted imagination. She's come up with some really nasty stuff.
As far as the narrator, she has a lovely voice and perfect diction. If I was listening to her read Edith Wharton, I would happily go along for the ride. This book, however, is about as far away from Edith Wharton as you can get. This is a raw, angry story about unhappy, desperate people. She nails the Capital crowd with her over the top, operatic characterizations. She makes Katniss, however, sound like an insipid little girl, not the hunting, murdering, conflicted person that she is. I would have loved to hear a younger person read the book, it would have rung more true.
When I first turned this on and heard that it was being narrated by the author I thought "uh-oh, should have read the description better." I guess I'm glad I didn't. Ms. Jackson did a delightful job of narrating the book and I apologize to her for thinking that she wouldn't. This book is a treat - the three main characters are extremely funny, self-deprecating and sweet. I loved Mosey and Roger's texts - it was a great use of that particular language. And the story keeps you hooked from the beginning. Great, easy listen that made me laugh out loud and look forward to the next session.
I loved Beat The Reaper, but this second novel just doesn't live up. It still has hilarious moments and great characters like BTR, but the story is lame. The story's leftward leaning politics don't bother me, that's just the perspective of the character. But the use of a real celebrity as one of the characters doesn't work. The whole plot is pretty preposterous, nowhere near as compelling as the first book. I hope Josh Bazell writes another book about the doctor because he's a great character and he deserves a better novel than this one.
The narrator is great.
My 8-year-old son and I loved this audiobook. We've seen the movie, he's read the graphic novel, and we agree that this was our favorite version. The author's narration is perfect, the music is suitably weird and creepy (particularly those singing rats). Probably a little too creepy for younger kids.
My son (age 8) and I have listened to the whole series. He loves it. I'm growing a little weary of it, only because it seems like the author is running out of ideas, so what he's actually coming up with is a bit tedious. But it's not for me, right? We LOVE the narrator. He does a wonderful job of creating specific voices for each character that remain consistent throughout the series. Puck is, of course, our favorite. He is the best-written character, and Mr. Ganser's interpretation of him has us howling.
I loved listening to this book. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it immensely had I read it, because it is a wonderfully written book. But the women who read it must be commended for their riveting performances. Brava to these talented narrators. May they read and read and read!!!
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