This audiobook tried so hard to be clever that it ended up just grating on my nerves. Where to start? First, the author really should have forked over the money to hire a good narrator. She sounds like a little girl and because she can't do multiple voices, she has had to use other narrators to provide the male voices in the book. The book has a very SLOW plot, such that keeping reading is an effort. The most annoying trick the author uses is contradicting plot events with another voice, such as: (female voice) "Henry spilled his drink on Lydia, he was so nervous." ... then a male voice cuts in with: "Henry remembers that it was Lydia who spilled her drink." After the 20th time this happens, it quits being cute and starts being quite annoying. The book summary describes this device as "cleverly illuminating the slippery interplay of perception and memory." We all know that two people will each remember a past event differently. We don't need to be reminded of this over and over again. Also, the "parallel narrative" of QD Soda is intrusive and commercial-like. It is meant to be coming from the loudspeaker on a tourbus touring Boston, complete with music and sound effects, and is explaining the history of QD soda. It includes the original commercial jingle. Well, guess what folks, when I listen to an audiobook I don't want to hear a commercial, I just want to hear a story! I don't care that this is providing context or illustrating the pervasiveness of advertising of that time. It is annoying! Many books are light on plot because of character development, however, this book is light on plot AND character development. I didn't care one whit about any character in the book. I was actually cheering when one central but irritating character died! Finally, the publisher's summary states that the author put "years of research" into this book. That may be so, but a little more attention to plot and character would have gone a long way toward making this an enjoyable book.
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