Never before have I given such a low rating to any book, but this one earned it.
The majority of the book is 'auditory pornography' VERY loosely held together by a weak story line. Yes, there is some baseball in this, but not a great deal.
In the very early part of the book, my impression was that some of the reactions of the characters were inconsistent. However, I do think this author has potential in creating characters. It just was not too evident in this story.
This is (probably) the only reading performance I have encountered where it was necessary for the listener to keep close track of who was speaking, as the reader's interpretation did not change at all. Well, let's say "very little" (change). Male and female voices all sounded much the same.
I wondered how the author was going to make a series out of this, but I saw the answer at the very end. The next book likely will take off from where the first left off. So it's actually sequential, rather than series.
Sorry, I just couldn't find any redeeming features to this audiobook
Joseph Finder's books can be counted on to expand the knowledge of the reader/listener. Obviously he does a great deal of research into whatever area of expertise each novel involves. This book deals with the digital world.
I enjoy his works because I know, when I have finished, I'll have a better knowledge of the world in which he tells the story. Some of the detail does become excessive, however.
He shapes his characters well enough for them to take on a three dimensional quality in the listener's mind. And the story is interesting and well written. Bringing the eight year old boy into a central position, rather than a peripheral character, certainly adds depth to the story.
The story was well rounded out.
When I realized this story could be categorized as a 'romance' selection, I gave it a cautious try. I usually find romance novels very short on story, and what story there is, is only used to link together the bedroom/sex scenes. This one surprised me by having a good beginning premise and a very different main character. The situations, in which they found themselves,, also were different than the usual story presentation. And the love/sex scenes fit into the story quite well. Occasionally a bit too much detail, but still OK.
As I continued listening, I suddenly took an objective look/listen to the narrator, instead of staying immersed in the story. I began to question if the reason I was enjoying this book was more because of the narrator than the actual story. I still don't know the answer to that question. But that narrator put so much expression into the words, it was amazing. And she gave longer than usual pauses where they actually would come, in real life. The voices were distinguishable, for the most part, although a bit more use of the lower pitch would have given more distinguishable sound to male voices.
Some of the story became a bit far-fetched, especially during the last few scenes, but " ... the suspension of disbelief ..." took care of that.
Guess I'll have to try a second book by this author, and the same narrator, to see if my original impressions carry through to their other collaborations.
... but baseball isn't too prominent overall. This is a 'people' story, with the baseball field, the practices. the highs and the lows of the game, all part of the backdrop ... the setting of this story.
I enjoyed this book, for the most part. The characters were real. The situations, they found themselves in, were real. This story could have happened in real life ... no need for the " ... suspension of disbelief ..." which the listener/reader must always keep close by, with any fictional story.
I had one complaint, a personal preference ... make that insistence upon, for my reading materials. DO NOT PREACH TO ME. As a practicing Christian, I have no issue with a character, or a number of characters, taking the reader/listener into personal feelings relating to religion. This occurred occasionally during the first three quarters of this story. No problem ... very realistic ... considering some of the supporting characters ... and the small rural area of the major portion of the story. In fact I was suitably impressed with how the author brought in certain aspects of an individual's beliefs and values, getting the impression and understanding across to the reader/listener, without overdoing it.
However, in portions of the last part of the book, this came through with a much heavier hand and, to my way of thinking, became preaching. I was disappointed that the subtle approach, to the characters' religious beliefs, suddenly began to hurl off the page, like the baseballs that a drunken Michael Brand used to pitch to his eldest son, Cory Brand, the story's protagonist.
This, of course, represents my personal reaction to a book that has any portion of it seeming to step out of sync with the rest of the story. However, all in all, I found it an enjoyable and interesting read. There is enough baseball within the story to keep the title honest.
It sounded like a good story, and the reviews were relatively positive. So I bought it. But I groaned when the introduction included the word, Harlequin. I like some love interest/romance in books I read but, first and foremost, I want a good story line. I have found, when reading books with a Harlequin connection, that I am frequently (although not always) reading a series of love/sex scenes, held together, very loosely, by a story line that seems to be secondary. My preference is the opposite order. But I bought it, and I wasn't going to waste the money. At least, I'd give it a try.
The story began immediately ... before character introduction. The reader/listener is dropped right into the action. By the time the first shot rang out, I was hooked.
Characterization was good ... they came off the page, with a three dimensional quality. And I was right there with them.
Chelsea Harrison is excellent with presenting all the characters, even the three year old. There is no trouble knowing who is speaking. At no time did I question the interpretation of any of the characters.
The entire book takes place in a fairly short time period. Background information is supplied, as needed, by characters reflecting backward.
It isn't a long read/listen, and it is an easy one. Good light reading/listening while relaxing. This is a little gem.
This book sounded interesting, different, and had good reviews. It definitely was outside my usual choice for stories. But the fact that it was based upon a true story, drew me in.
Longer than the average book, the detail about the people and the country, as well as the woven-in history, about Australia and about the aboriginal people, all were allowed to develop naturally.
I found myself, as usual, trying to guess ahead of the story ... what would develop out of the situation in which the characters were involved. I had to remind myself that this was based on a true story, and life doesn't come neatly wrapped up in a package, but often shoots off in an unexpected tangent.
I did guess the correct outcome of one portion of the story, which then made me question if that part was fiction or truth. Regardless, it's quite a 'ride'.
Books by Nora Roberts usually have a good storyline, with a thread of romance running through. But the story takes precedence, unlike some so-called 'womens' fiction, which has one romantic (?) scene after another, held together by a thin thread of a storyline.
Roberts has a tremendous sense of 'place', which is one of the best, and most outstanding, features of her books. She makes her settings come alive, as the story develops. I admire the amount of research she does prior to developing a story. It brings the listener/reader to the location, building a word picture of where we are. I wonder if she writes 'on location'? That certainly would allow for the detailed sense of 'place'.
Midnight Bayou is a trip to the deep south, the remnants of the 'old-school' life, with a parallel story ... a flash-back theme ... which helps 'flesh out' the details of what is taking place in the present. This is Cajun/Acadian country, and they become a large part of the story.
James Daniels and Sandra Burr continue a smooth narration, which allows the listener to become immersed in the story ... and in the deep south.
The story moves smoothly and steadily ... no extraneous material to allow the listener's mind to wander. Good characterization, bringing the people to life.
The bond between the twins, and the idea of 'twin-talk' are fascinating concepts. Indeed, the bond between identical twins has been well documented, but whether it would be active to this extent is an interesting question.
A good listen ... definitely recommended.
This is a baseball story, but it is, mainly, a 'people' story. It brings together very different individuals, including the young, & impressionable, boy who idolizes Calico Joe, the young ball player just breaking into the big time. This boy is, also, the son of a Major League pitcher, who loves his son in his own way, but tries to instil his own values and beliefs into his son, through the use of force and strict discipline.
The boy's idol, Calico Joe, and the boy's father, are bound to cross paths, with their respective teams, during the Major League baseball season.
These three people are the main characters of the story, which takes place during one fateful summer, but actually unfolds over a period of years.
I found this a good listen, but be sure you are aware this is not the law-and-order Grisham writing.
Dr. Gupta explains, through discussion, a number of instances when people were considered ... even declared ... dead, but still were able to be brought back to life. He shows, in this book how the once-considered finality of a person being dead, according to indications on the medical machinery, may not really be the case at all. It does bring up the unsettling thought that doctors inadvertently could make a mistake in declaring a person dead, in order to begin organ harvesting for transplanting.
It is interesting and amazing to hear about some of the advancements of medical science, and also to consider how the lines of "death" have become blurred. Gupta also explores the power of prayer, & its influence upon the sick, as well as "miracles", and the attempt to explain them in scientific terms.
If you are looking for a good book dealing factually with medicine, especially neurosurgery, this may be the book for you. Gupta writes well ... almost conversationally.
This is a good one; I'll be watching for more by Sanjay, Gupta, M.D.
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