"Sunburned" was my fourth Bryson audio book and my least favorite. Though (at times) he made me laugh out loud, I couldn't quite square what it was exactly that he liked about the country as he repeated that acknowledgement throughout the book. I certainly got a feeling for the myriad things not to like about Australia.
Too many descriptions of drinking in restaurants and bars, really the theme of the book, and those were pretty dull. I was left with the feeling that Bryson could have written a much better book.
It's about a 13 (maybe 14) hour book that takes 17 hours to complete due to a VERY slow reading pace. At times the narrator is heard clearing his throat or licking his lips, so somewhat poor marks for production. The accents of FDR and women were just silly.
To the story… plays on the usual small southern town stereotypes, and probably accurately. It became quite predictable how it was all going to wrap up, but that's not unusual either, read: John Grisham.
Overall, an OK story with an OK reader. So, just OK.
Like all of Connelly's work, it's about the ride and not the destination. You should know the latter if you've read (listened) to him before. Still, pretty good writing, good narration, and being an LA boy, fun references. Good beach or vacation book.
Lot's of flowery exchanges, with too much focus on interpersonal relationships. Some of this would have been OK but the book seemed to drag on at times and at times felt like I was listening to the same passage over again. By reducing this component and adding a bit more about the issues of the day and the challenges they presented the book would improve IMO.
Edward Herman is a good narrator generally, but in this case was the wrong choice IMO.
His cadence and tone exacerbated the problem of the excessive gushing letters and memoirs.
This took longer to get through than most, for me, and I never really looked forward to the listen.
Started strong but the middle of the book got drug down in a love story with fairly sappy dialog. About a fourth of this book could have been tossed and the result would have been a story with far more pace and tension. None of this is particularly unusual for King as he has often been accused of being paid by the word.
I found the end to be somewhat clunky as well. The "geologic" issues didn't make any sense and, frankly, was little insulting to the listener/reader after this tome.
The reviews here on Audible for 11-22-63 I find to be somewhat over-rated. It's just OK IMO. I've been through most of King's works and am a fan of his best stuff but he has certainly had his clunkers. This work is dangerously close to being in that latter category.
Lastly, Craig Wasson's narration is just excellent and I believe is largely responsible for this audio book being as well received as it is.
Quite entertaining with good narration. Fast paced and to-the-point. I gave it 4 stars because, frankly, this isn't literature. The writing played fairly fast and loose with the logistics of his endeavors, but still enough was there for me to think "ah hah" or "oh, yeah". Good character development which makes this story very engaging.
I read (listened to) the Butcher's Boy and the Informant before this one and find the ratings for Dance for the Dead too high. The narration is a let down. I have observed, for my own taste, that men can do women's voices pretty well but women fail when portraying men... generally. Beyond this observation, the narrator also sounded like she was reading rather than acting the parts, at times.
The writing and narration are quite flippant in style. Considering the subject matters, death, demons, child abuse, drug distribution and addiction, and especially the protagonist's own pending demise, it becomes irritating.
As with (seemingly) all stories with magic and witchcraft and supernatural powers, there are lot's of inconsistencies. Once these are noticed it's too much of an offense to overcome, for me, and I often think the author uses "magic" as a cheap trick similar to the literary dream sequence.
Fantasy, the occult, and the supernatural are big right now. I guess I'm not that trendy.
This is not in the same league as "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Though Bryson uses objects in different rooms of his "rectory" as jumping off points, he quickly and consistently starts his verbal meanderings and the listener is left wondering "what was the topic again"?
A lot about England's Victorian gilded age and English class, or lack thereof, and their class system. Overall the book doesn't seem very focused and we really don't learn much about the objects that populate our homes and their back story.
Still, pretty good because, hey, it's Bryson. Moderately recommended.
I enjoyed this well paced "page turner". It wasn't so black and white regarding who the characters were and what motivates them, which I appreciated. The narrator, Robertson Dean, was ideal.
I'll be listening/reading to more by Alex Berenson.
Read this on your iMac with 24" glossy display, 250gb Hardrive, 4gb of RAM, with a Super Mouse and 4 USB2 ports.
Lot's of superfluous descriptions like this in the book, with an emphasis on computer hardware that lends NOTHING to the story. At times the repetition of, and actual wording, describing the morose and distant main character were so redundant that I actually thought the downloaded recording was faulty. This happened three or four times when I thought I was hearing a passage I'd already listened to only to wait it out to find new dialog letting me know the recording was OK.
Some of the sexual explicitness was the very definition of gratuitous. This author likes very much to write about sex and sexually charged language. I'm not a prude mind you, it just doesn't advance the story and is boring.
Where was the editor?!
At times it is quite good, but the writer's lack of discipline ultimately let's the book down. I give it a luke warm 3 stars.
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