I really enjoyed this book and also learned a lot about the history of Australia, plus Ikey Solomon, who was a real person. The novel goes into great detail (sometimes too much detail - I found myself saying, "Come on, just get on with it!" in several places) - but as a whole, I thought it was very good.
There are comments that the novel is anti-Semitic and I went into listening to it with an open mind, but unfortunately I think the comments are true. I found out five years ago that I'm Jewish, so I'm more sensitive to things like that and I was resenting a few of the things he said. I don't know if it was because there was a lot of prejudice in the early days of London and Australia against the Jews - after all, he was very historically accurate - however some of the comments - at least to me - were not necessary. There are racially-biased comments against the Aborigines, but I know that there has been a lot of prejudice against them in the past.
The novel covers a lot of time and I enjoyed it. I would have given it five stars if it wasn't for the too-extensive detail at times, plus the prejudiced remarks.
I love Stephen King, and have ever since his first books came out. However - I don't understand the "excellent" reviews I read of this book before I bought it. Perhaps they were written to drum up enthusiasm, I'm not sure. I kept waiting and waiting for the story to get better - but it was dull all the way through until the last 30 minutes - and even then, it was impossible to follow.
I know that Tabitha King reads all of her husband's books, so I don't know how this one passed muster. Stephen, I love you to death but please try to ramp it up for the one after this.
If I could give this book 3-1/2 stars for Overall and Story, I would do that. To me, complicated plots are more difficult to keep track of when I'm listening to a book instead of reading it - kind of hard to go back a few pages and check out one of the details. It seemed like it took FOREVER to get to the end of the story, and by the time I reached it, I had forgotten a majority of the convoluted plot.
The performance was good, except for the fact that the reader just was unable to do female voices. They all sounded masculine and they all sounded alike.
The main reason I bought this book was because I had read one of the most recently published Reacher novels, and I wanted to see how everything started out. I'm now re-thinking whether I want to read number two in the series, because that book's reviews aren't really that high. I think I'll go back to John Sandford and re-read some of his - his "Prey" novels, which are just outstanding.
I first started reading this book in the 80's but it was so upsetting that I stopped after the first few chapters. I guess I've changed over the years, because this time I was totally enthralled.
I came away from this experience realizing that 1) Vincent Bugliosi was a genius at law; 2) the LAPD blew this case so much, it was almost unbelievable (like shaking-your-head unbelievable at how inept they were, or were they simply lazy and didn't care?); 3) there was a lot that happened behind-the-scenes that I never knew - example: I didn't realize that Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, the girl who attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford, was a linchpin in the Manson "Family" and took his place as head of the Family after he was jailed - 4) there were many more people killed by the Family than those in the Tate/LaBianca murders. Bugliosi goes into great detail about those in the epilogue portion of the book, stating that perhaps as many as 60 were murdered by them through the 70's; 5) also realizing that if it weren't for Bugliosi's independent investigation at the time, Manson and his family would have gotten away with murder.
This is a good book to have in your car while you're commuting because it's long and there are lots of details, Scott Brick did an outstanding job of narrating it, especially with the sometimes endless details about the case - altho I have to say it was seldom that I was bored with those details. I've served on juries, and it's hard to imagine being sequestered for the 9 months it took for the trial to end.
The details of the Tate-LaBianca murders can be difficult to hear, but I highly recommend Helter Skelter.
I have been a fan of Stephen King for a long time, since he first started publishing. I didn't want to get my hopes up in regards to this book because the original was so good - heck, you know what they say about sequels.
Be aware that the book takes a while to build the characters and give background information. The first half was interesting, but I started getting really hooked on the story when I was about halfway thru, when I was glued to my (car)seat, on tenterhooks and waiting anxiously for the next chapter to begin.
King doesn't disappoint with old characters, new ones, and a really good showdown at the end. Will Patton was EXCELLENT as the narrator - he voiced Danny Torrance so well (and King wrote the character so realistically) that I'm a little embarrassed to say I had a bit of a crush on Danny when I finished the novel.
Buy this book and listen to it - you won't be disappointed.
I've always been a fan of Shirley Jones, and I spent a large part of my childhood and teenager years enjoying her in Carousel, Oklahoma, etc.
It was a bit of a surprise to find out a lot of her intimate details, such as her active sex life over the years with her two husbands. She also did a lot of good dishing on other actors she worked with, and at times I was at rapt attention, wondering who she'd talk about next.
I understand that Joan Collins threw a fit when she found out about Shirley's description of a foursome years ago, and demanded that her name be taken out of the book (she succeeded, subsequent printings will have her name removed).
If you are a fan of musicals, you'll really enjoy this - trust me.
Loved the book - you'll think you're listening to a Stephen King novel. This kid can write. Buy it, you won't be disappointed!
I first read The Good Earth when I was in elementary school and I still have that book in my bookcase. I've read it numerous times and since I wanted to listen to a book that I was familiar with, I picked this one.
Anthony Heald did an outstanding job on this book. He actually sounded Asian while he was narrating, and he felt the parts instead of just reading them. I never knew this was a trilogy until now and I downloaded the next book Sons, but it just isn't the same. It's narrated by someone else and it sounds flat and dull.
As someone who loved this book most of my life, I highly recommend this audible version of The Good Earth. You won't be sorry!
This book was different than I had expected and I found myself skipping over large parts. I don't dislike slow books as long as they are interesting, however I found it really hard to get into it during the first half.
After the shipwreck, I found it much more interesting. I would recommend it, but probably only to people who had seen the movie.
I have always been interested in the Kennedys and found this book to be fascinating, however the author goes into so much detail that at times I found myself skipping a few parts. I'm also interested in history, so believe me, it had to be a LOT of detail to turn me off a bit.
Otherwise extremely well done, I'd recommend it to my friends.
I really recommend this excellent book. Not only did I learn many details about the leprosarium on Kalaupapa, I felt at the end of the book as if I had actually been there. The author was so skilled that I also felt I knew the main character personally.
The book starts in the late 1800's with the main character, Rachel Kalama, at 5 years old. While I was reading, I was horrified to find out that little children who were diagnosed with leprosy at the time were forcefully parted from their families - from everything they had known - and sent to Kalaupapa. The book follows Rachel's journey to the island thru her girlhood, teen years, adult, and old age.
While listening I found it hard to believe over and over again that this book was written by a man. He captured every kind of nuance and thought that was female.
Because of this book I would someday like to visit the island and the area that housed the people with leprosy. It is now a the national park. Very much recommended, you won't regret purchasing it.
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