I enjoyed this book and was disappointed to learn that her next book is coming out in about a year! Unfortunately by that time I will probably have forgotten all about this series. The book ends on a cliff-hanger for those of you who hate that. It is a good adventure/action story, which takes some predictable turns. Overall the story is entertaining and engaging. I predict a major motion picture by 2015. Think Hunger Games.
I had this book in my wish list for quite awhile before I finally decided to buy it. The story was compelling enough that it held my attention until the end. I was disappointed with the ending because it merely made the story a lesson in morality, which is: You can't judge a book by its cover; or some other trite parable.
The story was almost like a non-sequitor by the way it started; its development; and its odd moral ending. It is as though the author was trying to give a particular person a private message. I don't know...when I read a novel, I want to be entertained not preached at.
This story was completely unexpected. It is a mystery that doesn't rely on sex, money and gore. While there are deaths involved in the story it doesn't involve the detailed blood and guts sensationalism on which many of today's mystery writers rely.
The characters are well-developed in an entertaining way. The author does not get bogged down in relationship interaction that often becomes cumbersome and unrealistic in other books. Each character has his or her own distinct personality without being annoying.
If you're looking for a light summer mystery which will hold your attention. This is your book.
I haven't read Steinbeck in years and, honestly, avoided this one for a long time. I was so wrong. It is typical Steinbeck with his typical characters. I am enjoying every minute of it. I love the strong female protagonist.
My opinion of the harmonica is that it is a little loud compared to the rest of the recording. It sort of reminds me of "Oh Brother! Where Art Thou?" and helped me get into the period of the story. The harmonica player is fantastic and I would love to hear more of that particular player. Does anyone know who it is? The only problem is you don't know when the harmonica will break in and it can be jarring, plus it gets a little redundant.
The narrator is great and he has identifiable voices for each character. You can tell who is speaking before the author identifies the speaker.
Overall I really enjoyed this audiobook and I am inspired to read or re-read some Steinbeck in the near future.
I enjoyed this book and listened to it til the end. Murder/mysteries are my favorite genre as escapism and this is a good one. One reviewer stated that there is a lot of swearing in this book and that's true; however, it is true for one or two characters of the book and not all of them and not used in the narrative too much, if at all. Not all of the characters are likeable and, unfortunately, the characters which are easiest to dislike are the women. They are either nags, gossips, grumps, sluts or victims.
What I like about the book is that the author clearly conveys the brutality of the murder without being overly descriptive. I like Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels, but I find them to be far too graphic in blood and gore and that turns me off after awhile. Johnson focuses his stories more on the characters and descriptions of the western country and Native American beliefs than the gorey details of crimes. At times he gets a little long-winded in those descriptions, but eventually moves on. The ending was a bit of a disappointment, in my opinion.
George Guidall is an excellent narrator and I got used to listening to him in Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels. I recently listened to another book narrated by Guidall (not a Deaver book) and I can now honestly say that I am a little tired of him as a narrator. One reviewer described him as not having much of a range when voicing different characters and that's true.
I will likely listen to the next book in this series at some future date, but not until I have recovered from my current weariness of Guidall as narrator.
I loved this book mostly because of the comments made by the author. While listening I thought at times, "How dare he write this book!" And then Gaiman commented on that very thing at the end. He also commented on how some Americans criticized him for including some aspects of America and not others. I loved the inclusion of Rock City. I only wished he included other campy/quirky sites and ideas of Americana like the world's largest ball of string, South of the Border, the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, etc. But I can't complain too much since he mentioned the mermaids of Weeki Wachee! It just would have been more fun if he included more of our country's quirkiness, but I can't blame him since this is a large country. This is the first Gaiman novel I've read and if you're a little off like, I guess, I am you will enjoy this book too.
Recently I decided to catch up on my Sci-Fi reading since I am now finished with the Dresden Files series (sniff). This has got to be the hokiest science fiction I ever read (heard)! I decided to buy it because it was included on classic sci fi lists I've reviewed on the web. This is the first book of the series so the majority of the story was setting up characters; however, it was a very predictable story. Of course, the books were written in the 60's when this genre was new. Even so, I won't be buying any more installments of this series.
This is one of the most unusual and redundant books I have ever read (listened to). I'm not sure if it is a cultural difference between America and Japan, but Murakami describes, in detail, every mundane action and thought a human being might have. The story is based upon human sexuality whether it is gay, heterosexual, extramarital, child sexual abuse, etc., ...that is not to say I am so puritanical that any mention of sex makes me uncomfortable, but the pivotal nature of sex in the story seemingly makes the author pathalogical about the subject. I say that it is redundant not because the ideas about which the author writes are familiar, but because the author restates his ideas in the book two or three times as if the reader is so dense that he or she could not possibly grasp his philosophy the first time or two. I only found this characteristic helpful because my mind wanders so much when I am listening to the story that hearing it again reminds me what is happening. The book is also redudant because the primary literary reference, not surprisingly, is to Orwell's "1984", but there are other unusual literary references made throughout the story.
I have not yet finished the book (I have one more section to go) but I am anxiously awaiting the end of this very drawn out story. The tie-in between the two major characters is so sophomoric and trite that I am almost sorry I've put this much time into it. So far the moral of the story is love overcomes all obstacles with a smattering of Christianity, Buddhism, Capitalism, Socialsm, and modern Japanese manners and ethics..yada, yada, yada.
Compared to the sci-fi book "Ready Player One" this book is long-winded, pedantic and boring. Perhaps so much is lost in the translation from Japanese to English that the story is rendered worthless. Or perhaps Murakami is as mentally ill as he seems. If you are an intelligent person who likes a twist of sci-fi on occasion just to mix things up, this book is not for you. On the other hand, if you found the very entertaining Harry Potter series to be intellictually and spiritually enlightening, then I highly recommend this tome of nonsense.
I have loved the Dresden Files ever since Audible.com sold me the first book for $3.00. Since then I have begged, borrowed and stolen any audio book of the Dresden Files I could (I bought most of them from Audible and borrowed a few from the library.) I could listen to James Marsters narrating for Harry Dresden forever. Jim Butcher's self-proclaimed formulaic Harry Dresden stories coupled with James Marsters narration are top notch! In this installment Mr. Butcher has made many changes to Harry's life and while I was very saddened for Harry, at the same time I thought, "Of couse! It's about time!" I love the plot and story changes and I cannot wait to find out the continuing adventures Mr. Butcher has in store for Harry. I have completely fallen in love with James Marsters and find his performance for this fantasy series to be second to none! His overall talent is totally showcased in his narration of these books. Each character has his or her own voice and each is distinguishable from the other. I borrowed the next book in the series from the library and I cannot listen to it since Marsters is not the narrator. Unfortunately, I will have to resort to reading that book since listening to it is unacceptable! Keep it up Jim and James. I look forward to the next book! Please ensure that Mr. Marsters is the narrator!
I am completely in love with Louise Penny's Three Pines Mysteries. Her characters are so realistic and they all have typical human failings; however, I always finish one of her stories wishing I could visit Three Pines and befriend every single one of them. Ralph Cosham IS Inspector Gamache and his narration only adds to the the story. If you haven't read any of Louise Penny's books I encourage you do so and do so quick! You won't regret it. I can't wait until her next one comes out this summer!
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