I had a lot of issues with this book. i would recommend it with reservations. To listen to the POWs experience over and over is not necessarily my cup of tea. Additionally, I really didn't think it went into enough depth with critical issues. to me, it was one POWs story in the war...horrific as it was, it didn't go into depth of issues of forgiveness..the why's and how's of POWs survival and life afterward. It was a story about the brutality during war and that was it. It seemed superficial in ways. It was interesting enough, but I really think it could have been so much more. The narration was very well done.
Let me start out by saying that I really enjoyed Hotel on Bitter and Sweet and was looking forward to this book.
The story never grabbed me at the start. The plot is pretty much set out for you at the very beginning so there are no surprises. That would be ok if the story was rich in character development or setting description. Having just visited Seattle, I was looking forward to hearing about the setting back in the depression era, but there was not enough setting description given for me. i always love books where the descriptions are enough to make me feel like i am there and this one did not do that. The story picked up a little mid way, but slowed down again toward the finish.
The author alternates the story of William and Willow's life interspersed with minor characters who I felt could have added a richness to the story. My favorite character was Charlotte, William's blind friend from the orphanage. But I was left wanting more. I understood her story, but felt that it could have continued throughout the book versus wrapping up earlier.
I felt in many ways that the story was superficial. There was no in depth effort given to the plot, characters, or setting. Seattle's gloomy weather could have added so much more to the story and a greater development of some of the minor characters again would have helped.
The narration was average and did not distract from the book. Overall, I would give it a 2.5.
I wasn't quite sure if I would like this, but based on the good reviews, I decided to try it.
It was very good...hard to get through at times, either by graphic descriptions or chemical compounds, but it was very informative and very interesting. It really gave you an appreciation for the complexity of the disease. It interspersed enough individual stories that would break up the science aspects of the book.
A very good non fiction book.
It really is more of a 2.5. I can only take so much description of scalping, raping and torturing of people. Having said that, it did make me more familiar with some history that I did not know. I am not sure i could recommend it to others.
I found this to be an enjoyable listen. It came across as being a very structured book. I found the narration to be very well done. I also thought the character development was excellent. Really liked the main characters of Strike and Robin. I also liked that it was a PI novel based on smarts...not a bunch of shoot out or car chase scenes.
Some of the things that I didn't care for as much:
I found the "who done it" very predictible. I guessed all parts of it.
The dialogue at times was very slow...question/answer...question/answer.
I am in no way a prude and have used the f word many times myself, but there were timeswhen the author just overused it. After a while, I wondered if it was used so much to try and distance this book from any comparison to Harry Potter and a more juvenile series.
I would give one more in a series a shot, before I decided if I would continue on.
This review is tough because I am comparing it to "The Winter Sea", which I loved and gave 5 stars. This book is a worthy continuation of that story. I did enjoy this book, but not as much as The Winter Sea because "The Firebird" is much more involved in the romantic storyline of the past and present characters than on the historical times of Russia and the Jacobites while the Winter Sea was heavier on the historical times with the romance as a backdrop. I would have enjoyed more history in this one.
Additionally, whereas the narrator of the Winter Sea immediately engaged me, I had to get used to this one.
If you haven't listened/read the Winter Sea first, I would highly recommend it. I believe this book could be a stand alone, but I believe you get much more out of it reading it in sequence.
Overall, it is a solid 4 star read.
I find the writing of Khaled Hosseini to be magical and this book does not disappoint. However, if you are expecting a similar book to the previous two by this author, don't.
This book is very different. The style is different, whereas, there is no stand out scene nor is there a build up to a conclusion. It is the story of various characters, each separate and distinct from one another, but there is are threads that connect the characters to one another. The storytelling is beautiful. Imagine yourself sitting outside on a beautiful day under a tree with your grandmother or grandfather telling you stories about your ancestry. That's how I felt listening to this book.
Hosseini weaves the themes of family, heritage and guilt throughout the character's stories and the how and why each deals with these themes is interesting and thought provoking.
There are so many different facets to this novel that I enjoyed that it will take me some time to reflect on them. I will be recommending this to my friends and look forward to discussing the book with them. A solid 4.5 rating from me...I thoroughly enjoyed two of the three narrators. The third was not bad, I just enjoyed him less.
I enjoyed this book. Easy to listen to and I really enjoy the tour guide through famous cities. I felt it was very similar to the DaVinci Code in style. Take the DaVinci Code, plop it into a different city with a different book other than the bible and you have this book. So it follows the same formula. However, it is highly enjoyable and a fast ride. I can see tour guides in a few more cities setting up tours based on this book!
Narration was great...will probably listen to this again with the hubby on a road trip.
I have been an audible member for about a year and a half. My husband likes to listen to books but only during road trips. I picked this one because I thought it would appeal to both us since he is a diver and I enjoy books that have a history element.
This book did not dissapoint. It is an interesting story that always kept us engaged. My husband loved it. He could really appreciate all of the diving parts and would explain some things that I didn't understand so that I could appreciate it more also (even though you don't have to know anything about diving to enjoy the book) I have read some fiction books that mention Uboats off the East coast, but really didn't know much about it. This book makes me want to find more nonfiction books to learn more.
Since I have made listening the way that I "read" books now, I have really honed in on good writers and good narrators and I am sure that my husband would say that I have high expectations, however, I thought both the narrator and the writer were just ok. The narrator didn't detract from the book, but neither did he enhance the experience. The writing was just ok also. There were a lot of times throughout the book where I felt there were too many descriptive words added. My sense was that the author felt he had a really good story here, but would add a lot of stuff to it so that it would be long enough for a book.
Overall, it was a good road trip book.
Although the author uses a lot of foreshadowing and imagery techniques throughout the novel, it is the story and narration that make it an outstanding book for me. The narrator's voice for Owen Meany is annoying at times, but it is essential to the story.
The book grabbed me from the start and it was very hard to put down. I had never listened to or read a John Irving novel, but I have now added more to my wish list.
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