The story deals with complex issues of hurt, help, guilt, struggle and it's impact on current and subsequent generations. The characters are real, complex, lovable yet flawed (like the rest of us). While I thought parts of the book dragged, in the 90 minutes or so - all the pieces came together in a very moving, magical and emotionally powerful way. The reader is good.
I had downloaded this book sometime ago. I have a feeling it must have been a special sale. I did listen to the whole thing but didn't like it at all. The story goes back and forth between a present and a past. The lead character, Anna Pigeon (who is in many of Barr's books - a NPS ranger) is related to the characters in the past. The past takes place at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in an outpost prison where some conspirators or sympathizers are kept. The present is in a NPS garrison park. Flashing back and forth between the past and this present with evil afoot, "someone" drugging NPS rangers with LSD in the water so they think they are going mad, the same someone involved in human smuggling operations - well, it's melodramatic and not very well written.
To be fair to this book, I had just finished Woud's "War and Remembrance" and so there are very few books that could even come close to the power. However, my opinion doesn't change when I think of it relative to some other fiction (historical fiction) I've read. It's an OK story. It's well told and it takes place (at least in part) in a part of the world (Bulgaria) with which I am less familiar. But it didn't really grip me. When it ended, I had to listen to the last two chapters again to be sure I hadn't spaced out and missed anything. It's the first Furst novel I've read and I'm not rushing to add others. I do like Guidall in general.
I've read (listened) to so many books on WWII including The Storm of War, Bloodlands, Inferno, The Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich, In the Garden of Beasts, Lisbon, The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich at War, Spandau Prison, Black Cross - and many others. Wouk's writing particularly in this book made me feel and experience what it meant to be a Jew/Jewess in Germany, France, and Italy profoundly. I felt and experienced the trauma. The last volume (Part 7) is particularly strong. Wouk made me experience the horror and not just read about it. It also provides insights into the mindset in the US and the political resistance to our entry into the war and recognition of what had happened. I recommend it highly.
I've been devouring books on WWII - a lot of history (Shirer, Roberts), some like this one - quasi-fiction (Erik Larson). Both Wouk's book and Larson's provide perspective on why the United States took so long to enter the war, and the political & historical context for the decisions. This book is good - well-written and the narrator is outstanding. His ability to give characters different voices, to take the accents of different countries is exceptional. I know I read this good (OH SO MANY) years ago. I don't remember anything. But I will remember the audio version.
First part of book is the best - but the second 1/2 is good too. First 1/2 has to do with gaming. Second part shifts to a fairly surreal struggle on several continents in the "real" world. Reader does an outstanding job. Only problem, what to read next? Fortunately, I had already downloaded Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 and I'm enjoying it. And - I added Stephenson's Cryptonomicon to my library (despite the fact that I spent 2 credits to get it). I highly recommend Reamde. You'll really have fun (if you're like me).
Not a good listen. Inferior to the earlier books with Kurt Wallander. I diidn't like the reader - but by the end, I realized there wouldn't be any more books with this detective as the story line kind of sent him to the place where all retired characters go from discontinued series. If you want to be at peace the series is ending - read this one. If not, stick with the earlier ones with Dick Hill and enjoy.
It's long and normally I like long books, but this one felt pasted together without much quality control. Some memories, some history, some social history - I don't regret having listened, but I don't feel I would have lost anything valuable if I hadn't. I did like some of the characters and cared about them, but was uncomfortable with parts of the performance. (One of the characters is (apparently) a talented opera singer - but the narrator isn't one and it left me, as I said, "uncomfortable.") The story covers a large swathe of African American history but I don't feel I learned a whole lot.
I gave two stars to the story as there must have been something that kept me listening, however ambivalently. Scott Brick manages to turn a bad story to melodrama. Unfortunately, I believe I already purchased another by these authors and by the narrator, but going forward - I won't.
It's hard to describe a Thomas Perry book - especially the Butcher's Boy series. The protagonist is a true anti-hero. You should hate him, but you love him, root for him, are amazed by his skill. This series is amazing. I fear "The Informant" is the last, but maybe ... maybe. Perry is unique, understated, and his writing is brilliant. If you haven't listened to one yet, start with "The Butcher's Boy", then "Sleeping Dogs", and lastly "The Informant". But don't listen to five minutes of the narration and go "this is terrible, there's no affect." Keep on listening and you'll realize you're inside Michael Schaefer's head. And then everything makes sense weirdly.
I truly enjoy the Jeffrey Deaver books with the quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhymes. His mind is brilliant and the forensic analysis, reconstruction of the crime scene, and attention to detail convincing. Kathryn Dance is a kinesics expert. She looks at the subtleties of body language to interview and analyze suspects and witnesses. I don't find the discipline as convincing. The narrative is gripping, but near the end there are various surprises that come out of nowhere and it's not at all clear while Deaver decided to tack them on. I'll read/listen to other Deaver novels with Lincoln Rhymes and Amanda Sachs - but not with Kathryn Dance.
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