1493 is not intended to be "the last word" or even non-controversial, as best as I can understand. It's something even better -1493 is an invitation to become astonished, question and explore, formulating your own conclusions. Any attempts to make sense of history long gone needs to make inspired leaps of imagination. Charles Mann provides a sumptuous feast of discoveries about "The New World". As few records and even populations remain, we need everyone's active engagement, teasing out possibilities. I love how it has captured my full attention. I care more about how the Columbian Exchange reshaped the planet and its civilizations, and have a far better understanding of the massive implications for our planet today.
I appreciate Charles Mann's scholarship and profound caring about those who came before us and the concerns we face now.
This is the first of Robertson Dean's performances I've heard, and I like it.
I listened to 1491 prior to this. Every bit as compelling, and just as highly recommended.
Thoroughly likable main characters develop individually and interpersonally from one book to the next.
It brings to mind the Ladies #1 Detective Agency series in that it provides a warm and vivid introduction to another culture. Both series possess a dry British wit. As the Dr. Siri Investigations explore the spirit world as well, they provide a fascinating intersection of the traditional beliefs with the political realities of the mid-70's.
Initially, I thought Clive Chafer's reading style monotonous. But the more I listen to these, the more I hear the humor and depth in this understated delivery. I find myself listening to each book twice, starting again as soon as I complete one to savor it more fully. And then I immediately download the next!
I remember the pleasure with which I discovered Michael Connelly's detective series, but over time the darkness of Bosch's world view and the alienation of the major characters induced me to back off. This series, in contrast, has some evil and genuinely negative characters, but the overall impression is one of great warmth, respect and even joy. In places it's laugh out loud funny. I'm grateful that one reviewer's related that his Laotian wife found the series presented an accurate physical and cultural portrait of her homeland. I was apprehensive that Thirty-Three Teeth might not live up to the freshness and originality of The Coroner's Lunch. Happily, this second book in the series deepened my appreciation of the culture, the characters and the nature of their growing intimacy.
If you go onto the author's web site, you'll see he's quite an accomplished cartoonist, too.
The beauty of Frances Mayes writing is sensual, searching and compelling.
The most memorable moments were the charged interactions with her father, who was alternately doting and abusive. I also enjoyed the spontaneous scenes. For example, as a teen-ager, she went swimming with a boyfriend, pulled off her suit while submerged and tied it to her foot as she swam to the next shoreline before tugging it back on. Such passages pull one in!
Frances Maye's writing reveals a passionate and spunky girl coming of age, and her eloquence is delightful. I would have liked to heard this narrated by a skilled voice talent who could have imbued the words with their inherent spark. I found the author's voice to be rather flat and plaintive, belying the verve of her true character.
Sadly, there was little heart in her family. Frances Mayes takes risks and writes of herself and her family members frankly. But the dynamics of despair and blaming cast a pall of inertness, despite the drama of hurtful fights.
I'd imagine those who grew up in a family stressed by alcoholism might well appreciate the author's insightfulness. Furthermore, her vivid descriptions evoke the South with warmth, subtlety and spice. Personally, I did not complete the book. My sense was that the author fled the family rather than outgrew it, and her risks are those of impulsivity rather than a process of evolving commitment. That said, she clearly is a disciplined and highly talented writer who grows through exploring her charged back history. If others' endorsement of this book speak to you, I recommend you check it out.
Succinct, satisfying and solid.
This feels consistent in quality to Connelly's other crime novels. For some reason, Bosch seemed more accessible in this… perhaps because his energies were directed productively, not in locking horns with his coworkers.
Yes. I find his gravelly voice somewhat distracting - find myself somewhat short of breath hearing the effort forcing the voice beyond his chest. At the same time, I think he gives a good characterization of Bosch.
Actually, as these were short stories, I engaged more on an intellectual level than a visceral one. Connelly tends to build mood over time. Nevertheless, these moved quickly and concluded cleanly. I love how the care with which the author builds his narratives.
I felt this was well worth my time… I recommend it to anyone who wants hour-long entertainment - 3 of them, in fact.
Spectacular. Moving. Universal yet deeply personal.
What I liked the best was the author's profound empathy and rich portrayal of the characters.
Hobart won my heart - his humanity anchors the tale, and his friendship provides essential solace for storm-damaged souls. Hobie is the one who eloquently describes the path from psychic dislocation to some form of wholeness.
I would not think of renaming The Goldfinch.
I see that others' comments range from ecstatic to resentful. Some object to the wordiness and the philosophizing at the end. Although I felt it was dense and long, I trusted the author, Donna Tartt to navigate through the smoke, cinders, wastrel nights and haunted regrets. And I feel she more than came through. I have just re-listened to the last 45 minutes or so 3 or 4 times. I feel immensely moved by the sentiments expressed. To my way of thinking, the novel is a study of trauma. It expresses the profound disorientation and subsequent miscues that send people reeling in directions incomprehensible to onlookers. Three characters in particular - Theo, Borys and Pippa reveal just what different courses might be taken in the aftermath of unspeakable damage. That the moral compasses are skewed in two cases is the entire point. The book is written, I believe, for those who wrestle with alienation borne of early betrayal. Whether some readers judge the weaknesses of the protagonist and dismiss the book is besides the point. For those whom this book is written for, it's a treasure for a lifetime of reflection.
Yes, I'll listen to it again, to appreciate the construction of the tale and to assimilate the information about each character more thoroughly.
Don't wish to give anything away, but the last third of the book is fast-paced and exciting.
I enjoyed the denouement, when all the pieces fell together.
The narrator gives a pitch-perfect characterization of Harry Bosch and his colleagues. I would like to see him portray women more effectively - they sound rather stilted and mincing.
I will most certainly listen to this again - in fact, as soon as I finished it, I listened to the last hour for the sheer satisfaction of hearing the conclusion of the story all over again.
The plot is excellently paced, and fueled by sharp observations as well as action.
Adam Grupper was perfect for the narration - bringing a rough edge to Mickey Haller's voice as tension mounts, and a fine characterization of the other characters.
The book was perfect for me in that it was engaging enough to listen to for as much time as I had available at any given time, but satisfying enough to savor what I'd read and think over it when I had to stop.
This was my first legal thriller, and now I'm looking forward to checking out Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books. Highly recommended.
No, but I sense I'd like the author as a person.
No, but I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys novels about the power of friendship among women, and who likes books of this genre. Likeable characters, no dark surprises, life-affirming messages and a happy enough ending, despite losses along the way.
The narration was skillful and heartfelt. I feel it complemented the story very well.
The general messages - forgiveness, integrity, autonomy are all positive messages. When characters are created to be very easy to relate to, they do become rather generic and plot-driven, to my way of thinking. I decided to try the book to read about forgiveness, and I felt supported re the story line.
Although I realized pretty early in the book that it was going to be one of a genre I don't generally read, I genuinely liked the characters, and listened to the book to the end. I was pleased that the author didn't sew things up as fully as some would have… although the prognosis was positive for each major character.
I first learned of this book by hearing author Adam Goodheart interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air. My interest was immediately aroused, and I'm very glad I purchased "1861-The Civil War Awakening". To read this detailed account of the first year of the Civil War provided me with a fresh perspective. Adam Goodheart mentioned in his interview that he wished to shine a spotlight on the very beginning of a historic war, seeing parallels with 9/11. (In that what may be later viewed as a "natural unfolding of history" is, at the time, often chaotic and uncertain, and profoundly influenced by key individuals. A most colorful as well as eye-opening account, at least for history novices like myself.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.