I hated myself for enjoying this but if you want a lightweight read that does not require a lot of your attention while you shop or clean on the weekends, then this book is for you. The characters are cut-out but the plot moves rapidly if not somewhat improbably. And you learn a little about life in the Louisiana swamps.
This is fast-food, drive-through lit. The plot moves along at a good clip, and I got a lot of gardening and housework done by listening to it. The premise is implausible but intriguing: a graduate seminar at the Medill School of Journalism leads to a vast conspiracy. Three intrepid graduate students, each with his or her own agenda, uncover aforementioned vast conspiracy. Take it to the beach this summer.
Make no mistake. This book is lightweight as far as suspense and plot. But the story of Maggie, the dog, lifts it from the mundane to a special book about military and police dogs. I learned a lot about their training and and handling. And, of course, at the heart of the book is the bond developed between Maggie and her alpha.
Although the plot is improbable, this book moves fast and is a good distraction if you are housecleaning or raking leaves. The development of Will, as a character, is deftly done, and the plot twists keep coming.
With a sing-song, condescending tone, the narrator seems to have confused reading for an adult novel with a children's story hour. And from the one hour of listening that I could stand, the novel needs all the help it can get. The characterization is paper-doll thin, and the whole first part is devoted to clumsily written back story. I have not been this irritated with book in a long while.
Sharp Objects is a tight, integrated story that flirts with Southern Gothic, Stephen Kingesque horror without crossing the line. Although you will probably guess the villain and the specific syndrome early in the novel, the characterization and plot are so tightly interwoven that it holds your interest to the very end, and the reward is one more horrific detail. Flynn is an excellent writer, far above most who write in this genre. The plot is described elsewhere, so I won't rehash that. I do recommend this book to anyone who wants something a little different in mystery suspense.
I listened to this short book on New Year's Eve and the following day while driving to friends in another town. This book could easily be used in a creative writing class as an example of best practices. This book made such an impression that I Googled it and found a movie had been made as well, which I downloaded from NetFlix. If you like good contemporary literature, I highly recommend this book, and then check out the movie.
This is light reading with a simple story line. Maddy Sprouls is the crotchety newspaper librarian in the prerequisite small town full of the usual eccentric characters with secrets to hide. A murder ensues. Maddy solves it. End of story.
It's a good book for light reading, very light.
I listen to about 40 books a year, and out of that I average one really good book, books I remember and recommend. In the past, these books have included The Help, The Kite Runner, Middlesex, and Water for Elephants. I just finished listening to Freedom, and I thought that was my book for 2010. But then I bought Room. Writing coaches talk about writing with "voice," and I am sure this book will be brought up time and again in seminars as an example of a book with voice. The "voice" is not the fact that it is told by a five year-old, but that the author has used Jack's voice to shape and echo the world she has created. This book is not easy to listen to, and in places it is creepy. But it is fantastic writing, plotting and characterization.
I would really like to have heard this book, but I just had to stop. The narrator sounds like she is reading headlines for the six o'clock news. I kept checking my iPod to see if perhaps I had set it to the fast speed. Nope. So, I tried to correct by putting it on slow speed. That didn't work either. I finally had to give up. The sing-song staccato with no sense of pacing is just too maddening. Too bad. Sounded like a good story.
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