Boynton Beach, FL | Member Since 2015
Maybe it's because most of Carl Hiaasen's books conjure up such gritty, quirky characters that this book -- which would rate as a good book if it were written by someone else -- is a bit of a let-down. The plot has great potential but the characters just don't run with it. The usual irreverent humor is much subdued. Hoot, Hiaasen's first book for young people, was written in a young boy's voice and was rich with the conflicts and everyday details of early-teen life. Flush lacks these savory details. The reader of this audio version is also adequate but lacks the delicious irony which infused Chad Lowe's reading of Hoot. I feel as if the writer -- who's not capable of writing a BAD book, as far as I can tell -- just didn't have his heart in this one, and the narrator isn't inhabiting the book, just reading it aloud.
Yes. The story brings home what a horrible disease smallpox was and the dangers faced by those who wanted to prevent the disease with inoculation. But it reads like a thriller -- you can't wait to find out what happened to this person or how that situation was resolved.
The entire story of Zabdeal Boylston was entrancing. I had never heard of him, although I grew up near Boston. He comes alive in this book, not as a colonist, not as a historical character, but as a family man and conscientious doctor who has to fight on multiple fronts to do what he believes is right.
No one scene sticks out. But I had never realized, as someone who received a routine vaccination as a baby, what a miracle it was that I was safe from what had been a common and devastating scourge. The descriptions of how people actually suffered and died from smallpox changes an abstract idea into a horrible, painful reality for so many generations of people.
Zabdeal Boylston's family's experience with the pox was absolutely wrenching.
I don't remember when I have enjoyed listening to a book so much. And the fact that, after 19 odd hours, I was disappointed to have it end -- well, I'm seriously considering going back to the beginning and listening again!
This is a sweet story with interesting characters although there were terribly dark parts when the Nazis actively entered into the plot. It somehow didn't convey the terror and claustrophobic sensation that "Island at War" on Masterpiece Theatre did, possibly because it was placed AFTER the central events had unfolded rather than while they were actually happening. Listening to the book was, for me, more enjoyable than reading it, as the characters were so strongly brought to life by the narrators. Wanting to find out what happened to the various personalities kept me going through some of the more tedious parts. Whoever played "Dawsey" grabbed me right at the beginning and kept me going through the whole book.
If I wanted to listen to Persuasion again, I would definitely listen to this version again. The narrator is superb and the book is my favorite Austen novel. I do thing that some books are better read than listened to, and this is one, but as an audiobook, this version is perfect!
I just love the older, less attractive heroine getting her chance at last. It's a romantic story and there are always those arch little remarks Austen chucks here and there that you read and then go
I never thought of them as separate roles, but different people speaking at any given time. You lose sight of the fact that it's one narrator inhabiting all the characters as they're all such individuals.
No, it's more a cozy, comfortable pleasure than a rock-your-world type book. It's a perfect book for a long, boring drive or a quiet listen when you want to sit and knit and drink a cup of tea.
This book has two faces: the first is a clear, comprehensive discussion of the infamous Circus Fire that struck Hartford in the 1940's; the second is a sensitive accounting of the victims, living and dead, who experienced such a terrifying few minutes, without being maudlin or sensationalist. I must say, I didn't expect the book to be so compelling -- I've just downloaded it to listen to it again.
This book should become the definitive retelling of the Columbine tragedy, and a classic true crime story as is Helter Skelter or The Executioner's Song. Its recounts what happened, how it happened and its effects on the victims and their families. It brings home the loss of each individual and how terrible the shootings really were.
An unexpected delight! It seemed like an ordinary mystery-with-cats. But within the first few pages, you and the author have become co-conspirators in the enjoyment of a well-written, intelligent mystery read by a perfectly-matched narrator. It's set in Cambridge, MA (okay, Cambridgeport, an entirely different place than Cambridge, despite being part of the same city), primarily in the garage-band club scene, with cat-rescue being another thread in the story. The characters are well-drawn, the plot not predictable and all the subplots satisfactorily tied up at the end. The writing itself (apart from the plots and character crafting) is a pleasure to read, and the narrator enhances it beautifully.
This is an older work of Elizabeth Peters (she of the Amelia Peabody mysteries) but remains one of her best. It's a well-written romance with overtones of the supernatural and one of the funniest books she's ever written, although that doesn't dilute the spookiness of the scarier scenes. There are characters you'll like and characters you'll cheerfully detest. I heartily recommend this for any circumstances, but especially for long drives when you want to stay awake -- you can't stop listening because you want to know what happens, although other drivers may wonder why you're laughing like a loon when you're alone in your car!
This is a wrenching, detailed account of the fire in which six Worcester firefighters lost their lives. The deceased firefighters, their families and their colleagues are shown as full, breathing human beings caught in a tragedy beyond their control. I do agree that the fake Boston accent is a little distracting, but the book is too good to be badly affected by that. I highly recommend this book.
I resisted this book for a long time as the topic didn't interest me. Once I started it, though, it grabbed me and I couldn't stop listening. Hillebrand is an excellent writer; she strings together the story from several viewpoints without tangling them, and builds up each incident to the most suspenseful peak before revealing its denouement. The story of horse and men (owner, trainer and jockey) would capture the reader's heart, even in the hands of a lesser writer. But I'm very happy to report that the story of independent, courageous, glorious Seabiscuit and the people who loved and trained him found its way into the hands of a writer who could make it soar. The narrator submerges his personality totally to the benefit of the story, so you sometimes are startled to realize that you're not really watching the story unfold, but hearing it read to you. All in all, a seamlessly written, engrossing listen.
I'm almost afraid to confess how much I enjoyed this book. The narrator is, by his own admission, a monster -- but, darn! I can't help liking him, and sympathizing with him. He's entrancing in his clear-eyed observations of himself and the world surrounding him, and his point of view gives the novel a macabre humor that's hard to resist. The pace of the novel moves quickly. If the end is not wholly surprising, it's still very different from anything else I've ever read. I'm looking forward to this author's next book. ONE CAVEAT: it's probably not for the faint of heart. This is a crime novel with graphic details. If you can handle it, though, it's a great read.
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