Yes, in my opinion this is one of the better recent Scarpetta novels. It's got a good range of interesting characters and explores subject matter that's not too similar to the previous novels. At times I thought this one is less pessimistic than some of the earlier novels, though it's hard to put my finger on how.
Interesting plot twists, including one dramatic demise (there's always got to be one). Although I foresaw one of the other plot developments - and I don't think I'm particularly good at doing this - I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Like the other Scarpetta novels, it has numerous plot strands and is not spoilt if you can predict part of what's coming.
Lorelei King is a great reader of Cornwell's Scarpetta novels. She does a good job with all of the characters. With this novel she even does an Australian accent - not the easiest for a non-Australian to do and it comes out sounding a bit like a parody, but perhaps this fits the situation.
Rob Lowe tells a good collection of stories, written in a wry and unaggrandising way. The narration is memorable and includes good impersonations (Christopher Walken is one of my favourite examples). I was struck not only by the range of extraordinary people that Rob hobnobbed with - having been one of the most high-profile teen stars of the 1980s - but also by his circumspect way of recounting things, sometimes with years of hndsight. This book is time well spent because it's packed with interesting and often uncannily timed moments, offering intelligent insights into the pitfalls as well as the dazzling experience of fame. A pioneer of intelligent autobiographical writing about the "Brat Pack".
I've been a fan of Patti Smith's music for years, but initially hesitated to listen to this book because I thought it might be mainly about the relationship between two people, one of whom died tragically young, and therefore a bit depressing. I'm so glad I did listen to it, because it's very much a portrait of a time and place (the late 1960s and the 1970s in New York). It is also about the relationship between Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe, which is handled in a delicate and not at all maudlin way. I gained a lot of insight into all of the participants and their artistic milieu, making me curious to know more about some aspects of the latter, even though I'd already read a fair bit about the topic. The book is read very well by Patti Smith in her distinctive way, which somehow manages to combine directness and deceptive simplicity with emotional complexity and surprising ideas, just like her music. This is a well-crafted and sensitive book that impresses me with Patti Smith's writing.
Yes. As well as having a compelling story that builds gradually to an intriguing conclusion, The Wild Palms is structured in a way that made me go back to earlier chapters to see how subsequent events are foreshadowed.
The climax of the "Wild Palms" portion of the novel is unforgettable. Having said that, the account of the flood in the other portion, "The Old Man", is also remarkable. The quote, "From grief and nothing, I choose grief", resonates and has an interesting relationship to the French film Breathless, in which this line is quoted.
Marc Vietor gives an excellent performance, well-sustained and with a dignity that serves Faulkner's prose well. The Southern aspect is evident in a good way, without ever seeming overplayed or affected. Faulkner's work is read impressively by various narrators at Audible.com, and this book is no exception.
I took a while to get into this, mainly because of the unorthodox structure. It is difficult to understand the relationship between the two alternating stories. The relationship is not direct but involves themes that echo between the two: loss, endurance, sacrifice, the transience of human relationships, attempts to comprehend intense experiences and to resolve threads of existence. It's a sad book that includes an element of the absurd.
I was surprised to see that this audiobook hasn't been reviewed yet. I downloaded it a while ago and had assumed that other listeners would have reviewed it by now. Although it's not the most famous of Faulkner's books, nor, like any of his work, a light read, I found it to be moving, intriguing and memorable.
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