This book chronicles the adventures of a young boy as he seeks to find his missing parents. Written for a younger audience than His Dark Materials or the Bartimaeus Trilogy, Lionboy nevertheless engages the listener with lively characters and a fairly fast-paced plot. Said plot, however, is somewhat simplistic, and this book has a disappointingly unsatisfying ending, leaving the listener fully expecting a sequel which, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't exist. Not high art, and again, not as well-developed or unique as His Dark Materials or Bartimaeus, but a fun listen nonetheless.
I read Mary Karr's "Cherry" and thought it quite good - witty, sad, interesting, a page turner. So I decided to get this one. I didn't read the description because I was fairly sure I would like anything she wrote. Well, she has a wonderful way with words, but unless you are personally in recovery or perhaps a current drinker who is flirting with the idea of quitting, the book is not really all that interesting. Halfway through I was beginning to wonder how much longer I could bear to listen to her endless self-pity, self-criticism, and whinging about what a bad mother she was to her toddler. The market is already quite saturated (pun intended) with these womens' memoirs about getting sober - think "Turnabout" as a classic (and better) example, or Susan Powter's book about her own struggle with the demon drink. This one doesn't seem to offer anything those don't, save for a beautiful or creative turn of phrase here and there.
The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the author's digressions about her wacky mother. Drinking problems are a dime-a-dozen, but not everyone has a senior citizen mother who would use the phrase "I'm locked and loaded for bear," to her boyfriend's threatening babymama. That, and others, just cracked me right up. Ms. Karr is also queen of the poetic simile; alas, none spring to mind at the moment, and although I haven't read any of her poetry, I am sure it is quite good.
Overall, however, the story is tiresome: fortunate, brilliant woman who has managed to scrabble her way out of her "trailer park existence" (her words) drinks too much and finally gets sober and starts believing in god. Blech. Also, with my apologies to the author, I don't think she was the best choice to read this extended essay. Her voice drips with bitterness, sarcasm, scorn, and contempt, even when she is talking about the NICE things that happened to her. It's hard to listen to after a while.
Get this from your local library; don't waste your credits.
For those of you who loved the first two audiobooks in this series as I did, you may find yourselves disappointed with this one, as Lemony Snickett has decided to read the book himself. Unfortunately, Tim Curry does a MUCH better job of it all the way around. It appears that Listening Library figured that out along the way, because although books three, four and five are read (very poorly) by Snickett, he appears to have been sacked and Curry brought back on.
Tim Curry really brings these books to life. In fact, I love his style so much that I have listened to almost every book he's narrated that Audible offers, and have never been disappointed.
That being said, the Series of Unfortunate Events books are truly fun, and very funny. Snickett does have a delightful way with words, a dry wit, and an uncanny knack for telling the same story over and over and over again (albeit with different characters and settings) and making it fresh and funny each time. I am 32, my significant other is 46, we have no children, and we get a kick out of listening to the Snickett books in the car or at bedtime. A rolicking good time for both children and adults! (In fact, most of the Lemony Snickett fans I know are over the age of 30, so that tells you something right there!)
This book CAN be enjoyed in spite of Lemony Snickett's stilted reading, but I'm looking forward to the later books in the series more. I rate the book 2 stars because of the narration; if Tim Curry had read it, it probably would have been three. It's not great literature, but it's fun nonetheless.
This is by far the most poorly written book I have ever come across in over thirty years of reading. Every character is actually a character cadged from another book, and the plot is so completely a rip off of Tolkien that I cannot understand how this book ever got to print. Most high school students are capable of more engaging, less insipid prose. A HUGE waste of time. I couldn't get past the fifth disc, but my husband managed to plod through the whole book, laughing at what utter rubbish it was. Anyone who has given this book a good review is either less than 14 years old, or has never read another book in his or her life. BE FORWARNED: I got this book because of all the good reviews here on Audible, but read the reviews on Amazon and you will soon learn that the people who think this book is trash VASTLY outnumber those who praise it.
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