This is a great book, beautifully researched and written. I wish, however, that I had bought the hard copy. The narrator's style was cold and uninvolving, although at the beginning I was hoping to get used to it. After 40 hours, unfortunately, I did not; she lacked all passion for her subject. Doris Kearns Goodwin would have been a much better choice as reader. It didn't matter to me that Toren was a woman, and she has a beautiful speaking voice. This brilliant book deserved better.
I've read every AT book since Morgan's Passing. Some I have loved, like Accidental Tourist and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Others were just okay. It began to feel like I was reading the same book over and over. Not because of the Baltimore setting, but because her wonderfully crafted and flawed characters seemed to stay stuck in their dysfunction, never learning anything that would make their lives better. It got to be frustrating. Not that I needed every ending tied up in a pink bow, but give me a little sense of the evolution in thinking and growing in her characters.
This book was pretty uneven, dragging in spots. Some plot lines were great and I would have liked more of, like Junior and Linnie Mae's early days. Denny's storyline meandered in not very interesting directions. And I wish someone would have really let him have it about his popping in and out of everyone's lives when it suited him!
Finally, the narrator left me cold. Her precise schoolteacher diction just wasn't right for this book.
These books are an unalloyed delight! The author gets right up to the edge of cloying and frivolous but never goes over the line. There is an underlying intelligence in Georgie that, along with her ebullient good cheer, makes her irresistible. And can we talk about Katherine Kellgren? Her mastery of all the accents, each one distinct and recognizable, is genius. No one should ever read these books when this brilliant narration is available to make it doubly enjoyable.
There's nothing I can add to everyone else's comments about the bad narration and truly awful teen-speak. I'm a little over halfway through, and I'm going to the library on the off-off chance that it is available in hardcover. I am interested in this story. Really, this horrible performance is inexcusable.
Like everyone else, I loved this book when I read it to my children years ago. It is one of the most brilliant books I've ever read.
It was even better to listen to under Ralph Cosham's steady, comforting, brilliant narration. He subtly renders each rabbit's voice and personality perfectly. And his accents for non-lapine characters, especially Kehaar the Norwegian seagull, were hilarious yet somehow moving.
I confess I was already a huge fan of his because of his flawless inhabiting of the character of Inspector Gamache in the Louise Penny mysteries. I may be a grandmother, but I still have a crush on Ralph Cosham!
I enjoyed this story. It kept me on the edge of my seat. The reader was excellent. My only problem was how clueless the main character seemed throughout the first half of the book. She never seemed to ask herself why the police were questioning her, why strange things were happening, why she couldn't reach her husband. It's as though on some subconscious level she knew but didn't want to know, which is a hard premise to swallow when she is a therapist who wrote a book called "You Should Have Known." This made the book less than great in my mind, even though it was a fun read.
This was a strange book. The first half was engrossing as it recounted the harrowing journey of a group of English women and children taken prisoner by the Japanese during WW I I. Jean Paget, the protagonist, rose to the occasion heroically, leading the group through the ordeal. But it was recounted by her lawyer/guardian, who told the tale with a total lack of passion.
This became a real problem in the second half, when we followed Jean to Australia, where she looked for an Aussie man who had been tortured for helping her group back in the war. The author wrests any suspense from this meeting, because both people involved were told that they were looking for each other.
Her efforts to set up a prosperous town were recounted with little emotion. First she did this... Then she did this. Then this... Through it all she was perfection itself. Then she and Joe got married... Then they had two sons... All of this from the point of view of the elderly lawyer back in England, who received letters from her through the years. You were never to wonder what happens next, and there was nothing to keep the reader at all interested in the story. Save yourself a credit.
I love this series. All of the recurring characters are extremely likeable and fleshed out. The story is complex, and the dilemma between journalistic ethics and the cold, hard reality of a serial killer is explored well. Despite the grim story, Bruce always provides some funny moments and quirky characters, of which Larry Bird, the bird, is an example. He continues to grow his characters, as the rich boy son of the publisher, "Thanks Dad" Mason, goes against type as an increasingly mature reporter and the ethical soul of the tale. I could quibble with a few unsuccessful (for me) short cuts and off notes, but this book is so likeable and gripping, I give it a pass.
And then I must call out the reader, Jeff Woodman. He is so perfect that I feel sorry for people who just read the book and miss out on his perfect delivery, wonderful accents and timing genius. He elevates this book to well beyond what is written on the pages. DaSilva and Woodman are a match made in heaven!
Tim Conway is one of the funniest people alive. Just watch a few YouTube clips from the Carol Burnett show. Tim should have read this book himself. Or someone with comedic timing and dry wit. Scott Brick is a good narrator, but terribly miscast in this role. He apples a heavy hand to relating the comedic experiences, leeching all the humor out; I kept trying to imagine Tim's voice, but it became too frustrating. Don't think I can finish. A real disappointment!
This was possibly the poorest narration job I've experienced in many years of listening to books. It was overwrought, melodramatic, and made Conroy sound like a whining, self-absorbed humorless scold. I kept trying to imagine how a line of narrative would read in book form, without the narrator getting in the way. Reading this book would have been better. But not by much. Horrible childhood, I get it. It's an ugly tale of self-aggrandizement and score settling and trashing family members and others for a variety of sins against Pat Conroy. It sort of damages my opinion of him and his books. I wish I could get my credit back.
As one who dislikes throwing around superlatives, I must call this book an astounding revelation. As an Irish American on my mother's side whose great-grandparents emigrated to New Orleans during the Great Famine, I now realize how profoundly uninformed I was about this tragic period in Irish history. If I thought about it at all, I just assumed it was caused by crop failures for a few years. Now I understand that it was greed, indifference, political expediency, British prejudice against the Irish for their perceived "laziness" and "unwillingness to help themselves" that caused a serious problem to become a catastrophe.
My sweet and gentle Irish grandmother, who was born in New Orleans in 1876, could not be riled by much, but we learned to dare not mention the English to her. I always thought that was quaint and amusing. I'd give anything if she were here today so that I could learn what she knew.
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