When Kinsella rocked the entertaining book market with her first, unique, self-effacing, hilarious "Can you keep a secret?" novel, I was an instant convert. I excitedly purchased every subsequent novel following the same character through trials, tribulations, engagement, and childbirth, until the concept was beaten into mind-numbing redundancy. She had gone from fresh to beyond dull, and seemed to be flogging a tired, if not dead, horse. I eventually tired of the predictable triteness. I have ignored her work for years, expecting the same shallow refrain. I had the same experience with Janet Evanovich. It is almost like the earlier TV portrayals of Poirot, characicaturizing him to the point of a cartoon character.
Anyway, I don't know what made me to consider Kinsella again. Possibly because I saw she had given up on the original overdone character; and created a new one. The story line actually sounded similar to the first, only new and fresh. So I decided to risk a credit.
When I first started listening, I thought I had made another mistake. The narrator sounded like a bad, low-class reader with a British accent. She sounded tacky. I kept listening, however, and she eventually seemed to grow into character. I still think they could have chosen a better narrator, but the story was well worth the listen. The entertaining domino effect of the loss of an engagement ring makes for a wonderfully chacterized and enjoyable romp.
I stumbled on the Richard Jury books and found they had very entertaining if odd characters. Each character that continues from book to book seems to get deeper, funnier and better developed with each. This is the most entertaining of all the Jury books I've listened to, and I will likely go for the entire series. The narrator does a lively and excellent job of injecting humor and nuance into a vast variety of voices.
(spoiler alert?) Emily becomes a children's author, and writes books about just what this book is about. It is predictable, allegorical life lessons, as though written for children. Children would be better at suspending belief with a dog angel. The pure of heart triumph, and the impure are shamed.
I don't know if it was just my recording, but it is the only book that I have heard that repeats phrases and sentences occasionally. Bad job of editing?
I can't imagine how TWO narrators, male and female, can both be so misguidedly awful! For some reason, they eggageratedly enunciate as though English was their second--or third--language. And I don't mean when they are characterizing a foreigner--everyone sounds stilted with way too many consonants pronounced in a heavy handed manner. I liked the author from the other novel, but this is a disaster. I would never listen to these narrators again, particularly the male.
Trying hard to show that Nazis are alive and well in the very countries that they brutalized decades ago, the terrible narrator literally speed-reads this. I thought that my iPhone must have accidentally switched to double speed; but no, just awful narration.
The premise is valid, the scare warranted, but the book is not literature. From this sample, I would never consider this author or narrator again, and it was a waste of even the token amount spent on this book. It is not a "story", it is a warning.
A huge fan of the "armchair mystery" genre of Agatha Christie (intelligent plots and puzzles requiring thought sans gratuitous violence), I thoroughly enjoyed Jury's crime solving methodology. While not as much of a fan of the narrator's scope of characterization (why did the sergeant's voice have to be created with the narrator seemingly holding his nose closed?), the clues were all there (fair play a la Christie), and it was just a race to see whether the reader could put the puzzle together before Jury. Jury was a little biased in favor of his personal emotional instincts (Poirot would never do that), but nonetheless, it was a good puzzle and very satisfying mystery. I look forward to reading more of Grimes, and hope there are just as many interwoven literary references, as it makes it all the more enjoyable!
This was a pretty good attempt at a sympathetic, fumbling, self-effacing character, but just missed the mark. The distractions of the constant "no way!" "Way!", "no way!", "way!", and the interjections of "I said", "she said", "he said" were distracting. The book tried to create a Sophie Kinsella type of character, but didn't quite have the same result. Waverly was not as likable or sympathetic. A fun read, but a predictable ending, and annoying rinkydink dialogue.
I didn't expect much from this, with the time travel element added to the fantasy, but it wasn't bad. Kind of a combination of Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and The Wizard of Oz--even down to the ruby red shoes. It gets into a bit of trouble with the ending resolution (do babies en vitro time travel too?), but somewhat entertaining if you get it inexpensively.
The narrator, aside from being out of character with a rough southern accent for a society boy from Philadelphia's Main Line, managed to mispronounce most of the difficult words. It was very distracting, as there was little or no character development, either. The rambling plot just rambled and it was a tedious listen. By the end, I didn't care what happened.
I truly expected the worst from this book, after all, "Secret Desire" would have to be a provocative "bodice ripper", wouldn't it? It turns out to be not unlike Nora Roberts, only set in the Shakespearian era. The absolute delight of this book is partly due to the excellent narrator, whose voice has the ability to quaver at just the right time, and she does justice to male narrative, as well.
Although the premise is somewhat cliche (a la Nora Roberts) and certainly predictable, the entertaining journey of a young woman bucking the chauvinistic male-dominated theater and writers of that time, as well as antiquated marriage contracts and self-support, is worth the listen. It is cleverly written and truly evokes the era.
It is just plain fun, with just enough "bodice ripping" to be entertaining, without centering around that aspect. Even though I got it at a reduced price, I would recommend it for the regular price or a credit.
Most Baldacci books are worth reading, and those with Will Robie and Jessica Real have been interesting in the past. On the whole, I'm not sorry I got this book. However, it is really chopped up into seemingly short plots, each with their own ending. Not really one big assignment for the pair, or even two; but several short bouts of action each being completed before the final and very predictable outcome.
It can be persuasively argued that each of the sub-plots somehow link to the finale, but some are tenuous links, at best.
It was as though Baldacci wrote down plot ideas at different times, then quickly ties them together in this book. Not the best Baldacci--too bad.
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