It takes a lot for me to give an audiobook a single star, but I really found this one awful in nearly every sense.
Probably most glaringly terrible is the narration. The narrator's style reminded me of 40s noir films, which was very out of place for a book set in the last couple of decades. It was positively grating.
On a positive note, I did finish the book, which says a good thing about the story. It was interesting enough for me to keep reading. That's about the only good thing I can say about it.
I found it misogynistic, as all of the female characters seemed to exist only to to please or obsess over the protagonist. And the "love" scenes, to use a common phrase, were cringe-worthy. The story ended quite abruptly, and not only do none of the characters experience any growth, the protagonist's behavior was so outrageous that I found myself having no sympathy for him at all.
And I guess that's what it boils down to. After the time I invested, I cared to know who the culprit was, but ended up not caring one whit for any of the characters in the story.
While the story was entertaining and the characters were interesting, this story could have been more than just entertaining. I found myself wanting my heartstrings plucked as much as my funny-bone was tickled.
I found it mostly satisfying. Some of it was predictable, but, delightfully, some of it was quite a surprise.
I'd change the narrators. I found some mis-pronunciations annoying and distracting ("vokka" instead of vodka, for example), and the cadence just wasn't right. It didn't allow me to get as lost in the story as I could have with different narrators.
I think that anyone looking to confirm a belief that atheists are arrogant elitists will enjoy this book.
The repetitive nature and general intolerance that some people (okay, a lot of people) find comfort in irrational beliefs.
I found it angry sounding.
It would take a lot, but I might consider her work in a different genre.
I feel like her interpretation of the protagonist was often at odds with the character's description. Sam sounded like a flighty, irresponsible twenty-year old with low self esteem and who could not control her emotions. It made me question why anyone would trust her with the kind of responsibility she was given.
Sam, sadly. I found her incredibly annoying.
This book was such a surprise! It was paced so well that it was hard to stop listening at any point, because I just had to know what happens next. It has the great combination of good character development and interesting plot.
Why I don't think it's for everyone:
- I love it when a book has characters who are fantastically flawed, yet written in a way where you absolutely love them anyway. However, I think some listeners might be put off by the characters' personalities and may not find as much humor in their actions as I did. If you are easily offended by people who are easily offended, this book may drive you crazy.
-This book also peripherally touches on some pretty sensitive topics with humor (hard to say which without spoilers). I found it worked very well, but some might not agree.
-The book mostly comprises emails and notes, with the occasional narrative thrown in. I know some readers don't care for that kind of format.
I gave the story 5 stars because I am still thinking about the characters a day or two after I finished, wondering what they're doing! I gave the narrator 4 stars because it was almost perfect, including a fantastic singing voice. I docked one star because I felt like Bee was voiced in a way that sounded more like an 8 year old than a 14 year old.
Why didn't I read the reviews before I wasted a credit?! Live and learn.
It might seem odd to give a book an overall rating of 2 when the performance and story get ratings of 1. But that is because this book was so bad I laughed out loud many times while listening, and that entertainment is worth something, right? It was almost so bad it was good. Almost.
As a fan of some of Susan Mallery's other books, I was optimistic that I'd enjoy another slice of escapist melodrama with funny, sympathetic characters. Instead, this insipid book is a parade of insufferable whiners making eye-rolling-ly stupid decisions, while a cliched villain does everything a cartoon bad guy would do short of twirl his long mustache and try to blow up the protagonist's ranch with Acme brand dynamite.
I think the awfulness was magnified by poor narration. It almost sounded like the narrator was chosen for her ability to provide multiple voices, regardless of whether she could actually communicate content. Inflection in the wrong places, stilted delivery, and every female character sounded like they were whining...especially the protagonist.
This book reminds me to suggest a new feature to Audible. It would be great to be able to sort My Library by narrator, so that I can be reminded which narrators I don't care to listen to again.
This is right on par with the many other David Baldacci books I have listened to or read. The protagonists were more interesting to me than the King & Maxwell series, but not as engaging as those in the Camel Club series.
Ron McLarty's voice fits assassins so well! And Orlagh Cassidy is so skilled with voicing different characters. Added to that, the production is so good that I often forget that there are two different narrators.
No, but that says nothing about the book's quality. I enjoy reading action / violence, but the visual images are a bit much for me.
If you already like David Baldacci, you're likely to enjoy this book. If you're new to reading his books, it's a good representation of the majority of his catalog.
I never thought 35 hours would fly by, but they did! An engaging story and impeccable narration make this an audiobook not to be missed. When the book ended, I found myself missing the characters.
Rosalyn Landor's performance is one of the best I've encountered in hundreds of audiobooks. She nearly rivals Jim Dale in her ability to distinctly voice a dozen or more characters. The story is read with such feeling and each character's voice suits his personality so well.
The story was standout as well. One of the markers of a great story for me is one where I am compelled to feel forgiving of characters who do seemingly unforgivable things. The characters are so well developed, which is especially commendable given that there are so many of them.
There are two things that keep me from giving the story five stars. First, the story is set in the 80's and early 90's, and while I found it easy to fall into the era, sometimes it seemed as if the author tried to stuff in too many cultural references to the era. While mostly the stage was set perfectly, there were a few instances where references to technology or pop culture seemed forced, and I actually found myself taken out of the setting rather then plunged further into it. Second, the ending was acceptable, but it could have been outstanding. I won't say any more so as not to spoil it for those who haven't read it.
All in all, a bargain at two credits.
The first time I tried listening to this book, I lasted less than half an hour. I found the narrator's voice too old-sounding for a book about a 17 year old boy, and I thought the main character sounded insufferably whiny. Months later, having thoroughly enjoyed "The Fault In Our Stars", also by John Green, I decided to give this one a second try.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed the book and found myself really liking the characters, whininess and all. I would say, though, that if I had it to do over again, I might read it as opposed to listening to it, given how many equations and graphs have to be explained visually.
When I first started this book, the narrator's voice grated on my nerves. She sounded so young and squeaky, and the main character annoyed me. And then I remembered: the main character of a Sophie Kinsella book always annoys me with her bad decisions at first, and then I grow to love her. This book is no exception.
The narrator's voicing of the main character really fits a young, somewhat insecure woman. More than that, that type of narration made the funny parts that much funnier. In the end, I really enjoyed it!
This wasn't the most enjoyable audiobook I've listened to, but I enjoyed the story enough to listen through till the end. It wasn't as good as some of Susan Mallery's other books (the Buchanan series), but wasn't awful.
I would have made the main character less obstinate. There were times she was so dense I wanted to smack her.
Where do I begin? My biggest problem with it was that this narrator is not a story-teller. She reads words with great diction, but little feeling. And when she does express some emotion, it was often the wrong one. She read with different voices for the characters, but didn't provide any difference in inflection, tone or personality to distinguish them. Every character was read as if they were at a job interview. At an elementary school. It was weird.
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