i've always found 'personal journalism' something of a contradiction...hunter thompson, joan didion, tom wolfe, etc., and often can't find the bright line between it and fiction... that being said, a few of the 'stories' in this collection are golden reflections of our time, but most are simply the personal insights into how this writer receives the world...ms keaton's reading is entirely sympathetic and a pleasure to listen to...what puzzles me is whether she's ever met a foreign word (non-English) that has been adopted by our vernacular that she can pronounce with something that resembles its source language.
Having now read through the next book in the series, The Leopard, which actually references some of the more bizarre psychological insights of this book, I am thinking that perhaps four book was enough.
Incidentally, does anyone else out there wonder what Jo Nesbo's is really saying about his attitude to women, well, actually toward me too...exactly why are women always getting mutilated, men with power doing the mutilation, and Harry Hole so self destructive that he even winds up with his body being eroded from one book to the next?
Despite some flashes of his wonderful sense of irony, Kerr's slant on the topic of his Bernie Gunther series may be getting a bit long in the tooth. On the other hand, I wonder what his rich imagination will come up with for a new series. Paul Hecht offers his normal excellence as orator.
It's difficult to be god but Lightman makes a decent attempt, at least not an authoritarian one.
In The Guards, Ken Bruen comments about how painful it is to hear an Englishman attempt a brogue...does violence to the ear, and possibly more. Here we have an Englishman, John Lee, whose reading style is more suited to a story about England in the Middle Ages, doing precisely what the author thought is a crime against the ear, the Irish and possibly against all humanity and maybe against all of nature itself. I am not a fan of John Lee as his voice and style are rather inflexible and more often than not, overwhelm the material rather than yield to a sympathetic reading of the material. In this book, he simply gets neither the temper of Jack Taylor or of Bruen's series. His reading is so unfortunate, that the story itself is smothered. There was one particular character – and not an Irish one -- that provided some humor: instead of English with a Greek accent for a Greek doing business in Ireland, we are treated to the accent of The Count from Sesame Street. So I guess even John Lee can provide humor, unintended as it was. For all but die hard Ken Bruen fans, better to stay away...but then again, for all of us die hard Ken Bruen fans, how can we stay away?
As usual Jonathan Davis gives a superb performance but surely this is late Lahane, or at least late Kinsey/Gennaro...the story lacks cohesion as proven by the last chapter...the two main characters now weak and strident...the only shining light, Bubba, a sociopath...if anyone wrote of a woman the way Lehane writes of Bubba (thru Kenzie's eyes), I would think that they'd be lovers in the next book. If Gone Baby Gone found some strength in the discussion of who has the right to kill and an extremelweakness in its antiquated and simplistic discussion of an almighty, I suggest that this book has only weakness. The denouement became laughable when Patrick (don't call me Pat) Kenzie was able to outrace a bullet from a high powered automatic across the room from his beloved and save her from the total loss of her brains (taking a bullet through his chest) while Bubba, the killing machine, standing a few feet from the killer, was unable to get off a single bullet during this miraculous Kenzie feat...I guess so much for Bubba's killer instincts. But what really puzzled me was why, after Kenzie and Gennaro go through hell together and have lain down to do what they inevitably do in bed together, when the next morning Kenzie makes a simple and entirely logical suggestion that has the potential to, and in fact does lead to the resolution of the puzzle driving the story, does Lehane have Gennaro give Kenzie a rasher of s___ -- maybe Kenzie's attraction to Bubba is affecting his performance with dear Angie...or perhaps this strident dialogue si really Lehane's deeper feeling about women...I'm guessing that by the way he writes of them as sexual objects, this is it. Ok, on to the next...back at you later.
...of all mystery writers, bruen is the best...writer, that is...the story is just along for the ride... a unique knack for dialogue, an unrivaled knowledge of music and literature... an ability to find a poignant phrase that speaks to the deepest parts of each of us...never a word in excess... orwell would be proud! the reader, gerry o'brien, a perfect complement to bruen's prose.
Always an insightful and provocative writer, Englander reaches deeply into his subject matter, complex as it is, to new heights as both an observer of his chosen culture and as a writer. The sensitive and intelligent aural telling of each story matches the writing.
Despite a terrific read by Jonathan Davis, this poorly and pretentiously written book, short on science and long on musings about the soul and who has one, is one on which I regret having spent both time and money. It might better be named The Physician Who Mistook Himself for a Metaphysician.
Dennis Lehane, an erudite mystery writer, and Jonathan Davis, a reader with a wonderful feel for the work, create a first rate piece of audio theatre.
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