When I described this book to a friend of mine, she said "Eeeew, sounds depressing." But it wasn't depressing, because of the hope the children and their parents had of a better day, and the love they had for each other despite their many flaws. McCourt is straightforward and honest about his family, showing his father to be loving and attentive, but with an alcohol addiction that is devastating to his family. The author paints accurate portraits of the characters, including himself, and the result is a book rich with humanity, frustration, hope, and humor. To hear it in his own voice is a treat. It's one of those books I almost wish I hadn't read, since I'll never again be able to experience it for the first time. But I'll listen to it again several times, and I suspect I'll find new and interesting things I missed in my original listening. I've recommended it to nearly everyone I know, and I'm surprised I haven't yet been asked to find something else to talk about.
This book is set just at the end of WWII, after the German occupation of Guernsey has ended. An interesting, lively story in the beginning unfolds into a look into the lives of people who suffered at the hands of others, but found a way to continue living and thriving. It would have been depressing, because of the descriptions of the horrors the people lived through, if not for the delightful characters. This is a shining jewel of a book. The story is told in the form of letters that the characters write to each other, which is an interesting approach. If you're a cynic who finds emotion smarmy and bothersome, go find yourself a good mystery or sci fi. If you want to make new friends to hold into your heart, and to fall in love, download it immediately!
This book kept my attention until the very last word. As other reviews have said, it reads like a thriller, although it's not. It's a powerful, thoughtful study of the psychology of identity and identity theft, and the people who perpetrate it. As the story weaves in and out of the lives of a handful of characters, including the relatives of the con artists, it raises issues of how each of us defines who we are -- as human beings and within the context of our family and society. It's also a study in deception - of others and of ourselves. It's one of those books that I'm almost sorry I 'read', because now I've lost the ability to experience it for the first time. I'll probably listen to it again anyway. I hope this author's other books are as good as this one. I just can't say enough good things about this book - and several professional reviewers have had a similar opinion. What an extremely satisfying read!
The story was excellent and filled with rich detail about the newspaper industry, and certain thinly-disguised characters made it even more fun.
What was not fun, however, was the mispronunciation of several words by the narrator. He has a voice that's easy to listen to, and doesn't do a bad job with the narration overall, but the man needs to buy a dictionary.
I especially appreciated the skilled writing; I didn't figure out who the killer was until the author revealed him. That's not easy to pull off. Many of the mysteries I read have endings that are way too easy to anticipate. In places, the dialogue wasn't very realistic, but not to the point where it spoiled the book. Highly recommended!
Sadly, the author's fantasies about what happens to the newspaper itself at the end of the book, are not realistic. As someone who loves newspapers, I'm glad he had the opportunity to make the story turn out his way. How wonderful it would be if he could create a similar future for several real newspapers, which I fear will be gone all too soon. I think the author probably found it really satisfying, also, to create the many extremely interesting characters. A couple of times, I could almost hear him snickering as his characters were described and then fleshed out in delicious detail.
This book just became too bogged down. I kept meaning to finish it...but never did. The basic premise of the story was good, the characters were interesting, but after a certain point, it just seemed not to be getting anywhere and I always had something else I wanted to do more than I wanted to make the effort to finish the book. Maybe you'll have more patience than I did.
After listening to this book, I liked Jacques Pepin more than ever. His accounts of growing up, becoming a cook, moving to the U.S. and establishing a career here are a must-read for those who are interested in food and cooking. I was sorry it ended!
This book is as charming as Julia herself. Her voice comes through clearly, and although she was never unkind, she did not shy away from expressing her frustrations with certain people and situations in her life. It's an account of how her interest in food and cooking developed, and how she came to take the path she took. She and Paul saved letters, so the book is rich with authentic detail about the events of their lives. My only regret is that now that I've finished it, I can never come to it again to listen for the first time. It made me feel much closer to a woman I've never met, but miss terribly.
Although there were parts of this book that seemed to move too slowly, I was glad I persevered. In fact, I got up in the middle of the night to listen to the last hour and a half.
Although the ending of the book (epilogue)might seem to wrap up a little too neatly and conveniently, there actually was a tragedy in my own community that 'ended' much the same way. While I think I might have enjoyed something more complex in terms of a resolution to this story, the book was still a very good read, and I enjoyed it immensely.
If you become interested in opera after listening to this book, check out the print edition. In the back of the book, the author addresses how her own interested in opera developed, and she includes specific references.
I'd heard good things about this book, but it's even better than I thought it would be. The author closely examines the history of the contemporary Court, and provides a lot of insight into the personalities and motivations of the justices, as well as those of the presidents who appointed them. His style is that of an animated storyteller, and he's certainly done his homework. Listening to this book is almost as good as sitting next to a guest at a dinner party who has the most marvelous stories and insights. Not for a minute was I bored.
The narrator is excellent.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to in a long time. It was difficult to put down. I especially liked the fact that the characters seemed real and human, and not slick stereotypes. I also liked the fact that the author did not feel the need to have everything wrapped up like a neat little package at the end. Life isn't like that. In life, as well as in this book, even though there's a certain degree of resolution to an issue, questions remain, and the feeling of satisfaction often isn't 100%. The writing was gorgeous and added a richness to the story. I definitely want to see what this author does in the future.
This writer has an interesting story to tell, and she does it skilfully. This is not a book you can listen to, put down for a couple of days, and come back to. As other reviewers have said, it skips around, and it will be difficult to follow if you put it down for awhile before you finish it. My main criticism is that at the very end, things wrap up just a little too neatly, and there's a little too much of a "happily ever after" quality about it. But it's still a good "read" and I recommend it. Not as cliche' as other books of this genre tend to be.
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