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This book was a home run all over! Excellent narration, superb storyline, engaging and interesting characters, great imagery and poignant.
The reviews for this book are indicative of how excellent a book this really is. The entire book was done so incredibly well! When I first got this book I didn't really know what to expect, in fact I didn’t even know there was a movie about the book and had I known I probably wouldn’t have got the book due to my aversion at times to overhyped books turned movies... Good thing though because I would have missed out on a very good read...
I found myself fascinated with how the Sara Gruen (the author) introduced Jacob at 23 and at 90 or is it 93 (you'll get it when you read to it). The different struggles with Jacob at these two different stages of life is manoeuvred quite will and interwoven immaculately with the main storyline. I like how the author was able to introduce the topic of growing ‘old and irrelevant’ at one end of the spectrum and being ‘young and impetuous’ at the other end. In both stages (the young and old Jacob) the common thread is tragedy and loss in a sense but eventually finding one’s place once more.
The myriad of characters are all very interesting (as one can expect from a circus) and the relevant characters were all developed quite well! I found all the major and minor characters fascinating... Rose Marie, Uncle Al, Marlena, Camel, Walter, August... I honestly didn’t think any of these characters were short changed in terms of character development in this book and you get to peer into each of them even if it’s just a bit.
Unlike a lot of books that tend to run on incessantly, providing you with seemingly useless details, Water for Elephants doesn't do that. Nor was it too short, it doesn’t leave you thinking that aspects of the books were rushed. It hit that sweet spot that so many books miss some times... that clear, nice balance of not being too long but not being too short and yet still leaves you wanting more. It has its sobering moments that make you nod silently in approval and smiles inwardly leaving you to go through the book a little slower, not wanting to miss the salient, poignant points being mentioned. It of course also has those nail biting moments that makes you sit up a little bit straighter and has you rushing the book trying to figure out what’s next and how everything is going to unfold. The closure at the end of the book was poignant enough and very fitting, but yet I wanted it to continue because it was just so good.
Narration like this is what makes Audible titles and Audiobooks in general worth listening to. David LeDoux portraying John in his 20's was great but John Randolph Jones portraying John in his 90's is AMAZING! I like multiple narrated books and this certainly did not disappoint in any way, shape or form. Inflections were on par, strength of tone was excellent and pacing was superb... A better cast they could not pick and they brought life to these characters in a way I doubt much other narrators could.
I would recommend this to anyone. Excellent writing, pitch perfect narration, engaging story, poignant life truths, sobering in all the right areas, fun in others, great timing, great character development and a very fitting closure. GREAT STUFF!
This ended being one of those titles that (if you're a techy person) turns out to be a fun listen. The narrator did an excellent job in keeping you engaged throughout the novel and the story is interesting in nature. What causes the book to lose marks for me is the unfortunate fact that I've heard this kind of storyline before and it was done better (albeit a whole darker and a bit more goary).
Had I given this title a chance before being exposed to Daemon by Daniel Suarez, this would have potentially gotten 4 or 5 stars all across the board. This is not to say it is an exact carbon copy of the book but one can't help but sense the similarities between the two as it major drawback. I do get the saying that 'imitation is the best form of flattery' and even though both books veer in different directions, if there will be such room for comparison I'd expect that Ready Player One would have improved greatly on the idea instead of seeming like a watered down version of a great 3 part series.
Now with all that being said above, the book as a stand alone title (forgetting anything else I have ever read) was intricately written, ingeniously created and (for anyone who is even remotely interested in old school video games and or 80's pop culture) just plain fun. I wasn't really a big 80's buff and I don't like old school video games that much (old school for me started at Nintendo and Gameboy, not Atari though) BUT I still came off enjoying the book, it really is hard to dislike this book. I enjoyed the idea that so much effort and research was actually put into making this book and it really did speak to the inner geek/nerd in me.
Yes! Yes! Awesomely Yes! From start to finish this books was amazing! The series isn't finished yet (I hope) but one chapter seems to be closed. There is so many things that Mark Tufo has gotten right in this one once more.
If you have been following the series (which I am guessing if you are looking at this review you have been) then you would probably have been slightly disappointed by book 5. Thank the powers that be the book has got back on track in book 6. The book is teeming with action and (unlike the precious book) does not have meaningless flashbacks. Mark Tufo seems to have been listening to my silent prayers after I finished book 5 and ramped up the action in every aspect.
Sean Runette is an excellent narrator and he kept up the great work. I am very very much satisfied!
To prevent myself from giving any away I will stop raving about the book. I am extremely thankful that the book has answered so many unanswered questions and have rejected the inclination to end on too big of a cliff hanger although I must say I was gripped up until the last sentence.
This book is twisted.... this book is sick... this book is demented.... this book is dark.... and for all these reasons I should be disgusted.... but above all of those, it was also indulgent, decadent, intricate, masterful, engaging, enthralling and simply... amazing.
Let's start with the writing itself... The writing was probably the worst part of the book BUT, that being said, the writing was actually done really well! The choice of words, sentence formation, the flow, it all was just seamless in nature, the building suspense, the tone… they were all great! I remember commenting to myself while going through this book that this was written really well. This lends to one of the book's most alluring traits... It allows you to be able to get absolutely and positively lost in it. When a book is easy to pass through like this, it's easy to see the time fly by.
Secondly you have the story... the story was (and I go back to my intro) twisted, sick, dark and demented. From the start of the book you know something is not right but not even I thought it would end up the way it did. The more you go into the story and the more you learn about Nick and Amy, the more you find yourself getting lost in the story. This book felt like such a guilty pleasure, that one night stand that you enjoyed supremely, that ice cream sundae you can't help but have even though you’re on a diet, that extra slice of cake that you stole from your older sibling... It fells completely wrong and you know it is completely indulgent but it also feels oh so good. That was what this book represented... If you have even an inkling of a dark side and willing to go through a raw, uninhibited, honest and demented view of an atypical relationship then you would simply LOVE this book. If you are looking for a cookie-cutter/true love conquer all/marriage is wonderful/life is perfect story then run for the hills and don't even look twice on this book.
Thirdly, the narration... It is a toss up to me between the story and the narration as to which was better. I can't decide, every time I choose one of the two I see the merits of the other. I love multi-person narrated titles and when it is done well, I am prone to raving about it. The narrators here though were completely rave worthy. They are able to portray Amy and Nick through the various stages of the book with such precision.... you can feel the angst, anger, apathy, vengeance, brokenness, tension and the myriad of other emotions through their voices. Add the excellent writing to this and you honestly can do nothing but marvel...
I am so impressed by this book. I see why this is seen as one of the best books of 2012. It is so easy to lose yourself in this book it's not even funny.
ONE IMPORTANT THING: DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVE AN AVERSION TO SWEAR WORDS. Do not listen in the company of children. The book is ripe with swear words at all but there are a number of sudden outburst and moments of anger simply filled with rampant curse words.
I like Mark Tufo and I really do like Zombie Fallout as a series, I really do! But... Zombie Fallout 5: Alive in a Dead World felt like a whole lot of stalling by Mark Tufo. There was some headway made in the general progress of the story of course but the headway that was made was very small where the general plot is concerned.
I've said it before and I'll say it again one of the main reasons that the book series is as enjoyable as it is is of the little quirks that Mike Talbot have and the myriad of interesting characters in the book. Mike's quips with... well anyone and his incredibly short attention span makes it a trip when reading from his portions. Mike's best friend in the book seems downright hopeless to me... Mrs. Deno... She's an... interesting one... I can also add a couple others who I all find fascinating and who brings something to the book.
I must say though that where this book is concerned the author drags his foot along a lot. A big portion of the book's plot are a series of seemingly useless flashbacks (I kid you not, they seem completely and utterly useless to me except for providing some fodder to maybe laugh at). There was also a huge emphasis on Mike growing into his new powers. In the grand scheme of things though, I would say that probably one or two really note worthy things happen in this book (both of which I found just plain gruesome even for a Zombie book... I mean.... I am shocked and not in a good way...). Both occurrences could have been fit in the other book prior to this. And to add insult to injury.... this book more than any other ends in a MASSIVE cliff hanger. I really don't understand how or why Mark Tufo would do that... I was quite disappointed.
The narration was great, Sean Runnette did an awesome job again and aided in me being able to make it through this book.
I will get book 6 as soon as it comes out no doubt, if only to know how everything turns out. The narration is great, the story was lacking if you ask me though but the humor was still very prevalent which made the book enjoyable none the less.
This series is getting downright convoluted in nature and I mostly get infuriated when stories get too convoluted; it generally reads to me that the author is trying too hard. In this case though... I'll make a huge exception!
The book becomes more and more complex with various twists and turns appearing throughout the title. As soon as you think that you have gotten a good enough grasp of the series something new is introduced which adds a twist to the series but makes it a bit more harder to follow. I find myself feeling sorry for the Talbots, they seem to can't catch a break... With all that being said though, I can't help but be gripped by the entire book... I will see this book through to the end come hell or high water and anyone who has gotten this far in the series would probably agree.
Again this series shine mostly due to the characters whose vantage point we read from. The neurotic germophobe that is Mike Talbot, his formidable and dedicated wife Mrs. Talbot, the loveable Tommy, the dangerous Thomas and the vicious Eliza all brings about their own special touch to the book. Their differing vantage points are fascinating to view from and will have you cracking up or on the edge of your seat with excitement.
The narration gets better with each book I find and Sean Runnette's command of the myriad of characters in the book is note worthy. He's truly gotten a grasp of all the characters in this book and frankly, I wouldn't have the narration done any other way.
The series thus far has been just plain fun to experience, with this one only adding to it. It doesn't take itself too seriously but it isn't a complete joke either. A young crowd will certainly love these books.
P.S. The book once again ends with a cliff hanger....
This book is just plain haunting... I got through this book in one sitting... This is undoubtedly going to be one of my favorite books. The book is sad, honest, raw and beautiful at the same time. It becomes one of those books that you do not want to finish because it is so good but find yourself incapable of actually stopping.
While going through the book you have the decision of either steeling yourself or to completely immerse yourself. The book surrounds Lakshmi, a 13 year old girl who goes through just goes through heartbreaking situations. The entire scope of the book lasts just one year but the tragic circumstances that she endured is more than one needs to endure for a lifetime. The writing was haunting in nature and taken from the vantage point as Lakshmi herself makes it even more heart-wrenching. You see as she moves from a hopeful, naive girl to a seemingly broken shell of her former self and then to a downright fighter. The book is gripping throughout and plays heavily on your morality and sense of humanity.
The narration, for me, was superb. The way that the narrator was able to bring across the entire story in such a haunting manner is impressive. She only adds to the mood of the book and leaves you utterly gripped to the novel. 5 Star Narration through and through here.
For most people, the book is going to fall on one of two ends of the spectrum for people.... Either you are going to find the book truly uplifting, life changing and/or affirming or you are going to be unable to appreciate the book in any way, shape or form. A small subsection of people are probably going to be like me.... on the fence on this book.
Firstly know that this book is first and foremost completely and utterly of a SPIRITUAL/RELIGIOUS nature. I did not know this when I originally got the title and I can assure you probably wouldn't have gotten it if I had known. I seldom, if ever, venture into this particular type of books for a number of reasons. If you are into these types of books and specifically you are a Christian, this book will be absolutely perfect. The author, Richard Rohr, was able to draw on biblical verses as well own life experiences to bring across his point regarding finding one's 'True Self'. He goes into defining what he means by this and also what he means of 'False Self', as well. The entire book speaks highly of 'transformation' and speaks a lot of the 'soul', 'love' and 'God'.
The book has a number of ‘gems’; moments that made me really sit back and think. That being said there is a lot of 'God talk' which might just be where the book will lose a lot of people. And the God talk does increase as you proceed into the book, especially when you get to the Appendixes at the end of the book (you have at least 5 or 6 Appendix I believe). For those who are atheist, anti-Christianity or anti-religion in any way they will find this book completely annoying, uninspiring and the very narrator will seem irksome to them. Veer far from this title if you are in any of the previously mentioned categories, simply save your credit and your time.
The book was pretty short and to me flew by quickly (I literally spent just one day to listen the entire thing). I found some useful things in the book, some interesting sections that had me think a bit more. There were also sections that I found completely irrelevant and essentially common sense. I wasn't bowled over by the book, I did enjoy the narrator though, and he did a good job to keep me interested through the title.
This is simply one of those hit or miss books. It's very pigeonholed if you ask me. It was mostly miss for me, but the hits were good enough for me to not be too vicious while reviewing.
I found myself enjoying this title the more the title progressed. It was one of those books that tends to build so smoothly up to those points of sheer action. Also of specific note is the growth that one is able to witness in the general writing style of the author. The way Christopher Paolini seems to tackle certain issues in this book as opposed to book one (Eragon) also lent to the book being even more enjoyable than the previous.
Book 2 of the Inheritance Cycle is your typical mythical fantasy novel. I couldn't help but notice slight similarities with Star Wars regarding some of the twists that the story takes. That being said, I found the entire title put together very well. In this book you get a glimpse in the lives of the elves and see as Eragon himself grows into an impressive Dragon Rider. Another great addition to this story was Roran, Eragon's cousin, whose own struggles and quest becomes even more challenging and exciting than Eragon's it would seem. A number of new characters were introduced in this title and it would seem that no one from the previous novel was forgotten either, all reappearing in some form or another through the scope of the title.
The narration grew on me throughout this book. You sometimes forget that it is one person doing the narration even though there are so many distinct voices, tones and intonations in the title. The narration in this case only adds to the title here.
Truly an impressive listen all over. I look forward to listening to the third book in this series.
Being the first book of a 4 part series, Eragon is a wonderful starting point. This is an exciting book to start out with. It teases in all the right places I find to have you look forward to the books going forward. The title as a whole was not utter perfection but was just good enough to keep me interested.
The story itself was extremely interesting. The imagination that went into making this book and knowing the history of how this book came into being made it all the more an interesting title. I appreciate the fact that the book doesn't shy away from concepts such as death, love and sacrifice. The book is a pretty good experience all together, flows pretty well in general.
No line in any Phillipa Gregory novel rang more true to the very idea of what any of her books have been about than this one: "Your ambition will be your curse..." This was a line that comes later in the book and is uttered by one Elizabeth of York. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I do believe that any fan of Phillipa Gregory would enjoy it.
This book did take a number of liberties in the storyline if you ask me with the inclusion of a fair amount of mysticism and superstition. In fact at the end of the book Phillipa Gregory warns us herself that due to the very time in which the novel took place and the scarcity of some facts she did assume quite a bit where some things were concerned. With all that being said though and with me being a bit of a fan of fantasy literature as well, the addition was welcomed. It also was done in such a good way that even though it is noticeable it is not an overpowering aspect in the story.
Typical fans of Phillipa Gregory can expect the same combination of treachery, back dealing, plotting, romanticism, historical facts and above all else excellent writing. The best thing and the most appreciative thing about Phillipa Gregory works is the strong writing which makes the novel flow. You follow Elizabeth Woodville's rise to power, subsequent fall from grace and her constant plotting throughout the book. The book is set in a time where everyone and their uncle with a speck of royal blood (literally) are plotting a way to ascend the throne of England. The battle between the Yorkist brothers and also the introduction of the Tudors comes apparent in this book as well.
Excellent book and it leaves you wanting to continue to the next one. If you are into no so historical, tipped with some but not overbearing romance, a little bit of mysticism topped off with really awesome narrative and writing in general.... you'll love this book.
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