Not if it's a romance, no.
This is a romance, and the lead character is a woman. The story is read by a man and it distracted me through the entire story. Especially in explicit love scenes from the POV of a female. I guess he does an okay job, but whenever he spoke in the voice of Douglas I cringed. The story is okay, a bit fluffy. But, if you're into a romantic time travel mood this'll do. Good enough to make me buy a few more Judy Devereaux books with my credits :-).
Audiobook. Lot’s of reviews, no wonder: It’s a Stephen King novel. The man says ‘story trumps all’, and within this context, 11-22-63 is a super story. However, very typically Stephen King, the book is long and wordy. For example, at one point is a description of an boxing match…fast forwarded, because you know the outcome and personally, I’m not into boxing. There are some editing issues, i.e, thoughts expressed in the prose that are later contradicted and not caught during a close review by the author or the editor. It’s also interesting that the author is permitted the disregard of writing standards that would ‘slush pile’ such work. Adverbs, adjectives, ‘ly’ words, POV breaks all over the board, etc. All are okay, if you are Stephen King. But, try to get away with any of this as a novice author and you’re toast.
There is an instance in the editing of the story I find a bit bizarre. The lead character is an educated teacher, smart. This character indicates a bit of distress with the fact that Marina Oswald is expecting a second child, in such a manner as to convey that he was totally ignorant of the fact. Not believable, to me. Even though the actual assassination of Kennedy would have taken place before this guy was born and is/was as much history to him as WWII, he’d have to have been living under a rock not to have seen pictures of that woman with her two kids at some point. Especially considering that he’s lived through years of Kennedy assassination anniversary documentaries. Not realistic.
Narration is good. No trouble following the characters. Sadie’s voice is whiny, but maybe this is simply the way the narrator visualizes the dependent women of the time.
The subtitle is accurate. The story should be split into one non-fiction about apocalypse survival, and a second fiction about the perils and adventures of the characters as they ‘go home’. There are many, many passages of equipment description and proper usage of all manner of camping and survival gear. Although it isn’t stated, the author appears to have a great deal of experience in the disaster preparedness process. Since everything electronic dies, from cars to cell phones, and nothing works without a battery or generator source of power, some of these items still seem to work, like a pick-up truck. I don’t get this, but I’m not electronically literate. Personally, I also thought there were too many mentions of product names, like Coleman. Basically, much of the story is a survival manual in the greatest detail.
If you can get beyond this, which, for me, was distracting and boring, the fundamental premise is interesting tale of adventure through a series of obstacles for the characters to overcome following a world-wide disruption in the power grid. The primary mystery is what happened, an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or possibly a solar flare?
The fact that normal folks turn into entirely different people over a short period, simply in an effort to survive is fairly accurate, I think. A bit of a cliche, but it is a truism that one never knows what they would do unless forced into circumstances. Unfortunately, survivalists and wannabe soldier-boys are out there, anxious to fire their coon guns at anything or anyone.
The story is read by Duke Fontaine. The voices are well done, and I no problem discerning who-says-what-to-who. From what I’ve been able to find, as of this date, Duke Fontaine as only done narration for this series. Although the story is not well written, the reading is good.
Audiobook. I’ve been a fan of Jeffrey Archer for years, long before the popularity of the audiobook. My first exposure being Kane & Abel in paperback format, and I was engrossed in absolutely wonderful story. Considering that Kane & Abel was one of Archer’s very earliest books, I’m wondering if he’s beginning to burn out. Briefly, False Impression centers around the ownership, stealing, and recovery of a valuable Van Gogh painting. It begins with a hair raising escape from the north tower of the World Trade Center in 2001, but has nothing to do with the terrorism involved. The inclusion of this horrific event seemed almost gratuitous. There are no typical Archer twists, no surprises. Simply a well outlined plot and the author moves through his story in a predictable fashion.
Given that this review is of the audiobook, a few comments about the narration are warranted. A few of the voices are well done. Lady Arabella, in particular, is very nice. Most of the male voices are distinctive and recognizable throughout the book. However, Anna, the lead character, is atrocious and difficult to listen to, as her accent simply seemed … wrong. Given the necessary dialogue of this character, I had some trouble staying with the story without frowning on occasion. False Impression is narrated by Byron Jennings
Audiobook. The characters in The Taker are unlikeable. The commonality is self-indulgence and narcissism. The story is loaded with sex, abuse beyond description. The most worrisome aspect is that the female lead in this story not only uses her sex as a means to an end, or tries to, but seems to take occasion to make excuses for or act the doormat for those that affect the abuse. Sad commentary for the female of our species. All of the characters are obsessed with sex and sexual deviance is a driving factor in the story. Not my cup ‘o tea, but I readily acknowledge that there are many among us who will and have enjoyed living vicariously through the sick minds of characters in books. If you’re not into the brutality of bondage and an evil obsession, the book isn’t for you.
The reader, Laura Lefkow, does a fabulous job. It is a given in the audiobook world, that a reader can make a good story better, and a mediocre story good. I will leave it up to others to decide the category in which The Taker belongs.
Audiobook. If you’re a fan of the uplifting story, this book is not for you. This is a very sad story and within a few pages, the neurosis of the main characters has an obvious root in child abuse. A few issues follow.
One, each chapter is opened with a literary quote. Sometimes this is a well understood prelude to the following chapter content. Often, it seemed unrelated and annoying. An author attempt to create the next great literary novel? In my opinion, it’s not.
Two, the book is much longer than it needs to be to tell the story. Admirable decades in high finance comes through, more than necessary. This book should be split in two: One non-fiction and educational about the world of high-finance and brokerage. The second, a fiction about the story of Levi and Lam and their personal struggles.
Three, way too many characters in Levi’s professional life. Having been in a similar world, albeit not finance, I could easily relate to the myriad of personalities, the boardrooms and limos. But, there were simply too many names to keep track of, some not adding to the story arc at all. I finally stopped trying to keep them all straight.
With few exceptions, each of the main characters in this book has a boatload of personal demons. In my opinion, some of the behavior is over the top for anyone not institutionalized.
Narration is performed by Scott Brick. The story is depressing; the reading reflects the exasperation, desperation, and weight of the world carried by the characters.
Audiobook. I tried, really did. Listened for just over an hour. It’s probably not fair for me to criticize the fundamental beliefs behind this book. Let’s just say throw a cliche out there: different strokes for different folks. I’m not a believer in the philosophies and therefore had a difficult time with the basics.
Beyond this issue is the patronizing tone of the writing. I felt like I was being lectured and spoken down to by a grown up that knew everything. Given I’m well past the half century mark, I felt the hackles of a rebellious teenager welling.
Not my cup ‘o tea.
Audiobook. The first few pages grab your interest with a grizzly event involving two children witnessing a murder. The remainder of this procedural drama traverses the adventures of a toughened rancher seeking the answers. Bad cops have infiltrated a peaceful Idaho community.
The individual motivations of characters is nicely done, you feel sorry for some, detest others. Empathy is drawn even to peripheral characters caught up in the scenarios created.
No spoilers, but there are a few surprise deaths; the ending of the book is disappointing in that it became a bit ethereal. This isn’t an element throughout the book, only the last chapter.
I had no trouble with the reader; he did very well with a variety of ages, sexes, and ethnicities. No trouble determining who-said-what-to-who. Not what anyone would label as a deep book, simply a nice page-turning mystery. Easy listen.
I’ve had this book in my queue for months and finally got around to reading (listening). Frankly, I almost turned off the book after the first few paragraphs not particularly impressed with the writing. I’m glad I decided to ‘hang in there’ and give the story a chance. No spoilers, but the it surrounds the mysteries of an apartment building in Los Angeles and a group of quirky tenants. The book is very intriguing when dealing with the oddities of the building and sleuthing on the part of the tenants, but I began to roll my eyes a bit with the introduction of sci-fi-alien-creatures of a netherworld. An entertaining yarn.
This story has been out there for a while and has thousands of reviews. The following is just my take. I bought the book primarily because it is book one in a series and I’ve wanted to sink my teeth into a good espionage character … a character sort of like Mitch Rapp from the Vince Flynn series. Dewey Andreas doesn’t quite measure up to Mitch, but hey. Flynn passed on and there will be no more Mitch, so……..
In Power Down, America has been attacked. Although not via nuclear explosion. The story focuses on the significant disruption of a specific oil related company and the oil industry as a whole, in addition to the soft targets of universities and malls that our enemies find irresistible.
An interesting insight into the dependence of America on foreign petroleum products … yet. It has been many years since the tragedy of 9/11 and one must ask themselves why this is still true. Power Down is along the lines of a Vince Flynn or Brad Thor story. The enemies are among us, have been for years, and wait silently to pull the trigger on our destruction. The story is good.
The reader, however, is lacking. His execution of an ‘angry’ male voice seems to always come across as a man with his teeth clenched, regardless of the character. I found this predictable and distracting, since some of the guys in this story are pissed most of the time. :-) The narrator, Peter Hermann, does a great job with female voices, surprisingly.
Although I’m not bowled over with the book, it is enough of a read to motivate me. I’ll continue with the exploits of Dewey Andreas.
Audiobook review. Initial observation is that this story is too long, close to twenty hours. Seems to be a legacy this author has inherited, a family trait as Joe Hill’s father is Stephen King. Fortunately, another element inherited is that Joe Hill can tell a good story. NOS4A2 is a page turner, albeit you’ll be tempted to fast-forward through some areas. If you look for meaning behind the title, it’s a stretch. There are no vampires. Just a really bad guy who drives a fancy antique car with the license plate NOS4A2. Synopsis: Victoria (Vic) grows into a troubled woman with the continued childhood ability to transport herself through a covered bridge to adventures that ultimately result in the abduction and eventual rescue of her son from the devious Charlie Manx. There is a credibility issue with regard to the number of times Vic is stabbed, beaten, broken, bloodied, etc., and in the next paragraph or chapter is again a super-wonder-woman. There is a bit of author-trying-to-hard to make the story and family legacy of ‘horror’ carry forth in NOS4A2, a bit over the top with purple prose meant to chill that I found myself rolling my eyes at…just me.The star of this production is the narrator. Absolutely bringing truth to the axiom that a good narrator can turn a so-so production into a true pleasure. Totally out of character for the captain of a starship, i.e., tsk-tsk with that potty-mouth, Janeway. But, boo-ya to Kate Mulgrew, great job.
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