I found this audiobook very enjoyable entertainment. The story was somewhat predictable but the dialog was zippy, the hero a suitably gorgeous bad boy with a soft center, and the heroine flawed but plucky. Combined with the romantic setting of Tuscany and mouthwatering descriptions of Tuscan cuisine, it was almost like taking a holiday there. Since I have had the fortunate experience of living in Italy for 2 years and visiting Tuscany often, I could close my eyes while listening and imagine the scene unfold.
The reading wasn't bad but some of the Italian accents were odd. Overall it exceeded my expectations.
There is a definite problem with the recording in Part 2 at the point when the group returns home. There is a need to correct this and offer a replacement recording to purchasers.
I am less and less satisfied with the series as it moves from a gripping story of diverse and well drawn characters coping with a world that has suddenly changed into a ho hum oft told tale of a quest for the magic thingie that will defeat the evil ... so on and so forth, etc.
This particular episode reads as if the author decided he needed to get the main character home ASAP and finally married to his soulmate. Disappointing
Why do some authors feel the need to rewrite Shakespeare? I thought Will did a pretty good job with Hamlet--though he had some very good lines, he wasn't my favorite Shakespearean character. I've trained dogs and raised puppies in my time but that whole thread was overwrought and overdone. The author proved that he could use a dictionary and, occasionally, write a good scenic description. Overall, I found it a dissatisfying read.
This is either a "loved it/hated it" novel. Personally, I hated it. But I listened to the whole book because I am basically an optimist and I paid for it.
I was unaware of the controvery regarding the size of Ms. Pessl's advance or of her pleasing physical attributes so I was spared starting off with any prejudice. I formed my opinions before I searched for reviews and photos.
If one wants to drown in a sea, no, vast ocean of analogies, this is the book for you. I love a good simile or metaphor, figures of speech that stimulate the imagination and create the picture that is "worth a thousand words." They don't have to be beautiful, soothing, comfortable. Just check out Annie Proulx, "Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and Other Stories." I found hers to be masterful and illuminating. I rate Ms. Pessl's about 50%.
I could write another 500 words on Ms. Pessl's conceit of constructing this novel as a thesis(a dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view. Merriam-Webster)complete with a final exam. I won't. If I had purchased this book in printed form, I would have skipped over them after the first 50 pages.
I found the novel, its plot, its characters, its "celebrated" twists and turns pretentious, tedious, annoying AND predictable.
Ms. George has crafted a vibrant telling of the familiar history of Caesar, Cleopatra, Antony, & Octavian. Her careful research of fact, relaible accounts and her fiction combine in an utterly believeable historical novel. Her powers of description carry the listener back in time--close your eyes and you can almost see the characters moving about in Rome and Egypt shaping the events that created Western Civilization.
I have had a fascination with this period in English history for many, many years. I found this account of Lady Jane Grey's life both historically accurate (as far as my limited research allows...I do not claim to be an expert) and entertaining. As with all historical fiction, the author has to create incidents, motivations,dialogues and innermost thoughts to create a believeable framework for historical facts. For me, this author does the job admirably.
Having created my own voices for the characters in this series after 12 books, my expectations may have been too high for any reader to achieve. Though a credible job I was disappointed with Morelli and Ranger. I felt the reader lost the characters at times. Lula and Connie were on target for me and Stephanie was OK, Grandma was better than average. As for the storyline, I think Evanovich has gotten back on track after some disappointing episodes in the series. The interview at the end was a bonus and provided some insight into evolution of the series. How long can Stephanie walk the tightrope between Morelli & Ranger without becoming slutty? Being Italian and surrounded by the men in the family, I can't imagine Morelli standing by much longer before leaving Stephanie. Cute and ditsy gets pretty old after awhile.
Juliet Stevenson has a perfect voice to interpret the characters of Persuasion, especially those of the haughty Lord Elliot and his eldest daughter. Having watched her performance as the arrogant vicar's wife in the recent filming of "Emma", I felt that she would provide exactly the right tone. Watching other of her performances in more sympathetic roles also assured me that she would give a strong character to Anne. Very enjoyable.
Except for some overlong pauses between chapters, I thoroughly enjoyed the quality of Susannah Harker's reading and interpretation of the characters. I remember her from the 1995 production of Pride & Prejudice and enjoyed her performance then.
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