Theresa Weir is a wonderful writer. I will definitely check out her fiction. The story of her life is, on the surface, sad and tragic, and yet her prose does not make for a depressing read. Theresa Weir is a brave survivor and I admire her courage.
I bought this book more than 6 months ago and started and stopped multiple times. Once it won the Goodreads best historical fiction award, I forced myself to finish it. It was truly a magnum opus with a unique storyline for a WWII novel and the writing was beautiful. But, something about the character development left me wanting more and the story just dragged at times. The ending, though probably realistic, was quite depressing. Zach Appelman's narration was excellent.
I understand that this book had an underlying goal of exposing the abuse of elephants but the treatise distracted from the underlying story. The ending of the book was clever, though a bit disconcerting. Though a fan of Picoult's earlier works, I just have not loved the books she has written in the last 5 years. FYI: the narrators of this book were perfect.
I was always fascinated by how believably Alan Cumming (a Scotsman) could play an American, Jewish political consultant on the Good Wife so I had to read his memoir to see what he was all about. Turns out that he is a terrific writer who can weave a down right crazy tale. It is amazing that this brilliant actor was brought up under such terribly abusive circumstances and was still able to become a hugely talented actor. His story is a testament to survival and ultimately thriving despite the worst of circumstances.
This is my third Liane Moriarty book and I'm now a real fan. I just love her ability to take everyday life and extraordinarily real characters and delve really deeply into circumstances and emotions. And, she is able to do this through normal human interactions and humor. Clearly living on the North Shore of Sydney isn't any different than any upper middle class US suburb. Caroline Lee's performance was spot on.
My first Liane Moriarty book. What a nice surprise! Definitely a step above chic lit. Engaging, humorous and thought provoking. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It just kept ending...3 or 4 times. I thought the conclusion would have been better if the author stopped with the first ending.
The reviews of this book were so stellar, I thought I couldn't help but enjoy it. And, the beginning started out really strong with the premise of the widowed bookshop owner and the unexpected things that get him back to living. The book references just didn't save the plot as it started to unravel about halfway through the novel. From then on, there were hints dropped that just never went anywhere. I had this great idea about the ending, but the real ending was just downright depressing. A good first effort by Gabrielle Zevin, but needed a seasoned editor to tighten/add depth to the story.
I don't know how you could listen to both of Rob Lowe's memoirs and not admire him. Forget that he is a great story teller and narrator. What really makes his work shine is his honest self reflection. And, through his words, we get to know someone that, like all of us, is not perfect, but has striven for conscious awareness and self improvement. I will be interested to read the memoir he writes when he is 75.
I really loved the premise of this book and I thought that it could have been a serious exploration of losing faith. But it wasn't. The characters were there, the plot was set, and yet it stayed on the surface, never delving into the philosophy of a spiritual crisis. Barbara O'Neal's writing, especially her realistic dialogue, was very good and the narration by Tanya Eby was spot on. I just feel liked the author missed the opportunity to go deeper.
I have to say that this book was extraordinarily clever. You would probably have to read it more than once to really appreciate the extent of the acumen that was needed to write it. The ability to combine astrology with a unique place and time (1860's Gold Rush in New Zealand) signals a very talented writer. The swirling of characters as they mirror the night sky made for a great tale, and yet there was something lacking. The attention was placed so much on the "mechanics" of it all that it lacked emotion. And, real attachment to any one character was just not possible. In the end, all the players were just living descriptors of the signs and planets, seemingly lacking any soul...which is why any good astrologer knows that a chart is nothing without the influence of spirit.
This book reminded me of Jonathan Stroud's young adult fiction in its dark/fantasy storyline, but lacked Stroud's writing polish. The idea of joining a Golem and a Jinni in a relationship in turn of the century NY, however, was quite unique. The novel, unfortunately, had its flaws. There were times that I really had to remind myself that it was a fantasy because sometimes the "magical" characters inconsistently showed both human and non-human traits. And, as all current books, it was too long and poorly edited. The narration by George Guidall was outstanding.
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