First of all, do not get this "Vanished" mixed up with the excellent book also entitled "Vanished" but written by Joseph Finder; they are not of the same subject or quality. "Vanished" as written by Karen Robards is not unique in any way, and I do not recommend it.
Ms. Robards' "Vanished" is the very over-used story about every parent's nightmare; a woman's six-year-old daughter vanishes in a busy park and is never found. But 10 years after the girl's disappearance, the Mother begins to receive strange phone calls from her long-gone daughter, wanting to come home. The Mother, of course, panics and begans frantically looking for her little girl. At this point, the story starts going downhill quickly; for example, It's immediately apparent to the reader that the calls could not possibly be from the daughter. The voice on the phone sounds like a typical six-year-old child, but the reader is thinking: WAIT; wouldn't the daughter be 16 or 17 now and presumably not still have the same baby voice and lisp that the Mother's six year old had when she first disappeared? Someone finally figures that out, but not until a lot of panicky scenes have occurred and not until the reader has became a little agitated at being treated like an idiot.
But the real tragedy occurs not with the very trite subject but with the narrator. Joyce Bean does an excellent job when she stays in the voice of female characters. However, in the audiobook, when Ms. Bean first starts growling out the voice of her supposed male lover, I laughed, then cringed, then was rather creeped out. Her boyfriend, as voiced by Ms. Bean, sounds exactly like a cranky old woman, a life-long smoker with a resulting scratchy throat. At first it wasn't much of a problem listening to Ms. Bean trying to make her voice sound an octave deeper than it could actually go, but it was a Big Problem during the "romance" scenes: since we cannot "see" the sexy scenes, all we can picture in our minds are a young woman and a grouchy old cigarette-smoking old lady with male genitalia. And, no, I am not homophobic or transgender-phobic, and I usually have little problem with a female reading a man's part in an audiobook. But Joyce Bean needs to stick with narration of female characters only (and at which she is very good), and the author needs to quite trying save a buck by not hiring both a male and a female for naration of her romance novels.
Frankly, I could not get past Part 1 of this book before I had to throw in the towel. I found it inane, totally unabelievable, and not the least bit humorous (other reviewers found the book hilarious, but it left me irritated). I suppose if one likes the idea of a new police recruit being able to speak to ghosts and learning to perform magic and wizardry while he's trying to solve a "mystery", it might have some appeal, but this was advertised as an adult mystery book, not for children, so it would have to be an adult with a child's mind. The new recruit's supervisor - who no one likes because he's too weird - is from some obscure division of the London Metro Police (ala X Files) and makes it a point to help train the new recruit. It's supposed to be like Harry Potter meets the X-Files, but it doesn't come close on either count, other than perhaps a little plagiarism.
Ditch the concept for the entire book and try writing something else. The disparaging remarks about women certainly did not add any appeal on any level.
The narrator at times read too quickly.,
No. The author borrowed ideas from different movies and books and tried to make a mystery story from it. He failed miserably.
The book is not worth commenting on any further.
Doubtful. I do not appreciate authors who try to advance the sale of their next book by creating novels that cannot stand alone but, rather, where the reader has to wait (and pay) for a follow-up novel to find out what happens next. If you've read the books "Outbreak" (inspired by the epidemic of Ebola in Africa during 1976), "Pandemic" (based on the SARS scare of 2007), "Outbreak and Contagion" by Robin Cook, "The Stand" by Stephen King, etc., it is obvious that the pandemic theme is not Brett Battles' genre. Weak plot, not enough intrigue, and poor character development (often the case in "series" where the writer knows he/she can possibly make up for it in the next installment). Battles should stick with The Cleaner, where he shines.
What ending? It continues into book 5, much to the delight of the author's bankers.
The narrator did a good job trying to make sense of the slow pace of the story. He's not in the top ten yet, but he'll get there.
This theme is so tired and trite. It's been written about extensively since at least the 1990s. I suppose teenagers would enjoy a movie, but there is not enough action for a TV series.
This novel is replete with advertisements, a new and underhanded scheme by the author, Deborah Crombie, which listeners must not accept. While the Crystal Palace (a plate-glass building quickly built in 1851, thus the reference to "broken glass" in the title) actually existed in English history, it is not critical to the theme of the book, and in fact its existence could have been completely omitted from the novel without changing any part of the story. However, the author repeatedly uses the words "Crystal Palace" as a reason to then cite the full website addresses of other authors' websites (even the BBC's) that cover the Crystal Palace's history and current status like a barker who attempts to attract patrons to an event they might otherwise pass by. It was very irksome to be listening to this mystery and suddenly have the narrator stop and clearly announce: "w w w dot Judy North dot com" (example only). Presumably the listener is supposed to think Deborah Crombie felt the need to give credit to other authors' thoughts about the Crystal Palace that Ms. Crombie pilfered for use in her own book, like footnotes in a thesis, rather than put the idea in her own words. But this is not a thesis; if the author felt compared to quote so much of other authors' works, she could have done so at the end of the story and all at one time. But since the Crystal Palace had no great significance to the theme of the book, why did Ms. Crombie want to interrupt her story with pointless website promotions about it? Did Ms. Crombie receive payment for each website announced during this novel? That's what it appears to this listener!
Omit the promotion of other authors' works during the narration of the story.
There was no scene that stood out as a favorite. The only thing that stood out was the blatant promotion of other authors' websites.
I don't know. I was too irritated with the "w w w dot Judy North dot coms" promotions to be able to pay the attention to whatever qualities the book may or may not have had to offer.
The narrator, Gerard Doyle, did his usual outstanding job.
The unique setting; the use of more humor than usual by the author but always in the right setting and which never takes away from the drama of the story itself; the well-defined characters and the interplay that occurs between them; and, as always in a Louise Penny novel but especially in this one, the feeling of evil wending its way throughout the story, maybe just around the next corner, but never where you expected to find it.
There were several great characters, as usual in a Louise Penny mystery, but in the end it was Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. His powerfulness of character, his intellect, and even his frailness are front and center in this novel.
His performance never takes over the novel, never interrupts it; he is flawless.
I cannot answer this question without giving away part of the plot, but I thought about this story -- am still thinking about this story -- long after I had finished listening to it.
This brilliantly written audiobook focuses not on how to get your child into the right preschool or whether that three-hour dance lesson each week is enough to get your child onto Broadway; rather, this audiobook basically concentrates on how to keep from raising a sociopath. The authors present heartrending examples of emotionally traumatized children whom they've helped counsel over their long years of child psychiatric practice, then explain in layman's terms how a child's brain works and how the child can be remolded, if caught early enough, to heal and function well in society, maybe even happily. While this is more of a textbook than easy-listening material, the journey into the child's brain and how it works is fascinating, and the overall theme of the book -- about a human's critical need for "lasting, caring connections to others" -- is thought-provoking long after the audiobook has ended.
"The Boy who was Raised as a Dog" should be required reading for all high school and college students -- and for all those parents and parents-to-be who think they know all about how to raise a successful child.
A critic writing in Audible.com indicated that Suarez was the heir apparent to Michael Crichton, which is why I brought this book. The critic was wrong. I did not have to listen very long to realize the Crichton and Suarez do not write about the same topics at all -- and Crichton would win out every time.
This is one of the best audiobooks of the past few years. Although there are other "mystery" books with more intricate plots, scarier themes, and, yes, more intellectual subjects, there are very few books that are as entertaining and that will touch your heart like this one. Don't read any more reviews, don't ponder over whether it's worth a credit: just get it! I dare you -- I double-dog dare you -- to be able to read it without, when it's over, saying out loud: Wow; what a great story!
A lot is missing from this book by Michael Connelly, including a competent editor and apparently enough time for Connelly to write a story with actual plot twists and turns. Add to that a narrator who put no heart into the story, as if he was reading an obituary to an empty room; the insipid Mendenhall character who seems to have had no purpose other than to irritate readers over her total lack of sense (e.g., she doesn't know a bullet from a stray piece of wood); and a lot of disconnect, such as the haphazard throwing in of Bosch's teenage daughter, his girlfriend, his girlfriend's son in prison, names of obscure jazz players, the 1992 LA riots, a viscious dog that isn't viscious, a military helicopter pilot who, for no reason given, flies into a house -- all of which (and more) seem to have been added for word count rather than actual mystery content.
Perhaps it's time for Michael Connelly to take a vacation from writing to recover that wonderful passion he once had for Harry Bosch -- and to find a decent editor for his novels.
Detective John Luther's calling in life is murder. He's exceptionally good at it -- not at committing the crime, but uncovering who did it. He's an extraordinary man; he has a near-genius IQ and has the personality to be liked and trusted by everyone with whom he works and lives. But what stands out about Luther is his eerie sixth sense about people, the type of overwhelmingly powerful intuition we sometimes hear and marvel about (and perhaps were all meant to have but which got lost in evolution somewhere for most of us). When Luther's on the trail of a murderer, he's obsessive, unrelenting, madly driven, super-charged, and ... oh, yeah -- very, very dangerous.
The narration by David Bauckham is excellent. The story by Neil Cross is superb but dark and brutal. It is not for children or even adults who are easily shocked, offended or unnerved. It graphically describes gruesome or horrifying scenes (murder and otherwise) without apology, clearly expresses what Luther sees and feels at the scene and while on his hunt for the killer, and precisely communicates the growing and perhaps soon-to-be unmanageable rage within him. The subplots flow quite well within the story and add to, rather than detract from, the overall characterization of this extremely complex man.
This is one of the few crime novels I would recommend spending your credits on, if you think you're strong enough to take it.
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