I simply love this series and each book is different. The writer tries to work with language or plot in all the books. The interview at the end of book 2 on audible is a help to understanding this book's place in the writer's idea, but as a reader it pleases me most as art. This one uses time and memory in a way that actually reading the book is an advantage and the audio a reminder. This writer invests himself in the choice of words and though it is not obtrusive or obsessive- it sure does help imagination and memory. The generational shifts and choices in community are part of the joy in the series. This one carries the Viet Nam generation into and out of memory. I probably like it just because I remember the time and the problems. The story is solid though and the plot feels discovered rather than plotted.
This book has not been available for purchase as an audio book for a long time. I know because I tried. It is one of two nearly perfect Lucas books. The other book is Mortal Prey and Sandford has written about his emotional regret when he had to close his relationship to Clara. I think the writer's joy in finding another charater, Lettie, that he could continue shows in the book. It is a speculation about when he knew, but, as a writer can rewrite and edit the moment, the guess is more celebration for a writer's recognition than actual need to know. The story is interesting and the characters vivid. It hardly matters what one says about a Sandford book. A fan will read in any case and those on the fence are choosing for reasons a fan can not address. This is one of my favorites though and I am glad to see it available on audible.
The complaint about this book is not about story or narrator but about an old addiction. The format of the book makes this sort of like buying chapters of a Dickens book. The story leads to the next and the next but the price is not fun and reading the stories is easy. Most libraries have a copy and the copy has all the books in the series. Young folks may not have the problem. This writer was an option to the Oxford Dons. This writer tied with the novel Dune. There are lots of options to the Oxford Dons these days and it is hard to understand why Zelazny is as important as Herbert in this publishing climate. Those of us with the addiction understand all of the above and probably would not have suffered over the loss of Dickens. One has to understand reading options and addictions to know that not every writer can sustain both appetite and loyalty past fashion. I still like the writer and the series. This was a good performance by the narrator. The competition was thin though since our only option seems to have been the author in a knowably bad performance. So, it is a good performance or we as an audience were hungry enough for the work in audio format that we like what we can get.
I really like some accents in the narrators. I took this book because I loved Brian Nishii's voice in Barry Eisler's first book. The accent was not well represented in the next book that Nishii tried of Eisler's series. The same seems to be true here. This first book is the strongest in the series and the narrators are at their best in this book. The formality in the story telling is likable to me. Overall it is a likable fairy tale and not at all hard to enjoy. The series wears thin though and the need to go on with a series is suppose to be strong. The reviews seem to indicate this experience is shared.
I personally think LeCarre is one of the most difficult writers to actually read. I finally got the hang of it when I listened to him read one of his novels. He translates himself wonderfully, but this is not always what narrators or film makers can do. Russia House is one of my favorite movies, as much for the music as the story. I read Dawin8u's review and decided to try this narrator because I knew the story well and loved it.
Either I am getting better at listening or Jayston understands well enough to translate. He did a wonderful job with a difficult writer. The problem with LeCarre is that a chess game of characters and plots moves into poetry and then dance. He, LeCarre, has not just complex plots but complex interest in the goals of writing. The intellectual and the sensual seem to take equal weight and until one arrives at the willingness to translate these strands into comprehension whole parts of a story refuse to read. There may be something about writers attempting to understand Russia that I like as well. Martin Cruz Smith writes in ways that read like poetry in his Renko books.
This book seems like something a writer needed to try and as a whole it worked. It should not be the first book tried in this series because the writer's interest is complicated and though the story is strong and well made the path to it is not as easy as the other books.
There is a great deal of ugliness done to people and animals in this book. The idea of telling stories seems to require this aspect of competition for reader choice. Johnson has kept the direct story telling in some kind of reform, but the horrific nature of the bad guy in this novel is not fun to understand. One can enjoy the experimental nature of the writing structure, the bad things, and the resolution in courage, friendship, and simple human skills. It is just not my favorite in the bunch.
We get to meet Lucian. This character is funny, sobering and needed to understand the specific nature of change in the far West. The West is not and never was the version Hollywood wanted to tell, but those facts do not mean it was without interest. Johnson has made selections that separate him from most of the other writers who have interest in the culture, character and decisions in this landscape. In all honesty Elmore Leonard seems to guide the bad guys in this novel and Johnson does well with the problems.
The best part of a second book is getting to know that characters will continue and knowing them may well mean sharing them with the author's interest. Honestly though it is not necessary to beat up the main character all the time.
I am a new fan to this series and am so pleased to be one. This series is a pleasure whether one reads, hears, or sees the work. This kind of work is not suppose to compete or replace work of high aspiration. It is surprising how well it does so. The series is a pleasure actually read. There are reflections and understandings that can make their own way into reading when the text and oneself are all there is to understand. In abstract conversation this is the hand of the artist. We can learn to share his pacing and motions. The series is wonderful when we listen. George Guidall is always wonderful and the stories are strong. It is fun to watch. A&E has done a wonderful job and Robert Taylor may be the best match to a written character ever chosen.
The best part of this series is a very good argument about the nature of a good man. The specific location, age, and job go a long way to making the discussion so concrete that the reader needs to understand the problem in the nature of a good man. Iris Murdoch agued that it was too difficult to write about good men. She made a boring attempt and even her badly behaving characters were boring. She chose a Utopian description of a good man and so one can barely recognize the man from a fairy tale. This series is more like the side of writing in Joseph Conrad. Utopian notions can not survive specific problems and defining good in specifics reveals how very interesting the problems can be.
Moby Dick is a favorite book for several professional teachers. The book is everything that is wonderful about 19th century literature and more. Personally I think this book attempts to add itself to the dictionaries of American literature. Louis Menand indicated in the Metaphysical Club that America had 3 dictionaries at the time of the Civil War. The Bible, Homer, and Shakespeare inform a reader and the combination finds a mutual requirement for understanding and an idea of competence. Moby Dick moves within these dictionaries to add the new voice of Natural History. All these recognitions do not take away from a fun book and wonderful language. The narrator is celebrated and mourned for his achievements in voice. We are so lucky he tackled this book in the years he could work. The story has drama and has been filmed several times. Film only provides the basis of the surprise. This book is fun to read or in this case enjoy being read to by a great artist of voice.
Signature performances are suppose to be good. Tim Curry performs this timeless tale in sort of a dimensional notion. Fun is read along with the other strands in the story line. I suppose one either likes or dislikes Time Curry but honestly this story and his talent are perfectly paired.
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