Great fun. Good stories; reminded me that I used to like short stories and has me looking for more. The last story is disgusting in a (very) true "potty" sense, but the others are excellent entertainment. SK's comments afterwards on his inspirations for the stories and on writing are great, too.
This is an oddball, surreal kind of a tale and is fun and original. That said, the "ending" is ludicrous, i.e., not an ending at all. The book stops abruptly, mid-stream, mid-search for the boy's parents, mid-introduction of the lions to the king, mid-chase, mid-everything. This book does not "stand alone," but is rather an arbitrary end to force the reader into buying 2 more books if they want to hear the whole story. The audiobook is not even that long; three times the length would have been nothing new in the realm of audiobooks I usually buy. So, even though the story was fun, as far as it went, I was more than a little annoyed at the sudden end with nothing at all resolved.
This was a pretty convoluted story with a disgusting psychopathic family to really set things off. The main characters are only moderately interesting and, in a Scandinavian stereotype, treat sex as casually as a handshake. The dead file missing girl mystery that sets the whole thing off has a completely implausible resolution. (You've got to be kidding that the police wouldn't have looked in the place she spent the first 2 weeks.) The final financial wrap up is timely given current events, but a bit preachy as the main character launches into a lecture about how the stock market isn't the economy; it's only the fat cats. (Apparently, "real" people don't have money in the Swedish stock market.) A so-so book.
In reading the other review of this book, I can only say "to each their own." I found this book to be more than a little ridiculous. The admiral instantly knows that his stalker is: a one-eyed, one-handed "ninja" SEAL from his distant past...and, by golly, that's exactly who it is...and they still can't find him. No twists, no surprises, just silly macho action that has a few fun points but no real drama. The character development left me not really caring about anyone. The female lead is "strong" just when she "needs" to be to prove the author is a liberated type. In reality, the female lead does stupid things and only by miracle doesn't end up dead as the result. The baddies are over the top. Oh well, maybe I've listened to worse, but this one was no great shakes.
I found Lisey's Story mostly weird, but Duma Key was King back in form. The characters are believable and multi-dimensional; the suspense is well-crafted to build as the story proceeds. It's tricky for a writer to deliver the payoff of a supernatural thriller without descending into the ridiculous, more so as readers become more and more sophisticated and inured to elaborate special effects horrors. How do you describe the baddie without creating the literary equivalent of a foam rubber monster? (We're talking zombies, and scary china dolls and yard jockeys come to life in this book.) Nevertheless, for the most part, Duma Key delivers the goods with only a few moments that had me more amused that savoring the thrill of apprehension. There's a heavy use of foreshadowing, that I liked at first, but ultimately found annoying because it detracted from the suspense. All in all, a fun listen that I had trouble turning off.
This is a thought-provoking book about the origins of Christianity. It brings to life questions and doubts that still arise today, addressing them with the fascinating premise of a Roman--a Roman who crucified Christ--trying to learn about Jesus in the period just after his death and resurrection. The slow conversion of Marcellus is beautifully told. The book is well-written for the most part (with the minor, but annoying-to-the-point-of-funny overuse of the verb "to saunter." Way too many characters saunter way too often. My son and I listened to this book together, and although we enjoyed it immensely, we found ourselves laughing every time some character sauntered here or there.) The narrator does a fine job as well.
I had to cut this book short some months ago when listening with my 12 year old. The sex scenes (including multiple war-related rapes and a long-standing affair between a twin brother and sister) are way too explicit for a child, in my opinion. Having run out of audiobooks, though, I decided to give this one a try again and really enjoyed it. It's long, and stops just as things are really building up, so be warned. Still, it's a very compelling book with a myriad of well-developed characters that make it hard to hit the "stop" button.
The Wheel of Time series can be so exasperating. My son and I joke that every time a character so much as crosses paths with someone else, you're doomed to hear that new person's entire back story, relevant or not. It gets exhausting following all the plot branches. I just want to get back to the main characters, primarily the men. The horrible women characters are extremely annoying: juvenile, arrogant, always angry, contrary to the point of ridiculous, and generally not likeable. The men are all baffled and bemused by the women, but fall for them nevertheless for inexplicable reasons. The characters are constantly making silly, generalized comments that start with "Men!..." or "Women,..." It makes you wonder what on earth Jordan's personal relationships must be like! And then there are the spankings: Everyone spanks everyone in these books (yes, we're talking adults, both men and women). It's bizarrre...and pretty laughable. Still, despite all the shortcomings, it's an interesting story...Well, at least, parts of it are. We've actually skipped several books now and other than a few lingering questions (that wouldn't have been worth the zillion hours we'd have to have waded through to get the answers), it's been no great loss. In spite of all my gripes, I am looking forward to the final battle.
I enjoy studying languages, and I was very impressed with how well this system works compared to others I've used. The phrases "stick" well and are repeated in an intelligent and interesting manner: enough repetition, but not boring. It's interesting to have the contrast of the man and the woman's pronunciation. I just wish more lessons were included. This is a basic introduction.
This is a wonderful, fast-paced adventure tale, enhanced by talented narration. The narrator's delivery is superb, making each voice distinct and alive. Peter Blood's Irish accent is perfect as are the various pirates and foreign soldiers and lords, but almost more impressive is that Arabella's female voice is pleasant and believable, a difficult range for most narrators. I listened to this audiobook with my 13 year old son, and we both loved it. The story has poignancy and humor, along with edge-of-your seat excitement. The wit had us grinning until the oh-so-fun end. Unwilling to give up the adventure, I've ordered the old Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland movie version and can't wait to see it again. I can't recommend this audiobook enough. Enjoy!
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