First of all, Colin Firth. His name should be a verb. I listened to the sample and immediately purchased the book despite the fact that I had no credits left. My fangirl status completely overwhelms any academic critique I might begin on his performance, so I must move on to Mr. Greene.
I am unfamiliar with any of Greene's other work, but when the book came out to great praise, I remember thinking,Well, there's one I'll never read. First of all, I had young children at the time. Any smidgen of time I could carve out for anything beyond Caldecott and Newbery award winners was spent on sleep. How a) depressing and b) overdone is a novel about some wronged lover's introspective interactions with his ex-girlfriend and her husband. Yawn to the tenth power. I still have very little time to read, so I choose carefully. I am grateful to Audible for this delivery system which gives me fewer excuses to eschew good literature.
I am so sorry I did not have the time for this novel sooner in my life. The rainy night, the beginning in the middle, the conscious effort of the protagonist to explain himself to himself and, even in the midst of planning something that would hurt all of them, to step back and judge himself as he thought God might judge him - this reminded me so much of the beginning of Crime and Punishment. I am intrigued. It's not what one would call a gripping plot, since that's not the point. I will have to be in a good mood when I listen since it's pretty dark. Mr. Firth will help me overcome any other excuses.
I have not even listened to a complete hour of this book, but I needed to get that down immediately, in case I forget.
This one makes it into my top ten.
I enjoyed the fact that Mollusk gradually changed his attitudes toward other less intelligent beings. It HAD to be humans, after all, that he liked best. Otherwise, the audience wouldn't understand why anyone could possibly put up with us.
Haven't tried them, but I will now.
My real life is poignant enough at this point with kids moving out and parents getting ill and dying. What I need is creative, humorous entertainment with a small helping of complexity. This delivers.
I'd like to meet Emperor Mollusk, but my teensy brain would probably explode.
I might recommend this if the person likes gushy romance.
Lisa Lutz or Carolyn Haines. Or I might wait until Bill Bryson's next book comes out on audio.
No, but she does a good job. I just don't like the heroine much.
No. I almost barfed over the sappy lovey-dovey conversations ("Say it! Say it aloud!" "My own love; my own true love.") . Maybe that was to emphasize the coolness of the protagonist. Or perhaps it was the correct tone for the 1920s. But even the interesting fact that one of the couples was gay didn't make it less "rolling-my-eyes-and-yawning-my-head-off." And when the heroine wasn't making any headway with her so-called investigation, she just jumped into bed, like that other girl might pick up a partner and go on the roof for a game of tennis.And seriously, what was the point of this "party," anyway? Did people really go to the homes of others they didn't really like that much, stay in their homes, eat their food, dance with them, and use their homes like a hotel for days on end? I understand that for half the book they were stranded by floods, but Phryne wasn't in a party mood even before that. Geez, Woman! Buy your own freaking house and go live in peace with your lover.But then there would be no murder mystery. Exactly. The entire premise of this book is ho-hum.
The best thing I liked about this book was the return of Savannah Reid. The least was the contrived heightening of tension and the lack of knowledge about 10 year old kids.
As to the first criticism, when a writer sets up tension, it should be undetectable. The ramping of conflict in this novel was blatant. Heres just one example: When Savannah is about to check on the threatened mom and daughter at 5:30 AM, she decides not to bother them because they need rest, despite the fact that she knows the violent ex-husband knows where they are and is actively looking for them. So she goes home, planning to spend two hours making sure that the guy that's with her is her client's brother. Seriously? And then, of course, they get abducted and Reid's in trouble with the police because she helped the ex find her client. I can't believe the reader is supposed to forgive the protagonist for being so stupid. No ex-cop would have hesitated to bang on a door at 5:30 AM.
As to the second criticism, I hate to say it, but no 10-year-old girl would be caught dead in a princess outfit. Even in the 1980s when I taught 10 year old girls, princess outfits were out of the closet by second grade. I understand the play because adults make you do it. But the 10 year old girls I know are already past that and on to leopard prints and leggings. Call it sad, but it's the truth. Perhaps in the 1950s or early 60s elementary school girls still played princess dress-up, but not since then. Watching Disney princess videos are a guilty pleasure that many elementary age girls would swear they weren't doing - they would be humiliated by their peers. The only reason they would be playing with tiaras and tulle would be in the context of a (gag) pageant.
Another thing, if that child is going to get to school by 7:30, which is when most kids have to get to school, that mama had better be up by 6:30 and would probably be up at 5:30 doing last-minute backpack checks for homework and lunch money. If her daughter rides the bus, it would pick her up even earlier and if the mom drives her, they still have to leave by 7 due to before-school traffic.
I see this use of children in novels a lot as a tool to heighten sympathy and tension, and I understand it. I also often see it being misused, as it was here. When an author uses a child character as a pawn to garner sympathy or to heighten tension, they are doing the same thing they are making their "bad" character do; they are de-personalizing the child and using them as a tool.
Lack of research into what 10 year old kids are really like and forcing her character to do things against her own character. I'll try one more book.
I will try to find another McKevett story with no children in it.
I'm a Southerner. The accent is pretty good. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish Savannah's voice from the mom in the story, but that's understandable, and she's not around for long, thanks to the protagonist not wanting to wake her client up despite the fact that her life is in danger. AAUUUGGHH! Makes me so mad!
I enjoy Sedaris' descriptive phrases, his offbeat sense of humor, and his unexpected candor about his own shortcomings as a human.
The only way and the best way this collection of essays could have been more enjoyable would be to excise the obsessive sexual references. They're not funny, clever, or quirky. They're just token and out of place, as if put there to show he's still virile - as if any of us need to be reminded that all men, whether they are straight, gay, bi, young or old, are usually thinking about sex - or perhaps to sell the book to the masses who care nothing for his prose or his velvety-smooth delivery in this audio book.
I did not spew coffee on my Mac this time, even when he spoke of Amy's gift of the crocheted owl mask. But it is comparable in pithiness and humor to Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Children etc.
Some Owls and Turtles, But Mostly Sex
Had to stop listening at the sixth story because the multiple sexual references became so tiresome his prose wasn't worth the slog through the sex.
I enjoyed seeing the change in Mrs. Budley from dependent and shy to strong and assertive.
I had not really thought much about the character of Mrs. Budley in Books 1 and 2. As usual, though, I liked the male aristocrastic leads best, even though they're basically the same character.
She does a great job distinguishing the various characters with subtle differences in dialect and tone.
I was able to do it in two "sittings" while driving.
I would if they cared more for plot than character
Something set in the 19th century
Hard-edged but loose
Yes; I believe I will stick with lighter fare like Janet Evanovich and Lisa Lutz
I had to quit listening because I couldn't believe she had sex with someone she thought might be dangerous. Idiot.
I have gone back and forth between the audio and Kindle versions of this book. They are both excellent in their own way. However, I already thought Wil Wheaton was just as cute as a button, and his performance was absolutely stellar.
Usually I am attracted to the characters in novels more than the plots. However, this plot intrigued me and sucked me in from the beginning. I wasn't as fascinated with the character at first since I have almost nothing in common with him. However, Cline made him so authentic that I couldn't help liking him. Both of my sons are geeks, so I guess I sort of saw him as a child figure. But it was the story and the action that usually kept me going.
As I said before, Wade Watts reminds me of my boys, so he was my favorite.
I laughed out loud a lot and got weird looks from people in my neighborhood while I was listening and walking my dog at the same time.
You do not have to be a geek to enjoy this book. The good guys win. I HATE stories that end badly, especially sci-fi.
Plus, the guy gets the girl and vice-versa. I'm a hopeless romantic.
Even I could follow every move on every video game. Maybe hard-core video game players might find it pedantic, but the story should keep them entertained even if the video game sequences and/or 80s trivia references bore them.
There's a lot of language from which I would probably shield elementary kids and most middle schoolers, but most high schoolers will have matured to the point at which a few blue words are not going to ruin their character.
Monty Python of the New Millenium? Not really. Instead of doing sketches, these guys ramble and discuss random facts and events in an effort to draw out the complete moronic genius of Karl Pilkington. I love Monty, but I also love Gervais, Pilkington, and Merchant. I gave it 3 stars for story since there's not really a story. But that is of no consequence.
Lutz never disappoints and she's done it again. Get ready for a Rae that can drive, a David that doesn't patronize or judge, and parents who still have a few secrets. Lutz is often described as a West-coast Janet Evanovich, but these characters are fleshier and more unpredictable.
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