I have to say that I was expecting something different from this book. I don't read or listen to many titles of this genre but of course, being a fan of the TV show Medium, I was curious. When I couple that with my recent loss of a parent, I felt very happy in purchasing this audio book. There are many stories of readings in this book categorized quite well - death of a child, Medium episode truths and fictions, loss of a parent etc. Along the way Allison does spend time proving that she is a bonefide medium able to speak with the dead yet notes her frustration when she discovers her inability to readily to contact her own loved one who had passed.
I think that Allison's charm stands out in her ability to empathize with so many people in so many grief situations. Her readings are explained usually by the subject first and then by Allison herself. I found this format to be something other than what I expected still quite interesting and emotional.
I agree with the previous reviewer in that she lacks the "been there done that/seen it all" or "know it all" tone of other people who profess to speak with the deceased (Sylvia Browne - perfect example, I'd throw John Edward into that). I am skeptical about most "mediums" who make a profit from their "gift". That being said, there is something so genuine and warm about Allison I cannot help but feel she is the real thing.
Again, she does spend alot of time validating that she really IS a valid medium that can contact the deceased and actually "bring them through". Other than this, I think the book is charming, enlightening and can say it had a strong emotional resonance with me throughout my listen.
This was a few hours and a few dollars quite well spent.
At first, Fertility struck me as an odd name. Then, there was Gwen. Then Chuck gave us Tender Branson. Tender? It IS Palahniuk after all so in his second novel, why not. Often, I fall asleep to the "voice" of Tender Branson. A side affect of listening to every title (with the exception of two) is that not only is Palahniuk my favorite writer of fiction but it's just scary with the narrator of every title. Each narrator is JUST THAT GOOD. With Palahniuk, every narrator is perfect (I exclude Diary for reasons obvious if one would listen to the sample). As a result, Tender Branson has me imagining suicide. He is now perfectly etched into my brain by Paul Garcia as was Carl Streator courtesy of Richard Poe etc. I feel as if I am listening to the flight recorder of flight 2039 aka Tender Branson, my savior from very common living. Somehow I am sad. Not just a little but very deeply saddened and somehow feel so much like a fly on the wall of the Sherri's restaurant in Spokane. I'm the wedding coordinator providing the "other" type of sandwich during half-time in New Orleans. Hell, call me Trisha! This IS fiction but it feels so very real. Even laughing through some of the ridiculous home care antics of Tender it feels so real. For the record, I will NOT be killing myself anytime soon but this is how real the teleprompter at my appearance which allows me to write this review is that I would highly recommend this listen to any Palahniuk fan. Finally, it's so good I am afraid to even allow "Haunted" onto my iPod, ever. I would however like Audible to add Fight Club and the soon to come Snuff to the list for those of us on the hunt for all things Palahniuk.
I purchased this yesterday as my mother had passed away 2 weeks ago today. I listened last night and this morning and feel as if the author and speaker is leading me back to mindfulness. If you are familiar with Buddhist teachings and practice, you may feel there are better options out there for your listening. However, while simple in delivery, the author has a comforting voice and doesn't stray from the reality of just being but rather reminds the listener of the useful teachings of the Buddha as delivered by her teacher and as she delivers them herself.
If you're looking for a quick fix pop culture "magic pill" in order to feel better during a time of crisis or pain, your view on life, struggle and pain will determine whether or not you are pleased with this audio speech.
I left the listen with reminders on meditation practice, the basic goals of Buddhism practices. This was 2 1/2 hours well spent for me. I hope it is for you too.
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