I'm a huge fan of audiobooks. I've probably listened to well over 200 titles, including some literary works. Having enjoyed other books by Michael Chabon, I started to listen to Telegraph Avenue with the highest expectations, but simply couldn't continue beyond a couple of hours. I'm notsure what the problem was, but I had to abandon the book early on. After a couple of months, I finally picked up the actual book and loved it. It is a brilliant novel, with themes of parents/sons; spouses, partners, race, etc. As some reviewers have noted, it recalls Joyce's Ulysses, at least superficially. It just doesn't work as an audiobook, despite the best efforts of the narrator. So, this is just one of those occasions when one is better advised to skip the audio and read the text. (Note, an article in the Times Sunday Book review from November 2013 also led with this book as a prime example of a title that didn't work in audio format.)
Probably the best of a highly enjoyable series. Vish Poori is a singular detective, stubborn, idiosyncratic, a tough guy and mama's boy who loves his samosas. He's also very funny and a clever detective to boot.
Thankfully, Ian Rankin has brought Rebus back from retirement, to the chagrin of his superiors and Rankin's newer protagonist, Inspector Malcom Fox. Fans of Rebus will not be disappointed. Those new to this series should go back and read/listen to earlier entries first. This audio production was excellent, portraying Rebus as a unique combination of Falstaff, Columbo, and Sam Spade with a Scottish accent.
On the plus side, the actual mystery, the who done it and why, was pretty interesting, as was the social dynamic portrayed. The characters were were fairly well developed, although some were cliched. The narrator was, in nearly every respect, excellent, sounding distinct regional and class dialects. The only place she didn't do quite as well was in a brief segment of the book where she takes on a pretty bad Australian accent. On the downside, I thought the book was overlong by about 1/3rd. The first two to three hours were tedious and felt padded. Also, the premise of the story and some of the police procedures were pretty unbelievable. All that said, it was an enjoyable listen, well worth the credit.
Nesbo is at the top of his game in this exciting addition to the Harry Hole oevre. Anyone who hs enjoyed Snowman or other books in the series should definitely listen to Phantom.
This was a great book, which captures the zeitgeist of the great recession when the new, consuming, home owning middle class crashes and burns. It is also a very sensitive look at mental illness. Overall, this is a very compelling police procedural, with newly paired detectives unravelling a gruesome murder. The narration was outstanding. I highly recommend this audio.
There are not many books worth devoting 40 hours of listening to. Don Quixote and the Hobbit, are two audio productions that come to mind, but to that list I gladly add The Pillars of the Earth, as a fully realized, all encompassing novel of the 12th Century. It is highly recommended to all listeners (except for those put off by depictions of violence and sex).
Very amusing, fun listen. The character of Abby Normal is a great addition to the Christopher Moore ouevre. Excellent narration.
Having really enjoyed Lush Life I tried out this book but was disappointed. Among other flaws was too much pop psychology, and that the book seemed to be about 3 hours too long. Also, I don't think the author adequately explored the white-black dimensions he set up with his plot. After all, the protoganist was a white Jewish guy who returns to the overwhelmingly minority housing project where he grew up in the '60s. Yet, nothing much is done with an obvious racial conflict. The protaganist was just one of the boys. As an adult, he's just a middle class guy who is spending time with characters from his childhood (or their children). In general, all the characters seem very poorly developed. The narrator was very good in eliciting voices and dialects from all the non-white characters; his voicing of the white protaganist was terrible and greatly detracted from the listening experience.
This is not my typical audiobook, yet I found it utterly captivating. The narrator was great-sort of like James Mason, and the humor was both understated and very funny. At bottom, this book is about tradition (a British ex-soldier who insists on being called Major rather than Mr.)confronting modernity (cohabitation, land development and especially Muslim immigrants) in the setting of a quintessential English village. It is really a book about family and love, yet it is not chic lit. As any good audiobook, I was said that it ended.
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