Member Since 2005
Do not choose this audio book. If you want to listen to Jodi Picoult at her best, try "My Sisters Keeper" or "Nineteen Minutes". She can be stimulating, provocative and entertaining but she can also be smug, verbose and trite. She is at her worst with "Change of Heart". Before downloading, I read several customer reviews and I wish I had paid more attention to the negative ones but I looked at the overall rating, which was 4 and thought it would be a safe bet. Unfortunately, I did not read the critics' reviews until after I started listening to it. If I had, I would have known that the book was panned almost universally in the media. I agree wholeheartedly with the customer reviewer who pointed out that she lifted (plagiarized?) her plot from "The Green Mile" by Stephen King. I cannot believe she got away with it either! Maybe King realizes that "The Green Mile" is far superior to "Change of Heart" and since he and Picoult are buddies he let it slide.
I did not care for this book. I guess the plot could be called clever in that it does illustrate how people and situations are not always as they appear. But none of the characters are likable. Well, one of the male characters is an overall good guy and his wife, who is dying, has some appeal but everyone else in the story is two faced, phony, deceptive and some of them are downright evil.
I thought this book was supposed to be funny but I didn't find it amusing at all. Its only saving grace is that it has a lot of dogs in it - but the author didn't use the dogs to propel the plot or make the story more quaint or colorful or original.
The narrator was fine but although a bad narrator can ruin a book, a good narrator can’t rescue a poorly written story.
I don't recommend it.
This book is so great. It's funny, painful, gripping and the narrator is perfect! I put off buying it and then put off listening to it and now I wish I could find another book just as good. Not to gush even more but it is truly one of my all time favorites. And it has a happy ending.
I was a die-hard Carl Hiaasen fan until “Nature Girl” and “Star Island” both of which were substandard (IMHO). When he took his hiatus to write kid’s books I was disappointed because I couldn’t give up on him completely but as the years passed with no new novels for the adult reader, his star faded in my firmament. I did take note of “Bad Monkey” when it came out but I didn’t rush to download it because I didn’t want to face more disenchantment. Then recently I read a synopsis of his next book (“No Surrender”) which features his iconic character, Skink, and that was the spark that renewed my interest.
I loved “Bad Monkey” and wholeheartedly recommend it. The story is suspenseful, the characters are hilarious - either lovable or despicable but always outrageous - and the plot has plenty of twists and turns. The ending is quite satisfying although there were a few plot points I wasn't clear about - a minor issue which did not detract from the overall pleasure. I've been to the Florida Keys but I'm not very familiar with the climate, flora, fauna or bug life. CH makes this part of the world one of the main characters in his novels. He makes no secret of his love for his home state and his wish to protect it from those who would “pave paradise and put up a parking lot” (thank you, Joni Mitchell).
In the interest of full disclosure, I probably wouldn’t give “Bad Monkey” a full 5 stars except that I want to bring up the average because it is definitely a 4+ star listen/read. I don’t get the complaints about Arte Johnson AT ALL. I think he did a great job but I guess narration really is a matter of taste because there are some narrators I don’t care for who are very popular (George Guidall, Scott Brick, Lorelei King). This is why it’s a good thing Audible includes a sound sample ;-)
Actually I don't have much to add to my headline. I had no idea there were British people, even teenagers, who sound like they're students at Oxford by way of San Fernando Valley circa 1980. (Isn’t that when Moon Zappa put out her famous song with the line "gag me with a spoon"?) I'm going to trust that Val McDermid did her homework for current slang in the British Isles... but the narrator was literally unbelievable.
Aside from the narration I think the writer did a creditable job transplanting the plot and characters of Jane Austen's 19th century parody of the Gothic novel. It is a good story and really, teenagers (although there was no such thing in the 19th century) haven't changed all that much. Some things are timeless and universal and that is what makes Jane Austen one of the truly great novelists.
This is the first book I've read by Jo Nesbo and if his other books are this good I'll be reading a lot more. “The Son” reminded me a lot of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy in that it is a revenge fantasy (and it's always better to leave revenge in the realm of fantasy in my opinion). But it is satisfying to sometimes see the bad guys get what they deserve and "The Son" does that in spades.
If you are looking for fiction that is believable you probably want to look elsewhere because this book demands significant suspension of belief. I am willing to do that when the story is this compelling and the characters are well drawn and resemble real humans. Some reviews emphasize the graphic violence in "The Son" and it is a pertinent warning, although I don’t think there is any more blood and guts than any other books of this genre.
The narrator is competent. I didn’t love the narration but I think it was just a matter of personal preference because I can’t find fault with it. The narrator did not interfere with the enjoyment of this book, which is my bottom line. All in all I agree with the other folks who recommend spending a credit on this one.
This book is like an adult version of the children’s books about Amelia Bedelia if you’re familiar with her (she takes everything literally, like when she’s told to “dress” the turkey she puts a little outfit on it).
The Rosie Project is funny and heart warming. The narrator does not have tremendous range as far as accents or doing females – fortunately the story doesn’t demand these skills to be highly entertaining.
If you need a lift I recommend this one.
This is one of the best books I've read/listened in the past year - which is more of a compliment than it might sound like because I read/listen to about 20 books a month. The story was gripping and the characters were sympathetic in both their strengths and failings. I know some people were bothered by the description of animal torture (blithely referred to in our culture as "research"). I was deeply affected myself but I do think it is something we all need to hear about. Like a character in the book says, we might vaguely know that this is going on but until we are made uncomfortable with it nothing will ever change. And really, it does need to change (IMHO).
I recommend this book - it was my first Jasper Fforde book and I enjoyed the mystery of who killed Humpty Dumpty and other crimes perpetrated in nursery rhymes and investigated by DI Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crimes Department. The characters are fun and their interactions and adventures are inventive and diverting. The author even managed to instill an element of suspense.
Simon Prebble is one of my favorite narrators and this is one of his best performances.
If you like Monty Python and Mel Brooks I can pretty much guarantee that you'll be entertained.
The story is mildly interesting and might have been a very good book at about half the length. I felt impatient before I was a third of the way through but I downloaded the whispersync and I can read way faster than I can listen so I managed to finish it. Too much verbiage and as a side note there is way too much smoking! I started to wonder if some tobacco company paid Kate Morton for every scene involving cigarettes.
The narrator is excellent but I don’t recommend this book – there are long books on Audible that are a lot better than this one. (“The Potato Factory”, “The Goldfinch”, “The Company” to name three that come to mind.)
I agree with the reviews that say this book does not deliver on the title. I was fascinated by all this writer has been through but kind of amazed also. I feel bad that she has had the misfortune to have intimate relationships with so many loathsome men but *spoiler alert* I can't believe she let her husband talk her into not one but TWO breast augmentation surgeries.
Shelly Frasier is one of my favorite narrators which was the main reason I downloaded this book and she gives her usual fantastic performance.
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