The only thing I didn't like about this audiobook is that it isn't longer.
The story centers on Honey of the title. She is a southern woman living in Detroit at the time of the main action (1945). Among her claims to fame is that she was once married to an American Nazi named Walter who could possible win the award for being the most boring man alive. Walter’s claim to fame is that he is a dead ringer for Heinrich Himmler (the most hated man in the world). Walter is so clueless that he’s proud of this resemblance. The scenes from the first and only year of their ill-fated marriage open the narrative. If you are at all familiar with Elmore Leonard’s style, you know that his picture should be next to the term “low key” in the encyclopedia. He is famous for his virtuosic dialogue and with Honey he has created the perfect vehicle for his dry wit and pithy commentary. There is plenty of exciting and sexy action in this short novel carried out by several memorable characters, one of them being Carl (or Carlos) Webster, the star of “The Hot Kid”. Arliss Howard narrates and he is pitch perfect in conveying Leonard’s trademark tone. He is excellent with all the different accents (German, Russian, Southern U.S.,etc.) He is subtle and yet distinctive in his portrayal of female,male, young, old voices. I strongly recommend this one for pure listening enjoyment.
This is a well read, suspenseful story, but not nearly as good as the BBC production shown last year on PBS starring Rupert Penry-Jones ( I think I got his name right). It's basically the same story line but a female co-star was added for modern sensibilities and the interaction between the two added so much to the story - humor, romance, and the tension that occurs between two strangers who find themselves falling in love despite not liking each other much at first. Anyway - that's the TV show and this novella has none of it. It was written in 1915 and I guess it didn't occur to many people back then that a woman could be an adventure hero too, despite the fact that they had a real life example in Mata Hari.
I recommend skipping this audiobook version and streaming the video instead.
I selected this version of "Sylvester" shortly after becoming a member of Audible and did not look closely enough to notice that this was an abridged audiobook. When I listened to it, the story did not make much sense. Several years later, Audible obtained the unabridged version so I took a chance on it and loved it! In fact, it is one of my top five favorite Georgette Heyer books (Frederica, Friday's Child, Venetia, Devil's Cub and Sylvester being my favorites in both written and audiobook format). So my recommendation is that you skip this version and go for the unabridged one instead.
There isn't much of a story here. It's pretty much a Nigerian national's observations of American people, their culture and their value system and if you're an American it leaves you feeling defensive and annoyed. I don't find it insightful to clump a huge variety of human beings, each with their own individual beliefs, yearnings, inadequacies, and flaws all in the same boat and sink them with your superior attitude.
I really wanted to like this novel - I heard a bunch of educated, intelligent people discussing it on the Diane Rehm show so I had high expectations. I feel like Adichie has bamboozled the literati. If you're not reading this for your college English class I would pass it up. It is not entertaining and it just made me feel bad.
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).
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