This was my first Kathy Reichs book, and given other reviewers' comments I was braced for a gross disappointment that never came. I should know by now that the longer reviews of books one normally finds are sour in nitpicky ways, regarding either an author's style or that of the narrator.
I enjoyed Reichs' writing. The lengthy descriptions of people and places painted vivid scenes. Her clever use of metaphors and turns of phrase often had me laughing out loud. Also, the sarcasm among the characters was delicious. There were some gaps in background story here and there, but I easily ascribed it to this being my first read of her series, of which this is the fifth. (I started here because it's the earliest of her books on audio that is unabridged.)
A narrator can make or break a book. One reviewer here was right in suggesting that an author should approve one before the project proceeds. This narrator was pretty good. She has some flat moments here and there, but on the whole she gave life to the characters and was pleasant to listen to.
I'm off to download the next unabridged Reichs book, Bare Bones. Reviewers trashed it, more the narrator than the book itself, but I'll just have to see.
I like Ms. Reichs works, but this one... not so much. There seemed to be a few too many characters and threads, making it hard to follow at times. Also, the ending is rather anti-climactic and unsatisfying.
What REALLY drops the stock is the narrator. The Southern accent she tries to affect is horrible! It sounds more like a mockery than an effort to imitate it. In fact, it's absolutely grating.
So I gave the book a 4, but the narration a 2.
This is a great book and I was SO looking forward to hearing it! Unfortunately, this recording is so muddy that the reading is often unintelligible. Let's hope another reading will be offered one day. This one is horrid! I'm very disappointed. :-(
You'll be all about this novel if you are interested in post-Civil War stuff, or serial killers, or the origins of forensics, or the origins of psychology, or the stirrings of the birth of women's rights, or have an interest in child labor or street kids or prostitution, or, in particular, street children forced into prositution, or general social history of the 1890s, or like the recent movie 'The Gangs of New York', this is the novel for you. The man (Carr) has done his research.
I'm interested in all of the above, and this thing knocked my socks off! Of everything though, my greatest kudos to the author come from his use of language as spoken at that time. (e.g. 'electrical chair' VS 'electric chair').
As an historical novel? Yeah, buddy! As a novel? Yeah buddy!
Excuse me while I download the sequel.
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