I bought this book because the premise alone made me smile. The narration was great, espescially Dr. Impossible. I believe this is a book that benifits from being experienced in audio form, due to the wonderful reading styles. Great fun for fans of the old comic books.
I liked the writer's style and especially enjoyed the surrealistic moments, and the narrator was odd but perfect for the piece. However...I had to stop listening at chapter 8. The litany of cruelty to innocence is just too miserable to me. I was thinking, "OK, I get it already!" and had two thirds of the novel yet to go...really didn't need to have any more animals tortured and children abused in depressing detail to get the point. Skip to the end...
I'm in love with the Merrily Watkins series as a whole, and this book delivers the goods once again. My favorite thing is how he weaves actual historical facts and figures into his stories. I read "O Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad" in a collection of short stories many years ago and it haunted me ever since(even though I forgot both the name of it's author and the collection). When I heard lines from that tale coming from the mouths of this book's characters, the little hairs rose on my arms and neck! I've never known of anyone else who had even heard of that story! As always, I'm sorry that Rebecca Lacey didn't do the reading (she did the first and was excellent). Emma Powell is quite good, but Ms. Lacey was the best.
I found this book a fairly good read. I enjoy both historical fiction and studies on human psychology and this delivers both. Yes, there are disturbing passages, but, after all- it isn't called "The Nature Of Fuzzie Little Kittens"!
I've been interested in this author's books in the past but this is the first one I've read. It may well be the last. I had to force myself to follow through to the end just to give it a fair shake ...but it never redeemed itself. First of all, the story sounded interesting, but, I'm sorry....where did these "witches" crop up who go on endlessly about God and the gospel of St. Paul(not a huge fan of women, by the way)and mention the Virgin Mary in all their invocations? And all the "soul mate" drivel?....gack...
Also, I think a narrator can make or break an audiobook and this one was not a good match for the story. Her style was alright for "What the Dead Know" but in this case someone who could actually do a nice Irish accent and imbue the characters with a little depth and warmth would have helped alot. Her monotone style didn't help an already...well I just don't have any words to properly describe what kind of novel it was, but the reading definitely didn't improve things.
This wasn't a bad book, but overall I was underwhelmed. The narration was good, which gives it points as an audiobook, but the story fell a little flat. The background stories of the central characters and even the second-tier characters were actually pretty interesting. The problem was that they were infinitely more interesting than the two main characters, themselves. They were quite two dimentional, and I found myself not really caring what happened with them. And the constant relating of everything in Sam's narrative to a math problem....gack.
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Woman in White", but I liked this one even better. Easier to get into, and the first narrator was really excellent. I was surprised at how funny and charming it was. Anyone who likes Victorian- type stories will love this book.
I put this one on my wish list, because I love a good ghost story, but I put off reading it for awhile, due to the description about a man who wants to die because his beloved was killed. I was afraid it'd be too sad. Boy, am I glad I finally downloaded it! The characters were well developed, and I thoroughly enjoyed the intricasies of the sub-plots and the way they wove around each other, little by little leading us to the final truth. Also, I really love a story that is woven around historical facts, such as this one was with the whole "eugenics" movement. I was shocked to find that that part of the story was true, and can't believe it actually happened here. Some may say that the story came together just a little to neatly, and with a few too many coincidences, but I loved it!
I was enticed by the comparison to Watership Down, but was quickly let down. This story was just very flat and one-dimentional, in my opinion. The characters lacked any kind of depth, and the plot was simplistic and predictable. The narration was quite nice, though.
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