Brilliant. Compelling. Categorized as "Young Adult" but perhaps more because the female protagonist is a child, this story will break your heart on one page and on the next give you comfort. You can't help but care about the characters.
The narrator, Allan Corduner, is truly amazing as he brings life to Death, the book's narrator. I took great pleasure in how his voice messaged the words and images. I've read reviews from those who read the written words and they all complain that it was slow getting into the story, but not true with Allan Corduner giving voice to Death.
After six hours, I threw in the towel. And I used one of my two credits for this! Olivier a spoiled brat and Parrot an abused child - I should have been sympathetic, but it all felt too alien. The only part that was intriguing was Parrot becoming the chamber pot emptier for a poor abused counterfeiter. And I still don't know what this book was suppose to be about. Too long a journey for this listener.
I read Picoult's website, carefully examining her reason for why she wrote this story, but I don't get it. If she thinks she has added to the body of knowledge of the Holocaust, she is sadly mistaken.
This story has a novel twist in it, but only one. It brings nothing new to the table regarding the Holocaust survivors. In fact, I just finished reading a few months ago the memoirs of women survivors in A Train in Winter before starting the Storyteller. In so many ways Storyteller repeats the exact same story. Picoult brings no new ways of understanding personal dynamics in the camps, no new ways of understanding survivors or their offspring. I'm to going to accuse her plagiarism, but scene for scene in the march out of the camp to the next camp, I could have been in the other book. Yes, I realize she used a lot of research but she should have read the body of literature out there already to be original.
I read A Train in Winter for book club; Storyteller for my own entertainment because I liked My Sister's Keeper. Picoult's Storyteller is one dimensional. For a nuanced look at suffering in WWII and a book which brings a new perspective to the table, try The Book Thief, or go see the movie.
Title says it all. He should have kept these stories under wraps. I prefer to remember how much I enjoyed American Gods, the Graveyard, Stardust.
End user error. Thought I could enjoy a horror story because 1) I like fantasy, 2) I love Kate Mulgrew. I did enjoy Mulgrew's performance and hope to find another book she narrates. I couldn't connect with Vic on any level and just could not engage with the plot. But if horror is your genre, I'm sure you will rave like everyone else does.
But after all the WWII books, fiction and non-fiction, I've read, I expect a new book about the camps and the war to bring something new to the table. It didn't. Re-reading Sophie's Choice is so much more rewarding.
Story arc is great. Believable if just a little predictable- but enough plot twists to make keep it interesting. Even though it goes back to Clanton and Jake, it reads all new again and didn't bog down with so many references to A Time to Kill that it got in the way. This is a Grisham book to win new readers.
Special kudos to Michael Beck, narrator. His performance is outstanding. I now search on his name to see what might interest me if he's reading it.
When writing a dystopian novel for YA, the author still needs to get gritty. Not be afraid of PG-13 ratings. There is something here, but lacks real grit to be worthy of comparisons between the Potter series or the Hunger Games, or a singularly good novel, The Book Thief.
I get the metaphorical aspects - growing up, loss of innocence, tried and true story theme. But this comes no where close to what I would expect for a book enthused by so many readers as "adult." Want to read young adult books that speak to adults, try "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak.
And for that, the story doesn't deserve 5 stars, but then, what's the point of 4 when overall this story is so well put together - even if I did want to throw my iPhone at the wall when I got to the ending. Listened to this for my book club and I think my experience of the book was entirely different from those who read the book. I found the book hilarious in parts. The dark humor shone in the narration that I think my friends completely missed in the reading of the book. My guess is that everyone read so quickly to get to the next twist and turn that they didn't take the time to look closely and see how things came together. I thought it was a remarkably constructed story - there's the Amy of the Diaries, the real Amy, the Nick we think we know, the real Nick and all 4 are there all at the same time. It's a brilliant listen. While I think you really have to suspend your disbelief at the end of the novel, it's a great ride.
John Lee as narrator does a fine job. Follett was so formulaic that I think an assistant must have written it from an outline. In fact, I was offended in many places. Yes. Offended. His throw-away to gays in the story was at best patronizing and at worst showed an old man trying to pass himself off as modern. It was false and offensive. Perhaps I know too many stories of WWII, seen too many movies, know too much history, but Follett brings no new insights, breaks no new ground. Quite a disappointment.
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