I have several problems with this historical fiction - it begins with the narrator whom I found to be confusing because he would adopt a stylistic voice for a character and then maintain that style for another character during a lengthy dialog. It's as if he forgot who was speaking for. My second problem is that I have read so much Tudor history, and other historical novels by Phillipa Gregory, that I can't help but compare this to The Other Boleyn Girl which gives far more insight into the political aspirations of Anne and her family. I'm just a mere reader, and I know Wolf Hall was the recipient of several prestigious awards - so maybe it was the narration because I couldn't keep the characters straight. Maybe it was the repetitious recounting of past characters/events...this was one I couldn't get through.
If there's a plot here, I missed it. I'm two and a half hours into the book and I'm still not sure what the point is. Yes the building is a mystery, the people are mysteries, but so too is the plot. I got the book based on reviewers, but fail to see why they call the book intense when it seems so trivial.
Then listen to this book. Narrator does a good job with the voices of the characters, but it could get tiresome when he messed up associating one character's speech with another character's line.
He breaks no ground, but he does one thing that is good for American readers: he gives another perspective, a British one of course, to American history-much of what we take for granted or don't pay much attention to anymore. So that was the best it had to offer.
I enjoy Joanne Harris' books. Have read them all. I enjoyed this one to the extent that I liked her characters, but the plot was veneer. And the ending less than satisfying. It won't be made into a movie like Chocolat and it doesn't have the depth of Five Quarters of an Orange, but it was pleasant to read about Vianne once again. I wish Anouk and Rossette had played more of a role, but they were quite peripheral to the story. Best rendered character this time is Father Francis.
Read this only if you have enjoyed the two previous books, Chocolat and Girl Without a Shadow.
"Though Dr. Petrie had to be at least 60 years old, she sprang easily to her feet" say What? Really? she wrote that and all you reviewers missed that most insulting remark??? Plus the narrator voices her as "old." Hello, I'm 65, working, enjoying my 4 rambunctious grandchildren. I don't think you'd call me spry; you'd call me 50 and scratch your head when I told you my age. This may be minor to everyone else, but I'm stopping right here and taking amazon up on its offer of a free return. Now I just have to figure out how.
Like its predecessor, The Eight, the heroine is in pursuit of magical mystery. Unlike The Eight, it's narration of historical events is more tedious to me - probably not the author's fault, but my own since I know only a bit of middle east and African history. So I did spend some time looking up the history to get a better understanding. But not that you have to, that's just a path I travel for an historical novel.
My only complaint is the narrator. Her voice was much too mature for Alexandra who is suppose to be 22. She sounds 52. Denaker does a nice job with the other characters. That said, I frequently felt her performance to be forced, as if the story bored her and Alexandra as well.
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.
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