Yes, it was like watching a good movie unfold in my head. The point of view kept shifting from major to minor characters, from protagonists to antagonists, which kept the story moving along at a quick clip.
It was fast paced, tightly plotted, and the romantic sub-plots and the intersection of main story and backstory kept me turning the pages. Of course, we know up front that the Nazis lost the war, and in a series such as this we know that the main character will survive. So the dramatic tension revolves around how she uses her wits and training to prevail, and in the survival or death of the peripheral characters. Maggie keeps getting deeper and more resourceful as the series goes on, and her relationships keep changing with changing circumstances. She stands as a reminder that most of the people who fought that war were in their 20's, and the reality of a world gone mad required and demanded that they mature quickly.
While I think Susan Duerden's performance was much improved over her last outing in Princess Elizabeth's Spy, her German accent here was heavy handed. A sentence might read, "This is the way we work," while her attempt to make it sound German was more like, "Ziss is ze vay ve verk." Such distortions aren't necessary, and were in fact a bit distracting.
I'm afraid I'm not up on young British actors and actresses, so I can't comment on who the stars should be. However, it would make a great mini-series, and I expect the BBC will do just that after a few more titles are added to the series.
Yes, I'd recommend this book. It's classic King, with great set-up and foreshadowing and deftly drawn characters. Also, for those who are just trying out Stephen King for the first or second time, it's not too long.
While the ending was never really in doubt — since it's a first-person narration we know that the narrator survives — there was a bit of deus ex machina about the timing that detracted from the resolution.
He sounds perfectly natural and is good at delivering self-deprecating lines in which the narrator looks back at his younger self.
Read more books written in the first person, to see how differently each is handled. For instance, after Joyland I re-read The Great Gatsby. Both books are written in the first person, but one is more purposely prosaic, while the other is consciously poetic. Same point of view, very different results. Fascinating stuff.
No. The narration was grating.
Rhys Bowen's series about Lady Georgiana Rannoch, as both series feature the royal family as well as a mystery, though they take place a decade apart.
Susan Duerden has an incredibly annoying lilt to her voice, as she drawls the last word of every sentence on rising intonation. Her dialogue is fine, the differentiation of character is good, but the narrative sections make my skin crawl.
No, I could barely listen to it at all.
Bring Wanda McCaddon back as narrator.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves gothic romances. Ms. Setterfield is amazingly fluent at voicing the internal emotional world of her characters.
Any of the various revelations.
The narration was wonderful.
This is the tale of twins.
Like Du Maurier's Rebecca, the tone is elegiac and mysterious, and the plot of the story within a story reveals itself slowly, like the petals of a flower opening to the sun. As soon as I finished it, I listened to it a second time; it's that good.
Having not read the print version, it may be presumptuous of me to say, but I can't imagine that the audio version isn't far superior. Katherine Kellgren is mesmerizing. Her command of different English accents is amazing, and this is the first time I've heard totally believable English and American accents from the same narrator. Hats off and a deep bow to Katherine Kellgren (thanks so much for an entertaining read!).
This is an unusual series, in that it combines mystery with humor and romance. All three elements are in play at all times, and that in itself creates a pleasant tension within the story.
She can do a dozen different characters and accents, men and women, and keep them separate. It's like listening to a cast recording. Kellgren is simply amazing, and she makes the story come alive in a way that I've rarely experienced.
Yes, though I was unable to listen all in one sitting, I have to admit to stealing time that was otherwise allotted.
This is a perfect match of author to narrator. I'd like to give them both a hug.
Yes to Tavia Gilbert.
Ann Hood is obviously good at making you want to turn the page, at crafting a compelling story. I'd probably try another, but if the payoff is as poor, I'd steer clear thereafter.
To excise a line in the last paragraph that leaves me wondering.
Tavia Gilbert was good, though I was continually taken aback by the pronunciation of "them" as "thum."
This novel weaves together two stories that take place forty years apart. The 1919 story has depth and treats grief with a degree of understanding that is unusual and on the mark. The 1960-61 story actually captures the time quite well, but the character elicits less empathy, due to her histrionics.
Robert McCammon is a good story teller and a decent writer, so yes, I will try another book from McCammon. As for Tom Stechschulte, there is something about his inflection in narration that bothers me, a trailing off at the end of a sentence. Nonetheless, he is a master at delineating characters, so it really does seem like a cast of characters. So the more dialogue the better.
With reservations. If they accept the genre, they might like the book.
Adept at characterization
No. Enough suffering already.
Somewhat of a spoiler here: Readers who liked King's The Stand will like Swan's Song. But McCammon's characters are so unloveable at first that it takes a good third of the book before you come to care if they live or die. It also takes a large "suspension of disbelief" to accept a story that starts out as a very real apocalyptic scenario, and then changes into a quasi religious/mystical fantasy novel complete with a ready made quest and the formulaic confrontation of good versus evil. But if you stick it out, you'll find it a compelling read. I'm still waiting for a good apocalyptic novel where God and the Devil don't duke it out.
I'd put it in among the top 25% of the books I've listened to.
Without seeming frenetic, a lot goes on in this story, and even the minor characters are well defined. And Bruno is a rarity among men; he's content with his life, even as he is open to new experiences.
His pacing, as always, is very measured, which makes it easy to visualize each scene.
I wouldn't say my reaction was extreme. But I was very happy to find an affable character to follow through a series of books, and to discover another author whose narrative style fits like a comfortable glove.
If I didn't know who the author was, I'd have sworn this must have been written by Alexander McCall Smith. It's uncanny how similar Walker and McCall Smith are in style, tone, pacing, character development and philosophy.
Within this book some serious subjects are confronted: racism, xenophobia, murder, rape, wartime atrocities, drugs, love, friendship, loyalty, and morality, yet they are considered and discussed without being preachy.
If one were forced to sum up such a book in three words, I would have to say "Heartwarming, Life Affirming." But it's so much more. It's also sweet and gut-wrenching. You'll find comfort in the small acts of kindness, courage and decency that allow our species to carry on in the face of the unspeakable inhumanity of war.
I suppose the hiding of the Polish slave-laborer is among the most memorable, but it's only one of many memorable scenes.
I didn't have just one favorite. What made this book so great as an audible book are the many voices that help to differentiate the various characters. I particularly liked the portrayals of Juliet, Amelia, Eben and Isola.
These are the individual stories of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, in a time when courage, loyalty and decency stood fast in the face of war.
This was one of those most satisfying novels that you want never to end. It makes a nice companion to another book about Guernsey, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page.
Not from Lee Smith; the writing was adequate at best. The concept promised more than it delivered.
The End of the Affair
The account of Catherine's mother.
Not many. The characters were only partially drawn. With the exception of Catherine's overarching regret, I never did get any sense of the characters' motivations.
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