I would recommend it for the light reading and "no-brainer" content.
I liked the plot since there were several things happening at once. This is definitely not the same plot The author has used before, but the antics do repeat themselves.
I think the plot lends itself well to a movie.
I'm a big fan of the Stephanie Plum series and enjoy reading the light, uncomplicated plot lines in between other novels which are more cerebral. I've always enjoyed the continuity of going from one to the next and always knowing who is who. Unfortunately, what bogs this book down is its constant explanation of who is who, who lives where, and telling the new reader the connections that exist between characters. It is definitely a stand-alone book, not dependent upon the others to get the gist, but I already know the gist and grew tired of being reminded.
I have read the books and decided to listen to them owing to the sheer weight and substance of the later sequels. I love epic stories that have continuity and an ongoing story the spans decades and generations. That is what this is. Gabaldon has such creative verbage and unusual similes that kept me interested and never got boring, even in the minutiae that she creates with her stories and weaves with her words. The detail that describes the scenery, the events, and the history woven into her fiction is spellbinding and extremely fascinating. I feel that I know these characters intimately.
I love historical fiction that convinces the reader that it is all true, even the fictional part. Gabaldon makes the story believable in all its detail. She creates characters that are human and fallible, who have breached all the bounds of love and found strength in their frailties. This is essentially an historical recounting of the hard fought life in Scotland, the immigration and settling of families into the colonies of the New World, but the foundation is built on the love story that begins the saga and keeps the reader interested in the human side of life, the emotional thread that underlies all families and relationships that we can all relate to and that makes strict history bearable and interesting. We meet the two lovers at the beginning and eventually follow them into their twilight years, well past the constraints of this novel into 6 more books that I can't wait to begin as soon as I am finished with the last.
Davina Porter is unwavering in her ability to not only read and enunciate the many accents that are represented in this saga, but also act out all the parts with such great emotion that it is as if you are sitting in front of a stage full of actors with your eyes closed. You can hear the emotion in her voice and then imagine it on the character's face as if s/he were standing in front of you. She speaks with a native British tongue, has a wonderful Scottish brogue, makes the Cockney London accent sound completely convincing, and her french accent is so believable. I knew all the characters instantly as she recreated them verbally for me.
I am constantly chuckling out loud to myself at the antics created in the story. There are some really emotionally difficult scenes that depict the truth of living during the era of the middle 1700's. Gabaldon has a knack for creating a love scene in the middle of this crude way of living that makes you want to go back and live there for all its hardships. Her descriptions of the scenery create the smells, the sounds, the climates so real that its hard to imagine that this is not strictly nonfiction, but historical fiction that is being read. It does what a great book always does, it makes me believe it is real.
If you're not prepared to want to read all of the books that follow this one don't even start this one. You will get so drawn in you won't be able to stop. This book is addictive and this narrator makes it even more so!
If you're a dog lover this book will give you an added dimension to the love you hold for the animal. Smart, funny, and sensitive, it's a story that stimulates the imagination to wonder whether our faithful animals could really hold an opinion we have no idea of. This book is a mixture of spiritual and emotional insights into the human condition only a dog could notice. I loved the journey from beginning to end that we all take, as dog owners, with our beloved companions. And we get the wonderful surprise of an ending we don't expect. Always fun. Even if you're not a dog lover this book holds a unique perspective into the inner workings of the human mind, and the human heart, as told by the canine, our most loyal companion.
I loved the personal insights made by the story-teller, Enzo, that were his own personal insights but that mirrored what goes on inside the human psyche. Some real and true observations are couched inside the dog's mind.
I am a woman so I liked the make voice since this is a male dog. I wouldn't have had that perspective if I had read the book instead of listened to it. His delivery was seamless and genuine and believable as the dog Enzo.
Because my friends also have kids.
Simple, sweet with a little drama, the kid learns his strengths and relationships are formed because of this.
He is great with accents.
This is similar to the Harry Potter series in that it's a kid's story that adults will also enjoy.
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