Very very good
The Last Nude, another book by Ellis Avery. Like The Last Nude, Avery abandons her narrator in a strange land and lets the narrator see her new world through foreign eyes. What I really enjoy about both works is the strong sense of time and place AND the complex characters. No one is entirely good or entirely evil. Instead, Avery creates a world with flawed, but not unsympathetic people.
Yukako. That said, Caruso is one of those gifted narrators who makes each character have a distinct voice. I knew who was speaking without being told.
Nothing. The title fits the book perfectly.
Although not perfect, this is a very, very good story about an extremely interesting time in Japanese history - when the west invaded Japan. I've read and seen many stories about this time written by Japanese authors through a Japanese character's eyes. It was an interesting twist to see this moment in history described through a foreigner's eyes. Like other reviewers have pointed out, the narrator is a bit frustrating because she does little. Rather, she observes and analyzes what others do around her. Also, the story does droop in places. That said, the narrator makes very astute observations and the people she is around are very interesting. Whenever the story started to sag, it quickly reeled me back in. Aside from the strong sense of time and place, I really appreciate how well Avery (the author) understands human nature. Nothing in the story is cliche. Her characters are living, breathing, flawed individuals who do, not do what is expected of them, but rather what they want to do. Because of that, the story has some very surprising twists. The narrator did not end up where I expected her to be.Although the book felt VERY complete, I like how unanswered fragments are left behind, which is very much like real life.
Not as an introduction to Neil Gaiman. The book is not bad, but it's very predictable. You know right away who the "secret" villain is and how the story will more or less end. Also, the two heroes, Richard and Door, were dull and generic. The book does have Gaiman's dry humor and some lovely descriptions. It flows well and Gaimain gives a great performance. Neverwhere is not terrible, but it's not great either. Gaiman has much better work out there.
Only if they were a fan of his work. It's decent enough, but didn't keep me on the edge of my seat wanting more.
Gaiman gives a fabulous performance. He always does a fantastic job reading his stories.
Maybe. The writer does some impressive things with how characters capture memories onto paper. That said, I was very disappointed with the ending.
Only if it got really strong reviews. While I think she's a very good storyteller, I was disappointed with the book.
I love how the narrator muses on memories.
I was displeased with the ending. It was well written, but I wish the writer would have chosen to go another route. I think the fact that she foreshadowed what would happen so strongly throughout the novel hurt the book. I kept waiting for a surprise twist at the end and there wasn't one. You can pretty much tell what will happen to the characters within the first half hour of the novel.
For as much as I disliked the ending, the book did hold my attention and I hated to put it down. The pace of the novel is slow and lyrical, but also mesmerizing. The author is talented. I simply wish that she either would have not given the ending away so early in the book or surprised me. I finished the novel wondering what the point of it all was. Once again, it was entertaining, but the last half hour was painful.
It depends on the friend. This book is NOT for everyone. It graphically describes the life of a promiscuous gay man. So if the topic of homosexuality or detailed sex scenes disturb you, then steer clear. Also, black people are almost like fetish objects in this novel. Many of the upper-crust, white British men in the novel are VERY attracted to Africans. Although the wealthy men are genuinely sickened by hate crimes, they also don't quite see black people as "human" either. It's like people from Africa are viewed as some sort of enchanted, mythological creatures to be sought after and adored. I don't want to give the impression that the book centers on race relations, but some of the ways that black people are described made me feel uncomfortable. I think that Hollinghurst purposely did this to further explore the idea of what it's like to be viewed as an "other" in mainstream society.
I would recommend this book to a friend who loves beautiful writing and strong characterization. I would recommend it to a friend who enjoys thinking about things that they've never considered before. Before this novel, I never thought about how so much "homosexual history" was covered up, changed, or never recorded to begin with. Just like in Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child, the idea of what is forgotten and what is chosen to be remembered hangs heavily.
How it let me see the world through a new set of eyes.
He is a fantastic narrator. All of his characters sound unique and he does a fantastic job with different dialects and accents. Perfect pacing, smooth voice, lovely narration, perfect execution of wit... I would love to hear another story read by him.
Yes, but I don't want to spoil things for you... There's a part that will stick with me for a long time.
I loved both its characters and the way the writer explores how and what is remembered.
I could loosely compare it to A.S. Byatt's Possession or Tennysons' "In Memoriam" (where the story got its title from.) Like Possession, we see biographers trying to unravel the mystery of what a famous poet was really like and who he was romantically involved with. Unlike Possession, the story isn't centered on "who dun' it" (although there are some surprising twists at the end), but rather who is remembered, how they are remembered, and who is forgotten. It's very poignant to see who and what is lost.
The ending left me with chills. I also listened to the first part of the story over and over again because it is so well crafted.
I adored Daphne, but would probably take Cecil out to dinner just to see what kind of mischief he would get himself into.
This is a beautifully written book. The author really knows his craft. The pace is set on slow burn. The book isn't about exposing one shocking revelation after another, but rather about how things are revealed and chosen to be remembered. You know that feeling when you finish a story and wish there was more? When you can't start anything else because what you just read was so good? When the story's over, but it still hangs like a veil over your daily life? That's where I am right now, after completing The Stranger's Child. It's definitely something I will listen to again.
I read the book over a decade ago and had forgotten how good it was. I'm a working mom and usually the only chance I get to listen to books is when I'm doing other things (cooking, watching my son at soccer practice, etc.). This book was very easy to listen to while I was doing other things. I don't mean that as an insult. It was so well written that I could glide between it and other things with ease. It was a pleasure to listen to.
The lyrical prose and soft narration.
No, I haven't. I enjoyed his performance. I agree that he does get a little "Bela Lugosi" at times, but I think it's pretty darn challenging to get an American accent with a native born French twist in it. As an American, his American accent was very poor, but forgivable, since it was rarely used in the story. I can't say what he did was perfect, but it was VERY VERY good.
This book didn't make me laugh or cry, but it definitely reignited my interest in Anne Rice. Like other critics have pointed out, the dialogue does tend to get bloated with philosophical ruminations, but the writing is so soft and lyrical, that the shortcomings are easily forgiven. I will definitely get the other books in the series with Simon Vance as the narrator.
When a book really grabs me, I love to look up its publishing history. I couldn't believe that this title was originally released in 1976. I somehow had it filed away in my brain as a 90s novel. This book is well over 25 years old and does not feel dated. The author definitely deserves credit for its timelessness.
A fun twist
The Troll Queen - everybody loves a good villain and boy she was one. Her narrator was also fantastic.
About five characters narrate the story and each has its own voice actor. The cast was very good.
How far would you go to right a wrong? How far would you go, for love?
I loved the "original" story of East of the Sun, West of the Moon when I was a little girl. Although the author kept the spirit and skeleton of the story, she gave the tale her own unique spin. I'm an adult and I rarely read books written for teenagers, but this one held my interest. The author did a great job giving each character their own voice and personality. It was enjoyable seeing the story from different points of view. I was a bit surprised by some of the choices the writer made, but it's fun to read a book that isn't predictable. I would recommend this title to fans of the original and to people who love stories with a fairy tale feel.
The narrator did an excellent job. The story started out a bit slow for me, but once it got rolling, it held my interest. Generally I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I enjoyed this novel. It has a strong sense of time and place and interesting and likeable characters.
I liked Brother Edmund's complex and secretive nature.
She's a first rate narrator. She really helped pull me into the story.
There were so many places where I thought the author was going to go down a predictable path and I was happy to be proven wrong. There are a lot of fun and surprising twists.
While I wouldn't say the story had a cliff-hanger ending, it didn't feel complete. I'm guessing there is a sequel in the works. I tend to avoid series unless I know they are already completed. I AM looking forward to the next novel, but I don't know when and if it will be released.
My five year old would recommend this to his friends. He loves listening to it in the car.
My son loves hearing the names of all of the ducks. That's his favorite part.
If your child likes the original book then he/she will more than likely enjoy listening to this in the car. The narrator, sound quality, and production are solid.
Maybe in a few years because of its poetic writing and strong narration.
The narration hooked and held me in. The story's protagonist, Rafaela, is a complex and sympathetic character. While I wanted the best for her, she enters into what looks like doomed romance. I kept listening to find out what would happen to her. Would she find true love or end up with a broken heart?
The story itself, while very good, is not excellent. The villains are a little too campy for my taste. Rafaela (the protagonist) and the audiobook narrators do an excellent job holding the story together. Ellis Avery (the author) has a gift for descriptive writing.
The narration is what sucked me in. Brilliantly done.
I wouldn't quite call the book a
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