Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
I stumbled across "A Grave Talent" back in 1993 when it was first published. I was impressed with it then, especially since Laurie King lived in my own part of the world and was writing about places and events that I knew well. I don't know, but always suspected, that Kate "Martinelli" was named after the locally famous Martinelli Apple Juice Company, whose much publicized world headquarters were, at that time anyway, on a main drag in Watsonville (CA), where King and her family lived in a farm house up in the hills. I liked the Watsonville association, I liked the apple juice, I liked Kate Martinelli and I very much liked Laurie King's books.
I still do. Some of the books are better than others, but those that are good are very very good, and this is one of them. The last of the Kate Martinelli books appeared in 2006, so maybe King has dropped this series, but listening again to where it all started was fun. It's a little heavy on lesbian-lore, most of which now makes the book a bit dated. Most of the things the characters were complaining about back then have been resolved in their favor. Still, that's a minor point. Another issue is the narrator, who's apparently one of those trained professional storytellers, which I find annoying but apparently other people appreciate. I start tearing my hair out at the slow, plodding, rendition -- where every word, including the prepositions, is pronounced so as to offer the maximum degree of evil portent. The good news is, about three hours in, she either starts to tire from this kind of reading, what must take an awesome amount of concentration, and she starts to read almost like a regular book narrator. By the end, she's fine.
So? Not my favorite book of the year, but still, thoroughly enjoyable. A good place to spend a credit.
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