Any short story collection is bound to have its ups and downs, and that's very much the case here. Some of the stories are utterly compelling and well worth the price of the listen--others fell flat and left me wondering what they had to do with the theme, or how they possibly got selected.
One that particularly stood out for me as being excellent was "The Last Ballot,"
Overall, I would say this was worth it, and while I'm not usually interested in introductions, I have to say I enjoyed Lee Child's description of how he selected the authors he was able to invite, as well as the selection process for the remaining 10.
The narrators do a great job with the material and I'd listen to them read other things as well. Overall, this was worthwhile.
I liked this a lot - it was very suspenseful and fast-paced; the author did a great job of building the story and making it very creepy. The characters were interesting and engaging, and the underlying premise is really cool. The narrator did a FANTASTIC job of creating a unique voice for each of the characters, and considering how many there were, that's impressive. You could easily tell which character was speaking regardless of how it was communicated via the words. I will look for more by both this author and this narrator.
This is well worth the listen if you like horror and have high standards for it.
I have greatly enjoyed Elizabeth Strout's other books, including "Olive Kitteredge" and "Amy & Isabelle." "The Burgess Boys" is almost shockingly disappointing. The story is dreary, the characters utterly unlikable, and the narrator sounds clinically depressed (I guess I would be, too, if I had to read this drivel). I couldn't even finish the first half.
Intriguing characters and a well-written story about German women living in Berlin during WW II. I really liked the characters and how the story evolved, and I will read more by this author.
This horrible waste of time is marketed as a mystery and thriller, but it's a badly written manipulative romance novel. Shallow characters that induce eye-rolling, a sadly underdeveloped subplot apparently written as filler--perhaps the author had too recently read "Kiss the Girls"- so poorly done as to be embarrassing. In fact, if this book were any more full of filler, it would be sold at Wal-Mart in giant bags of dog food. Don't waste your time.
Lee Child's plot is as inventive, well-thought-out, and twisted as ever in this thriller (which lives up to its name!) Unfortunately, Reacher's nose was broken in the last book, and the narrator read every.single.line of Reacher's with a stuffed up nose. It was awful and distracting and horribly frustrating to listen to. Had I realized this was the case, I would have read this one in print rather than suffering through hours of Jack Reacher's broken nose.
I loved "The Persimmon Tree" and "Jessica," but "The Story of Danny Dunn fell flat for me, despite the great narration. Courtenay's characters are usually very rich and have a lot of depth, but in this book I felt he was just going through the motions. The characters are flat and often more of a caricature than a character. At multiple points through the story I was thinking "Just get ON with it already" and I found the ending predictable. I was especially disappointed in the character of Helen, who seemed even less realistic than the others. All in all, far from his best effort.
Kathleen Wilhoite could not have done a better job with this book--she is delightful, and brings every character to life. Part mystery, part comedy, all fun. It took a little while to get into the format, which switches back and forth between letters, e-mails, and narration, but it is so worth the trip, and so fun. Well done on all fronts!
"Sacre Bleu" is everything one looks for in a comic novel. Except funny. Which rather sort of spoils it. If you're new to Christopher Moore, go listen to "Fool" instead, which is much more worth your time. If you love Christopher Moore, well, it can't be helped. Don't say I didn't warn you. This is not the top of his game. Or even the middle.
Like everything Michael Connelly does, this was well-written and a lot of fun. I was intrigued by the idea of him writing a ghost story and exploring characters that are a big departure from Bosch and Haller; he does a great job and I'd love to see him explore this further.
It's a short listen, so I wouldn't blow a whole credit on it, but after using my credits it was was worth buying as a standalone piece.
Good narration, also.
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