I am an avid listener but I do not like intense and graphic violence. It often seems superfluous and manipulative - hyping up the emotional response. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The author has created characters and relationships that I deeply responded to and cared about. That is why I was eager to read the second book, The Girl Who Played with Fire, which continues with the same fascinating cast of characters along with the violence. It also illuminates more of the background information about their lives in surprising and believable ways. However, the resolution at the end included some plot elements that were ridiculous and so incredible as to destroy much of the momentum and enjoyment of the story. I would give the ending one star, but had to rate the whole book as 3 stars because I can't say that I didn't like it. The narrator contributed greatly to my enjoyment, as well. Simon Vance is an excellent, riveting reader. So I will listen to the next book. Still, prepare to be disappointed at the end.
Obama reads the book himself and he turns out to be an excellent reader. His life's story is fascinating and extremely varied; he had a remarkable range of experiences, from his boyhood in Hawaii to the ethnic enclaves and streets of Chicago, to Malaysia, to Nairobi, and further into undeveloped lands in Kenya. Though at times I found the transitions disjointed or nonexistent, his observations and comparisons between all the different places he's seen are astute, instructive, and often provocative. This recording ends with some of his most memorable political speeches. I highly recommend this book as a timely and worthwhile listen.
I enjoy every recorded book written by Alexander McCall Smith and read by Liset Lecat. Mr.(Dr.?) Smith, a teacher of medical and legal ethics at the University of Edinburgh, is brilliant at presenting complex ethical situations in the context of the small yet poignant issues of everyday life. The author and reader are a perfect match. She understands how to deliver his humor as well as the compassion and meaning embedded in the narrative of these lovable, very human characters. The mysteries that Mma Ramotzwe, the Lady Detective, are intriguing right up to the end. I never fail to laugh, to cry, and to be thoroughly engaged in this book as well as the whole series.
Although this book has been well-received, I found it so boring that I lost interest in all the characters. About midway, I completely stopped caring about them. It seemed too contrived to me; also trite. The invisible elephant in the room for me is that this book is not worth the accolades. Plus, the elephant should have been a larger (pun intended) presence in the story.
I had read this book in hard copy. I enjoyed it even more listening to this audio version. The reader is brilliant, as is the novel. Be prepared for a surreal yet vivid, intriguing experience.
I really enjoyed the earlier Kinsey Milhone books, especially in audio form. Judy Kaye is a good reader. But the characters in this episode were shallow and artificial. Violet is so typical as a sexually-irresistable vamp, and all the men fall like dominoes at her feet. She is the typical portrayal of the calculating woman with no other dimension or interest. Yet she is the catalyst of the story.
I like graphic sexuality if it is well-integrated. Here, it just seemed gratuitous. I was quite disappointed in this book.
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