This book came highly recommended and I was not disappointed. This is the first book by Patchett I've read and I'm eager now to get into her other works. Patchett's prose is lovely and some of her imagery will stick with me always. We come to know her characters gradually, as circumstances and dialog lead them to reveal more of their personal histories, motives, desires, and regrets.
This is a definite "re-listen."
Hope Davis does a skilled job of narration. I'm adding her to my list of favorites!
I've lost track of how many times I've listened to this story. I put off using one of my precious Audible credits on it because my local library makes it available for free via Overdrive. But when I renewed my Audible subscription and was awarded a free credit, I did the only logical thing: I now own it!
So why do I love this story so much? For me, it comes down to three things: fun characters who I've grown to love; a good story revolving around the themes of self-acceptance and loyalty; and fabulous narration and characterization by the talented actress Caroline Lee.
Jinks gives us a new and crazy perspective on vampires and werewolves. In Jinks' conception, they aren't monsters to be feared, but victims struggling to accept and cope with their "afflictions" in a world which wants to either exploit or destroy them.
A small, unlikely group of Australian vampires, forever locked into the physical age at which they were "fanged," meet every Tuesday night with a local Catholic priest in a support group environment. Thrown together with nothing in common but their "disability," they learn to tolerate one another for the sake of avoiding total isolation from humanity.
When one of their number is "slain," by a vampire-hating fanatic, they band together and exercise all their resources to track down the culprit before he gets to them. Along the way, they encounter their first werewolf, a creature they weren't sure even existed. Then it's the vampires and the werewolf against some vicious, money-hungry thugs who have built a world-wide network of underground werewolf fighting. (Think along the lines of illegal dog fights or cock fights. Nasty stuff!)
I can't say enough about what Caroline Lee does with this work. Yes, Jinks wrote a book for young adults, but Lee brings terrific personality to the characters. Just as adults enjoy Disney and Pixar films, this story as performed by Caroline Lee is joyful entertainment.
Wikipedia says of this book: "The Killer Angels (1974) is a historical novel by Michael Shaara that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975. The book tells the story of the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War: June 30, 1863, as the troops of both the Union and the Confederacy move into battle around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and July 1, July 2, and July 3, when the battle was fought. The story is character driven and told from the perspective of various protagonists. "
My take is this ...
Shaara's novel is a masterpiece American of literature. His prose is absolutely beautiful and he breathes body and soul into long forgotten heroes of the Civil War, both Union and Confederate. This book cannot be read and forgotten. It becomes part of your own living memory, as the War Between the States is part of our collective American memory.
What can I say about Stephen Hoye's performance here? He hits the perfect tone throughout. Like a singer with Perfect Pitch, Hoye matches note-to-note the personhood of the characters and the intent of the author. This is tragic tale of brother-against-brother, and the pathos in Hoye's narrative is heart-wrenching.
This will become a well-loved companion that one returns to again and again.
I kept seeing this book reviewed highly in Audible but did not consider it because I'm not a fan of the horror genre. When "14" was included ina recent Audible promotion, I considered it again, this time reading reviews on Goodreads and Amazon which convinced me to give it a shot. I'm so glad that I did!
First off, I have no idea why anyone would categorize this story as horror. It's simply a good mystery/suspense tale with some fantasy thrown in. I couldn't put it down. I was hooked in the first 10 minutes of listening.
The story is about the mysterious and creepy features of an old apartment building near downtown Los Angeles which brings together a few of the tenants, determined to get to the bottom of things and understand what kind of place they're living in. The characters are interesting, likeable and believable. The dialog is snappy, credible and funny. Plot twists are paced to keep the reader engaged. A few historical figures are thrown in and then the author launches things into the realm of sci-fi/fantasy where the protagonists find themselves, as well as the entire population of Earth, in grave peril.
Ray Porter delivers an absolutely superb performance in portraying the characters and the tone of the story as the plot escalates.
FYI: I'd rate this novel PG-13 for language, description of nudity, and one toned-down sex scene.
Rhys Bowen has created a delightful heroine in the impoverished daughter of a British peer: Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie. Despite being 34th in line for the throne of England, Georgie finds herself living on canned beans, toast and tea in the family's unheated, servantless London home. Georgie attempts to scrape together a living in the midst of the Depression with no skills or training beyond that she gained in a hoity-toity European finishing school.
As it happens, George finds herself attempting to solve the murder of notorious gambler and blackmailer found dead in her tub. Her brother is accused of the crime and Georgie is the only one determined enough to save him from the hangman.
Katherine Kellgren gives an absolutely marvelous performance and it seems like she's having great fun characterizing the various personalities in Bowen's novel. She certainly makes it fun for the listener.
* I've enjoyed ALL the titles in the Royal Spyness Mystery series and listened to a few of them more than once! Terrific entertainment!
I'd heard many favorable things about the Dresden Files, so I decided to plunge in and meet Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. I was very pleasantly surprised to find him a thoroughly likeable character! I'm not a fan of horror fiction, but find the various vampire and demon characters Butcher includes in Harry's adventures not so frightening.
James Marsters seems to be the absolute perfect talent to bring Harry to life. Marsters doesn't attempt much variation in giving voice to the different characters, but because the story is told in first person it really doesn't matter.
It looks like I'll be on now to consume the rest of the Dresden series!
I figured I would enjoy this listen because I adore Jim Broadbent. Little did I know what an absolutely wonderful story Rachel Joyce has written. Or, how deeply Broadbent's narration would touch my heart.
Harold Fry and his wife Maureen, Queenie Hennessy, and the crazy cast of characters Harold meets along the way of his pilgrimage will stay with me always.
I will certainly go back to this one again!
Too bad this book was abridged, I would have enjoyed more of the personal histories of the Voyager crew before circumstances brought them all together to serve on the same ship. There was nothing on Janeway! Still, it was entertaining. Robert Picardo lends his familiar voice to the narration.
I started out enjoying this book, but the further I got into it, the more bored and annoyed I became with the sneering, whining tone. The book isn't about President Reagan; it's about a son's life-long, unreconciled resentments.
This is the first audiobook I've heard in which sounds/music are insterted at specific points for dramatic effect. It was a little odd and distracting, but didn't ruin the story. The characters grew on me and I listened straight through, finishing it in two days, because I wanted to know what happened to them. That tells you a lot right there. The "bad guys" in the story are very evil indeed, while the "good guys" are normal, flawed individuals just trying to find their way to a little happiness in life. The protagonist's strange "gift" of knowing when someone is going to die adds a supernatural level; a gimmick to make the story work.
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