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THomas McCue

Member Since 2008

  • 3 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 517 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2018

  • In One Person: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Irving
    • Narrated By John Benjamin Hickey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp.

    "Irving is a cliche of himself in thi s one"
    What would have made In One Person better?

    I'm writing this review having set this book down. I did not set it down due to the subject matter, which is heavey on homoeroticism and transgender or LGBT subjects. That wasnt' the problem. I've read many of John Irving's books and enjoyed them condsiderably. His "thing" of self-reference and repetition of characters, places, and themes works for a suite of novels, but here, it just seems tired. He revisits his self-stated practice as a "re-qriter" to a fault, and it just seems self-indulgent, tired, and to be quite frank, boring. Irving is an excellent writer, and his voice is quite clear here. To those who are fans of his turns of phrase, and character creations, they may enjoy this novel. Where this novel lacks is in a dynamic narrative. It is much more or a character study than his other novels, but it seems to ask of the reader to care in the same way about a number of characters across a great breadth of time. I don't care. He didn't make me care. I found his characters uninteresting and the narrative totally flat. booooooooooo.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from In One Person?

    Irving jumped too quickly into his sage places of both character and setting to deal with a difficult subject. I found his description of the bisexual experience and the description of the historical LGBT to be well researched, but totally disingenusous.

    Any additional comments?

    "Over-reach" is an easy descriptor for this and some of Irving's other books. He has some fantastic novels, but is not ifallible. This book is falling heavy upon the success of "The World According to Gap", and "Hotel New Hampshire", and has nothing on them. As an extension of that, while Irving has proven in his bnovels that rewriting and revisiting memesc can work, it just makes him semm lazy and self indulgent in this one.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Fang

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Wilson
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world.

    Amanda says: "Beautiful, Heart-wrenching, Shocking."
    "A dark, somewhat comic portrait of mangled lives."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The most entertaining thing about this book is at the heart of its main characters dysfunction. It is the antics and sheer eccentricity of the parents that turn the pages. The subsequent ruination it has caused their children makes for a bleak portrait of a family that is completely atypical, but one I think we can all probably identify with in our own way. The parents are almost sociopathic in their extremes, but are just more over the top and weird about what parents everywhere indadvertently do to their children over a lifetime.

    Okay, so not really. The characters are completely whacked out. It is, however, a quick read and pretty engrossing story, albeit somewhat thin on plot. The production is great and the narrator easy to follow. I enjoyed this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Steel Remains

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In just a few short years, Richard K. Morgan has vaulted to the pinnacle of the science fiction world. Now he turns his iconoclastic talents to epic fantasy, crafting a darkly violent, tautly plotted adventure sure to thrill old fans and captivate new readers.

    Tizroc says: "This isn't your father's gay hero!"
    "Piece of Garbage."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Even if you are a fan of Richard K. Morgan, do not bother with this one. This book is a cloudy, confused, piece of junk. There's no good character building ( or rather what's there eis lame), or narrative. There is a story here , but its negligible. Morgan is asking a lot of the reader to care about the PTSD of his protagonist. I like RKM's novels otherwise, despite his bombast, violence and pretense. This one doesn't have the awesome protagonists and crazy action of his other novels. Don't bother.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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