This book is written in a style I've never come across before. The sentences are short, almost choppy. The characters are equally strange, and the story took me by surprise many times. In reading this book, I felt as though I was on a child's roller coaster; it seemed slow and easy, but suddenly and unexpectedly jerked to the right or left. I felt sure that certain characters had secrets, and so I listened with building interest.
The setting (Newfoundland, Canada) was new to me as well, and wrapped its cold grey arms around me. As I look back, I think the locale may be the main character of this novel. Very powerful.
And, as I say in my title, I am not sure why I loved it, but I did. I recommend this book.
I like "dark" books. Stories do not have to have unrealistically happy endings for me to enjoy them. But ... this book had nothing positive in it, from beginning to end. Dreary, depressing and hopeless are words I would use to describe the plot and the characters.
The narrator is excellent. But the book is absolutely not worth reading.
Two identical women, apparently unrelated by blood? A great love, set aside due to the rules of high society? A great fortune side by side with common poverty? A baronet with a great secret? A mysterious foreigner who may be a member of a secret Italian society? Yes to all of these compelling elements of a novel written in 1859 and considered by some to be a forerunner to the modern detective story.
In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed The Woman in White number 23 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time," and the novel was listed at number 77 on the BBC's survey The Big Read. Many movies have been made of this story over the years.
It is simply a great tale. I enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
Most of us love and admire actor James Stewart, and I started this book in hopes of learning more about him as a man. What was his wife Gloria like? Was Henry Fonda really his best friend? What were his favorite movie experiences? Who were his favorite directors and co-stars?
I learned ALL of that, and so, technically, the book was a success.
However, it was a little bit TOO detailed and quite dry.
For example, J.S. attended Mercersburg Academy (Pa.). Author Donald Dewey wrote much more than I cared to know about M.A., its founding, and its head master. The same can be said about the author's description of Indiana, Pa. (J.S.'s hometown), etc., etc.
So I recommend this book for factual content, but don't expect anything more than that.
I love Shirley Jones, but she is not a good writer, and her writing partner either was not allowed to edit much or she was also unskilled. This book is just badly written.
I enjoyed reading about the lucky break that got her started in show business; I liked reading about her favorite actors and directors; and I was interested to know how and why she stuck it out with Jack Cassidy.
But I didn't need to know that her sons are well-endowed nor her views on masturbation. I am confident that she wrote the book, in part, to shock people. In fact, she refers to this trait at one point, and more than once compared her real (shocking) life to Mrs. Partridge (goodie goodie).
All in all, not a good book.
Throughout the listening of this book, I frequently thought, "When will something happen?"
The author, I presume, wanted to represent real life, which is full of long dull conversations and uneventful days. But I was bored. The last 30 minutes of the story really grabbed me, but was it worth the first 15 1/2 hours? I'm not convinced it was.
I liked the main characters, and I would like to know what happens to them in the rest of the series. Maybe I can find "cliff notes."
I want to add that the narrator read this book in what was almost a monotone. Yikes.
I have been a fan of Elizabeth George and her main characters, Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers, for many, many years. But I fear that EG is running out of steam. This book was too long (I can't believe I said that); the ending was facile; and I found the choices some characters made difficult to believe (out of character). I actually found myself drifting off periodically because the story simply didn't hold my interest.
The narrator was excellent.
Somewhere I read a review that said this book is a "gentle mystery." I would agree. There are no throat slashings, no gruesome and blood-drenched scenes, no graphically violent attacks.
But there is still a murder and a mystery.
M. Gamache is the inspector who heads the investigation for The Sûreté du Québec, the Canadian organization that polices all of Quebec. He is an intellectual, a gentleman, a loving husband, a gourmand and a kind man. But he observes and listens carefully, and solves complex murders in the tiny town of Three Pines.
He also comes to know the town's citizens, and develops friendships and an attachment to the community. Getting to know the secondary and tertiary characters has been a great joy.
You will grow to love this character and to look forward to his next adventure. The good news: there are nine books in the series so far!
This is part II of a 3-part series about Wayward Pines, an odd-little town in Idaho which is either Heaven or Hell. Both part I ("Pines") and this one are creepy, tension-filled mysteries.
I HIGHLY recommend both, but I recommend that you WAIT to buy either one.
Because author Crouch's part III has not been released yet, and may not be available until spring 2014. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You will want to read all three, very quickly and in order, because you will want to know what happens next.
This series is a real nail-biter.
I have read and reread the readers' reviews of this series. I just don't get it! How could this series have so many fans?
Without judging the whole series, I assert that this book is not well written. Virtually every conversation is heated, almost every interpersonal relationship contains some sexual tension, every decision is critical ... there is no flow, no rhythm, there are no calm and easy moments.
I particularly dislike Johansen's use of dialogue. It is awkward and unsophisticated; it made me think of a high school student who - having read some excellent mysteries - tried to imitate professional style but failed.
The narrator made a mediocre book worse. She uses her voice to distinguish between accents (Scottish voice is well done, for example), but she doesn't do a good job distinguishing between three American women's voices. I struggled to keep up ("Who said that??").
A waste of money, in my opinion. Blech.
I was so sure that I had figured it out ... but I was wrong. Just as one piece of the puzzle fell into place, another clanked on top of my theory, jarring me out of smug and misplaced confidence.
Basically, you will wonder if the residents of Wayward Pines are prisoners or monsters. No spoiler here! You have to listen to the whole thing to really know the answer.
Very, very good story!
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