Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
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 am amazed at the number of reviewers who said this book would make you grab your pillow, have sleepless nights, get goosebumps. Not at all. Is it interesting? Yes. Are there many moments when I am not sure what is real and what isn't? Yes. But not scary.
(If you want to be scared, read "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King, or read "Relic" and "Reliquary" by Preston & Child.)
I enjoyed it, I recommend it, and I will miss the main characters, especially Nora.
P.S. If you like narratives that tie up all loose threads by the final pages, do not read this book.
This is part 3 of another fabulous Follett series, "The Century Trilogy." I highly recommend them all. Especially now that part 3 is available, I envy anyone who is just starting the set with book 1 "The Fall of Giants."
The story follows the characters in families in England/Wales, Russia, the U.S. and Germany from the very beginnings of WWI through the election of Barack Obama. An overwhelming task, definitely fiction, but including and based on historical facts.
The only criticism I have is that the stories are just a bit too positive. There certainly was tragedy and loss for each family, but it bothered me that so many of the characters become movie stars, elected officials, famous writers, etc. Narrator Lee excels at all accents except American, but I still love the series.
VERY long - loved that too!!!
I had serious doubts when I read Robert Galbraith's first novel, "Cuckoo's Calling." It was hard for me to imagine that RG -- widely known to be the pen name of J.K. Rowling -- could write something so different from the complex fantasy of the Harry Potter series. But she/he did, and it was excellent.
In this second of the series, the characters of detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin have grown. I know and like them even more than I did before.
The plot is just complex enough to make the mystery difficult to solve, but not so complex that I am confused and lost.
The narrator, Robert Glenister, is one of the best I ever heard. He uses various types of British accents, and he perfectly represents one character who is British but spent a lot of time in the U.S. Absolutely superb.
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND. Loved it!
This series is second-to-none. Read ALL of these novels, but you MUST begin with the first one. (This is book 10.)
EXCELLENT! Narrator, writing, plot, character development ... everything.
This is not a badly written book. However, it simply did not hold my interest. I waited several weeks to write this review because I was not sure what to say.
The bleak and battered Irish towns, the tormented main character ... just not my style. If I had to label it, I would say this book reminded me of a film-noire movie. If that appeals to you, please read this novel.
I really expected to like this book because one of my favorite Audible.com reviewers did. However, I can't recommend it.
There is one well-drawn character in this book, and that is Hamish, the Scottish soldier who "haunts" main character Ian Rutledge. It is a brilliant and effective technique for author Todd to use, and I applaud him. However, I couldn't distinguish between any of the female characters or most of the male characters. I never developed any real picture of them, never developed opinions or attachments or interest, and was often confused. ("Which character said/did that?") I am not sure if a different narrator would have made a difference, but I doubt it.
And, the ending. Wow. It was out of left field, in a way that made me roll my eyes. I won't spoil it for you, but I'll say that what Todd wants us to believe is outrageous and unlikely in the extreme. Puleeze.
If you are unfamiliar with this series, stop NOW and start with the first book "Still Life." You must read these books in order.
The Chief Inspector Gamache novels are police mysteries that take place in or near a small village in Quebec. (There is a bit of French tossed in, but knowledge of the French language is absolutely not required.) A murder will be solved by the end of the book, and I always enjoy the "mystery" aspect of these books.
But the characters and the complex plots are just as important.
Louise Penny has created a world with characters I know well and care deeply about. She has developed a main character (Armand Gamache) who has quickly become one of my favorites, ever, and I am a life-long reader. And she has woven the intricacies of storyline from book one to book nine (book 10 is about to be released) in such a way that I have to believe she saw the entire tapestry right from the beginning.
Add to these accolades the perfect narrator (Ralph Cosham), and you can see why this series is so special.
These books have EVERYTHING! Excellent writing, humor, drama, fascinating characters, mystery ... Start this series today.
I know very little about WWI and the British world at that time. "Maisie Dobbs" filled in some of that knowledge gap, and for that I am grateful. However, there isn't much of a story here, and the pace is very slow.
I liked the characters, but I didn't love them, and if I never found out what happened to Maisie, that would be OK.
DO NOT READ THIS BOOK (or this review) WITHOUT READING PARTS I AND II FIRST.
I had to reread my reviews of part I and part II before I wrote this one. Of course, because the first two books eventually reveal the truth about the mysterious little town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, "The Last Town" does not have as much tension as the first two book, the tension that comes from doubt: "are the citizens being kept in, or is something being kept out? And why?"
"THE LAST TOWN" is about how the various characters respond to the truth. It also reveals a little bit more about the past lives of this group of people who seem to have been arbitrarily thrown together. I like seeing the final few pieces of the puzzle put into place, so that was satisfying.
A new problem is presented to the townsfolk, and the solution is a BIG surprise. (No spoiler here.) I applaud Blake Crouch's creativity, and I can't wait to watch the TV series that is supposed to air sometime this year on FIX TV.
Louise Penny (author) is truly gifted. She has written a series of books (this is book 8 of 10 ... so far) that intricately and naturally intertwines the lives of a myriad of characters, most of whom I love. She has created a town in Canada where I'd like to live, or at least vacation, and neighbors I'd like to live near. And yet there is always a murder.
Penny explains the number of murders associated with the town and/or with these characters in a way that is credible and interesting. She also has a way of pulling the rug out from under the reader; not in an abrupt way, but by ignoring what are normally accepted rules of story telling. For example - and this is not really a spoiler - in one of the books, a beloved, main character turns out to be the murderer!
Her primary character, Armande Gamache, is a brilliant detective, a man of integrity, and a wonderful husband and father. I miss him in between books.
I cannot recommend this series enough. READ THEM IN ORDER!
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