Philadelphia, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
I have read so many of Tyler's books, and this is another excellent example of character development.
However, be warned that it is perhaps the most depressing book I ever read.
This is historical fiction. Like other books I have read written by this author ("Exodus" and "Trinity"), "The Haj" educates the reader about real world events through the eyes of fictional characters who lived through those events.
This book's two primary characters are an Arab father and son, living in Palestine when the state of Israel is born. (The story begins at the close of WWII.) Uris's portraits of these two men are exquisite; I would recognize them if I met them!
Additionally, Uris tells the story in a way that manipulates my sympathies for the warring factions MUCH more than I expected, and in a way that brings me joy and heartbreak as the story unfolds.
Without spoiling anything, I will add that this is not a happy story. How could it be? The hatred and violence continue today.
I highly recommend this book. The narrator is fabulous!
I REALLY had high hopes for this book. I love courtroom dramas, and the narrator hooked me from the first few paragraphs.
the story (murder) leaves nothing to the imagination. All is known from the beginning; it is just a question of whether the lawyer can convince others.
The secondary story is a love story that leaves me cold.
Some of the secondary characters are well drawn, but overall, this was a snore.
I love mysteries, whether gruesome or tense or puzzling. I love well-drawn characters and a great story. This book has none of those things.
I figured out much of the "mystery," the characters were dull, many questions were left unanswered, and the narrator was dreadful.
I said this before, and maybe now I'll follow this advice, but I have to stop believing the "audible.com suggestions."
I bought this book because it was an Audible.com recommendation based on my previous purchases of mysteries and thrillers. I will be more careful about this in the future.
The narrator's skill is spotty; some of her accents were perfect, but the way she distinguished between the Boston cops was confusing (unclear) in some cases and embarrassing in others (caricature, cartoonish).
The main character, Sky Stone, is petite, rich, spectacularly beautiful, brilliant, intuitive, brave and a great chef ... blech! Again, unreal to the point of cartoonish. Although a brilliant and experienced police consultant, she agrees to meet a psychopath for dinner alone, never returns a phone call from someone who has urgent information about her case, and never tells her police partners about a dangerous man following her. I can handle a character who acts like a maverick periodically, but her extreme attitude is ridiculous.
Sky and her ex-fiance only scream at each other, but they have sex and live happily ever after. There is not one shred of likability in Jake's (the fiance's) character, and yet he is the guy she wants, and everyone else loves. Why?
The story was convoluted. I love a good mystery with twists and turns, but I object to an author adding information in the last chapter or two. In spite of the last minute add-ons, I still knew who was guilty and how it would all turn out because the story was so obvious and predictable.
Overall, I would say this is a formulaic book. Tiny, beautiful girl is tougher and smarter than the big rough policemen, and she saves the day.
One more comment - look at the cover. It looks like a bad James Bond illustration, and it should have warned me away from this book.
It is hard to write this review without spoiling the story, so I'll be intentionally vague. The characters are just as fully drawn and the story feels right; I still love them all and wish I lived there. What makes this bittersweet is that the plot is upsetting. STILL a great book and part of a series I couldn't recommend more highly. READ THIS!
You must go in order with the Three Pines series. And it helps if tu parles francais un peu.
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.
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