This is a typical Carl Hiaasen novel - off beat characters, vaguely amusing situations, Florida setting. What makes this one outstanding is the narration. Stephen Hoye does one of the best jobs ever narrating this novel, with excellent vocal characterizations which make the story. I'm not sure I would have liked this in printed form, but really enjoyed the audio version.
Candace Bushnell really struck paydirt with "Sex and the City," because she's not that talented as a writer. "Lipstick Jungle" follows the careers of three NYC career women, with a fairly predictible plot line and no surprises. It probably works better as an audio book than in print, thanks to the fine narration by Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from the HBO series Sex and the City). An entertaining listen for a long car ride or when working out.
If I had picked this book up in print form, I probably would never have finished reading it. The main character, Ivy, is rather unappealing and the story is filled with lots of improbable happenings. However, it worked well as an audiobook and I enjoyed listening to it while working out on the treadmill at the gym. It had humorous moments with some interesting characters. The main problem with the audio was the narrator's voice, which was rather high pitched and whiny.
I was looking forward to listening to what I thought would be an amusing story from a former comedy writer. Instead, after listening for an hour, this became the first book from Audible I could not finish. The author tries much too hard to make her main character, Sammy, quirky and funny, but her efforts fall flat. Sammy is just plain weird and the long winded health care policy lectures served to only slow down the narrative.
In the beginning of the book, the character is rushing to get ready for work when she starts wondering what it would be like to have the use of only one arm. So she ties up one arm so she can't use it. When she arrives at work, one of her co-workers notices that she is wearing one sneaker and one sandal. Apparently she couldn't turn on her closet light with only one arm, so couldn't see her shoes when she was getting dressed. Stop and think - just how did she tie the shoelaces on the shoe and buckle the strap of the sandal with one hand? Could she not feel that these were completely different shoes? And she goes all day without changing shoes! Can you imagine how uncomfortable that would be? This sloppy writing and a totally unappealing main character were enough to make me abandon this one. I suggest that you do the same. The narration was just average as well.
I just discovered that this is a book classified for young adults, which may explain why an actual adult found the story dull and derivative. Gemma Doyle, a 16 year old living in India, is sent to boarding school in England after the untimely death of her mother. There she wins over her snobby classmates when she discovers she has secret powers which enable her to transport her friends to the "Realms," a supernatural world. Unfortunately, when Gemma takes the magic of the Realms back to the real world, trouble ensues. Lots of better choices if you like this type of novel. The narrator does an adequate job.
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