I think much of how you may feel about this book depends on what you're looking for in your next listen.
I wanted something amusing, entertaining, light, but also not entirely brainless. For me, this fit the bill really nicely.
The narration in this particular novel makes me a bit sad for the people who only read it on paper because it really is that cleverly done. The voices are great, recognizable, distinctive, and so well done. An excellent group of narrators who did the book full justice.
That said... Skippy Dies is about a group of 14 year old boys in a Catholic school in Ireland and about some of the teachers - one in particular. For me, the author did a great job of showing how 14 year old boys want badly to experience adult things but still cling to some very childlike fantasies.
One of my personal favorite passages is when Mario, one of the boys, is confident that he'll have sex at a school dance because he has his lucky condom in his wallet - he's had it for 3 years. When the other boys point out the obvious irony and declare the wallet unlucky for condoms, one states that he bets the condom is in his wallet right now, whistling the tune from The Great Escape and digging its way out with a coffee stirrer. For some reason, this struck me as particularly funny coming from a 14 year old boy.
It also has its bittersweet/tender moments as the boys deal with death, sickness, guilt, etc. But that isn't an overly heavy theme that weighs down the book. I did not find myself bored as I believe some reviewers did.
In sum: the book is entertaining, humorous, clever, extremely well narrated and definitely worth a credit at 23 hours. I gave it 5/5 because I fully appreciated the writing and narration.
I picked up this book (and the second in the series) during an Audible sale when I needed some distraction from life's heavier demands. I didn't know what to expect because this isn't my typical genre.
I'm so glad I got it. While the roles of witch/vampire/pixie/elf, etc. play an important part of the series, it's really the personalities of the characters that make the book enjoyable. Rachel (main character) is a bit fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, Ivy is a brooding, heavy handed vampire and Jenks is a mix of serious and off-the-wall. The three of them open up a business together and things go from there. It's not overly heavy and it's not entirely brainless reading, either - it's a good mix.
For me, this was exactly what I was looking for in my next audible listen. I was never bored, I laughed out loud a few times and definitely grinned in even more places. I ended up getting some of the other books in the series on Kindle and it's interesting to see some of the highlights made by other readers. There are some nuggets of knowledge/wisdom in there that have really rung true for me and I suppose might for anyone who has loved/lost.
It's just... entertaining. And entertaining enough that I'm now on book 7 out of 11 in the series. I was wary of reading a book that seemed sort of... how shall I put it... trampy vampy? I mean, the covers aren't something that make me want to pick it up. But I got over it quickly with how entertained I was and, like I said, on book 7 now so that says it all. I gave it 4 out of 5 purely because I reserve the 5 stars for being blown away.
Tip: If you're a Kindle owner and happen to buy the books on Kindle (cheaper than the price of a credit), you'll see that you can also pick up the Audible version for a discount price. (A few were just $3.49 or so!) It's nice with the whisper sync because I can put the book down and then walk the dog, listening to the story where I left off.
Even if this isn't your typical genre, I'd give it a try. One credit that might lead to really enjoying a full series. I'm glad I did.
This book is entertaining and light. I had just finished reading The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz (a rather dark book) and really needed something that might qualify as 'easy listening'. This book fit the bill.
I'll explain two objections that I read in reviews that almost kept me from downloading this book.
1. One review talks about the language in the book. I think this is because of two things. A) Swearing (F-bombs here and there) and B) the N-word.
The swearing is not overdone, it's all in keeping with the characters and certainly no worse than many other books I've heard on audible. But if you have a particular sensitivity to hearing the F-bomb a few times, then I suppose you might be disturbed.
There's no way around it. Hearing the N-word just makes you cringe. It's used in a character's dialogue. The character is a bigot fro the South. Guess what. They still exist and they say crap like this. (Hello, Paula Deen.) So I can understand the discomfort at hearing this word. These a**holes exist in real life so I suppose it's not a jump that they exist in books.
2. Another review talks about how the book makes fun of a religion. I think that reviewer is referring to some comments that Garrity's mother, Edna, makes about the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). She basically says something along the lines of how Mormon heaven is like a Holiday Inn (something like that - a hotel chain) and that there are different levels of heaven and if you convert enough people, you get on the concierge floor. There are also some comments about a sect that still practices polygamy.
I'll say this - I wanted something light hearted, easy to listen to, and had a decent dash of humor. This was perfect for that. The narrator is great, the characters are certainly colorful. It's not going to win any Pulitzer but I didn't want to listen to a Pulitzer. And for what its worth, I'm downloading the second book now. Good luck with your listen!
I wouldn't change anything about the book because what the hell do I know? I like to read. Not write books. However, I suppose I would appreciate a book that actually explains things in a way that makes a lick of sense instead of being a reader who is forced to believe that the evil dude knows 1) how to fix a lottery 2) where everyone is at all times 3) how to move silently like a ninja and 4) how to thoroughly disguise himself that he's practically an octopus. It got a little fanciful with that.
Please see above. More fallible bad guys, please. That way the main character doesn't have to be in the reincarnation of Jesus to catch him.
Performance was good. What did I dislike... in the editing, there were times where a chapter ended and a new one began and there was no pause. It was an odd break (or lack thereof) in the narration. But nothing tragic.
Probably. Mainly because I'd like to see how it was adapted - not because it's JUST SO FASCINATING.
This book is listening fluff - which is exactly what I wanted it to be. It's entertaining enough. I wouldn't say it's particularly thoughtfully written but again, if you need a way to pass time without being bored, it fit the bill for me quite well.
*rubs eyes. pinches bridge of nose* You know that annoying uncle at the family reunion who uses every opportunity to either 1) make a pun, 2) drop the f-bomb, or 3) look around to see if anyone finds him funny?
That is the main character, John Corey. Now, I *get* that's he's supposed to be this sort of 'lovable scoundrel' type that women seemingly find themselves attracted to - but let's be honest. He's the guy who would be so much more likeable if he'd shut his piehole more often and just be the good guy he is instead of always trying to be the funny guy.
I suppose none of that is really here or there - it's just that less then a third of the way in the book, I feel like I married the guy and already can't wait to divorce him just so I don't have to listen to his awful jokes.
Okay, what do I like the best? Well, I generally like DeMille and it's brainlessly interesting enough that I'm not bored. I realize that isn't exactly a glowing review - but sometimes I do just want some brain fluff and this one fits that bill. I was neither enthralled but I was also not bored.
What do I like the least? The aforementioned bad jokes by smug uncle. Lord, that is tiring.
Eh. In fact, this is my reaction to the beginning, middle and end. See? No spoilers.
Breathy. Serious. Manly.
Overall, I like Scott Brick. It's safe to say he breathes life into characters since most of them end up sort of dramatic sounding.
No, I can't see this as a movie. Hmm, who would be John Corey... not sure. But no one really awesome. I want to enjoy hating him a little while I still cheer him on. You know.
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