I purchased this book only because it was written by a friend-of-a-friend, and I did so reluctantly. I generally loathe popular female fiction, and have been sorry for every one of Oprah's picks that I've choked down. But this first novel absolutely enthralled me. The humor was arch and pointed, sophisticated and dark, the story exciting, horrifying and told with complicated intrigue, and the character development was as rich and compassionate as anything by Carson McCullers or William Golding. This is a real, honest-to-god piece of literature, and I look forward to anything Ms. Jackson delivers in the future.
At first I was uncertain about Catherine Taber's narration, but her somewhat blase delivery and softened southern inflection rang true to the character. The only truly unfortunate aspect of the Audible version is the utterly inappropriate music added to the spoken words; it's distracting and poorly chosen. But this is a very slight minus in a book filled with pluses.
This is a book which is not only for southerners, although it's true to the educated, southern-escapee mindset. It rests somewhere between "Bastard out of Carolina" and "Crazy in Alabama" without owing any debt to either of those great works. It's probably a better book for women - ALL women - but I'm sure there are men who would appreciate it. I've ordered two copies in hardcover: one for my mother and one for my daughter.
I've really enjoyed this book, even doubling back and listening to several hours of a it a second time. True fans of Harry Bosch and his half-brother Mickey Haller will find their characters solidly represented. This one keeps moving, half police procedural and half courtroom drama, with all the favorite regulars like Maggie MacFierce and both men's daughters. A gripping story well-told.
I made it most of the way through Part One of this three part audiobook. The narrator was a little whiny, but I don't blame him because the book is VERY whiny. After 8 hours I have no idea what this book is about. It seems to be telling the story of a woman who shares my age, my ethnicity, my social standing, much of my history, so if I found it totally unappealing, for whom was this massive volume written? Dull dull dull. The writing is a snorefest and the characters would be better off joining a suicide cult or going to work for the GOP. Anything would be interesting. Maybe Audible will refuse this review because I didn't finish the book but nobody should be compelled to make that sacrifice. They should be happy I didn't ask for my credit back.
This is great little sci-fi novella. Yes, it comes apart a bit toward the end but I loved it, and will listen to it again. Rene Auberjonois is a fabulous reader the perfect choice for this sophisticated tale. My great question, WHO is Edward Weller and why is this story unavailable (despite diligent searching) in print form? I found it on cassette, but nothing in print. I have several family members who "don't do audio" and would love to read this story.
Ordinarily this is not my kind of book. I had children in high school at the time of the event, and it grieved and gripped me as much as anyone, but I thought I was saturated in it and wasn't interested in a literary autopsy of this tragedy. Still, the Salon article and then a low sale price convinced me to give it a try. The audiobook languished in my iPod for months, and finally I let it played through.
This one was of the most-compelling reports I have ever heard. Cullen did a truly exhaustive job researching the story, and leaves no stone unturned. He is frank and decisive about those stories which are left to conjecture, or those persons who refuse to give contemporary information, and a shocking, upsetting, maddening and somewhat horrifying tale unfolds in sharp and shattering detail. I was educated and appalled.
Don Leslie's reading is flawless and soothing in the face of such a devastating narrative. Four stars only because this tale is not for everyone, but it is for a much wider audience than I ever would have believed.
I probably wouldn't have had the patience to read this book in print. It's a good choice for audio, with some warm characters making believable choices in unimaginable circumstances. In some ways it's like "The Road" (similar title, too) but far, far more enjoyable.
The book is actually narrated by three actors. I found Scott Brick's familiar, endearing if slightly-angst-ridden reading to be just right, but the second narrator, an actress whose name escapes me, reads the part of a futuristic young African-American girl from Philadephia as though she's auditioning for Br'er Rastus or Uncle Tom's Cabin. I have not seen the text, but I hope it isn't written in the "Yassuh, we's all gwine down de station, boss" style she adopts. It's really hard to listen to.
After reading (dead tree version) Dan Simmons masterpiece "The Terror", I dove right in to find whatever else I could by this talented author. But my enthusiasm waned about 1/3 way thru this dull, plodding, hackneyed vampire story. The narrator did an okay job, he has a droning voice but handled the Euro-speak and accents well. But the content of this book belongs in a TV movie. "Vampirism is a disease, and we can cure it!" Sound familiar? Ho-hum.
This is a well-written story that goes nowhere. The writer/reader draws from her own life but crassly insults Americans with dozens of lines like "In England it's considered rude to interrupt someone before they have finished speaking...". She also makes no distinction between the many regions and classes of Americans, and the vast distinction between state and regional laws (particularly regarding adoption). Her birth family is filled with cliches dragged out of "Hotel New Hampshire" and worse, and her red-baiting father must have grown up in the 1930s and 40s, not the late 1970s, which he is supposed to have. Larkin does a pretty good job with accents (I'm a New Yorker living in Georgia, so I do know) and her narration is exceptionally good for author-read, but the material is too wacky and her characters too enamored of Ayn Rand.
I didn't enjoy this AS much as "Where The Truth Lies", but it was pretty close. Holmes has created another assortment of rich and real characters, and the witty dialogue keeps me running for a pencil to jot things down. This is a less-complicated, sometimes harrowing account of a troubled man in troubled times. There are some wild plot twists and some brow-furrowing action, but all beautifully told, and the accompanying original music is a terrific plus!
"The Color of Law" was a wonderful book, beautifully read and full of meaningful characters, warmly brought to life. This earlier work is a dismal and clumsy exercise, the characters cornball, wooden and inane, the story stilted. The reader in this case doesn't help, although his plodding style might be less aggravating if the story had a bit more zest.
I'm a big, big fan of the Repairman Jack series and have waited for years for the books to be available on Audio. Why the publishers have to start with the two latest entries in the the series is anyone's guess, and too, too bad. The first five or six Repairman Jack books are much less serialized and the story can be picked up at any time, but the final entries really require some dedication and to be read in order.
I've never much cared for Dick Hill as a narrator although his voice is bland enough not to be a major issue. In this case his thick Rust Belt accent is totally inappropriate for Jersey-born Jack and even worse for Iowa-bred Gia, but the production values are fair and the book moves along fine. Still, overall disappointing to true diehard RJ fans.
I truly hope that this confusing offering doesn't turn off potential RJ readers, who should really go back to "The Tomb" and get the story from the beginning.
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