Bettendorf, IA, United States | Member Since 2010
The thing I've always admired about John LeCarre and what has placed him in my personal Top 3 authors is that his novels are definitely not straight genre; yes, they take place within the world of espionage, but his prose is also literature at its best. There are times when I have to re-read (or rewind) a line or a page, just to take in the beauty of his written word. (And suddenly there are LeCarre titles aplenty at Audible-finally! Well done Audible!)
Enter Jason Matthews and Red Sparrow. I blame him for a couple of sleepless nights because I just couldn't pull out the earbuds. His style and dedication to detail, along with an engrossing plot with fully realized characters are reason enough to listen to Red Sparrow, but he also offers a fresh take on the spy world, the East/West, or rather the "Never Fully-Thawed War" dynamic...I'm now a fan and look forward to his next effort(s).
As for the recipes...maybe I'll attempt some of them one day, but in my opinion, they weren't that important in the grand scheme. I would've been fine without them, but they were by no means a deal-breaker, & I'm fascinated sometimes by critics who take such offense to authors trying something like this out. If one doesn't like the concept, it's certainly easy enough to skip over them...live and let live. I, for one, hope Mr. Matthews is already at work on his next book!
Coming across Declan Hughes was a happy accident. I've thoroughly enjoyed all Declan Hughes novels that Audible has on offer- but have now exhausted Audibles offerings! More, please! Thanks to a great writer, and a serious nod to a truly wonderful narrator. Having just stopped two books (by other authors) midway due to really poor narration, I especially appreciate Stanley Townsend's reading (of all the Declan Hughes audiobooks, I believe). He actually inhabits each character distinctly, without over-dramatization.
Mr. Hughes and Mr. Townsend- huge fan. Thank you, sincerely.
I don't review often, and hadn't expected to be rating this, much less reviewing it. Thought it looked like a fun "beach read" type of thing, but I didn't pull the trigger until it went on sale recently. I was very pleasantly surprised! Not only by the book itself, (and yes, I will be following the series after getting through this first very funny & entertaining book), but by the absolutely pitch perfect narration done by Allison McLemore. Just hearing McLemore say "nekkid" in pure "white trash" form was worth the price of admission. If you're on the fence, take a chance and you won't regret it. And keep that blender nearby:)
This is the fifth Steinhauer novel I've read (so far) and his best to date. Though if you're seeking light fare or a pleasant tale with a storybook ending, you might wait until you're ready for this novel. I'm continuously drawn to novels of this era if they're well written, and particularly with this book, Steinhauer is a masterful storyteller, drawing rich characters. I caught myself scowling many times as I went through the main character's trials- getting totally caught up in the story. It's a rare novelist- and a rare novel- that can get me so engrossed.
I only wish that stories of this era, and the madness they stemmed from and the madness they inflicted, with the worst failings of humankind on display, were a thing of the past. But as long as power can intoxicate its wielders, it always has the potential to perverse and subjugate. Or maybe I'm just writing this too soon after the reading and it's all too fresh in my mind.
Enjoyable enough for the genre until "A. American" started preaching his "philosophy"...glad I got it on sale. Might've picked up book 2, but I already avoid Glenn, Russ & Sean so why shell out hard won coin to another "true american" to get more of the same?
I don't review often, but I wasn't expecting much from this book (concerns about movie hype, book hype, I am far from YA, etc)...but it was on sale, and I needed to shake things up a a bit, as my reading/listening had been sort of narrowly focused recently. Enter "Perks" and especially Noah Galvin and Stephen Chbosky. Maybe I just started this book at the right moment, but it was just a really enjoyable experience. Chbosky's characters were well written, even if the main character was the only fully developed one. And Noah Galvin's voice and acting ability lent themselves so utterly pitch-perfectly to this book. One could imagine that Galvin was truly reading about himself. A truly excellent performance. I laughed out loud more than once and actually got choked up a couple of times...not something i do when reading very often.
I'd recently listened to several stellar books in a row, then dumped 3 middling reads mid-way through. Life is too short to stick with a poor book that requires you to suspend disbelief utterly for several hundred pages, am I right?
Right from the start of The Various Haunts of Men, the writing was very good, and Steven Pacey's reading was excellent, improving even more as the book hit its crescendo. His various characters were all distinct, and he conveyed emotion exceptionally well. But while I knew the book would be good, sometimes we're looking for a particular type or genre of book, as well. I knew I'd eventually finish this book, but considered coming back to it later. So glad I stuck with it. The character building was well done and it had many satisfying story-lines intertwined with the overall plot. Definitely recommend.
I don't write many reviews, and have read several other excellent books recently, but for whatever reason, wanted to give this one some notice. Happy reading!
My mother-in-law turned me on to the works of John LeCarre more than 15 years ago, with "Smiley's People" and since that time I've read everything I could get my hands on. John LeCarre is not only a master of the spy genre, but literature itself. His prose is precise and beautiful; often times I'll find myself re-reading lines or paragraphs just to enjoy the way he phrases things so artfully. His characters and the stories they inhabit are unmatched. No punches are pulled and his works are based in a world much closer to reality than the "we're good/infallible/always heroic and justice driven" world of most fiction (and most politicians). If near-immortality is ever scientifically possible, I'm hoping LeCarre uses whatever contacts he may still maintain in the intelligence world to prolong his life (and continue writing).
Yes, I would, and will someday. As someone who reads/listens to 4-5 books a week, I've become a bit jaded to formulaic plots and figuring out the end game well before the end. I've been coming across a lot of great reads lately, though, and this is one of them!
Gabriel Kennedy, obviously, but all of his personal friends, too.
I read a review where someone knocks the narrator, but for the life of me, I don't understand why! I thought Mr. Kafer did an excellent job. His vocal talent and reading of various characters never took me out of the story (uber important), and he did a very nice job with consistency. I thought he was superb.
It was simply a good ghost story...a good story period! Well plotted, spooky, enough humor to keep the book from becoming utterly gloomy...a very nice find, and I love to come across an author I've never encountered and be so happy with a spent credit.
The only critical thing I would have to say- and it's a minor point, certainly nothing to take away from a great story- is that based on the time this is taking place( meaning the 21st century, I'm guessing 2010 or 2011), I was surprised not to hear much about the internet being a factor in making this a huge phenomenon. There was very little talk of web stuff at all. Mr. Golemon, I mean absolutely no disrespect and you did a wonderful job. But it did sort of stand out for me. But that is a very minor point. This, like the book "14" by Peter Clines, was just a fantastic find I would highly recommend.
The character development is always great with King, but this is such a concise, short story that precision is paramount to a great story. He hits the mark brilliantly, and it's a beautiful, rich story of the brotherhood of man, and the good and ill that individuals are capable of. Frank Muller was fantastic as always.
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