Yikes, this was awful. To be completely fair, I'll admit I only gave this turkey one hour's listen, but it was all I could stand. It was like nails on a chalkboard...the story AND the narration. I just couldn't take it anymore. Life's too short to be wasted on fodder like this!
Gregg Hurwitz is one of my most favorite authors...but even he is capable of a lemon every now and then, and this is his lemon. I'm so grateful that my love affair with him started with They're Watching and not with The Program because I'd never have given any of his other books a shot. That would have been tragic, which is also an apt word to describe The Program. Halfway through it, I finally put an end to my suffering and moved on to something else. Sorry, Gregg, but this book isn't worthy of you.
As a rabid Molly Harper fan, I'd like to think I'd know her style of writing anywhere, and thus find the similarities between her and Lucy March too striking to be dismissed. Regardless, whether this author is a figment of Molly Harper's imaginings or not, this book is 'magically' delicious!
The setting of Nodaway Falls and Crazy Cousin Betty's Waffle House, with it's whimsical (and supposedly magical) blue tiled square set into the linoleum, is a perfect backdrop for this tale of a 28-yr old woman who's tired of waiting for her life to start. She has a plan, but then Davina Granville enters her life and things get complicated. She discovers that she has hidden magical gifts, such as the ability to turn inanimate objects into woodland creatures, sort of.
This story will have you laughing and tugging at your heartstrings - but mostly laughing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am hopeful that the author has plans to turn it into a series. I would love the chance to spend more time with these delightful characters and their continuing misadventures.
It just doesn't get any better than Gone Girl! The story is mesmerizing, and the narration is on the mark. I can't imagine not loving this book. You won't be sorry you invested the credit, I promise!
Some books come across better in print; this may be one of them. The narration was the equivalency of the proverbial nails on a chalkboard and was a constant annoyance. It actually made me irritable to have that voice rasping in my brain non-stop for a couple of hours. I would have endured it, however, if the story had been in the least captivating, but it missed the mark for me, as well. It became a tangle of names and uninteresting subplots, and I couldn't keep my mind from wandering off. Perhaps it was a self-defense mechanism.
After reading (and loving) his most recent novel, Safe House, I worked backwards and bought this book, the first of his "The Good Thief's Guide to...." and that's when I discovered that I also love Charlie Howard, Ewan's dashing, but hardly angelic, main character.
Charlie's a writer of crime mysteries, and it's no wonder because Charlie himself enjoys a little larceny in between writing projects. Although his moral compass is a tad off-kilter, he's basically a very likable fellow with a sharp wit and a non-violent streak. It's not about the haul really, but about the thrill and excitement. OK, so it's about the loot too, but that thrill and excitement stuff is important.
Charlie's currently in Amsterdam penning his latest book, but he's having trouble with it. So, while seeking inspiration, he takes a break to indulge in his favorite pasttime, but things go terribly awry, and as usual, Charlie gets involved in a spiderweb of tangled intrigue.
As I write this review, I'm finishing the final book in the Good Thief series, and I'm delighted to say that each book has been pure fun! I'm so thankful that I discovered Chris Ewan. It's been a wonderful journey.
Every new chapter was more engrossing than the last, and what a ride! Once I began reading, it was nearly impossible to put down. This is a clever, brilliantly-crafted thriller with great characters and more than a few twists. Two enthusiastic thumbs-up!
So, to take your mind off the monotony of this read, keep track of the number of times the author uses the word "problematic". There are 97 chapters in this turkey, and probably an equal number of "problematic"(s) sightings. Seriously though, this was not a fun read for me.
The storyline had a number of unplugged holes in it, the characters were thinly fleshed-out and therefore, I couldn't have cared less what happened to them, and the dialogues between characters were amateurish, silly, and unreal. It seemed to me that the author couldn't decide between writing a script for either a new "action hero" movie or a rough draft of a new video game. The "heroes" were supposed to be human, but they were granted superhuman features, strength, perception, and marksmanship. Just one of dozens of things that kept losing me.
It's hard to believe that this is the same author who wrote, "You Don't Want to Know", which I enjoyed very much. This was such a mess that I couldn't finish it. To be honest,I can't tell you whether the plot itself was clever or original because 2-1/2 hrs. was all that I could stand This is not my first dud, but it is my first negative review and the first book I couldn't stick with to the end. (Unfortunately, a second horrible book followed this one, but that's another story...no pun intended.)
I kept waiting for a story to develop, but in the meantime, the ridiculous dialogue between characters and the monotonous repetition in storylline were too painful for me to get there. Each scene was an exercise in stagnation. Rather than advancing the plot, she harped on the same details as if her readers had the attention span of a hamster. It eventually became more than I could take.
I'm afraid that the title, "Final Scream", refers to the sound made by Ms. Jackson's readers when they discover that they threw their money and time away on this turkey.
Dark Places is a fascinating story but not a fun read. The book takes pity on no one, least of all it's readers. This truly is the stuff of nightmares, one sadistic chapter bleeding over into the next. Although a work of fiction, Ms. Flynn's unflinching wordsmanship embues it with the realism of a true-crime whodunit. The saving grace, for me at least, was that I could repeat the mantra, "It's only make-believe" when the scenes became a little too intense for my sensitive nature.
Although I covet Ms. Flynn's talent, I wouldn't take it at any price if it meant having to live in her head (ditto Stephen King). Dark Places is not just an aptly-named novel, but probably an apt description of the author's warped imaginings. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stopped at "Gone Girl" and skipped this one entirely. And yet, as incongruous as it seems, I wholeheartedly recommend "Dark Places", just as I recommended "Gone Girl". The reason is simple: Despite the fact that they were dark and foreboding, that certain scenes will likely haunt me for a very long time, and that I can honestly say that I don't miss the characters (no, not a single one!), I am forced to admit that I thought they were riveting from start to finish. So, while I didn't like this book, I did love it.
And now, I'm going to run, not walk, to my bookshelf and find my copy of "Little Women" or "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" and try to subdue some of the ghosts from "Dark Places".
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