This book is classed as a black comedy due to laziness in the book-blurb industry--a vestigial reference to the tragedy-tragicomedy-comedy spectrum that no longer scans for today's book-jacket shopper.
Any book with unique or singular situations that make you uncomfortable becomes a black comedy, and 'hilarious' ends up in its reviews and blurbs.
Does it find its audience? Personally I shop in this genre for a laugh. Are there readers who look here for dark, depressing books that will reinforce their sense that life is hard and useless? I doubt it.
I am writing this not to knock the book, but to provide fair warning to black-comedy fans. There are far too many books lumped into the black comedy genre, that are not funny at all, but with more care in promotion, would find a willing and appreciative audience. This is such a book.
This is a masterful book for people who enjoy the intake of profoundly numbing grief and disappointment in your fellow-man. Or, if you are able to look beyond the pain and go on to have a nice day, this book will satisfy.
The book evokes the communal sense of loss and bewilderment during the post-9/11 fallout, the futility of going through the motions to make life hum along smoothly. The paralyzing realization that one's own life is minuscule, and the perverse reaction: to mess things up even worse.
People who don't rally, don't set an example of heroism. People who responded to 9/11 like the rest of us: adrift, depressed, without purpose, feeling guilty for keeping on with their petty concerns and grudges, but going on all the same.
I downloaded this to share with elderly friends, but I listened to it as well. This is different from McManus' usual fare but you can feel his presence. (Ha Ha - particularly his description of people's clothing, not really fashion-forward, but endearingly appropriate for those familiar with the author.)
The story is fun and clever, and the narrator is very fine.
Reasonable start to a possible series. OK but not terrific. Maybe it was the abridgement, but no reason to love the character who could appear again.
I was EXTREMELY disappointed by Dukes' narration of minority and regional characters. Stereotypical, disrespectful and distracting.
This would have been terrific as a novel; it is really good as a novella. Wayne Knight was great too.I have to say I pictured him as Martin, AND I could even see him playing all the lead parts--making for quite a fun video inside my head as the story unfolded.
I gave it less than five stars due to the conclusion. It was not expected but I was completely unsatisfied--my personal opinion. Others might think it was appropriate. Not terribly believable, but then again, not many options to wrap up the story at this length. Just fun to listen to and leaves you wanting more. Lovably quirky.
This was a reasonably interesting and decent book. I appreciated that the porn and the violence weren't explicit. The author includes some food for thought about writing--especially since the writing i this book is pretty light-weight--sort of makes you think anyone could write, if you know what I mean.
I was very sorry the author decided to keep writing after the story was pretty much over. It got pretty tiresome, and was completely unnecessary. The idea was to have something other than just a simple formula thriller. I think the way to accomplish this is through the quality of the writing, not by messing around with the plot.
I got pretty excited about Pinchot after listening to Cheese Monkeys. He is very versatile but unfortunately he does repeat voices across different books. It's almost like the books are narrated by an ensemble cast who appear together over and over. That's better than a lot of narrators, but Pinchot is so good you expect more from him and can be disappointed by the recurring voices.
People who love King should have no problems with this novel. I think it is one of the best I have read - I loved the Shining, hated It, loved On Writing, hated Christine, loved Deloris Clayburne, hated Lisey's Story.
Typical of King, his plotting is fantastic, and his take on human nature seem perfectly plausible, as though he has already seen the circumstances unfold and he is just reporting.
Also typical of King, his dialogue is corny, and it annoys me when teenagers talk as though they are transported from a 50's soda counter, and the adults pepper their remarks with bygone idioms like "indeed not." A drawback that makes me wait a few years in between each new read.
The cause of the dome and its final resolution also made me roll my eyes. Typical Stephen King. But I'm still rating a 4, aren't I? Sometimes I wonder if King throws in the cornball stuff just to give the other writers a chance. If his stories weren't loaded with such ridiculous doofiness, other writers might be too intimidated to make an effort.
The reader is fine, but appeared to be taken aback by the broad array of characters. The women all sounded bored and stoned, and the men sounded like they were from the deep south more often than New England - with a little Tim Gunn thrown in from time to time. All of the children sounded three. This provided a note of amusement, but an otherwise fine narrator.
This fine book could have been even better with a competent editor. Slurs such as "soul brothers" and the tired and embarrassing American Indian-speak were distracting and disappointing.
Supposed slapstick moments were often too slowed-down to enjoy without completing the scene ahead of the narrator; others were so cliche or repetitive (such as the running gag of double-meanings misinterpreted) that they cheapened the book.
Combined with beautiful sentiments about man's relationship with his world, the duty of royals, and the beauty of life lived for others, the result was a jumble of impressive passages and others where you wondered if the editor skipped over whole chunks of the book in an effort to coax the author to finish.
I laughed, I cried. Laughed more than cried. Rooted for each character, even though they had opposing goals. His first two books are wonderful, this one and the 'Curious Incident...'
Not so heavyweight, but memorable and worthwhile. Even delightfully ironic you might argue, the cosy, matter-of-fact style versus the subject matter. It is easy to picture a masterpiece in Haddon's future.
Two things lessened my enjoyment of this book: The reader and the Audible interview hyping the book, which misrepresented it in an effort to broaden its appeal.
I didn't care for the reader's approach to the southern accents in the book. This was part of the plot, that accents changed as the characters traveled south, but most of his female characters sounded like Mr. Rogers.
I am not devoted to the genre, but I will read it occasionally, maybe once a year. I picked this book because of the interview in 'This is Audible.' The slant of the interview was that this crosses genre, can even hold its own among literary fiction. This is hype that tainted my listening experience. I kept waiting for conflict, catharsis, character growth...
Literary fiction it is not. However, it is every bit as good as the best X-files episode, and the book could have been honestly presented as such. If that had been my expectation, I am sure I would have had no problem recommending it.
Having read all the Tuesday Next series, I tried this. It is just as good. The reader of this book is kind of understated, but he is very good. His style may take getting used to if you listened to the Tuesday Next books--he's more deadpan. Still an excellent reader and the book is absorbing and entertaining.
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