I went back and forth on whether to rate the story three or four stars. For McMurtry it's only a three. But since I like McMurtry his threes are more like fours for anyone else.
My inclination is to compare this to Lonesome Dove. But really, it's not Lonesome Dove and not meant to be. We'll just stipulate that LD is better, that everyone should listen to it and move on to Buffalo Girls.
McMurtry has written a sad lonely book. He's borrowed history and molded it into a shape that suited him. In doing so he's given himself a new canvass to work with. This book will not move into the future with you. You won't look back and think of it later, most likely, but it still has things to say and will entertain you absolutely while it says them.
The best thing about Buffalo Girls is Betty Buckley's performance. Her husky broken voice creates the landscape and takes you back in time and due west. (Unless you're from California, in that case you'll have to head east.)
Definitely worth the credit.
I didn't see the movie, but I have a feeling this may be a rare instance of a movie being better than the book. The first half is not bad. I might have given it three or four stars, but really the second half is boring and meandering purposeless. I listened to the whole thing. It's not criminal or anything. It's just not very good.
It's probably a very good book, but I just couldn't. I listened to the first chapter and the narration was so terrible I just didn't care. It was just so stilted and forced and phony that I just wanted it to stop. It was the worst narration I've ever heard. I don't write a lot of reviews. When I do write reviews it's because I love the book. I write them because I'm moved to say something. Today, I was moved to say, no! Shame on you Phil Gigante. Just shame on you!
Joshilyn Jackson writes books that are hard and human. She just keeps getting better too. I recommend this highly.
I really love this series. It's fun. It's got the right balance of everything. Light and fun, but with plenty of action. Exactly the right amount of romance.
I truly love Dunne's performance here.
Mostly, I love this quirky main character and the troubles she finds.
I feel like my review requires an apology to Kyra Davis. I love these books. They're always so much fun. In fact my only complaint about the earlier books is the gratuitous sex scene thrown into each book. I just fast forward. They make me feel like a voyeur and they don't advance the plot. We get it. They like each other.
All of the earlier books have been the sort of thing I've devoured in a day or two. Yes, they're over the top and you have to enter an agreement with the writer that you will suspend disbelief and she won't make it too hard to do so. Sadly, in this book, she didn't keep up her end and I couldn't do my part either.
It felt like she wanted to write a spy thriller. It wasn't fun or funny. It was a labor. The secondary characters became tertiary. You didn't enjoy her relationships with her friends and family, they were merely props.
It was action packed, but instead of feeling exhilarated, I just felt tired.
That said, I liked all of the earlier books so much I will buy whatever comes next.
I don't think even Kyra Davis could object to me pointing out that this is not the sort of great literature that will change your life, your mind or your day. But it's not supposed to be. It's literary cake. Pure sugary fun. A bit of love, a bit of romance and a lot of action.
For a good time call Sophie!
This was a wonderful listen. If Ron Perlman wanted to read every book I buy from now on to me, I'd be alright with that. His performance was so charismatic and engaging without in any way intruding into my consciousness. He brought the book to life.
The book itself is wonderful. It's hard to believe that it's only a half a century and an Ocean that separates us from Leningrad, because in some ways it could be a fantasy novel. But it also feel completely probable and close, like if everything went wrong this could be anywhere on a bad day.
The characters are all flawed, and still you fall in love with all of them.
It's a smart and thoughtful book, at times brutal and always thoughtful and smart.The premise seems improbable, but the events unfold, going seamlessly from one point to the next and gathering momentum so that while the story is large, it never gets away from Benioff and you can believe without a willful suspension of disbelief.
And finally, this book is exciting. I tend to read literary fiction, and I have loved books in which nothing happens. This is not a book where nothing happens, and will appeal to both those readers who need strong characters to become engaged, and to those who want their books plot driven because they come for the story.
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