Why oh why oh why do female readers resort to high pitched, squeaky voices when recording dialogue? Ms. Taylor makes the female characters sound like chipmunks, each one higher and squeakier than the next.
The reader also sounds like she is trying deliberately to smile while reading, (maybe to attempt to force more energy into her reading?). The result is the whole book sounds like it is being read by a valley girl on helium.
I eventually stopped listening and got the book from the library to finish it. The story was predictable, but pretty well written. It was a pleasant read for a relaxing weekend once I got the squeaky voices out of my head.
Scott Brick can make a statement like "The sun is shining and it is a perfect 80 degree day!" sound like "Your dog just died and your parrot is on its way out too".
He has this annoying and monotonous speech pattern where every sentence ends in a down pitch. His pacing is good and when he is reading dialogue, he is fine--even better than fine; but, oh, that boring, everything is sad, (or maybe he is trying to portray "moving"?), he just sounds like the sub-text of every sentence is "How sad, I'm so sorry".
Robert McCammon set out to write a post-nuclear earth epic and he has done that. The story could probably have been a little shorter without losing any of the drama; but that is a piddling little complaint. (And it may be that some sections seemed overly long simply because I listened for hours and hours and needed to sleep but I couldn't stop listening.) His mix of real world with magical/miracle elements is done gracefully so that neither one overpowers, making it easy to accept both as "true".
As narrator, Tom Stechschulte makes each character distinct without falling into the trite "squeaky woman voice" for the female characters. Each character not only has a unique voice, but a unique speech pattern that makes it come alive. There is never any confusion about who is talking. His narration reading is crisp and expressive. If you're going to listen to someone for 32+ hours, that someone better be good and Mr. Stechschulte is excellent.
Stanley Townsend does an amazing job with all the characters and especially deliniating the villian's "thoughts" from the rest of the dialogue; however, he can't help the meandering story line.
The mystery itself is pretty standard stuff--three girls missing in Dublin, three girls missing years ago in LA, must have something to do with the movie company working in both places--but Hughes' writing gets bogged down in long internal conversations that some characters have with themselves and that have very little to do with the main story. He drops some nice misleading clues that keep your interest in the missing girls plot, but seems to stop his own momentum with these self-analysis monologues.
Good story, but not your typical Ken Bruen who-done-it. The reader captures the flavor perfectly.
I listened to this book a few years ago after taking it out of the library to entertain myself on a long drive.
I've probably listened to hundreds of library audio books and this is one of my all time favorites. It is the first book I looked for when I joined Audible.
The story is very good with characters you can care about; ones you love and hate in equal measure.
The narration is fantastic and adds a wonderful flavor to this Southern mystery.
The disinfranchised FBI/Police officer has been done nearly to death, but I have to say, I liked this guy called The Bricklayer. He isn't really "damaged", just stubborn and knows what he wants.
The story was interesting and clever enough to keep me guessing.
Loved the narration. Mr. McConnohie doesn't use fake voices but instead just lets the story flow. Very easy and enjoyable to listen to.
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