I usually don't buy books less than 10 hours and am easily distracted by bad southern accents, so I let this pass me by several times. I am so glad a recent editor's review convinced me to download this - it is the best audiobook I have listened to in a couple of years at least. This audiobook gets it right on so many levels. The narration, mystery, and characters are all spot on.
The number one narration pitfall in more than one audiobook is the southern small town law officer. Here the main character is a constable in a fictional Mississippi town, and he is read especially beautifully. The others have reasonable accents that give life to the characters without being too distracting. The mystery (mysteries) are also compelling. This is not a whodunit with a build to a surprise twist, but a slow unveiling of the truth and more importantly, an understanding of the people involved. And the people - that is where this book excels.
I am in my forties and rarely read anything involving race that has any relation to my experience of current life in the deep south, but this book is absolutely the best depiction of the complexities of class and race in everyday relationships. Not as defining elements, as in so many books with outdated stereotypes, but still integral to the understanding of the history of people growing up post segregation. These characters felt real, gripped me early, and kept me compelled until the end.
I highly, highly recommend this audiobook.
This was a very weirdly paced book - with the thriller aspect taking a back seat to the personal life of the main character. And this life loops around in weird ways with just too many gimmicky characters. I won't give away anything, but the characters Aqua and Sugar seemed shoe horned in while tracking down the bad guys just kind of happened. The secondary mysteries - what happened to the fiance, who killed the dad and why - took away energy from the "will the victims be saved" pulse and space from developing those characters. It made me wonder if some of the plot elements were an effort to include current themes and seem relevant.
I just can't recommend it. It did have interesting moments but it wasn't satisfying.
The 13 intertwining characters grow old as we reflect on their lives. Depressing and uplifting as some people get what they deserve and others don't, but interesting and thought provoking. I like the music themes as well.
If I had paid more than $1.99 or had to listen much longer, I would be upset. It did keep my ears occupied during a 3 hour run, but I should have listened to my self breathe. The characters are just stupid - there were so many obvious plot holes and character inconsistencies that I couldn't engage with the story.
Wow....I absolutely loved this book. Everything about it was wonderful - the flawed but redeemable Theo and the cast of people in his life - from the honorable to the horrible. The pacing of the story, however, kept me hanging on every chapter. The lulls then the quiet bombshells were so well done that I just sat stunned several times.
I generally hate when people review by comparison, but this reminded me of Pat Conroy and John LeCarre combined - the lovely writing and characters of Conroy, the intrigue and twists of LeCarre. If you like either author, buy this book.
I highly recommend this book. I plan on buying and giving several copies as gifts.
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. It is quirky, with a great mix of over the top and realism. It is so well written that characters' actions seem explicable while not always anticipatable.
It is, at its heart, the story of a woman who struggles with her place in the world as a mother, a wife, a "genius", and a member of a community. Her story is set in a charming narrative that is almost comical but always feels real and fresh.
I usually love dark and complex books so I don't know why I picked this - maybe it reminded me of Nick Hornby a little - but I'm very glad I did.
If I say this was a sweet post apocalyptic novel it will sound crazy, but this is a story of a man coming to terms with harsh realities where he has a choice - join civil society or remain in both an idealized past and brutal future. I loved the author's gentle, unpolished voice and simple style. This is a little bit adventure, mystery and love story - hard to classify but moving and compelling. I highly recommend it.
I can't remember ever being so put off by a narrator, unless it was something technical such as a ridiculous fake accent or slow pace. This narrator simpers and whines her way through various characters in a way that totally trivializes the book. The themes of this book should provoke thought and reflection, but instead I just wanted the main characters to grow up - I couldn't imagine them feeling any emotion other than self-pity. What a shame.
I really enjoyed this book - it captured my attention from the first, was far out and spooky without being stupid, and while not fine literature, was a cut above the average thriller. I love long books but expect some slow points, but this really was paced well. I can really recommend this to fans of many genres.
This was a very worthwhile book; I would give it 4.5 stars if I could. My only complaint is the lack of balance on some of the issues, exacerbated by the incredulous-sounding narrator. I know it was not, nor supposed to be unbiased science, but there was a tinge of exaggeration in both style and substance that, as a scientist, made me uneasy.
That being said, this deserves to be read by everyone who buys processed food. It helps to distinguish between what should be occasional, non-nutritious treats and those foods that are so artificial that they are hardly food. I often hear "everything in moderation" as an excuse to eat lots of processed foods - what is the harm in some Cheese Whiz now and then or a soda every day? - and this really puts these foods in an appropriate context for a healthy diet.
Wow, that was not at all like I though it would be. Funny moments, but written in a story with a main character that is both an over the top caricature and a brutally real a**hole. I found the main character's accent very distracting - so heavy that it drags - and this could have interfered with my ability to bond with him. The other characters had excellent narration, and some of these people could have been very interesting and funny, but there were so many missed opportunities to give them more depth.
In the end, this was the story of the almost redemption of a hitman. Like the main character, the story just falls short in the end. The hitman is deep but unlikeable, the likeable characters shallow. It's too harsh to be light, and too funny to be bleak.
I've thought about the book since I finished it, talked about it with several other people, it was well written, not at all a throw away mystery or a nordic copycat. I just didn't enjoy it.
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