The perfect mix of realistic and fantastical material, Mr. Wilder makes what some would call a small story. I don't. Intimacy and closeness to the characters is what a writer tries to do, the good ones anyway. Mr. Wilder succeeds wonderfully. -Lory Kaufman, Kingston, Canada
I would recommend this book to people who love what time travel stories do best; explore the choices people make in an atmosphere where they can have a second stab at getting it right. In otherwords, time travel stories allow characters to get a really good look at themselves from many angles and sometimes have a second chance (and sometime more) at making good their mistakes.T.T. stories also throw characters from different times together, to butt heads and therefore, ideas.
I liked that the author thought up some new concepts for time travel, creating situations where characters went back and sometimes could change things, but there were other times they can't. That was different, I think, so good for Ms. Cross.
The story started with a smart ass kid and Mr. Brown caught his vibe perfectly. In fact, as the book started out, I thought I might not identify with the book because the character was too young. Then I realized something. As a writer of time travel books myself, I remembered that my first time travel novel was sometimes accused of being aimed at too young an audience because the characters started out young. Some readers didn't want to give them a chance to mature. So, I gave "Jackson" a chance. Very quickly I got into the story and I must say it was well enough written and performed to keep an adult's interest. Mr. Brown also did a fantastic job with the many voices, capturing their spirit. And his readings of the emotional bits had great atmosphere and timing. (well, except for his Scottish accent, but he was fantastic at the rest)
I listen to a lot of audio books, mostly when I'm at the gym or driving, so I usually won't sit all day and do it. But if I was sick in bed or on a long flight, I do think this book could keep me listening.
Again, as a writer of time travel books, I really liked the ground Julie Cross broke here. Often there are time travel conventions that writers cross at their own peril. I can't wait to see what she does next with the story. Maybe I can find a way to be an early reader.-Lory KaufmanKingston, Ontario
For years I have been saying that my favorite book of all time, the best written and most cinematic, is FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLES, but now another war story with partisans is pushing itself to the front of the line. CITY OF THIEVES is the perfect construction as a piece of literature and Ron Perlman, one of my favorite actors, has done a great job.
There's enough 5 star reviews that I don't have to go on too much about the positives, so I will make two other short comments.
Regarding Mr. Perlman's performance, and I would site the director for this; at the beginning of the piece there is some sloppy diction which threw my dyslectic ear for a loop. Only three or four slurs, mind you, and after 30 minutes the performance fit the book perfectly.
Regarding the one comment from a reviewer about the inappropriate language, I must whole-heartily disagree. All the language fit the characters and situations perfectly. There's a whole section of Christian literature for those who do not want to read stories written the way people really talk. Maybe there should be warnings at the beginning about harsh language, like on TV. I don't know, that's another conversation. It does purport to be young adult literature. See, I’m trying to be fair. Ah, let’s save that for another forum. I guess it shows how wonderfully written the book is that the strong language made it through the editorial process of a publisher buying a YA book. Me, I'm almost 60 and I think it’s YA only because the protagonists are young.
I will have to listen to both books again to see if Mr. Benioff will replace Mr. Hemingway at the top of my list.
Lory Kaufman, Kingston, Canada
I liked the book, except for the author's annoying habit of constantly repeating and reminding the readers of what happened earlier. There is probably 3 hours that could be cut from this book and nobody would notice. Other than that, he knows how to craft a sentence and paragraph, the characters were interesting and diverse and I often wondered how things would resolve. Many small historical facts are incorrect, but this isn't a big deal. It's a great read, but not great literature. But that doesn't matter.
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