Anne Shirley's adventures aren't quite as spectacular in this second book of the series, but I've always enjoyed watching Anne grow up. Listening to this again after having read it for the first time so long ago, brought back a lot of fun memories.
It is hard for me to think of these books as separate entities because I think they are truly a part of one story. Overall, I liked these books, and they are worth a listen. I'm not a huge fan of Catching Fire, but it is a necessary read to keep abreast of all the plot lines in Mocking Jay. I try to keep it vague, but like I said above their might be spoilers below.
When I first started listening to the series I read a review somewhere that reminded readers that the story is not necessarily about Katniss, it is about her role as a pawn in larger events. I'd love to give credit to that person, but I've long since forgot where I read the review. It is, however, the key element to remember when listening to these stories. For one, it helps the reader to make sense of Carolyn McCormick reading the books. I love her as an actress, and I love her voice, but it is a distictive and mature voice, not necessarily something I would have picked for Katniss. Remembering that while Katniss figures heavily in the events of the book, the overall story is not necessarily about her, helped me to connect with McCormick as a reader. I was able to think of her not as Katniss narrating her own story, but as, say, a mother reading Katniss's story to her daughter.
If there is one critique I have of these stories it is the love triangle. It made sense in the Hunger Games, but Katniss needed to declare her feelings in Catching Fire, partly because it was obvious to the reader at that point, and partly to allow more time for resolutions and reconciliations between the characters.
Only knowing what you have heard in the media to date it is too easy to write off the victims of Jonestown as somehow complicit in the atrocity. This book took a faceless group, and made them individuals I cared about deeply. It illustrates how even when they knew the horror to come, they were powerless to stop it.
The book is great. The narration spot on. I loved it even as it broke my heart to listen.
I would, and have, recommended this book to friends. It is a fun read and listen.
The Stand is a favorite summertime re-read for me, well except that I always get a cold when reading it. ;) I was excited to listen to the audio version because I'm in the middle of a giant project and needed something I could listen to as a means to unwind. It was just what I expected, and just what I needed.
Grover Gardner is does a great job. Nothing against Mr. Gardner, but the only thing that could have made this performance better is if it had been Frank Muller, who will always be my favorite narrator.
I give the story a four just because for some reason listening this time just hammered home Mr. King's inability to deal well with women in his stories. But, that is a conversation for another time.
The Woman in White is an intriguing novel. Although it moves at a stately, Victorian pace, it keeps you guessing all the way. Although I've read The Woman in White as well, unless you really enjoy holding a hefty Victorian novel in your hands, listening is the way to go. If you enjoy contemporary mysteries, take some time to see where it all began.
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