I, as another review did, got this book on a whim, and because I liked the title. I'm a sucker for dog stories, and if the word "Dog" is in the title, I will definitely check it out. This story follows two people who have, through some buried, previously unaknowledged, unfulfilled desires, acquired dependents that alter the course of their lives. The first is a man, a detective, who becomes the owner of a small dog, a Border Terrier. The other is a woman, a retired policewoman, who - in action completely outside of her previous experience- impulisvely "buys" a 5 year old girl from a preoccupied prostitute. Both of these characters must learn to live with and care for their new charges, and while they do not know each other, their lives become entwined by the course of events both past and present. At the heart of this story is a murder mystery, the circumstances of which unfold, curling back into time as the lives of the two main charaters hurtle forward. Other characters appear and become entangled in the plot as well, and the whole thing becomes a giant soup of chance meetings and twisted connections that are just as strange as real life. I really enjoyed the ride this story took me on, and loved all the characters I encountered. The only thing I never learned, as all the loose ends tied up, was why the book was titled as it was. Still, it is great fun, and Graeme Malcom is a terrific reader.
It seems that whenever Europeans come in contact with indigenous people anywhere in the world there is a sad story to tell. Lost traditions, human exploitation, religious intolerance are all part of this sad story. It is rare that we get a glimpse into the life of the people before the introduction of the "white man". This book gives us such a glimpse. The opening chapters show us a world of prosperity, long-held tradition, brutal but effective justice. The people of a village called Umofia in Nigeria have lived the same way for thousands of years. Everyone knows his place. Life is stable, predictable, eternal.
Okonkwo is a leader in this village, famed for his prowess as a great wrestler. Well-off in his compound with his barns full of yams and his three wives, he lives the good life. An accident topples him from his high place in his society, and from there, nothing is ever the same. We watch the inevitable change occurring over a decade when Christian missionaries begin a slow but irrevocable imposition of new thoughts, beliefs, customs and laws.
This book reminded me again and again of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (Dee Brown) for its wonderful vision of life before European influence. The story is told from the inside. The reader (listener) is not aware of any world beyond the borders of the land Okonkwo and his family and village occupy. The culture is self-contained, without any reference to a position in relation to the rest of the globe of humanity. This part of the story could be taking place at any time in the history in Africa. But with the first visit by the missionaries on their "iron horses", Okonkwo, his children and the whole people of the Nine Villages are thrust suddenly and forever into modern times.
I loved this book. I hated the way it ended, but the ending was exactly right. There is no turning back the clock. Peter Francis James' reading is patient and strong and sets the pace for the characters to live their lives and the story to unwind in their own time.
-Amy McLean (Jonathan's wife)
It was hard to get into at first because the narrator seemed noisy. Maybe it was because the last book I listened to had a really good narrator, but this narrator took a lot of getting used to. The story was good, though, and I can recommend this audiobook.
A psycho-thriller in classic style, Sharp Objects is spellbinding. Gillian Flynn has a confident and nuanced style that builds suspense and entwines the reader emotionally with the characters. The characters are complex and human in their inconsistencies. No one is perfect, except the dead. The main character, a reporter sent to her home town to investigate a couple of child murders, is herself flawed, and her flaws form and inform the story to such an extent that they take on character of their own.
I have poured through the three novels by Miss Flynn this summer and am eagerly awaiting further works from her.
Ann Marie Lee's narration of the audiobook is spotless and pulls the listener quickly and thoroughly into the story. I listened to the book as I drove the 6 hours from LA to San Francisco and the time flew effortlessly by.
-Review Submitted by Amy McLean (wife of Jonathan McLean)
I don't think of myself as a Steven King fan, but this one really captivated me. It has been almost a week since I finished it, and I still can't get it out of my mind. I can totally recommend this book, especially to boomers who memories of what actually happened.
Fantastic story. Fantastic narration. Must listen. Loved it. Could see the whole thing in my mind's eye like I was there. Totally recommend this one.
Hated this. Could hardly get through the first few minutes even. Does audible offer satisfaction guarantee?
This is my first introduction to Victor Hugo. I had no idea what a brilliant author he was. The characters are really captivating, and the plot tense and exciting. I was listening to this book on my iPod while fishing with tears running down my face. It has been weeks since I finished this book, and I still think about it. I really like this book.
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