Pure and simple; this book is excellent. To be fair, I like most Stephen King novels, but this one is in a class by itself. It has interesting characters that are well-developed, along with an inventive plot, which very quickly wraps you in. In addition, the narration is superb.
I understand that this edition has some 500 pages of material that the original release didn't have. That's good, because this is done so well, it leaves you with wanting even more.
I first read this book over 40 years ago. I enjoyed it very much back then. As is the case with some of the classics, like those from Mark Twain, this is as good a read (listen) as an adult or as a kid--but for different reasons. As a kid, it's an adventure and the protagonist is the right age where he can be identified with. As an adult (OK, late middle-aged adult--let's be honest), it's a book that takes you back to simple enjoyment, yet you can see the humor in some of the writing.
I had no problems with the narration.
This is just fun. It's one of the author's best, yet it's often overlooked.
This may be one of those rare occasions where the movie is as good as the book. I won't say the movie was necessarily better than the book.
I thought that the book started out nicely and I was interested for a while, but as it went on, it lost me. That's a shame, as this is really a story that needs to be told. Indeed, it is obvious that the author went to a lot of trouble to research fact after fact after fact after fact.
I thought it was well-narrated and some good information was imparted, but I found that my attention eventually started going elsewhere.
There have been almost 30,000 reviews of "Gone Girl" and I doubt that I can add anything here that hasn't already been said. I will simply outline a couple of things that I particularly liked (admired) about this book.
One of the things that sets this book apart is that the author has managed to keep one interested--actually, very interested--with characters that are well-developed but not admirable or heroic. Indeed, it's hard to like them, at all. This is very difficult to do in writing, but it's done beautifully here. Hey, people like this exist in the real world, so why not write a book about them?
The end was hard to guess, but actually flowed very logically from the groundwork that is carefully laid.
Usually, when there's more than one narrator, I start to roll my eyes. It's a book, and I want it to be read; not performed like a radio play. But that's not the situation in "Gone Girl." The narration from either gender is right-on, and it was interesting to hear the male do the female voice in his section and vice-versa. Both narrators did an excellent job.
I didn't see the movie. I didn't want it to cheapen my memory of this book, which is one of the best in it's genre. Listen and enjoy.
Every now and then you get lucky. You happen to stumble upon that book that it is at the pinnacle of it's genre. "Defending Job" is one of those very few, truly exceptional books.
The story is told through mostly through flashbacks or reverse memory and it gets your interest almost immediately, and then fills in things gradually. It is cleverly written in this way, but it is also structured in terms of giving you enough, in an honest way, to think you "know" or have a pretty good idea of what's coming, but then it takes that notion away from you at the end of the story; again in an honest manner. So many 'thrillers' or 'mysteries' cannot pull this off. Either they are easy to figure out about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way through the book or it turns out that you you don't guess the ending, but its owing to some trivial aspect mentioned way back that was inserted in there to give the writer a way out. That's not the case with "Defending Jacob."
Grover Gardner is one of the best narrators, and what he does with "Defending Job" is no exception to his craft. He has a knack of making you 'like' or even have empathy for some of the characters, and that skill is not lost in his narration of this book.
This is one of the very best books I've listened to, and it's a credit to Audible for bringing it forth.
I purchased "Grandissimo" because I was interested in a history of Las Vegas. I got that, in a way.
What I was not bargaining for was an in-depth study of a man who did the impossible. With little more than guile and relentless hard work, one man built two of the biggest hotel casinos in Las Vegas. The book goes into fairly good detail as to how this was managed.
The point is continually made that despite having strengths and weaknesses (which we all have) Sarno was simply larger than life. He seemed to constantly need money but he also constantly wasted money. He 'coerced' friends and relatives out of funds for his projects, yet played golf with people for money even when he knew they were cheating him. The issues surrounding the personality of this one-of-a-kind person are almost endless in this book, and it is remarkable to listen to. It is also a pleasure to listen to, as the narration is first-rate.
It would be fair to say that "The Long Hunt" is written in something along the lines of the Western genre. However, there are no tumbleweeds or longhorns, as it takes actually place in frontier East Tennessee, which was referred to as a 'western' state in it's earlier years.
There has been a ton of fiction written about 'the old west' of Texas, Arizona and the Dakotas, but there has not been much fiction written about the early expansion east of the Mississippi. Cameron Judd has done a fine job of capturing the flavor of the aspirations, morality and dangerousness of those Americans trying to scratch out a living in those primitive conditions.
"The Long Hunt" has a myriad of interesting characters that run the gambit from afflicted to desperate; from innocent to sometimes even noble. The primary plot of the story is the hunt for the daughter of an aged father, but it is set against the backdrop of the failing state of Franklin, which will eventually evolve into the eastern part of Tennessee.
There's some very good historical notations, with every effort being made for dialogue, locations and technology (or lack thereof) to be in keeping with the time and place where the story is set. That, in of itself, makes the book worth a listen, but there is also skillful writing here, and the characters in the story are simply superb. In addition, the variety of subplots always seems to keep the reader guessing.
The narrator is perfect for this book. He is not overly dramatic in the reading, and it is more or less like you are being told a story by a master storyteller.
I liked the movie, but Humphrey Bogart's representation of the Captain is more sympathetic than the original (the book).
Anyone who has ever had a very, very bad boss can empathize with the suffering of the progtagonist in "The Caine Mutiny". However, what is really good about this book is that it gives one small slice of what the American part of the WWII experience might have been like. No one in "The Caine Mutiny" is an exceptional individual, and the Caine doesn't do anything spectactular for the war effort. The Caine and it's crew are just one more cog in the machine that won the war, and this is a story about a young man who grows up (sort of) in the backdrop of 'doing his bit' in a largely unappreciated job.
The humor in this book is not overdone, but gives the reader a break from some of the drudgery that the main characters have to work through. That said, the actual 'mutiny' is, in of itself, almost a sidebar for the plot of the story.
What you get with "The Caine Mutiny" is something that is extremely well-written along with a first-rate narration.
I had downloaded this book some time ago, and kept it as a 'buffer', to listen to when one audiobook ran out and there was no quick replacement. When I finally got to listen to it, I was pleasantly surprised. Olberman does a masterful job, and gets things out of the reading that truly adds to the enjoyment of these Thurber classics.
Even the backdrop of highlander fly-fishing didn't really save this one. I've listened to another MC Beaton novel in this series, which was much better in terms of organization, character development, and also humor. This particular book has some charm, but it was Beaton's first effort and it falls a little flat as a 'whodunit.'
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