I'm not sure what other reviewers were expecting when they downloaded this free, two hour short story. I began listening with no expectations whatsoever, without even having read the description (free is free, after all) and was enrapt, start to finish.
For such a short piece, a great deal of care goes into developing the main character and her relationships with those close to her. The author doesn't beat you over the head with it, but uses a delicate touch, which may be unsatisfying for certain types of people.
This is an absorbing, brilliantly executed portrait of a teenage girl in situation that would be, for anyone, strange to say the least. To complain that she seemed 'whiny' is to miss the point entirely -- a failure of imagination, at best. In her shoes, the rest of us would likely fare as well.
Much to my delight, this is merely a prologue of sorts to an ongoing series by the author, and I will be purchasing subsequent books on the authority of this work alone.
The prose here is often breathtaking, but the plot is relatively dull and meandering. Totally worth reading for the quality of writing, but the story itself feels a bit empty -- developing characters that often seem to go nowhere.
I'll give it a fourth star just for the inventive wordplay and solid narration, but the storytelling falls flat.
It's hard to say for certain since I never read the text myself, but I felt like the writing was a bit dry.
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the narration here. It gave me a sense of the steady escalation of horror experienced by those in the house. It was eerie in the methodical terrorizing of family and visitors. Like they must have, I felt like maybe it wasn't really happening -- as if maybe it was all just a misinterpretation of events as they slowly unfolded.
"The devil's best trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist!" - Baudelaire
I guess that's what sequels are for, but the only thing disappointing about this book is that it ends. This is a eminently believable and intimately humanistic work of science fiction. The beginning is a bit dense, because there is quite a bit to set up. But for all the technical detail and description, this is ultimately a story about personal connections.
I've had this in my library for years. I don't remember why I bought it, and I'm not sure why I have only read it now after eyeing it curiously every month or so. I only wish I would have read it sooner, because it probably would have given me plenty of time to read it again.
It isn't something that's often -- if ever -- said about science fiction, but this book is just lovely. And the only other book I can recall being similarly wonderful is Stephen King's 11/22/63.
This book is unlike the rest of the Earth's Children series, in that it doesn't really read like a novel, with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, it is essentially a sequence of events -- the life and times of the series' beloved protagonist(s).
It may sound terrible initially, but it's pretty subjective: this book reads more like retelling of events, as in a journal recorded by a third party. My wife and I enjoyed this book, but felt a bit let down because it lacked the narrative weight of the previous books.
My biggest complaints are the slightly over-the-top accent the narrator does for Ayla (although Sandra Burr is still one of my favorites, and I wouldn't want anyone else to voice these books) and the inconsistency of pronunciations compared to the previous books (which is understandable, after so long, but still distracting).
I know I would have enjoyed it more if it were more like the previous books -- or separate from the previous books entirely, so that there were no such expectations. Having the others set the bar when it came to conflict and excitement made this book seem less satisfying. But it was still an enjoyable read, and it was nice to spend this time with characters who almost feel like family after so long.
This book won't be the reason I recommend this series to others -- like the first three books -- but I am glad to have had the experience of reading it.
While the narration is a bit over the top (and grating at times: Aunt Polly), it really sets the tone for the tale.
This book is well written and great fun for all ages. Well worth a listen!
This historical account of the people, places, and events surrounding the Dust Bowl was surprisingly easy to get into and hard to turn away from. It really gave me an appreciation for the hardships of the time -- and their origins. This is a book I nearly didn't pick up, but I'm glad I did.
While the subject matter itself is not inherently appealing (or palatable), both the style of writing and the narration enjoyable and entertaining.
If you are a fan of her previous works, I think you will find this a worthwhile entry in the catalogue. And for those unfamiliar with the author but interested in a lighthearted tour of digestive matters -- both scientific and historical -- you likely won't find a more varied and engaging book on the subject.
I laughed out loud throughout when listening to this book. It really hits home, with both obvious and insightful observations of 'white culture' that helped me see the humour in myself and others.
But when I went to write a review and rate the audiobook I saw that perhaps the style of humour (and the dead-on tone of narration) is not universal. Definitely check out the sample; if you think this sounds like your cup of tea after that, you won't be disappointed!
As an adult male 'on the spectrum', to have a thirteen-year-old boy express 80% of my existence better than I am able to do myself is both depressing and refreshing, because
As books go, this isn't classic literature or anything; but for an unfiltered glimpse into the mind of an autistic person, look no further. If someone close to you is on the autistic spectrum, you owe it to both yourself and them to read this book.
While the Complete Edition contains the material left out of this original abridged recording, I didn't find that it added anything particularly compelling.
This is a great book with some great performances (Mark Hamill did an INCREDIBLE job, and I didn't even know it was him until the credits at the end), but -- unlike nearly every other audio book -- I found this abridged version was better by keeping it concise and having only the strongest performances.
Had I not listened to this original abridged recording first I may have felt differently, though.
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