The only reason this book is getting three stars from me is because of the great narration by Dion Graham. If I'd been reading hard copy, I wouldn't have finished the book. It began with great promise and I was very excitied - good plot, great reader. Then the author went on long, boring, rambling accounts of political movements from back in the day, and labor union issues, and all sorts of other stuff that really didn't add anything to the plot and only marginally added to character development. At least half of this book could have been edited out. By three quarters in, I just wanted it to be OVER. And don't be fooled by the comparisons to Dennis Lehane and Greg Iles, two authors I love. Attica Locke is not even close.
Okay, I admit it: I can’t get enough of Jackson Galaxy. This is one of those rare books I will listen to over again. He writes and reads this memoir straight from the heart and no other narrator could have done justice to his words. Jackson’s memoir recounts his beginnings and growth as a cat behaviorist while battling his many addictions. His story is humble, straightforward, and never wallows in self-pity. Here is a man who came face to face with the bottom, over and over again, and pulled himself out of it. While he was doing so, he discovered and nurtured his calling to help troubled cats and their guardians. His cat Benny was with him all the way, not only teaching him but becoming that rare animal with whom he established a lasting bond. I can relate: I had a cat who saw me through my “get my ‘stuff’ together” years and I, in turn, nursed him through several life-threatening illnesses. That cat will have a special place in my heart until I die. Even if you’ve never experienced that kind of relationship with an animal, you’ll appreciate this book, and even more so if you have.
If this were the first book I experienced by Tana French, I would probably not buy another. Since I started the Dublin Murder Squad series with "Faithful Place," which was excellent on all points, I will stick with the series. This book was overlong and, during the last third, I was just hoping it would end soon. The story was very good as was character development. The author surprised me with the perpetrator(s) of the crime. The reading was skilled and also my biggest complaint. Rob Ryan, the character telling the story in first person, is Irish but was raised in British boarding schools and speaks with an "upper crust" British accent. Steven Crossley delivered Ryan just right, but then delivered the dialogue of ALL the characters in that same accent. I would have preferred Rob Ryan to at least imitate the Irish accents of the other characters and I blame the producers and directors for a poor judgement call. But that's really a minor complaint. All in all, the book was worth the time and kept me occupied for many 45-minute treadmill sessions.
I have no doubt the content of this book is valuable, and I'll be finishing it in hard copy. The author-reader's delivery was just awful and, for my own sanity, I had to stop listening. Simple words were mispronounced (i.e., "picture" was spoken as "pitcher"). Cadence was choppy. Intonation was flat. But the last straw was the author-reader's announcement of "New Heading" at every transition. Even now, I cringe thinking about it. A more skilled reader would have been able to make those transitions without offering the listener a roadmap.
This was so disappointing! I bought this book for vacation listening, including a 5-hour drive, because many of my favorite authors contributed. Ridley Pearson's start-off story was mediocre and the next six went steadily downhill. The last few stories we listened to were just painful to get through, thanks in no small part to the narrators' over-the-top reading. We "threw in the earphones."
This was a BIG disappointment, not even close to "Heart-Shaped Box." Many of the stories seem like ramblings in someone's journal - very little structure. None was spooky, scary, creepy (insert your anticipated gost-story adjective here).
The reader makes this audiobook painful to get through. He overacts the parts like crazy. He takes whispered parts literally, causing a lot of volume adjustments while driving. I kept waiting for him to blow his nose or otherwise get over his nasal congestion. It never happened! As a result, his diction is terrible. "B" words start with an "m" sound. (Cows were "mauling." Context suggested that they may have been "bawling" but I can't be sure.) End-of-word "t"s are accomplished with a throat closing rather than tongue and roof of the mouth. And he has an overall lazy approach to making words distinct. "At least" sounds like "aleast". You get the picture.
Some customers evidently enjoyed this book, based on the collective rating (3.5+ at this writing). MY recommendation is to use your credit for something else.
This was not what I expected. Like many novels about 9/11 by familiar authors, this was largely a departure from the author's other work. The story is explained in the last 15 minutes; I'm just not sure I like the explanation. What this does have in common with other Jess Walter novels is his ability to give his audience pause. The reading by Christopher Graybill is spectacular. Listen til the very end and then decide.
I love Thomas H. Cook. He is one of the most literary authors out there today. This audiobook would have been a lot more enjoyable without the reader's gravitas. There are parts of the book that need a reflective and grave attitude. But even in normal dialog, Mr. Hoye's protagonist speaks as if the sky will fall any moment. The book itself is quite good, and the confrontation with the sister near the end is fabulous. But the lead up may have the listener wishing for a ray of sunshine.
Why is this book in the Mysteries & Thrillers category? It's neither. It's description. Endless character history and description, on and on and on. I suffered through the overly drawn-out background on the birth parents. I suffered through a couple of hours devoted to the parents and uncle creating a convoluted birth-parent lie for this adopted child. Then, in Book Three, with only about an hour left, when the author began another endless description of a ballerina and her history, I gave up. It takes a lot for me to give up on an audiobook. But as much as I love Anna Fields and will miss her sorely, I gave this one up. The two stars are for her; the book gets none.
It's hard to put my finger on just why this book left me so unsatisfied. Hannibal Lechter as a sympathetic character just doesn't sit right. And when he reaches adulthood, the book's plot becomes utterly predictable. One of the most fun aspects of previous books is the series is the unexpected nature of Hannibal's "adventures."
Mr. Harris is not a professional narrator and I am willing to grant him some slack. But I could more animation into "I got the wash off the line" than Hannibal's declaration of love for Lady Murasaki, to cite just one of many examples. Some characters of a geographic region had accents and some did not. And most were rendered so thickly that they were almost not understandable. Certainly a more able reader would have helped, but I don't think enough to make this a good audiobook.
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