Sadly, this once terrific author has fallen into a formulaic rut. I have read or listened to all of his thrillers set in the WW2 era. The obligatory visit to Bistro Henninger was totally implausible and the major romance was worse than the most obvious chick lit. I mean really, he falls madly, permanently in love with the beautiful, blonde wife of the powerful rich man after only one glance. Plus, it turns out she has been in love with him since she was a school girl of 12. Give me a break. If I want more Alan Furst, I will go back to his earliest books. I gave it 2 stars because the political/thriller aspect of the plot was okay.
The very highest quality mind candy. Smart, funny, subtle, a heroine with a mind of her own.
Certainly worthy of its Pulitzer Prize, at least to someone who has lived in Richmond for the past 35+ years. The period of 1792 to 1832 reveals some of the Founders in a dreary light. The determination of enslaved people to escape Tidewater Virginia is inspiring and certainly not what I was taught about the War of 1812.
I only gave Bronson Pinchot 4 stars, despite his beautiful reading voice, due to the number of incorrectly pronounced names and places. A few of the more frequent mispronunciations: ca-BELL instead of CAB-ull, HEN-ri-co instead of hen-RYE-co, Wythe should rhyme with Smith, and many others. But this is my constant gripe about many readers. Given all the time that goes into these readings, I do not understand why the editors do not do a bit of research on local pronunciations. Then again, if you have not spent time in Virginia, it probably won't bother you.
This entertaining mystery would have kept me listening even if I hadn't lived in Oregon Hill on Pine Street, and still do live in Richmond. (I have never met the author).
However, the narrator sounds more like North Carolina crossed with Hollywood (California, not the cemetery) than anyone who grew up in Oregon Hill. He also mispronounced our adjacent county Henrico. He said En-ree-co rather than Hen-RYE-co. With all the talent right here in Richmond, why wasn't someone used who would know what he was saying?
Clearly, what bothers me won't be a problem if you have not lived here, and even with my complaints, I have enjoyed this book, listening as close to straight through as possible - the true sign of an engaging story. The local details are perfect and I look forward to reading the next Willie Black book, Philadelphia Quarry.
Perhaps because the origins had more actual source material, I found the final three beverages more interesting to hear about.
The narrator was spot on but the story was screamingly ridiculous. Kind of like the televsion shows with lots of scary music.
Recommend everything about the book except the narration. This is a perfect example of a time when the author should not have read her own book. Otherwise, a painless (for the reader) way to learn a great deal about the workings of the brain. But, boy, what a way to research!
Not just a fish story. An interesting history of a very old industry with a very bleak future. I remember when cod was plentiful and inexpensive. Now I know why it is no longer on the menu. (I did skip the recipes at the end.)
Takes up where Three Cups of Tea ends. The quality of writing and the excellence of the reader mean this book is far better. I had been worrying about how the conditions in Pakistan and Afghanistan were affecting the work of the CAI and the answers have given me hope. Highly recommend A++++++
A very interesting topic, perfect narrator, but the writing style was jarringly slangy and casual for a book about a brilliant 19th Century scientist. Still, my complaint is only severe enough to reduce my rating by one star.
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