I would not recommend this book. It wasn't so bad that I turned it off, but it was farfetched and just...lame. I didn't care about any of the characters, and even the "needlework" element felt odd, like the author wrote with a needlework catalog beside her, so she could "name drop" brands of fibers now and then.
I knew whodunit long before the book ended; the plot twist of "why" felt forced.
It took a while to get used to the oddly robotic style of the narrator.
Not a chance.
I like both needlework and mysteries, and really wanted to like this, but I won't be bothering with any of the others in the series.
I have read all of the Stephanie Plum books. They are funny, if a bit predictable - there will be donuts, pizza, Ranger Looking Hot, Morelli Looking Hot, Grandma will at some point be packing a 45 in her big handbag - but still a fun read. But this time I swear I thought I'd read this book before - wait, wasn't the annoying Briggs guy blown up in earlier books? Didn't a group of old men start getting bumped off one by one in another book? It felt like the author put all her earlier characters and plot elements into a bag, pulled out a random handful, and arranged them into a story. The characters are all caught in a time warp. I hate to say I'm done with this series, but I think I'm done. It was definitely not worth spending a credit.
I know Matthew Corbett isn't really an "original" character, in many ways he is every clever detective of literature, from Miss Marple to Sherlock Holmes, and there is something Harry Potter-ish about his intellect and purity of heart, yet somehow, these books feel really different to me.
I am sucked into Matthew's world, his professional development as a "detective," and his associates and encounters. And the reader? Edoardo Ballerini is simply the best. You do want to read them in order, or you'll miss the formative experiences that develop Matthew's confidence in himself, as he grows into his career.
Call the Midwife, the series, was recommended to me by several friends and is still sitting in my Netflix list unwatched - lack of time - but I did have time to listen to an audiobook while doing other things. I listened to this without bringing any baggage from watching the series first. It's a lovely book, beautifully written, full of characters and details of a life almost unimaginable from the 21st century. A 22 year old girl riding a bike through a bad neighborhood down by the docks in the dead of night to deliver a baby in a tiny, sometimes squalid flat with only cold running water? How did those nurses do it, and how did anyone survive? And the sisters in the convent - so tough, strong, and fearless, and with fascinating histories of their own, all described with such skill and humor, I wished I'd known them. It's a wonderful listen, rich with characters and detail, and a fabulous reader.
I loved this story, and The Grand Sophy is now my favorite Heyer heroine, but I could only give it 3 stars Overall because it's too short! The abridged version is done very well, with an excellent reader, but it was over too quickly and made me wonder what I was missing. I'll have to read it to find out.
I've seen these books for years but had never picked one up until recently. I actually started with one of the most recent books, and liked it so much I'm now going back to work my way through the series. It's a difficult series to describe - mystery-pseudo-scifi-quirky-romantic fiction, but I like the characters already, and am getting drawn into this imaginary world. Very pleasant narrator, too.
While I could appreciate the exquisite turns of phrase and skillful use of the English language, I couldn't get into the story. I found my mind wandering, and I'd snap out of it and start listening again and wonder what happened while I'd "dozed off." Juliet Stevenson is an excellent reader, but even she couldn't keep me involved. I struggled along for several hours, but surrendered about a third of the way through.
I read Childhood's End decades ago, when I was a teenager, and loved it. I have re-read a few of my former favorites from my youth and found them dissatisfying, but this book did not lose any of its impact. While some of the scenes and characters feel a wee bit dated now, the story is as engrossing and haunting as ever.
I listened to this book on a long solo car trip. I'm really not sure I'd have finished it if I'd read the print version - this is one of the times that a good reader helped keep my interest. The excellent narration made a rambling and rather sad and disturbing story seem more coherent and real.
I, too, feel taken in by the many 5 star rave reviews. I'm a self-described crazy dog lady and I once actually had a beloved golden retriever named Bailey, so I was fully prepared to love this book. It was just mediocre. It wasn't particularly funny, or exciting, or touching, or much of anything except overly long. The characters were uninteresting cardboard people, the plot developments predictable, and the story dragged on far too long. No tired cliche of dog behavior (loves car rides, hates cats, protects the house, chews shoes etc.) was missed in the telling of this story. I gave it 3 stars as literary junk food. It's a sweet empty nothing of a book, but hardly the clever insight into canine-human relationships it was purported to be.
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