Minneapolis, MN, United States | Member Since 2007
Sutton is SO outrageous. As a character, he's unbelievably bold. I'm not sure where reality stops and creative license starts. But, it's memorable and a terrific listen.
This is one of those books that's alive while you're listening and stays with you long after you're done. There's an element of brutality that's difficult to hear. Yet, it makes people who they are and so is a part of the whole thing just as much as the landscape.
This book helps you understand the Texas mindset and how it has impacted politics, business and society. Clearly, some of the big political personalities we've seen come out of Texas in the past century were a product of it. (LBJ, anyone?) The racial tensions that burn today are deeply rooted in the past.
I have a personal bias against books that continue to jump back and forth through characters and time frames. I find it jarring. This book is right on the ragged edge of doing that poorly. The thing that saves it from disaster is Will Patton. I looked forward to hearing him again and so didn't mind when a section ended and he began again.
This is an important book just from the perspective of understanding a part of history that's been overlooked. If you can handle the violence, you'll be rewarded with one of the best listens of the year.
I've made it a LONG time without reading any William Faulkner. I decided it was time to cross it off my bucket list when I saw this had been narrated by Will Patton. The narration was first-rate, as expected. As to Faulkner ... it's not a fit for me. This was heavy, dark and dreary. A tough go. I appreciate Faulkner's gift for writing. It's singular. It's just not the kind of thing I want to read when I'm taking a break from the world.
This book rolls along just like you think it will. And then things change. The author deserves a huge amount of credit for taking the plot and standing it on its head. I just wish the book had been more engaging all the way through. Don't get me wrong. It's not a bad book. It just doesn't have the tenseness all the way through like most good legal thrillers.
I think Will Patton does a stunning job of bringing these characters to life. I thoroughly enjoy listening to him. (I should say I enjoy listening to MOST of it. The violence sometimes is just too raw.) It's not like he's working in a vacuum, though. James Lee Burke certainly gives him a full range of characters with which to work his magic. Speaking of that ...
I don't know if I was distracted while listening or what the deal was, but the characters in this particular Burke were hard for me to keep straight until I was about 75% done. There's a point where Dave reviews in his mind all that has happened. That helped me enormously. This is something I just don't think I can fault the writer on. I really needed to pay attention to names and details when each character was introduced. My bad.
I've read a ton about post-Katrina New Orleans and nothing has come close to how it's described in this book. With Patton's delivery, it nearly breaks your heart. It's so spot-on, it becomes another aspect of the book.
Though the relationship that's developed between the characters adds to the richness of the storyline from book to book, I believe this book can stand alone in the series. If you've ever wanted to get your feet wet in one James Lee Burke book, this might be the one. I'm not certain what it's like to read this book rather than listen, but I can tell you for certain that this is one of the finest blends of writing and narration you'll encounter.
This is typical Courtenay fare. We always get a character (or two) with a hard-luck beginning, tons of familial dysfunction and - after trials and tribulations - redemption. With this book there's at least 3 of those characters, depending on your definition of hard-luck. I would never have listened to more than a few hours if it had not been for one thing - Humphrey Bower. One of the characters is such a perfect fit for his expert narration that it saves the entire thing.
This book is too long by 25%, too repetitive and too fantastical to call it historical fiction. Courtenay has a way of picking up a phrase and beating it into the ground unmercifully for an entire book. In spite of that, it's a great listen just because of Humphrey Bower. Really. He's that good.
I can't believe I listened to this whole thing. There's enough material here for maybe a 200 page book. Anything beyond that is just drivel.
First of all, the "heroine" doesn't have the depth of personality of, say, Frank Abagnale in "Catch Me If You Can" or "Sutton." (Or even Seabiscuit, for that matter.) And the writing doesn't come close to the non-fiction benchmark set by Laura Hillenbrand. This was a waste of time for me. Save yourself the frustration. Download a different book.
I get my share of murder and mayhem from other authors. It's such a nice change to listen to something that's not so raw, but still interesting. This is a wonderful little story about people doing the right thing. It's simply lovely - and one book you can share with your grandma without risk of embarrassment.
I love the way Nevil Shute weaves his knowledge of engineering into his books. I always learn something new. It's engaging for me and takes this out of the realm of mindless fiction.
this is your book. Ivan Doig has been called "The New Wallace Stegner" for a long time. I love Wallace Stegner, so I take that comparison seriously. There have always been similar threads, but never has the quality of the writing been as close to - or better than Stegner's - than in this book.
Doig has a way of writing about small events and everyday people that makes even an annual fishing event sound interesting. (Perfect example is a "bit" he wrote about looking for ticks. I never would have guessed there was a story in that. There is when it's in Doig's hands and it's funny.) I also think there's an element of autobiography in this one with Rusty, the young narrator.
I love the crisp writing, the use of local jargon - as he calls it "lingua America" - and the bits of history woven in for good measure. I love the 87 ways he can allude to sex without ever getting into the nitty gritty of it. But I especially love his characters - so real you can almost reach out and touch them.
There's a special feeling you get with certain books. The characters come and live at your house while you're listening. Rusty and his dad have been at my house the last few days and I miss them terribly now that they're gone. Very few books measure up to this in terms of pure, good writing. It's such a joy.
This is one of those cases where you read about someone who really impacted history and you're astounded that you've never heard of them before. What a pity that is. Nancy Wake's life during WWII needs to be a movie.
I loved this book. No, the writing isn't fabulous. Nor is the narration. But the heroine is so wonderful it outshines everything. She's just a marvelous character - perhaps born too early for a world that wasn't quite ready for her.
It struck me just how bad we are at integrating veterans back into society once they've made their contribution. Many have lead exciting lives doing impossible things in the face of great danger and yet we expect them to be able to come back into a humdrum world and be fine. Her explanation of life after the war illustrates it perfectly. And her story proves that one woman can make a huge difference.
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