Minneapolis, MN, United States | Member Since 2007
This isn't a book I would have picked up on my own. I saw a review by Darwin8u - a great person to follow - and loved what he had to say about it. I thought I'd give it a shot - and was rewarded with a book that completely exceeded my expectations.
This is one of the most beautifully written books I've landed on in quite some time. (Beautifully narrated, too.) The complexity of the writing is luscious with characters that are very real and very flawed. It is impossible to put down yet you don't want it to be over. I cannot imagine better use of a credit.
Okay, I admit it. I ALWAYS run out of credits. I buy more credits and still there's more month left. Last month I headed over to the "Under $10" list to see what I could find. I was looking for something - ANYTHING - that would tide me over until I got my real credits. I bought this one because it was cheap and sounded interesting.
I never would have guessed I'd end up really liking a hit man. I can see why the series is popular. It's so opposite of what I would have ever imagined.
I've been an Audible listener for years and never found this list until recently. If you ever find yourself wanting something cheap and listenable, this is a great list to peruse: http://www.audible.com/mt/Best_Under_10?page=1
I tend not to like YA books. I just don't. I never would have listened to this one if I'd known up front is was considered YA - and that would have been a pity. I would have missed a terrific listen.
While not history but historical fiction, I thought much of what happened was possible. It seems that more and more I hear about specific women and their role in WWII. I am astounded that their names are not well known to all of us. This is a perfect illustration of the kinds of things women did during the war - often without recognition.
There are plenty of plot summaries already written. They border on being spoilers and that's unfortunate. Listen to this book with an open mind and just let it take you.
The narration is spot on. I cannot imagine anyone doing it any better.
No question, this will be on my "favorite books of the year" list - and very near the top. Tartt examines some very big topics - love, loss, death, life, forgiveness, redemption and addiction - and she does so with a skill that's secondary to none.
The main characters are BIG - in personality, flaws, strengths - and enormously engaging. I adored Theo, Boris and Hobie and have loved having them live at my house while I was listening. There's a sense of loss now that they're gone.
I've read some harsh reviews of the narrator and I don't understand that. I thought he was perfect for this book. It was a fresh take. His interpretation of both Boris and Hobie was delightful. I never would have imagined those voices if I'd read this in print. It was an added dimension that made it all the more enjoyable.
With more than 30 hours of engaging story, this is one of the most credit-worthy books around. Really, what could be better? It's a good long listen that's beautifully read. I wish they were always this good.
This is classic Grisham. The story is well-paced, compelling, interesting. The characters are fleshed out. Once you start, it's difficult to put down. But, that's the story ... the narration is a different subject.
Beck does a great job with some of the characters when he's reading dialogue. When he's reading the rest of it, it is completely uninspired. It's a sort of slow motion dirge. In the hands of a narrator like Will Patton - with his singular talent for Southern patois - this would have been a 5-star listen. As it is, it's good - but not great.
I read this book years ago when it first came out and loved it. When I saw it was available on Audible with George Guidall narrating, I was thrilled. Two of my favorites at one time. How great is that?
First off, let's talk about George. I adore him. He is not just 'the voice' of Walt Longmire in Craig Johnson's series, he IS Walt. So much so, that when I began listening to "The Alienist" I had to keep reminding myself that Walt was not in this book. It took me at least 4 hours of listening before I could get that out of my head. (Victoria Moretti appears, too.)
Now to the book itself... There's no need to rehash the plot - you'll find that everywhere you look. What I find remarkable is how much of New York City in the 1890s comes through in the descriptions. You can feel it, smell it, hear it. You know what it was like to dine at Delmonico's late at night and to walk down dark streets. You get to know the hoodlums and rapscallions. You can feel what it's like to be at the Met. It is totally absorbing. It's true when you read it, but even more obvious when you listen.
This is a splendid book - though dark and gruesome in places - and definitely credit-worthy if you like historical fiction or mysteries.
Before I can say anything about this book, I have to comment on the narration. It is so perfect that it becomes one with the book. It was startling at the end to actually hear the real Tim O'Brien. Cranston became him in the book.
O'Brien's writing can be raw. It's apparent how deeply personal the Viet Nam war was for him - and I'm sure many others. Though perhaps not physically wounded, the emotional wounds are deep. I can't imagine how painful it's been for O'Brien to write about this time again and again. I admire his ability to be so honest about the emotional damage, the fear, and the heartbreak.
It's probably because of that approach that I can even listen to this. When other books approach war from the events and atrocities, it's just too much. The way O'Brien writes, the horrid things that happen are described in a way that it helps me understand the emotional toll paid by a generation of young men.
This is, without a question, one of the most important books about the Viet Nam war and its personal impact. Don't miss it.
Sometimes you read a Pulitzer Prize winner, and shake your head in disbelief. This time I knew exactly why this book won. It deserves all of the praise it can get.
This book is SO real. I'm unsure of its accuracy, but I certainly felt like I had a glimpse of the Glorious Democratic People's Republic of Korea through the character's eyes. It's so rare when I actually can suspend reality and feel something on behalf of a character. In this book it happened subtly. I had a visceral reaction to an event before I realized how immersed I was in the characters and their lives. I started to grimace every time I heard "glorious" or "Citizens!" or "Supreme Leader."
Adam Johnson has done a fine job of using fiction to paint a picture of life inside one of the most closed societies on earth. He allowed me to understand it in a way that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
The narration is perfectly suited to the book. It's not completely transparent, but gives you a very good sense of where you are and who is talking. I think it's precisely what a good narration should do - especially in a book like this with abhorrent content. I had enough of a reaction. I didn't need any overblown narration to help that along.
I do love this series, so I'm biased. But I think this particular book in the series needs to be listened to twice. The first time you listen you want to know what's going to happen. The characters are so real that you're transported to Three Pines. I can see every one of these people. I finished the book and immediately listened again. The second time it was to really examine the writing and to see how Louise Penny constructs these books to make them so appealing. They are so well crafted. I really appreciate her skill as a writer. And I very much appreciate listening to Ralph Cosham. I can't imagine a better narrator.
If you've not listened to any of these books, I wouldn't start with this one. Though each book can stand on its own, it's really nice to start with "Still Life" and get the background on each character.
This cannot be called historical fiction. There's nothing historical about it. Fiction? Yes. But more like a romance novel. The writing is awful.
If this had not been our book club selection this month, I would have stopped after an hour. That's about the point when you start wondering if it will get better. Nope. The writing never improves and the characters stay one-dimensional.
Save yourself a credit and listen to something else that's worth your time. This book is not.
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