Julia Gibson was great at setting the mood and bringing the characters to life. I fear I may not listen to another Susan Wittig Albert book, as I found this not as engaging as the others. I've listened to 3 or 4 in the past and found them light, but charming in their way. I became fond of the recurring characters and welcomed the new ones. But, perhaps for me that charm wears thin after a few books. Or something was missing in this one and I can't put my finger on what it was. The best parts were the drama of housesitting a Rottweiler and descriptions of yucca plants, which I don't consider a recommendation.
Other books in the series that I enjoyed more: Dead Man's Bones, Mourning Gloria, Cat's Claw, Wormwood
Basically, if you like Robert Littell, you'll like this book. I waited a long time to listen, fearing I'd be disappointed from some of the reviews, but I think the issue is, when someone writes a masterpiece like The Company, everything else is pale in comparison. But, on its own, The Sisters is an intriguing spy story with rich characters. It's amazing how he links events that we're all familiar with and we have the sense that we're really peeking behind the veil into the world of intrigue that doesn't make it into the newspapers.
Despite the wonderful history lesson each of Edward Rutherfurd's books provides, I stopped this one part way through. I did learn that Russians had been oppressed systematically long before the Soviets and got a sense of the vastness of the land and its effect on the people. However, the stories seemed too grim and not as engaging as his other books. I've usually found with Rutherfurd's books that if one period doesn't hook you as much, the next one will, but none of them did for me. Unless you are passionate to learn about Russia, this might be one to pass on. I still wish I'd finished it, but it turned into 'work', which isn't my goal with Audiobooks!
This is taken directly from the diaries of a Russian aristocrat whose family had fled the USSR after the Revolution and who finds herself in Berlin struggling to make a living during the war. Despite it being from diary entries, it is not dry and the narrative flows along nicely. For those who enjoy reading about this period, it is a different perspective from a brave and likable person. I'm glad I gave this a try.
I'm writing this much later, so what I remember is that it did not disappoint me at all. I find Robert Goddard's books suck you into the plot, which is always a bit of a stretch for believability, but that's part of the fun. It takes you totally away from whatever else you might be thinking about into a world of its own, which remains intriguing throughout the book. What more could you ask for?
I wanted some lovely escapist fun and this one was perfect. It had enough depth to be interesting, but without becoming painfully real. Most of the bad guys got their comeuppance in the end, which is great or 'grand', as Hamish would say. Hamish has women all around him and none of them changing his life much at all, which was fun. The real constants are his pets and his work.
I really enjoyed the first part and don't mind the lead character's black humour. Germany and Russia in 1943 weren't the cheeriest places and his outlook lightens things up in a way that's necessary. I don't even mind the focus on death and despair. But for me personally, I can't handle details of rape and torture and after I'd skipped some sections to miss them and I could tell another one was about to begin, I called it quits. I also realized I didn't mind if I never knew how it turned out. After all, we know the ending of WW2, don't we?! I know we're all unique in what we can tolerate in terms of violence, so it's your call if this book's for you or not. There were a lot of characters with difficult names and that could be a bit confusing at times and I made a few notes to keep them straight. I do enjoy a good WW2 story and I took the risk here from an author I'd read before.
This book was occasionally tedious, but overall I'm glad I listened. I learned lots of little tidbits (sips?) of history as related to each beverage. The author tied each drink into its historical period without lapsing into overstating its importance to world events. Surprisingly, I learned the most about the most recent one - Coca Coca - and in the epilogue he muses about drinks in the future.
I wouldn't call this the strongest Robin Cook book, mostly because the characters didn't seem as fleshed out as they were in earlier books. But the premise of the book is so interesting and its effects so far-reaching that the book is fascinating. Plus, it's still better written than most books. It is a story that keeps you interested, with some surprises. For fans of Robin Cook, don't miss it.
This was a delightful book, with many smiles and laugh out loud moments, all due to the dog's perceptions and lack of them. There was enough of a plot to keep things moving along, but the charm is really seeing things from the dog's point of view. It's brilliant and charming, plus the narration makes it perfect. I'm sure I'll read more.
I was all set to find the middle section long, based on the other reviews, but I didn't at all. Nor did I find any characters or storylines abandoned, but maybe I missed it! This is my third Robert Goddard book and it seemed perfectly paced. There is lots to keep one's interest along the way and much to reveal at the end.
I find that I can't listen to his books one right after another, because of the similar elements (revenge, betrayal, nothing is what it seems, etc.), but after a brief rest, I'll return for more. Clearly, it doesn't seem to matter what the external circumstance is in terms of plot and setting, because he makes it a good story in each case. I'm fond of plots with political overtones myself because it lifts things out of the merely personal into a wider sphere. I'll look forward to the next one soon! I'll have to remember to have a dictionary nearby next time for the occasional new word. That's the mark of a good novel for sure!
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