I am a huge fan of all books written by Anne Tyler, but this is the first one I've listened to versus read. While the experience is equally enjoyable in both modes, I think the nature of her stories are excellent ones to listen to. Yes, as critics have mentioned, her characters are always not quite what is considered 'normal', but they are not evil or mean spirited. And the characters in this novel are no exception. While this story may not have the depth in the plot line found in her earlier work, it fully holds the reader's/listener's attention. The narrator performed excellently, allowing me to picture each character as the story unfolded. I know I've really enjoyed listening to a book when I turn on my car and am sorry to discover I'm on to another book. I really liked 'The Beginner's Goodbye' and regret having finished it so quickly.
I had this book sitting in my library here in Audible for sometime. I frankly couldn't remember why I ordered it. In December I saw it on some editors list as one of the best books in 2014 which motivated me to listen to it. First, Juliet Stevenson is a wonderful actress and an equally incredible reader. I was so into the story that I would often forget that only one person was reading - each of her characters were that distinct and believable. Of course, the author gets many kudos for an enthralling tale. I am so glad I hadn't read any reviews as when I was on the site a week or so a go I glimpsed a negative review and was really amazed. However, the story begins very...well peacefully I guess one would say and I can see why someone who wanted a lot of action from page one wouldn't stick with it. Having said that, I was hooked on the story from the beginning. I don't want to reveal anything in the plot, but several times I found myself saying out loud as I drove to work "Wow, I didn't see that coming." I initially thought I had a sense of what this story was, but nothing was further from the truth. This is one of those books that make me look forward to my long commute because I get to listen to it once again, and I really missed these characters when the book ended. It's one of those longer books that you live with for several weeks and when they're as good as this one, its as if a dear friend has passed out of your life when they end. The fact that I'm writing this review a month after I finished it speaks to its staying power as I normally forget a book almost as soon as I finish it. The book is as alive in my mind as it was the day Ms. Stevenson uttered the final word of Waters' tale. I look forward to reading more books by this author and will definitely do an Audible search for Juliet Stevenson's other performances.
I just completed the first book in this series and have now purchased the remaining three. I am usually a reader of more traditional mysteries, but I found this book an engrossing twist on the form. (I did read all of the Harry Potters and Ender books....so I have enjoyed some syfi - supernatural materials in the past.) The reader does a terrific job of communicating the characters and action. Even before finishing the remaining books, I'm hoping there won't be as long of a wait before book 5 comes out as there was between 3 and 4.
I admit I had no idea until I read a review that I was reading a trilogy. I would have figured it out, though, after book 2, Wayward Pines, as there wasn't a definitive ending. In fact, the whole shebang could have ended with this book with the future of humanity looking rather bleak, but it would have been very unsatisfying. However, as it's not the end of the tale, I am very eager for the final book. I love the narrator - the characters are clear and he uses rate effectively throughout.
I lasted 30 minutes but had chuck it thereby "donating" my money to Audible/Amazon which makes me mad but the reader/performer was terrible. His style sounds as if he thinks he's really good (and someone does as he got paid to do this recording job) but his style is pretentious. You don't believe the characters because it's as if the performer is saying "just listen to this clever - breathy - new vocal trick." His rate is also problematic - very slow as if he thinks it's really important that we hear every word his melodious (officious) voice is uttering. I have never disliked an actor/reader like this before. This is the 2nd audible book I couldn't finish because of the reader - the first was a Stephen King read by Stephen King and he was terrible but then he's not a professional - this guy is supposed to be. I've got more than an hour's drive to get home from work and to get angry because of the wretched performance of a reader does NOT make for a happy Friday. Fortunately, I had an Adrian McGinty book read by Gerard Doyle (I think that's his name) on my mp3 player so the drive home was not a total auditory loss. I regret we can't get our money back for loser readers. I think the story is probably good, but in an audio book the performer must be good as that's how the text is delivered. I may go to the library and get the book, but not one more penny will paid for it. I will, however, remember Stephen Hoyle's name and will NEVER buy another book that he's reading.
I purchased this as I love the Falco stories. Sadly, this lacks the humor. Perhaps it's because Falco is such a clearly drawn "character" (in more ways than just one) that a young female just can't compete with him. This isn't a mystery - I knew from the get go who the murderer was, what would be his uh downfall and what the mistaken identity was. I don't recall the Falco stories as being so transparent, but even if they were the stories were just plain fun. In this one, whenever she went to her parents house I'd think "Great, now the story will get more lively" but alas, Falco is not permitted an appearance. The reader was OK....I just miss Falco and the person who reads those books is terrific - just the right amount of dry humor. I think, if you've not read any of Davis' other Roman stories, this would probably work just fine, but for me, I'm just hoping we get to hear from dear old "pa" Falco in the near future.
First question - why can't we see all the reviewer ratings like we used to? According to the page this recording is on there are between 5 and 8 reviews, yet I cannot see all of them. Why not an option on the drop down menu for "all" versus the options there now which I could care less about. I am writing this review because of the 1 negative and 1 positive we are allowed to see and feel that this book is well worth a listen. I really enjoyed the story and the narrator. The main character is described as a shy, uncommunicative type of guy and I think the reader really captured that. This protagonist is more of a real person versus the tough guy cops often depicted. The only character I felt was underdeveloped was his wife, who, although described as wonderful, is portrayed only as a sex object. She herself, in late term pregnancy, is also quite the minx. I doubt that a female writer would have created this character, but since she is not key to the story line, this weakness (clearly my view only) did not effect my overall appreciation of the book.
I listened to this entire piece because I spent money on it, but I spent most of the time rolling my eyes and moaning with disgust as I listened to it. I do not frequently read romances (the main exception is cited below) and if this is the caliber of writer who creates that stuff, then I will continue reading very, very few. The basic idea of the story has some interest for me as I've read all of the Diana Gabaldon time travel books. Yes, those are also romances, but her writing ability is at least that of a high school student, while any third grader could write as well (likely much, much better) as Harkness. Word choices are at the 6 year old level as is the sentence structure and stylistic devices. She uses every trite and overworked simile and metaphor known to woman. The intrigue of time travel is creating the sense of those earlier cultures - her imagination is sadly lacking in that aspect as well.The performer was OK given the trash she had to read, and her breathy, melodramatic style probably fits this type of piece. I regret spending my money on this one.
Having just completed one of worst written books in quite some time, I was floored by how captivating this story is. I've read and listened to other Hill books and have certainly enjoyed them, but this one really stands out. The performer, Jonathan Keeble does a superb job of creating the characters and pacing the story. It is definitely one of those books that made the two hour plus drive to work and back enjoyable. I hope Hill spins another fantastic tale soon!
I'd forgotten I'd read the book until the recording began. Although the title was familiar, because I had listened to Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (another wonderful book and performance) I thought this was something new. While I almost didn't listen, since the story had really stuck with me, I kept it going. Boy, was it a treat! Peter Altschuler's natural voice is so like I'd "heard" Major Pettigrew's, that he brought the character to life. The story is positively charming and with much humor. Although I'd read it, I again found myself laughing out loud numerous times during the story. This is definately one of those audio books that made me eager to get into my car and head for work!
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